By Jake Donovan
Gennady Golovkin graduates from the Theatre to the main room at Madison Square Garden for Saturday’s middleweight title defense versus Australia’s Daniel Geale. The scheduled 12-round affair headlines live on HBO.
With the fall of lineal middleweight king Sergio Martinez, talks have escalated of Golovkin (29-0, 26KOs) serving as the best middleweight in the world. Miguel Cotto has assumed the role of the division’s true champ with his stunning one-sided stoppage over Martinez, but even the Puerto Rican superstar would be considered a massive underdog against Golovkin, who comes in riding a 16-fight knockout streak.
Those same experts hail Geale (30-2, 16KOs) as the toughest test to date for the Kazakhstan knockout artist. Is that to say the threat of an upset exists?
Read on to see how the staff at BoxingScene.com believe the midsummer middleweight title fight goes down in New York City.
BOXINGSCENE.COM STAFF PREDICTIONS: GENNADY GOLOVKIN vs. DANIEL GEALE
Mitch Abramnson (Golovkin TKO8): “Though he's regarded as Golovkin's toughest foe to date, I just don't think Geale has the firepower to keep Golovkin off him. The only thing I could see keeping this fight from being one-sided is if Golovkin is affected by personal stuff (his father's death) and didn't have a great camp or if the burden of having to fight in the Garden's big room and doing all these promotional appearances had a toll on him. They probably didn't so the Golovkin train keeps charging ahead.”
Shaun Brown (Golovkin TKO6): “This is going to be a good name on Golovkin's record but I don't see any way that Geale can win this one. The Australian relies on his engine, high work-rate and flurried combinations to deter his opponents. There's nothing unique or spectacular that Golovkin hasn't seen before. He won't have the snap to keep GGG at bay and I don't see how he can avoid being cornered by the Kazakh. He'll be game, a worthy opponent but I don't see anything in the challenger that convinces me he will win.”
Ryan Burton (Golovkin TKO10): “I think Geale will have some success early and will make it to the later rounds with his foot movement but Golovkin is the superior fighter and will finish him off late.”
Jake Donovan (Golovkin TKO11): “This should figure to be Gennady Golovkin’s toughest test to date and his pre-fight promo appearances – including a bizarre foray into theatre – suggest there are more distractions than his camp let on. Assuming he’s able to tune it all out once the bell rings, the styles suggest he cements his claim as the best middleweight in the world by the end of the night.”
Ernest Gabion (Golovkin TKO6): “As gritty as Geale is I think GGG is rounding into a better overall boxer and as scary as this sounds a better puncher than he currently is. At times he may be befuddled by Geale but will eventually break him down and stop the game Aussie.”
Keith Idec (Golovkin TKO9): “Gennady Golovkin will be forced to go rounds against Daniel Geale, the most accomplished opponent he has faced during his eight-year pro career.”
Cliff Rold (Golovkin TKO): “Geale is a tough out, mentally as much as anything. He's just physically outgunned here and it will show.”
Francisco Salazar (Golovkin TKO9): “It will be interesting to see what Daniel Geale does at the beginning of the fight. Will he box or try to outbox Gennady Golovkin when the Kazakh fighter cuts off the ring? Golovkin will stun Geale during the early rounds but the Aussie fighter will remain composed. I predict there will be some very good exchanges during the fight, enough to where the crowd stands on its feet. Golovkin will just be too strong down the stretch, investing heavily in the body. Golovkin will drop Geale before referee Mike Ortega has to stop it by round nine.”
Reynaldo Sanchez (Golovkin UD): “Daniel Geale appears that he has the tools to examine how good Golovkin is. HBO has made GGG in the man of the moment in the middleweights; however, as Gennady’s record does not have a name that we think is a superstar. Daniel Geale has not been knocked out in 32 fights. Golovkin remains undefeated and has faced better opponents. Golovkin by decision in 12 rounds in a close fight.”
Luis Sandoval (Golovkin late TKO): “I think Golovkin is facing a solid test in Geale and will make him work for his victory. I expect Geale to have success in the fight but as the fight goes on, Golovkin will wear him down. Geale is a tough solid guy but even he won't be able to snap Golovkin's impressive stoppage streak as he'll eventually succumb to the power.”
Alexey Sukachev (Golovkin UD): “I can't imagine Daniel Geale losing a fight inside the distance. If anything else he is durable (though not in the classic sense). Golovkin seems to be as indomitable and brutal as they come. Matching those two options, I can see a clear domination of Golovkin, who is stalking and pounding Geale (specifically in the closing rounds) and even dropping him once or twice but failing to knock him out. A clear victory for Golovkin is a must here however.”
Anson Wainwright (Golovkin TKO10): “This is the toughest test of Golovkin's pro career to date. That said, I believe his offensive attack will chip away at Geale; he'll hurt him a couple of times but not drop him. I can see the proud Australian being rescued on his feet late, banged up and bloodied.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox