Gennady Golovkin vs. Matthew Macklin: Preview and Prediction for Title Fight

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2013

Gennady Golovkin vs. Matthew Macklin: Preview and Prediction for Title Fight

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    The WBA middleweight title will be on the line this Saturday night at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, as champion Gennady Golovkin defends against Matthew Macklin. 

    Golovkin is a knockout machine who has held his championship since 2010. Many consider him to be one of the most dangerous and avoided fighters in the sport. 

    Macklin, who has twice unsuccessfully challenged for a share of the middleweight title, is extremely tough. He will look to score the big upset, and stop GGG's meteoric rise to the top.

    Read on for our complete preview and prediction of Saturday's big fight!

Tale of the Tape

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    Both Golovkin and Macklin are natural middleweights that are about equal in height. GGG possesses a one-and-a-half-inch reach advantage, which could play a larger role in the fight than it would seem, and has a huge advantage in punching power.

    With a knockout percentage of 88 percent, GGG does not like to allow his opponents to hear the final bell. Despite Macklin's slight edge in experience, he could struggle with the Kazakh's power.

     

    Record:

    Golovkin

    26-0, 23 KO

    Macklin

    29-4, 20 KO

    Height: 5'9 1/2" 5'10"

    Reach:

    73 1/2" 72"
    Weight: 160 160
    Stance: Orthodox Orthodox
    Hometown: Karaganda, Kazakhstan Birminghan, United Kingdom
    Rounds: 106 175

Main Storylines

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    Golovkin has become something of a mythical big bad wolf in the boxing community. It's almost like he's developed a legend that you tell kids before bed to keep them up at night. 

    GGG has fearsome punching power, and has struggled to find opponents willing to step into the ring with him. He's won his last 13 bouts inside the distance, but has never been in with a fighter as tough as Macklin. 

    Will this be the continuation of the coming out party for the 31-year-old Kazakh fighter, or will he be exposed as nothing more than hype?

    Macklin will be making his third attempt at winning a middleweight championship, and this one won't be any easier than the other two. He dropped a highly controversial split decision to Felix Sturm in 2011, and gave Sergio Martinez all he could handle before being stopped last year.

    Macklin has a reputation for being a tough, difficult opponent. For him the fight is about whether or not he'll be able to stand up to GGG's tremendous punching power and aggression. 

    If he can, then he has a shot at toppling the phenom.

Strengths

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    Golovkin hits really, really hard.

    Just ask Gabe Rosado, one of the toughest fighters in the game, who had his face rearranged when he fought Golovkin in New York City earlier this year. When this guy lands clean, the thud is absolutely sickening. 

    GGG sets up his power shots with a very effective, and also damaging, jab. He has good boxing ability, but rarely needs it because most opponents can't stand up to his power shots.

    His trainer, the highly respected Abel Sanchez, went as far as to call him "the middleweight Mike Tyson," in an interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, earlier this year.

    Macklin is an extremely tough, and skilled boxer who has proved to be an easy out for no one.

    Most expected him to be dominated by recognized middleweight champion Martinez, when the two met in NYC last year, but Macklin accounted well for himself. He boxed well for the first eight or nine rounds, and dropped Martinez, before wilting himself in the 11th round.

    He's a very solid boxer, and he refuses to be intimidated. He also has a slight experience edge on GGG, and has been in there with some higher quality opponents.

Weaknesses

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    Golovkin isn't the fastest fighter on the planet, but he makes up for that with punches so heavy that they hurt no matter where they land.

    The hype around him is immense, and he's certainly been impressive thus far. However, he really hasn't been in there with many good fighters.

    You can argue, mostly correctly, that his opponents haven't been stellar because the big names won't fight him. But he's mostly beaten fringe contenders, and blown up junior middleweights. Given that, we don't know how he'll fare against a tough, legit 160-pounder.

    Macklin is a good boxer with good power, but he's come up short in his two challenges for titles. Granted his loss to Sturm was an absolute farce, but he was leading Martinez, and had scored a knockdown, but he failed to close the show.

    A big weakness for him coming into this fight is something that usually provides an advantage. He's durable, and has a good chin, but this sometimes makes him a little lax in his defense.

    That could be a disaster against a fighter with Golovkin's power.

Golovkin Will Win If...

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    Golovkin will win this fight if he's able to land his power shots on Macklin.

    You can question GGG's opposition, whether he's more myth than reality, and if he'll get exposed when his competition level rises. What you can't do is question whether he hits hard. That's a stone cold fact.

    Macklin is extremely durable, and he loves to fight. His bravado could be his undoing as GGG's punching power is too much, possibly for any fighter in the middleweight division. Neither guy will run, but Golovkin is clearly the bigger puncher.

    If he's able to land his power shots, which he should be able to, he will win the fight.

Macklin Will Win If...

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    Macklin will need to survive a ton of incoming bombs in order to win this fight. He's not going to back down from Golovkin, even if he should, and he's going to need to weather the storm.

    The truth is we don't really know yet how GGG will react to a guy that's willing to stand in there and give back as good as he's getting.

    For Macklin to win the fight he's going to need to survive GGG's assault, while at the same time landing big shots of his own. He'll need to make his opponent respect him, and force him into deep water (GGG has only been eight or more rounds four times).

    If he's able to do all that, he could score the upset.

    Ironically, his best bet for victory might be to utilize his solid boxing ability, but that's just not in his blood.

And the Winner Is...

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    Macklin will be just too brave for his own good. He will attempt to trade with Golovkin and test his power, only to find out it's all it's been advertised to be. We know that GGG has the power to hurt just about anybody, but we don't know that about Macklin.

    He got tagged, and dropped by Martinez, who isn't close to the puncher he will see on Saturday night. It wouldn't be surprising to see Macklin land some good shots on Golovkin, and the truth is we really don't know how he'll take them when he does. 

    Expect a war for as long as it lasts, and that likely won't be very long. Neither guy will back down, and both will get hit hard, but it'll be Macklin who tastes the canvas. While he might rise, the referee will be forced to stop the bout.

    Golovkin TKO 5 Macklin