Gennady Golovkin enters this fight having stopped his last 16 opponents. I expect GGG to do what he does in every fight, which is to close into range on his opponent and then pound him down by hitting him much harder and more often than his opponent can manage to hit him back.
Golovkin's biggest challenge in this one might be to simply stay within himself and not get swept into the emotion of the moment. Daniel Geale is not a reigning champion, but he has been ranked as one of the top middleweights campaigning opposite Golovkin in the past few years. The Ring still has him at No. 2 at middleweight behind only Golovkin and the lineal champion Miguel Cotto.
This is one of the fights Team Golovkin has been asking for since Golovkin made his U.S. debut in September 2012. He's fighting in Madison Square Garden, which has quickly become a kind of second home for the Kazakhstan native. He'll be the crowd's fighter on Saturday.
Golovkin's destructive offense is also extremely methodical. It's why he's so dangerous. He takes opponents apart with a clinical efficiency.
In chess, a good player isn't just picking the move in front of him, he's playing out his next several moves in his head as he considers all the possible ways the game might develop off from his move.
That's a tough thing to do when you are sitting in front of a table, studying a board. To have anything like a game of reasonable length in chess, deliberation time has to be placed on a shot clock. The chess timer is as iconic to tournament chess play as the bell and ropes are to prizefighting.
But in prizefighting, "players" must do their calculating in seconds or less while somebody is trying to knock them unconscious or bust their ribs and/or bruise their internal organs. Golovkin is physically gifted, but what has made him special is his ability to see the quickly developing violence of a prize fight slowly enough to respond with well-deliberated-upon tactical choices.
He has a great chin, but he also makes sure to finish his own attacks in position to block or slip whatever punches his opponent is likely to respond with. If he does get caught with a punch, he is at least almost always anticipating it.
He's had hundreds of elite-level amateur fights and approaches a fight with a sportsmanlike understanding that it is a contest he is trying to win using the training he have spent his life developing. There's not much emotion to his approach, just a kind of brutally beautiful efficiency.
And the emotions might be revved up a little bit more than usual for Golovkin in this fight. It's arguably the biggest of his career. More importantly, it's the first fight back for him since the sudden death of his father earlier this year and the 40-day mourning period he observed in Germany and Kazakhstan.
Golovkin should win this fight because he is better across the board than Geale. At the same time, Geale is a world-class fighter and will exploit the sort of openings a fighter might offer up when emotion pushes him to fight with unmeasured adrenaline.
Golovkin is always mentally focused and properly prepared from his training. If that is 100 percent the case again on Saturday night, he should be able to beat Geale decisively behind his typically honest night of work.