SAN DIEGO, June 28, 2013 – Boxing fans admire tactical skills in the ring. Stamina, ring generalship, footwork, defense.
But what they really love is a wicked hard knockout punch.
With the highest knockout percentage of any active boxer in the ring at 88.5 percent, or nearly nine out of ten opponents, middleweight Gennady Golovkin generates plenty of excitement among the boxing community. He likes to fight and the fans love him for it.
Golovkin (26-0, 23 KO) gets into the ring against a determined, hard-working Matthew Macklin (29-4, 20 KO) of Ireland Saturday night at the MGM Grand Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut. The fight airs on HBO’s Boxing After Dark at 9:45 p.m. ET. Communities will have your live boxing chat starting at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Both fighters made weight on Friday afternoon at 159 pounds even in this 160 pound middleweight class. Making weight hasn’t been a given lately, so everyone involved was relieved to make it official.
Golovkin had an extensive amateur career for Kazahkstan before turning professional. He has scored eight straight knockouts since winning his title in 2010, and 23 out of 26 professional bouts. He has never been knocked out or even knocked down in over 400 amateur and professional fights. He’s only fought past the ninth round once in his entire career.
Golovkin’s record has created plenty of intrigue. The criticism is that he hasn’t faced the toughest opponents. There can’t be any other reason Golovkin isn’t on some of the Top Ten pound for pound best lists.
But it’s not because he is avoiding them to preserve his record. Top fighters have avoided Golovkin, a combination of high risk and low reward. Golovkin isn’t a top tier draw on the order of a Floyd Mayweather, but he’s getting there.
A big win against Macklin will help. Macklin is determined not to make it easy for Golovkin. He is a tough fighter who’s had a few tough breaks. He fought well against top middleweight Sergio Martinez for most of their bout before faltering in the later rounds, going down for the only time in his professional career. Many thought he won his bout against Felix Sturm. Macklin would love to show he’s got the goods.
Macklin has the warrior personality in the ring. He isn’t easily intimidate. He isn’t afraid to get hit. He can take it and he’s capable of returning in kind. He won’t necessarily move away like many of Golovkin’s opponents. Macklin believes he will be able to make Golovkin go into the later rounds, foreign territory that he may not know how to handle. He is confident he has the power to hurt him. He’s got 20 knockouts of his own.
Hardcore fans are excited because this fight could be short and sweet, a few rounds filled with some serious bombs. It could be a brawl that goes the distance. Either way, it has Fight of the Year potential.
Golovkin always goes for the KO. He starts patiently, boxing through the first few rounds while sizing up his opponents, and then moving in. He says he won’t change his style for this fight. If Macklin stands up to Golovkin’s best and gives it back, the fans will be the winner of this bout.
The boxing media does its best not to get overly excited about someone like Golovkin without good reason. But everyone is looking for the heir apparent to energize the sport. Golovkin’s punching power brings Mike Tyson to mind. His genial, gentleman’s personality out of the ring makes him extremely easy to like personally. It would be terrific for the sport of boxing to have a classy fighter who can generate real excitement. Is that man Golovkin? Or will Matthew Macklin show us he’s not the fighter we imagine him to be. Either way, you’ll want to find out on Saturday.
The undercard fights include Thomas Oosthuizen (21-0-1, 13 KO) facing Brandon Gonzales (17-0, 10 KO) in a super middleweight bout. Oosthuizen weighed in at 167 pounds; Gonzales weighed in at 166. Also featured on HBO will be a junior middleweight fight between Willie Nelson (20-1-1, 12 KO) and Luciano Cuello (32-2, 16 KO). Both fighters hit 153 pounds.
Communities will lead a live boxing chat starting at 9:30 p.m. ET. Our knowledgeable followers add a lot to the commentary and we welcome you. The only requirement: must love boxing.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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