By Jackie Kallen
Now that Floyd Mayweather has hung up his gloves, boxing fans are arguing over who is next in line to hold the title of P4P best. Some die-hard fans still insist that 39 year-old Wladimir Klitschko with a record of 64-3 is the top of the heap. But others are throwing their hat into the ring with 33 year-old Gennady Golovkin. With a spotless 33-0 record, GGG looks like a likely heir to the throne.
There are several other contenders for that top spot, including undefeated prospects Keith Thurman, Kell Brook and Sergey Kovalev. Saul Alvarez is another name to be reckoned with. Still other fans add Andre Ward and Adonis Stevenson to the list.
This Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, GGG will take another step up the ladder when he faces Canadian David Lemieux. With a record of 31-2, Lemieux is definitely in it to win it. He hasn’t lost a fight in almost four years and he is on a nine-fight winning streak, including a TKO win over Gabriel Rosado. However, whether or not he can stand up against the punching power of GGG is a huge question make.
Back in early 2011, Lemieux got stopped in the seventh round by Marco Antonio Rubio. Although that was his only KO loss, it still shows that he can be knocked out. On the other hand, his 86% KO rate shows that he can hit as hard as anyone, including GGG, whose KO rate is 91%. One thing is clear, this fight will most likely not go the distance.
A few facts: GGG knocked Rubio out in the second round of their fight. GGG also knocked out Gabriel Rosado in the seventh round. GGG holds three of the four belts that are on the line Saturday night. GGG hasn’t gone the distance in seven years. GGG is three years younger and an inch taller. GGG is part of the same management team as Klitschko.
This fight looks like it will be brutal. Both men will go out gunning for the KO. That’s all they know. Neither man will be boxing and moving for 12 rounds. That’s not either man’s MO. So it’s guaranteed to be as action-packed as a 21st century Hagler/Hearns fight.
A win will put GGG right up there in the vaulted stratosphere that he is campaigning for. Should Lemieux prevail and get the win, his stock will rise like a rocket. I’m sure that Peter Quillin will be watching with much interest.