Knockout king Golovkin goes for 20th straight KO against Monroe
LOS ANGELES, USA - Kazakh puncher Gennady Golovkin goes for his 20th successive knockout on Saturday, May 16 when he puts his World Boxing Association middleweight world title on the line against US southpaw Willie Monroe.
The fearsome Golovkin, unbeaten in 32 professional bouts, could provide just the right antidote for fight fans left less than satisfied after the bloated build-up to the May 2 "Fight of the Century" between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
"Saturday night, there is a big present for everyone," the fighter nicknamed “GGG" promised. "For Boxing fans. This is a big deal. A big present."
Golovkin has made good on plenty of such pledges in the past, and he's the overwhelming favorite as he makes his 14th title defense against the 19-1 Monroe.
The California-based Kazakh's pro career is a highlight reel of crushing, crowd-pleasing stoppages.
But he has yet to entice any of the sport's biggest names into the ring with him, although he's still aiming for a big-time bout against Miguel Cotto or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Golovkin has said he'd be willing to go up in weight to take on Carl Froch, or step down to junior middleweight if that would get him in the ring against pound-for-pound king Mayweather.
In the meantime, he's focused on the nimble Monroe, Golovkin's first left-handed foe since he knocked out Grzegorz Proksa in his US debut in September of 2012.
"This is not easy for me," Golovkin insists. "He's a southpaw. It is a little bit different for me ... he has good speed and is a good mover ... I want to beat any style. This is a new step for me."
Saturday's bout comes just three months after Golovkin's last title defense, an 11th-round stoppage of Briton Martin Murray in Monte Carlo.
It was the deepest Golovkin had been taken since his first defense of the belt in June of 2011, but Murray never showed the punching power to trouble Golovkin.
Golovkin's trainer Abel Sanchez says his fighter will have to adjust to Monroe's style, but he doesn't see the 28-year-old challenger lasting 12 rounds.
"I don't think anybody at 160 pounds stays with Gennady for 12 full rounds," Sanchez told ESPN. "Murray almost proved me wrong, but I don't think that Willie will."
Monroe, however, is embracing his underdog role - and the title shot made possible by his performance in the eight-man Boxcino middleweight made-for-TV tournament last year in which he won three fights in three months.
"I've been the underdog for a long time," said Monroe, adding that the matchup with the imposing Golovkin was exactly what he wanted.
"He's the best," Monroe said. "So you either go hard or go home." - Rappler.com