The moment of truth is fast approaching for middleweight titlists Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux, and indeed for excited boxing fans. Here’s everything you need to know on the GGG vs Lemieux fight ahead of Saturday night.
Where, when and how to watch
It’s a fight that’s genuinely captured the boxing public’s imagination due to it’s raw compelling intrigue, the primed nature of the two competitors involved, their concussive knockout records and also, the fact it’s a unification of the world middleweight titles.
If their recent sit down and face off on HBO is anything to go by in terms of their almost youthful excitement for the fight themselves, boxing fans could be in for a treat:
With that in mind, here’s a few of the fight’s i’s and t’s ahead of Saturday night first:
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, USA.
Date: Saturday, October 17th.
TV providers showing the fight: In the US the fight will be on HBO pay per view (check your local listings for price). For UK and Irish fans BoxNation will be showing the fight.
Fight time approx: Coverage on HBO in the US is expected to start at 9pm ET / 6pm PT. In the UK and Ireland coverage will be starting at 2am Sunday morning on BoxNation (October 18th).
If odds and the bookies have anything to do with it, they reckon Golovkin is a hot favourite – perhaps overly so.
Don’t be surprise if Leimieux were to hurt GGG early on, he’s got all the fire power and motivation in the world to shake things up.
Here’s a quick look of what the betting sentiment is at the moment from an outright winning perspective, from some of the major bookmakers (via Oddschecker.com):
It’s clear who they think will emerge with the win, but from a value standpoint, Lemieux is certainly worth a cheeky five or ten bucks at between 7/1 and 8/1.
However, the perhaps more interesting numbers lay in the method of victory markets on Saturday night:
The smart money looks to be on a Golovkin victory inside the distance. When that will come though, is a hard call for anyone to make.
According to Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez, he think’s it will come within four rounds. If you believe him, you’d be rewarded in some cases for a GGG win between rounds 1-3 being currently being around the 7/2 mark (with some bookmakers).
If you’re looking for a punt, Lemieux at 10/1 to win by KO/TKO at anytime during the fight would definitely be worth a small wager, given the odds.
But if you were looking to really throw a small amount on Lemieux in some shape or form as an outside flutter, the best odds without doubt lay in backing him to get the KO/TKO in rounds 1-3 at 17/1 (with some bookmakers). This would likely be his best chance of catching Golovkin cold, and getting him out of there.
From a serious betting perspective though, the smart money looks to be on Golovkin inside the twelve rounds.
In many ways, Saturday night represents Gennady Golovkin’s first real break out fight in the sport, his first big pay per view. Accordingly, one would have to think he’s taken his preparations as serious as ever, which is almost a scary thought, considering the bone-chilling form he’s displayed in his professional career to date.
Also, with the recent ‘retirement’ of Floyd Mayweather, in another way, this fight could also signify an almost changing of the guard as pertaining to the sport’s number one star, if Golovkin were to win of course.
Another hell of a motivating factor, too.
Perhaps the gravity of what Saturday night’s fight between these two combatants means for the boxing world was best summed up by Golden Boy Promotions head honcho and Hall of Fame boxer Oscar De La Hoya’s recent update to his Twitter profile name and photo, to reflect the importance of the date on the global boxing calendar:
Of course, the man standing in the way of GGG’s attempt to cross-over as a main stream star in the sport will have something to say about that, and David Lemieux will indeed be looking at those same opportunities as something to take from Golovkin and use for himself.
Lemieux will represent the most dangerous puncher Golovkin has ever stepped in the ring with and a real elite level – explosive athlete, with potentially being an equal to Golovkin in the physical strength department.
A bigger puncher, though? It’s difficult to say. His absolute demolition of Hassan N’Dam not long ago definitely served as a statement as him being one of the biggest punchers in the middleweight division, no doubt about that.
Both men have frightening knockout percentages in their pro careers, Golovkin at 91%, Lemieux at 86%. In his own words, Lemieux expects this Saturday night to be a “shootout”, an almost Hagler-Hearns affair.
If so, boy, this fight could make for some gruesome viewing for as long as it goes.
Style wise, it’s a really great clash.
You’ve got two guys who absolutely love to stand toe to toe at times, and have a proper fight in the middle of the ring. Their also highly skilled boxers to boot, with GGG perhaps having the edge in the skills realm.
Even when they decide to use their boxing brains, it’s always done in an offensive, aesthetically pleasing manner.
The Golovkin jab could prove to be a useful tool for him early on in order to establish the pace of the fight. It will be up to Lemieux to break through that jab, with a good overhand right usually being a decent go-to shot for breaking an orthodox stance jab.
Punch variation-wise, they’ve both got a lot of weapons in their arsenals, too. David Leimieux’s hooks have become a thing of savagery, genuine one punch “good night Irene” type power.
Despite Golovkin’s almost super human ability to withstand punishment thus far and as incredibly tough as he is, there’s no doubt he understands if he gets hit by too many of those from Lemieux, he’ll be in trouble.
This storm from Canadian Lemieux could come early on, and you might see GGG look to box a bit in the early rounds, and gradually wear down a spirited Lemieux with his relentless, ‘no where to run’ style footwork and body-head assaults.
Of course, it could play out like a two to three round street fight too, where both guys go for broke to put on a spectacle at Madison Square Garden. If this is the case, anything can happen.
Whatever happens on Saturday night, just don’t blink.
Oh by the way, don’t forget the undercard to Saturday night at MSG will host one of the tastiest lighter weight matchups in years, when WBC flyweight destroyer and pound for pound mover Roman Gonzalez puts his title on the line against Brian Viloria.
Official Prediction: Gennady Golovkin via KO/TKO
(Image credit: ESPN)
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