By Jackie Kallen
I don’t know about you but I am a big fan of Gennady Golovkin. At 26-0 with 23 knockouts, he is certainly a bright spot in the middleweight division. With Sergio Martinez fading a bit, GGG and Peter Quillin are looming huge on the horizon. This weekend on HBO, GGG faces off against a game Matthew Macklin at the MGM at Foxwoods.
The 31 year old German holds both the WBA and IBO belts. Macklin is hoping to throw him off his game and eke out a win. It is unlikely. They are the same age and similar in height and reach, but the British challenger has already been beaten four times, and stopped twice.
Sergio Martinez took him out in the 11th round in March 2012 and he was also knocked out seven years ago by fellow Brit Jamie Moore. He was beaten by Felix Strum a couple of years ago, too. He does have a slight chance, but against the crushing power of GGG–he is a solid underdog.
Few men, other than Matthysse, can match or top the power of Golovkin. He has a thunderous hammer of a punch and only three men have gone the distance with him. I don’t see Macklin lasting 12 rounds against him.
I am more curious to see the lanky, 6’4″ South African super middleweight Thomas Oosthuizen fight Brandon Gonzales. Both men are undefeated and it should be an exciting fight. Neither man has any intention of losing.
Oosthuizen’s southpaw style could be a problem as well as his towering height. He is also four years younger and is highly regarded in his native South Africa. Gonzales, on the other hand, has not been overly active. He only fought once in 2012, and twice in 2011. His last fight was an 8-round decision against Don Mouton in January. Oosthuizen has fought four times in both 2012 and 2011.
There is a very well-matched junior middleweight bout on the undercard, pitting Cleveland’s 26 year-old Willie Nelson against game Argentinian (now living in New York) Luciano Leonel Cuello. This is Cuello’s first fight in the US. His most distinctive fight was his TKO loss three years ago in Mexico against Saul Alvarez. He was knocked down in both the 1st and 2nd round before getting stopped in the 6th.
Nelson’s chin is also questionable. He was dropped three times against Vincent Arroyo before finally losing an 8-round decision. Nelson is a slightly better puncher and is the front-runner here. But don’t count Cuello out.
13-0 Tony Harrison, from Detroit, is also on the undercard. His opponent is listed as TBA, but I can’t see any average light middleweight beating him. Having watched him spar recently, I predict a bright future for this 22 year old.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen