WBA middleweight champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (26-0, 23 KO) has broken almost every challenger he's faced in his career. On Saturday night from the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Conn., Matthew "Mack the Knife" Macklin (29-4, 20 KO) will attempt to be GGG's sturdiest test.
No opponent has gone the distance with the 31-year-old champion from Kazakhstan in five years. Macklin is tough, and he has been in the ring with some of the best fighters at 160 pounds, but is he a match for Golovkin's bone-crushing style?
Here's how you can catch the action, as well Andre Ward's scouting report, the live press conference and some deeper analysis into the matchup.
|Date and Time||TV Coverage||Live Stream|
|Saturday, June 29 at 9:45 p.m. ET||HBO||Replay the following day|
Andre Ward's Scouting Report
The live press conference begins at 1 p.m. ET. You can view it here:
Tale of the Tape
(Fighter info per BoxRec.com)
|Gennady Golovkin||-||Matthew Macklin|
|Karaganda, Kazakhstan ||Hometown||Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom|
|26-0 23 KO||Record||29-4 20 KO|
The Book on Golovkin
Smashing His Way Out of Obscurity
Though he's been the WBA champion since 2010, before Sept. 2012, not many American boxing fans knew who Golovkin was. When he demolished an athletic, game, but overmatched Grzegorz Proksa in five rounds in Verona, N.Y., people began to take notice.
Next, Golovkin tore through the talented Gabriel Rosado in seven rounds in January, and squashed Nobuhiro Ishida in three rounds in March. Less than three months later, Golovkin is ready for another tough test against Macklin.
If he wins, and presumably has one or two more fights this year against even stiffer competition, we may be looking at the next recipient of the Fighter of the Year award.
After being brought along slowly in his professional career, GGG is on the fast track to stardom.
In the Ring
Vicious body punching, long arms, heavy hands and relentless pursuit highlight GGG's arsenal. His 88.46 KO percentage is a reflection of those talents.
Rosado's movement gave Golovkin a little trouble early in their fight, but ultimately he couldn't withstand the pressure and the pounding that Golovkin delivered.
Quickness and a solid jab are obvious talents that could give GGG issues, but the fighter employing these skills must have the stamina to keep pace, and the power to make GGG respect him.
So far, he hasn't faced an opponent with those qualities.
The Book on Macklin
Does Mack the Knife Have Foolish Heart?
After giving Sergio Martinez a stiff challenge before being stopped between the 11th and 12th rounds in March 2012, and losing a controversial split decision to Felix Sturm in June 2011, Macklin has been yearning for another title shot.
He scored a first-round TKO win over Joachim Alcine in Sept. 2012, and now he has a chance at GGG's WBA title.
Macklin told ESPN UK:
It [the fight] has a very good chance, as all the ingredients are there: two physically strong, big-punching middleweights that want to do damage to the other guy.
I want to fight. I'm not really a point-scorer, I'm looking to take the other guy out - as he is. I think you can definitely expect fireworks, and don't be shocked if it's fight of the year.
Heart has always been Macklin's best trait, and he does pack a nice punch himself. But he is really taking a big risk if he carries out the plan he is eluding to in the referenced quote.
Macklin has toiled on undercards for much of his career, and he now has another opportunity to make his mark. He's apparently looking to succeed with flying colors, or go down swinging.
In the Ring
Macklin likes to brawl, but he isn't a terrible boxer. He has decent hand speed at a disruptive jab when he uses it. With power in both hands, he is a dangerous fighter, but his shorter reach could be an issue if he wants to keep GGG away from his midsection.
Against Martinez, Macklin began the fight well, but he seemed to slow down in the middle rounds. His defense got a little lazy and Martinez floored him twice in the 11th round. Exhaustion and the effects of the shots in the 11th forced his corner to stop the bout prior to the final round.
To beat Golovkin, Macklin will either have to hit the champion with something night-changing early, or maintain the energy to outbox him.
Title Bout Championship Boxing Prediction
I simulated this WBA title fight on PISD's Title Bout Championship Boxing 2013 and Golovkin won by an easy decision in a brutal beating of Macklin.
The game certainly recognized Macklin's resolve as he got up from five knockdowns to finish the fight, but all three virtual judges had the fight scored the same.
Here is the stat breakdown from the simulated bout.
Golovkin is just too strong on the inside and Macklin doesn't seem willing to employ the strategy necessary to challenge the champion. Even if he were on board with a more mobile approach that saw him pick his spots to exchange, it is doubtful he'd have the stamina to maintain the pace for 12 rounds.
GGG will win this fight by KO/TKO in the seventh round. You can tweet your own predictions by hashtagging #GolovkinMacklin.
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