By John J. Raspanti
Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) moves well in the ring. He prefers working from the outside, which, against a hammer-dropping puncher like Golovkin, could be dangerous. He’ll need to use his speedy jab to keep the champion honest, and, if he’s strong enough, find some success on the inside.
Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) stalks and rocks. He throws jarring shots and eats punches with a contemptuous smile. This might be a problem against Brook, but for all his macho, Golovkin is no fool. When he fought limited slugger David Lemieux last year, he didn’t stick out his chin, as he’s done in the past, and say, ‘Hit me.’
Instead, he wore Lemieux down with heavy jabs and thudding body shots before the end came in Round eight.
Brook’s undefeated record is impressive, but other than edging Shawn Porter, he hasn’t faced anyone of note. Stoppage wins over marginal contenders Jo Jo Dan, Frankie Gavin, and Kevin Bizier likely convinced
Brook that he needed to challenge himself. His accurate punching could give Golovkin pause.
Golovkin, 34, captured the WBA belt in 2010 by defeating one Nilson Julio Tapia. That same year, he also beat Kasiim Ouma, Lujon Simon, and Makoto Fuchigami. Two years later, he brutalized Gabriel Rosado, knocked the stuffing out of Nobuhiro Ishida, and stopped Matthew Macklin and Lemieux with wicked body shots. He was last seen in the ring dispatching Dominic Wade with ease. All pretty good fighters for sure, but none in boxing’s top five.
Brook, 30, is the most talented boxer Golovkin has faced as a professional. His challenge Saturday will be dealing with Brook’s likely edge in speed--if the weight gain hasn’t slowed him down.
Brook has to make Golovkin respect him. He can’t let the baby-faced assassin walk him down without paying a price. Brook will need to stab Golovkin with blows, and stay out of danger.
Doing that against Golovkin, who’s as patient as a tiger lying in wait, could be problematical.
But Brook will have his moments. He’ll likely start fast and split some of the early rounds.
Golovkin will stay calm and work. As Brook slows down, Golovkin will up the ante. His crunching blows will have Brook teetering—leading to a stoppage in Round 10.
Catch the Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook live Saturday Saturday, September 10 at 5:30PM on HBO.
Order a copy of "Intimate Warfare," the new book on the Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward trilogy, written by Dennis Taylor and John J. Raspanti--available Dec.16