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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Golovkin vs Lemieux: A Tactical Slugfest

[caption id="attachment_6015" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Golovkin vs Lemieux: A Tactical Slugfest Golovkin-Lemieux face-off during the Los Angeles Press Conference. Credit: Hogan Photos[/caption]

If you do not know who the reigning IBO/WBA middleweight titlist Gennady "GGG" Golovkin is, then you will get to know him very well after you watch him take on IBF middleweight titlist David Lemieux in Madison Square Garden on October 17th. According to Andre Ward's trainer Virgil Hunter, when Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are long gone from the sport, GGG will be one of the fighters to carry the torch in keeping boxing in the forefront. I tend to agree with Hunter, but only for a short time frame, since Golovkin is 33 years of age.

Golovkin is 33-0 with 30 knockouts. The man has a 91% percent knockout ratio, the highest in boxing today. He was a silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic games and has never been dropped or knocked out in over 375 fights in the amateurs or the pros. GGG has an educated "Mexican style" where he pressures his opponents with subtle head movement, a stiff jab, and a left hook to the body that will fold anyone who dare expose a rib cage. GGG does not just stand in front of his opponents and throw careless punches. He has excellent positioning, footwork, and most of all power. But some say he has been carefully brought up in the professional ranks and has not fought any quality opponents in their prime. That changes against Lemieux.

Lemieux is the pride of Montreal, Quebec, Canada who holds a record of 34-2 with 31 knockouts. Lemieux also puts pressure on his opponents, ripping left and right hooks to the head and body, with the capability of knocking anyone out with either hand. Lemieux has won the Canadian Amateur Championships three times but was never interested in qualifying for the Olympics. Although during Lemieux's professional career, he has stepped up against quality opponents. Two of which were in his losses against Rubio and Alcine.

Like many power punchers, Lemieux has relied on his power to end fights quickly. With power comes exhaustion. With exhaustion comes vulnerability. With vulnerability comes getting hit. And that's exactly what happened to Lemieux in those losses. He loaded up his deadly hooks, got tired, and got stopped by Rubio and was defeated in a majority decision by Alcine.

In Lemieux's most recent fights, he has gotten better utilizing the jab, moving his head, and keeping his defense tight. Tactics that he had better use against Golovkin. In GGG's most recent fights, he has appeared vulnerable, getting tagged as he is standing and banging. Golovkin attributes that to the fans getting their money's worth. I really doubt he wanted to expose himself with the risk of getting knocked out.

In his latest interview, Golovkin, with his million dollar smile and jovial personality, expressed he is "scared" of his next opponent. Do I believe him? No, I don't. Lemieux better choose his punches wisely against the seasoned tactician and GGG better not open himself up to this young deadly puncher. Lemieux said he is going to shock the world come October 17th when he defeats Golovkin, becoming a multi titlist middleweight of the world. I believe the young lion will be stopped in 8 in this potential fight of the year candidate.

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