By: Hans Themistode
It’s official. Former unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (GGG) will make his return to the ring on June 8th, at Madison Square Garden. Steve Rolls will be given the task of spoiling his return.
Not much is known of Rolls, he sports an undefeated record at 19-0 to go along with 10 knockouts but he hasn’t fought anyone of note. For Rolls, stepping up his level of competition so drastically will be a difficult one, but he feels as though he is up to the task.
“Honestly, I wanted to face someone in the top 15 or even the top 20 before facing a guy like GGG but I could not pass up on this opportunity.” Said Rolls during a media day scrum in New York City.
Rolls is in a difficult position. Opportunities such as these don’t come everyday. He has been quietly building up his resume against lesser opposition but will now be thrown into the deep end.
Outside of Rolls and his team, you wont find anyone who gives him any chance against the future hall of famer. The naysayers don’t mean anything to him. Sure GGG will be a difficult fight but Rolls has shared the ring with plenty of great fighters and former champions as well.
“I’ve sparred against the likes of Adonis Stevenson and Billy Joe Saunders and they have told me on numerous occasions that I held my own. People that have watched those sparring sessions have said that it looked as though I was a champion myself. I know that sparring and an actual fight is completely different but I believe that those moments have prepared me for June 8th.”
As for GGG, he will be looking to right a wrong. Many felt that he won both of fights against Canelo Alvarez. Unfortunately he was forced to settle for a draw in the first contest and a loss in the second. What exactly does he want to do now? He is now signed to DAZN and has the opportunity to regain his championship status as every Middleweight belt holder is signed to the streaming platform. It seems as though the belts are not as important to him as they once were.
“I’ve been a champion for a longtime. I am now in a point in my career, where I am wiser. I have learned from my previous fights. I would like to fight good fights, whether these fights are going to be championship fights or not is not as important as the quality of the fighting.” Said GGG.
Having shared the ring with Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez, GGG would be the ideal person to ask his opinion on how their May 4th, showdown will play out. However, GGG could not provide an answer in terms of who he believed will be victorious.
“I think it’s very hard to predict. It’s going to be a very important fight for the middleweight division and for boxing in general. It’s pretty even keel. Everyone has a chance. Everyone has a possibility to win. This is boxing, this is even stuff. It’s going to be an interesting fight no matter what.”
The prevailing thought in boxing circles is that if GGG is the victor on June 8th, and Canelo also gets the job done against Jacobs, that a third fight between these two would be made for September. The only problem with that thought is that Canelo has said on numerous occasions that he will only fight GGG if he has a belt. GGG, isn’t buying that notion.
“I think Canelo is not correct to say that. We have to see what’s going to happen. I’m hoping to fight him, title or not.”
GGG undoubtedly has his eyes set on a third showdown with Canelo. Steve Rolls, will get the chance to play spoiler. As we have seen time and time again in boxing, not everything always go according to plan.