By: William Holmes
Madison Square Garden in New York City will be the host site for this Saturday’s PPV offering by HBO as Gennady Golovkin takes on David Lemieux for a unification bout for the WBA, WBC Interim, and IBF Middleweight titles.
Official Weights from New York: Gennady Golovkin: 159.4 lbs. vs David Lemieux: 159.8 lbs, Roman Gonzalez: 111.4 lbs. vs Brian Viloria: 111.4 lbs, Luis Ortiz: 237.8 lbs. vs Matias Vidondo: 261.0 lbs.
Flyweight sensation Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will be featured in the co-main event as he defends his WBC Flyweight Title against the hard hitting Brian Viloria.
Other possible televised fights include Luis Ortiz against Matias Ariel Vidondo for the vacant WBA Interim Heavyweight title and Tureano Johnson against Eamonn O’Kane in an IBF Middleweight eliminator.
Both Ortiz and Johnson are heavily favored in their respective matchups.
The following is a preview of the main and co-main event of the evening.
Roman Gonzalez (43-0) vs. Brian Viloria (36-4); WBC Flyweight Title
HBO traditionally avoids televising flyweight bouts, but Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez’s talent is too great to ignore and HBO decided to start televising his fights beginning with his last bout against Edgar Sosa in May of this year.
Gonzalez has never been defeated and has stopped an eye opening thirty seven of his opponents. In fact, nine of his past ten fights resulted in a stoppage victory for Gonzalez.
Viloria is battle tested and is a former WBO World Flyweight Champion. Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria also has considerable power as he has stopped twenty two of his opponents and has stopped seven of his past ten opponents.
Gonzalez is six years younger than Viloria, who at the age of thirty four may not have many title shots left in his career. However, Gonzalez will be giving up one inch in height and two inches in reach to Viloria.
Viloria has the better amateur career as he is a former National Golden Gloves Champion as well as a World Amateur champion, and he competed for the United States in the 2000 Olympics. Gonzalez turned pro at the age of eighteen.
Viloria won his first world title in the light flyweight division in 2006 with a decision victory against Jose Antonio Aguirre. His other notable victories include wins over Ulises Solis, Julio Cesar Miranda, Giovani Segura, Omar Romero, and Hernan Marquez. Viloria has tasted defeated several times in his career including defeats to Juan Francisco Estrada, Carlos Tamara, Edgar Sosa, and Omar Nino Romero.
Gonzalez has never tasted defeat and is currently riding a nine fight win streak. His most notable victories include wins over Edgar Sosa and Juan Francisco Estrada, who both previously defeated Viloria, as well as Akira Yaegashi, Omar Soto, and Manuel Vargas.
Viloria has the punching power to score an upset, but he’s a huge underdog and Gonzalez will likely overwhelm him with his voluminous punching and power.
Gennady Golovkin (33-0) vs. David Lemieux (34-2); WBA/IBF/WBC Interim Middleweight Titles
Both of these fighters bring incredible knockout power into the ring on Saturday night.
Golovkin has stopped thirty of his opponents, and is currently riding an eye opening twenty fight stoppage streak. Lemieux also has a high knockout ratio as he has stopped thirty one of his opponents, and he has stopped three of his past four opponents.
Lemieux is still relatively young at the age of twenty six and will only be giving up one inch in height and has an equal reach. Golovkin is thirty three years old but has not shown any signs of slowing down.
Both Lemieux and Golovkin had successful amateur careers. Lemieux won the Canadian Amateur Championshpis three times while Golovkin won the silver medal in the 2005 Summer Olympics.
Both boxers have shown that their defense isn’t on the same level as their punching power. Golovkin was hit several times in his fight with Willie Monroe Jr. but he took those shots well, and Lemieux suffered back to back losses in 2011, and one of them was a 7th round stoppage loss to Marco Antonio Rubio, a man Golovkin beat with ease.
Golovkin is still searching for that big name victory to add to his victory, but he has soundly defeated every opponent placed in front of him. He has defeated the likes of Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, Nobuhiro Ishida, Gabriel Rosado, and Grzegorz Proksa.
Lemieux’s two losses were to Jachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubio four years ago. He holds wins over Hassan N’Dam, Gabriel Rosado, Fernando Guerrero, and Jose Miguel Torres.
Golovkin will be looking for his twenty first knockout in a row and Lemieux has succumbed to lesser boxers with less power before in his career. However, Golovkin has never faced someone with the power of Lemieux and if he’s not careful he could get dropped by Lemieux.
But, Golovkin’s amateur pedigree is too good for him to engage in risky encounters where he may get knocked out. Golovkin should win and hopefully face the winner of Canelo vs. Cotto next.
Press Confrence Quotes:
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN, WBA, IBO and WBC Interim Middleweight World Champion:
“This is the biggest test for me. He’s the IBF champ. It’s big situation, unification, Pay-Per-View. Right now it’s a very interesting situation to be in in the middleweight division. I think we have three or four fighters and it’s very important who is number one.”
“Good afternoon, I am happy to be here again. Madison Square Garden is like my second home.
“I want to thank my team and my family for this opportunity.
“Thanks to HBO for all of the support and bringing the biggest stage to us.
“Thanks to K2 Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions for making this amazing deal for us for this great unification fight.
DAVID LEMIEUX, IBF Middleweight World Champion:
“What I have done with the degree of the fight and the intensity for this fight, I know I have to be better than I was for N’Dam.
“Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya are letting me do what I need to do. I have a great team around me and they feel very confident in my abilities.
“I am aware of his record but I am also aware of who I am and what I can bring to the table. My concern is the present and making sure I win on Oct. 17
“I am going to be a lion in there. Nothing is going to be in my way.
“It is kind of like David and Goliath. Everyone is impressed on this big GGG, he is impressive and talented but there is also David who is making a lot of noise. I know what I am going up against and I am going in with a nice package to deliver to Golovkin.”
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Consensus #1 Pound-For-Pound Fighter in Boxing and WBC Flyweight World Champion:
“I’m ready for this fight and will give my best. I don’t like to speak much, but I will say I had a great camp and feel strong and in good condition to win Saturday’s fight. I’m thankful and feel blessed that I am able to fight, and I am ready to give the fans a good fight.”
Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria, Four-Time World Champion in Two Weight Divisions:
“I live, breathe and eat boxing. I try to keep in shape so I can fight as much as possible. I have prepared myself very well for this fight. I am doing a disservice if I don’t give it my best on Saturday. Fighting a guy like Gonzalez, the number one pound-four-pound fighter in the sport, is a big challenge. He is as big as it gets for me, in my career. He is the biggest challenge I’ve faced to date. I’m going to show you the best Brian Viloria you’ve ever seen. I’m prepared to take the title from Roman.”