By Jake Donovan

Until he can lure all of his relevant divisional peers – including lineal king Miguel Cotto – into the ring, Gennady Golovkin will simply have to settle for being the best middleweight in the world as opposed to its undisputed champion.

Being the best has been enough for the flame-throwing Kazakhstani, who has transformed from amateur standout to rising middleweight to cult favorite to bona fide boxing star through the years. The dance with fame continues this weekend as Golovkin defends his portion of the middleweight crown versus perennial Top 10 contender Martin Murray.

The bout takes place Saturday evening (local time) in Monte Carlo, Monaco. HBO will televise the event live on location (Saturday, 5:45PM ET; same-day replay 10:15PM ET).

Golovkin (31-0, 28KOs) comes in riding an 18-fight knockout streak, but it’s his overwhelming desire to finish his opponents more so than the result itself that endears to boxing fans. Of course, the finish product is something to behold, with the 32-year old registering Knockout of the Year candidates on a regular basis.

One such thrashing came in his first fight in Monaco, drilling Nobuhiro Ishida in the 3rd round of their March ’13 clash. Saturday’s bout will mark Golovkin’s third time in as many years he plays the luxurious resort location.

Murray (29-1-1, 12KOs) comes in as boxing’s hard-luck contender. The Brit came up short in each of two title challenges, which represent the lone blemishes on his career. His first crack at middleweight hardware resulted in a 12-round draw with Felix Sturm in their Dec. ’11 tilt.

The performance was notable enough to where Murray was sought as a potential future opponent for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., an unbeaten middleweight titlist at the time. Travel visa issues on his end prevented the fight from happening, but his patience was rewarded with a crack at then-World middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.

Murray looked like a top-shelf middleweight for about ten rounds, even flooring Martinez along the way. However, he failed to close the show, tailing off in the championship rounds and leaving himself at the mercy of the judges, who awarded in favor of the defending champion.

Four straight wins have followed for the 32-year old Murray, with his last two taking place in the very venue that plays host to tonight’s middleweight title fight.

Will the third time prove to be a charm in Murray’s pursuit of middleweight glory? Or will it be a matter of time before Golovkin turns him into another “good boy”?

Read on to see how the staff at believes the action will play out.




Ryan Burton (Golovkin KO6): “I think the fight be interesting for a few rounds then Golovkin takes over an breaks Murray down.”

Jake Donovan (Golovkin KO8): “Murray will provide a stiff test, as he’s a durable fighter whose ability to take a punch is trumped by his ability to block and avoid a lot of the incoming. It will require a bit of patience for Golovkin to eventually break him down, an attribute he hasn’t quite yet exhibited – or has been forced to. This one will be a matter of attrition, with Murray eventually bloodied, broken down and forced against his will to quit, not unlike Golovkin’s win over Gabriel Rosado two years ago.”

Terence Dooley (Golovkin UD): “Gennady Golovkin is boxing’s latest seemingly unbeatable phenomenon, but if history tell us one thing it’s that anyone can lose a fight. Unfortunately for Martin Murray, the task looks too big for him. Murray’s a strong, well-schooled fighter yet he may struggle to score his own points from behind that high guard. On the other hand, the fact he doesn’t tend to take a lot of punches could see Golovkin extended beyond the eighth round for the first time in his career. I think Murray will extend Golovkin the championship distance to prove that the rising star is human after all.”

Lyle Fitzsimmons (Golovkin KO10): “It's February. Murray's a prohibitive underdog against a streaking KO artist. And it's a fight many folks will probably skip while instead deciding to do other things with their Saturdays. Unless Gennady Golovkin has secretly wed Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, that's probably where the Tyson-Douglas similarities end. Murray might be more rugged than some of the previous punching bags, but he'll not be more successful.”

David “GoodBoy” Greisman (Golovkin KO): “Golovkin's team has acknowledged that Murray is GGG's best opponent yet and have mentioned Murray being a good-sized middleweight. But Murray still won't have the power to deter Golovkin, who will win yet another within the distance, this time by a mid-rounds stoppage.”


Steve Kim (Golovkin KO7): “Golovkin steadily wears down the sturdy Brit.”

John MacDonald (Golovkin KO7): “Although Murray is, arguably, Golovkin's biggest test to date, he'll suffer the same fate as the the other title challengers. Murray's high guard and reasonable power should see him survive in to the second half of the fight.”

Takahiro Onaga (Golovkin KO6): “I think Golovkin stops Murray in round 6, probably from a body shot. Murray will look out classed from the off. Huge gulf in class.”

Cliff Rold (Golovkin KO): “Murray is a good, legit top ten contender. That's probably about the same number of rounds he will last.”


Francisco Salazar (Golovkin KO9): “I think Murray could give Golovkin problems early, but GGG is just too good technically. Golovkin has excellent ring generalship and he'll begin to wear Murray down. If Murray tried to trade with Golovkin, this fight could end early.”

Reynaldo Sanchez (Golovkin KO4): “Murray have one chance.. I don't know how Golovkin fight far from the middle. Is just the kind of think that other don't doing. If Murray pass the six will be good for him to won. in other case Gennady will destroy him before four rounds.”

Alexey Sukachev (Golovkin KO9): “When you've stopped your last 18 opponents and won all of your title fights via stoppages, the safe prediction is yet another KO in your favor. Murray won't be an exception but he will provide the Kazakh knockout artist with a much more difficult test than usual before succumbing to his power in the second part of the fight.”

Totals (12):

Golovkin by KO - 11

Golovkin by Dec – 1

Murray - 0

Draw/No-Contest - 0

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America.