Knockout artist Gennady Golovkin will return to the ring on Saturday in a match with Willie Monroe Jr. at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Putting his middleweight titles on the line, the undefeated boxer could further the case that he is among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
The 33-year-old from Kazakhstan has been a dominant force like no other since he fought his first bout in the United States less than three years ago. During his rise to the top of the boxing world, Golovkin has continued to knock out every opponent, beating 19 consecutive opponents by KO or TKO, and extending his overall record to 32-0.
Monroe doesn’t offer much of a challenge to the champ, and a win for the American would make for one of the biggest upsets the sport has seen in recent years. The online betting website Bovada.lv lists Golovkin as a -5000 favorite, while Monroe is a +1400 underdog.
The challenger is slightly bigger, with a 3-inch reach advantage and standing 1.5 inches taller. But Monroe can’t match Golovkin’s punching power, and the champ’s 90.6 percent knockout rate could spell an early night for Monroe.
Golovkin nearly didn’t get his knockout in his last fight, which lasted all the way into the 11th round before Martin Murray couldn’t withstand any more punishment. The Brit put in a gutsy performance, though he was being handled with ease before the fight was finally stopped. Golovkin recorded two knockdowns in the fourth round, and he landed 161 more total punches than Murray.
Monroe defeated Brian Vera in his last bout, scoring a unanimous-decision victory in 10 rounds. His defensive prowess could allow him to last longer than some of Golovkin’s recent opponents, but Monroe doesn’t throw or land punches at a high enough percentage to likely give Golovkin much of a challenge.
Golovkin has yet to face the biggest names in the sport, but he continues to knock out every opponent that is placed in front of him. It’s hard to believe that Saturday will be any different when taking on a boxer that doesn't appear to be as strong as Golovkin's recent challengers.
Monroe has fought well in his recent bouts, but he hasn’t taken on a boxer in the class of Golovkin. If he can avoid a knockout it would be considered a moral victory, but there’s little reason to believe that Golovkin won’t win before the end of 12 rounds.
Golovkin by KO