SAN DIEGO, November 1, 2013 - Middleweight Gennady Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs) is the best boxer most people still don’t know. He puts on wickedly entertaining if brief fights, the last 14 straight ending by knockout or TKO. Only two of his last 14 bouts have lasted more five rounds; ten of them were finished in three rounds or less. That’s nine minutes, if you’re counting.
Saturday’s bout against Curtis Stevens (25-3, 18 KOs), age 28, of Brooklyn at Madison Square Garden isn’t likely to rewrite the current script starring “Triple G.” So best to be in your seat early and make sure the HBO TV broadcast is on promptly at 10 p.m. ET.
Stevens has talked himself up big prior to this fight, going so far as to stage a mock funeral for “Triple G” complete with fake coffin long before Halloween gave him an excuse. Stevens is the one likely to get the graveyard scare of his life facing the power-punching monster that is Golovkin.
Golovkin, 31, presents dual personalities, to the point nearly everyone who has met him or writes about it comments on it. His alternate nickname is “Good Boy,” and it’s true that outside the ring this polite, smiling guy looks like your kid’s third grade teacher.
In training and especially in the ring, Golovkin is a predator with the highest knockout percentage of any active boxer. He is so much of a threat in the ring that many potential big name opponents avoid him; it’s the only serious criticism about him.
Golovkin is working hard at establishing a connection to the fans and the boxing community. He is generous with his appearance and interview time, fostered by a hard work promotional team. He has worked hard to learn English. One of his most appealing traits is how much he seems to genuinely enjoy himself.
And why not? Golovkin is doing exactly what he loves to do. He loves to work, to box, to fight and to knock people out.
While his admirers are anxious to see him fight bigger names, Golovkin says he has all the time in the world to get to where he wants to be at the top of the boxing world, to the point where his name becomes as well known as Mayweather or Pacquiao. He assures fans he will meet major opponents, in time.
Does that mean a fight in 2014 with someone like Miguel Cotto? Cotto is someone Golovkin respects, which is an important aspect of the sport to him. Facing Cotto: “I think it is a great fight for the fans, for us. In the future, yes.”
In the meantime, Golovkin is not overlooking his opponent on November 2 at Madison Square Garden, one of his favorite venues where his Kazakh countrymen come out in big numbers. “I work every day. I fight, fight, fight, every day.” He continues to spar in training with much bigger boxers, because “I’m beating them up.” One of them, Ola Afolabi, who will fight on the non-televised undercard, shares trainer Abel Sanchez with Golovkin. Afolabi outweighs Golovkin by 30 pounds.
The World Boxing Association has ruled that Golovkin must face interim-champion Martin Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs) assuming both win their upcoming fights. It’s all but a lock. Murray will travel to Sydney, Australia for a bout with Garth Wood (12-3-1, 8 KOs) on December 11. Murray’s sole loss was a decision against Sergio Martinez earlier this year. Many observers believed Murray won the fight. It’s an outstanding potential matchup to look forward to in early 2014.
Then perhaps it’s a bout with Cotto, and from there? Golovkin’s patience may pay off, exactly as planned.
In the meantime, expect another early round departure on Saturday, delivered with an assassin’s casual smile from Good Boy. Both fighters made weight on Friday, Golovkin at 159.6 and Stevens at 159.25 pounds. Golovkin has a three inch height advantage and looked down at Stevens during the final faceoff.
On the undercard fight, two undefeated heavyweights will risk their records. Magomed Abdusalamov of Russia (18-0-0, 18 KOs) fights Mike “The Rebel” Perez of Cuba (19-0-0, 12 KOs). Abdulsalamov could make it a quick night. Only two of his 18 fights have gone past the third round. These two hard-hitting boxers weighed in at 231.6 pounds and 235.8 pounds respectively and looked to be in excellent shape.
On the non-televised undercard and available for viewing via TopRank.TV online is cruiserweight Ola “Kryptonite” Afolabi (19-3-0, 9 KOs) of Los Angeles via Great Britain vs. Lukasz Janik of Poland. (26-1-0, 14 KOs). Afolabi has lived in the U.S. since 2013 but hasn’t had a fight in the U.S. for five years. He is the favorite and a good showing would help win him the visibility he deserves. In the meantime, follow his extremely entertaining Twitter account at @OlaBoxing. Afolabi weighed in at 194 pounds; Janik at 197.8 pounds.
Join our live Communities chat online for the televised bouts starting at 9:45 p.m. ET. It’s the first of four Saturdays of Live Chats for great boxing action this November.
See Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin vs. Curtis Stevens in “Monsters Collide” on HBO from Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, November 2, at 10 p.m. ET.
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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