He might not have gotten the chance to challenge Miguel Cotto or Canelo Alvarez in 2015, but Gennady “GGG” Golovkin will end the year with the biggest fight of his career. The WBA, WBC and IBO middleweight champion will put hits belts on the line in a title unification bout with IBF middleweight champ David Lemieux.
The two boxers are set to meet on Oct. 17 at Madison Square Garden on HBO pay-per-view. Golovkin had long been unable to secure a fight against a big-name opponent, and now he’ll have a chance to add another 160-pound world title to his collection.
"Finally we were able to get somebody to agree to fight Gennady, somebody that had something to risk," Golovkin's promoter, Tom Loeffler told The Associated Press. "Whenever there was a champion or somebody that had something to risk to fight Gennady, they would never get in the ring with him. ... The fans appreciate when a fighter has a lot of risk but steps up to the plate. That's what makes a compelling fight."
Golovkin will face one of the toughest challenges in his career when he takes on Lemieux, but no one has been able to slow down the knockout artist from Kazakhstan. Going 33-0 with 30 career knockouts, Golovkin hasn’t allowed any of his last 20 opponents to go the distance.
The odds makers favor Golovkin heavily, making him a 1/14 or a 1/16 favorite at multiple online sports books. Lemieux is getting 7/1 betting odds at a few different websites.
Lemieux has two losses on his resume, but he’s been nearly as dominant as Golovkin since he was last defeated in 2011. The Canadian beat Hassan N’Dam in a unanimous decision on June 20 to win the vacant IBF middleweight belt. He had won seven of his previous eight bouts by KO or TKO.
No matter who wins the fight, Golovkin vs. Lemieux could turn out to be one of the most exciting boxing matches of 2015. They are both aggressive, power punchers that should put on a show for the New York City crowd.
"This is the fight that all the fans and the world wants to see," Lemieux said, via ESPN. "I hope and expect this will be the best fight of the last five years. There will be blood. It's going to be exciting."
Golovkin last defeated Willie Monroe Jr. in a sixth-round TKO on May 16, following wins over Martin Murray and Marco Antonio Rubio. One of Lemieux’s two career losses came to Rubio, who beat the current IBF champ with a seventh-round TKO in 2010.
Prediction: Lemieux is in a different class than Monroe Jr., but the result will likely be the same. Golovkin will be ready to make a statement in his first time fighting in a PPV main event, showing the world that he can also dominate the best that his weight class has to offer.
Golovkin by TKO