HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Golovkin vs. Murray
By: William Holmes
Saturday night will be the third time Gennady “GGG” Golovkin has fought on Monte Carlo, Monaco in the past two years, but this will be the first time that Golovkin will have one of his Monte Carlo bouts televised in the United States on HBO.
The undercard will feature Hekkie Budler defending his WBA Strawweight title against Jesus Silvestre and prospect Hughie Fury taking on Andriy Rudenko in the heavyweight division, but neither bout will be televised on HBO.
This should be one of Golovkin’s toughest ever bouts but a plethora of opportunities await him if he’s able to emerge victorious.
The following is a preview of Saturday’s main event.
Gennady Golovkin (31-0) vs. Martin Murray (31-1-1); WBA and WBC Interim Middleweight Titles
Very few, if any, boxers have the knockout ratio of Gennady Golovkin. His devastating punching power has led to a surge in his popularity amongst the American fan base and he has proven that he can sell tickets on the East and West coast of the United States.
His knockout ratio currently stands at 90%, and only three boxers have ever gone the distance with him. In fact, his past eighteen fights resulted in a stoppage and his last decision came in June of 2008 in a eight-round decision near-sweep.
Murray’s power pales in comparison to Golovkin, but he has shown that he can take a punch. Murray has only stopped twelve of his opponents for a meager in comparison knockout ratio of 38%. However, five of his past ten wins did not go the distance. His lone loss came to Sergio Martinez in Martinez’s home country of Argentina and his lone draw came against Felix Sturm in his adopted home turf of Germany. Both his lone loss and draw are highly debatable.
Murray does not have the vaulted amateur background of Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympics for Kazakhstan and a gold medal in the 2003 World Championships. Murray does not have the international amateur success of Golovkin.
Murray does have an edge in height and reach over Golovkin. He will be about an inch-and-a-half taller with a three-inch reach.
Golovkin has had a hard time getting some of the big names to face him inside the ring, but his resume is still significantly better than his opponent. His knockout streak includes such notable opponents as Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, Gabriel Rosado, Grzegorz Proksa, and Kassim Ouma.
Murray’s only notable victories have come against Domenico Spada, Max Bursak, and Jorge Navarro.
Murray’s chances of winning on Saturday appear slim to none, but he has surprised boxing experts before with his performances against Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez. Murray has also fought in Monaco several times in his career, so he will be in familiar territory. However, Golovkin has been on an incredible tear and it seems unlikely Murray will be the man to stop it.
The longer the fight goes, the better Murray’s chances of winning become, but even if the fight goes the distance, Golovkin should win comfortably.