Gennady “GGG” Golovkin might be the baddest man in boxing, and he’ll finally get his chance to prove himself against a top middleweight. The champ will take on David Lemieux on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in a title unification bout.
After knocking out 20 straight opponents and improving his career record to 33-0, the hard-hitting fighter from Karagandy, Kazakhstan, makes his pay-per-view debut, facing Lemieux in the main event. Even though the quality of his opponent has improved, Golovkin isn’t expected to be any less dominant.
A loss for Golovkin would be a major upset, given that he has -1600 betting odds at Bovada.lv. Lemieux is a +800 underdog, and surviving all 12 rounds in defeat would be considered an accomplishment.
It’s been seven years since a boxer fought Golovkin and wasn’t knocked out, helping to give him the best knockout percentage (90.9) in the history of the middleweight division. The odds of Golovkin winning by knockout are -500, and bettors can get +600 odds that he’ll win by decision. Lemieux has lost twice in his career, failing to go the distance against Marco Antonio Rubio in 2011.
Golovkin faced Rubio almost exactly a year ago, knocking him out in the second round. He last fought on May 16, beating Willie Monroe Jr. with a sixth-round knockout. In between those two fights, Golovkin needed 11 rounds to knock out Martin Murray. Murray is one of just two boxers to last until the ninth round against Golovkin.
Other than a draw (+3500), the most unlikely scenario is considered to be a win for Lemieux by decision (+2500). Lemieux has +900 odds to knock Golovkin out, given that 31 of his 34 victories have come by knockout.
Golovkin didn’t fight in the United States until three years ago, and he last appeared at MSG when he knocked out Daniel Geale in July 2014.
Fans who don’t have seats and want to watch the Golovkin-Lemieux fight in person will have to turn to the secondary ticket market. Over 20,000 people will make up a sellout crowd to see the title fight on Saturday. The cheapest seats listed on StubHub are going for $11 each.
The HBO PPV broadcast begins at 9 p.m. ET, and three fights will air before Golovkin vs. Lemieux. On the undercard, flyweight Roman Gonzalez, widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers around, defends his title against Brian Viloria. Gonzalez beat Edgar Sosa with a second-round knockout on the same card as Golovkin vs. Monroe Jr. in May.