After running through the middleweight division with knockout after knockout, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is finally set to fight in the main event of a pay-per-view. He’ll face David Lemieux at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night in a middleweight title unification fight.
Golovkin has been boxing’s most dominant force over the last few years, dominating each opponent he faces. His latest victory was a sixth-round knockout against Willie Monroe Jr. in May, to improve his career record to 33-0. Golovkin has knocked out his last 20 opponents, totaling 30 in his career. Now, he gets his toughest test yet.
Until now, the best potential opponents have avoided getting in the ring with Golovkin. Lemieux is the IBF middleweight champ, having won the belt from Hassan N’Dam four months ago in a dominant unanimous decision, knocking him down four times. It was the champ’s ninth straight victory, improving his career record to 34-2.
Lemieux might be better than anyone Golovkin has faced, but it’d still be a major upset if he wins on Saturday. Few are expecting him to beat Golovkin, and Bovada.lv has given the undefeated boxer -1600 betting odds to maintain his perfect record. Lemieux is a +800 underdog, after being named a -175 favorite in his last bout.
Despite the odds stacked against him, Lemieux is confident that he can go toe-to-toe with Golovkin.
"I'm a big underdog, which is perfect by me. It's not a problem. I know who I am. I have a lot of confidence in myself,” Lemieux said, via Sky Sports.
"It's not about power. It's about character, toughness and determination. We're both hard punchers; everyone knows that. Let's see beyond that."
Whether Golovkin continues to roll or Lemieux pulls off the upset, it seems almost certain that the fight won’t go 12 rounds. In addition to Golovkin’s knockout prowess, Lemieux has won almost exclusively by KO, doing so in 31 of his 36 career fights.
"I'm scared only like one percent, not 100 percent, but only 1 percent. I'm a regular guy, I'm a man. Everyone is a little bit scared....maybe one percent," Golovkin said, told BoxingScene.com.
Lemieux, a bonafide puncher, is better than any boxer that Golovkin has faced, which actually may spell doom for the Montreal native. Golovkin, whether he’s gotten complacent or tried to put on a show for the fans, has let some of his recent opponents hang around longer than they probably should. He knows Lemieux is dangerous, and with another title on the line, Golovkin will likely try to make quick work of this fight.
While Lemieux is slightly quicker, Golovkin is a stronger puncher and has a great chin. It should be an exciting fight between two powerful punchers, but it might not go beyond the first few rounds.