This weekend marks the return of one Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. The defense of his WBA super world, interim WBC and IBO middleweight titles against Brit Martin Murray in Monte Carlo, Monaco, marks the third time that the man from Kazakhstan travels to the southeastern part of France to display his wares which are nothing more than skill, power and charisma. In Murray many believe that Golovkin will have his first stern test in what should be his initial fight of hopefully four for the year of 2015.
Since he first reached the shores of the United States back in 2012, Golovkin has become a darling of the hardcore boxing fan base. K2 Promotions hopes this is the year that Golovkin steps into the mainstream and hopefully participates in his first PPV event sometime in the next twelve months. Golovkin has already proved he is good at the box office with robust numbers not only in the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City but also at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA, in his last fight where he practically sold out the place.
Despite only fighting three times in 2013 as opposed as the four he planned, it was a banner year for the thirty-two year old knockout artist. Just like this year, his first fight of the year was in Monte Carlo when he stopped the unknown Osumanu Adama in seven. The untimely death of his father and the traditional forty-five day mourning stopped his second outing of the year. The hiatus from the ring didn’t slow down Golovkin as he pulverized Daniel Geale in July in three rounds. In his last fight of the year “GGG” electrified the mostly Mexican crowd at the outdoor StubHub Center and the millions watching on HBO when he captured the WBC interim title with a second round knockout of Marco Antonio Rubio. Not many believed that Rubio had a chance against Golovkin but it was the overhand left that looked to crush Rubio’s neck when it landed on the top of the head that had the fans on their feet even if the fight took less than five minutes.
With the win Golovkin became at some point the mandatory challenger for WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto. The Puerto Rican veteran would be the perfect dance partner for Golovkin to make his first foray into PPV. Cotto is looking to return in May or June. With Golovkin fighting this Saturday night the time table is perfect for him to come back in time to face Cotto but first the man from Caguas must be willing to face power hitting “GGG”.
Golovkin first must get past Murray. Murray’s only loss in thirty-one fights came in Argentina against Sergio Martinez in a fight that many saw it much closer than the judges. His only other name fighter is a draw against long-time champion Felix Sturm. In his last fight he forced Italian Domenic Spada to retire in seven after an accidental head butt opened a cut over his opponent’s eye.
Nothing in Murray’s resume proves that he can be a match for Golovkin but nothing is known for sure until that first bell rings.