This Saturday in Monte Carlo, undefeated WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin defends his belt against Osumanu Adama. Adama is only ranked No. 12 by the WBA, but the power-punching Triple G is one of the hottest fighters in the sport right now, so his 2014 debut is an event.
HBO won't be broadcasting it, which is a shame for fans and a questionable strategy for the premium cable network, which has clearly identified Golovkin as a fighter they want to build programming around, especially after losing Golden Boy to rival Showtime.
So boxing fans in the United States will be checking their Twitter and Facebook feeds this weekend, waiting for the news from the tiny kingdom of Monaco.
|Per Boxrec||Gennady Golovkin||Osumanu Adama|
|Record:||28-0, 25 KOs||22-3, 16 KOs|
|Weight:||160 pounds||160 pounds|
|Hometown:||Stuttgart, Germany||Joliet, Ill.|
Gennady Golovkin makes his home in Stuttgart now, but he won a silver medal for his native Kazakhstan in the 2004 Olympics. Fighting now out of Joliet, Adama is a native of Ghana.
Golovkin's reach is actually a bit shorter than average for a world-class fighter his height. But he has excellent offensive footwork and never has trouble closing the distance.
Although Golovkin has three more fights than Adama, his outstanding KO percentage has led to him fighting nearly 20 less rounds.
Gennady Golovkin is one of the hottest fighters in the entire sport. The undefeated WBA champion is a ferocious, monster puncher who stalks and finishes his opponents with the technical precision of a machine.
I expect to see and hear some grumbling this week about Golovkin fighting a "nobody." It's true that Adama is not well known and lacks any truly significant victories.
But this is fight number six for Golovkin in less than 17 months. I was at the press conference following his U.S. debut in September 2012 and his promoter, Tom Loeffler, made it clear that while their challenges were out to Sergio Martinez and the rest of the middleweight belt holders, they planned to keep Golovkin very active and refused to wait on networks or opponents.
And if Golovkin once more fights four times in 2014, Adama is a legitimate stay-busy opponent. The guy went 12 rounds with Daniel Geale when he challenged for the IBF title in March 2012 and even won five rounds on one card.
So it will at least be interesting to see how Golovkin's performance against Adama measures up alongside Geale's.
Adama's only other two losses were an eighth-round decision to super middleweight prospect Don George in 2010 and a 2009 sixth-round decision loss to Dyah Davis, the son of 1976 Olympic hero Howard Davis Jr.
Gennady Golovkin just might be the most dangerous offensive fighter in the sport, pound-for-pound. While not even particularly large for a middleweight, he punches with thudding power that quickly saps an opponent's will and puts him squarely on the defensive.
Golovkin has a stellar amateur background, and his boxing skills are apparent, even as he is bludgeoning people. He is outstanding at cutting off a ring and getting into position to land big shots.
Osumanu Adama is a former super middleweight and has had difficulty making weight at 160 in the past. So he's a sturdy middleweight.
Adama does a decent job at controlling range and counters well moving backward. His footwork and jab are solid.
Gennady Golovkin does get hit, but I'm not sure how much of a weakness this is. It seems more like a concession he is willing to make once in awhile in order to stay in position to keep hacking away at his prey.
GGG is 28-0 with 25 stoppages. To my eyes, he's yet to really show a weakness. I'm sure an experienced boxing trainer could pick out a hole or two, though finding a fighter who could actually exploit them would be a far more difficult challenge.
Osumanu Adama has a tendency to throw wide, wild shots when he's exchanging in close. If he does this against Golovkin, the WBA champ will have his openings timed and will be drilling him with monster shots by the end of the first round.
Adama has been in the ring with some decent fighters, including world champion Daniel Geale. But he's never faced a force like Golovkin, and that is a tough thing to prepare for.
Gennady Golovkin will win this fight as long as he shows up. I hate to give that little respect to his opponent, Osumanu Adama, but it's hard not to be that blunt when assessing this fight. If Adama wins Saturday, it will be the biggest upset in a long time.
But it is a boxing match, so Golovkin does need to make sure he doesn't get caught with a big punch while he's wading in to deliver his own destruction. Golovkin always works at a patient and methodical pace, though, so I don't see him getting caught because he was reckless.
Golovkin needs to do what he has always done. He should cut off the ring on Adama and pound his body. Once he draws Adama's hands down, he should attack him to the head and turn out the lights.
Of course, there is a chance he will finish Adama off like he did Matthew Macklin, with a body shot.
Osumanu Adama's best chance to win this fight is to catch Golovkin with counter shots as he moves forward to cut off the ring. When Golovkin moves into range, Adama needs to time Golovkin's punches and slip back slightly before delivering a big overhand right.
Adama's going to need to enter this fight in strong mental condition. Golovkin is likely to hit him with the hardest punches he's ever felt. We've already seen world-class fighters like Matthew Macklin and Grzegorz Proksa wilt under the reality of Golovkin's power.
Adama is a very sturdy middleweight. He's never been stopped and used to campaign at super middleweight, so he's got decent whiskers.
If he can stand up to Golovkin's power enough to hang tight and deliver his own punches, maybe he'll be able to give GGG a bit of a fight.
I feel like the only thing there really is to predict here is in which round Gennady Golovkin will knock Osumanu Adama out.
To be fair to Adama, from what I have seen of him, he's hardly a chump. He showed quality skills in his loss to Daniel Geale.
But Geale is a different type of fighter than GGG. Geale often moved out of range while slipping away from Adama's punches. Adama had a lot more space to work with in that fight than he's likely to get against Golovkin.
Golovkin will stay right in the pocket and take Adama's punch, then hit back with a harder one. When Adama starts to feel desperate and really lets his hands go, Golovkin will be waiting to starch him.
This should be another early stoppage for Golovkin. I'm going to predict a Round 3 TKO. Hopefully, boxing fans will get what they really want later on in 2014, a showdown between Golovkin and the lineal middleweight champion, Sergio Martinez.
Just seeing Golovkin against any other world title holder at 160 would be exciting. But nobody seems to be lining up to fight this guy.