Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1, 34KOs) returns on Saturday, June 8, at Madison Square Garden in New York City to take on Steve Rolls (19-0, 10KOs). The fight will take place at a 164 lbs catchweight, raising some eyebrows in the boxing world. GGG assures fans that it is just to see how he feels at a higher weight class, in the event that he moves up to Super Middleweight (168 lbs) in the future.
Golovkin last fought in September of last year, dropping a close decision to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (52-1-2, 35KOs) in their rematch. He is aiming to get a third fight with Canelo in September. He’s also hoping the fight takes place in New York – most likely due to his dissatisfaction with the judges’ scoring in his past 2 fights with Canelo. GGG was in negotiations to fight Brandon “Cannon” Adams (21-2, 13KOs), who isn’t much better than Rolls but has a bit more notoriety. Adams beat Shane Mosley Jr. in the finale of the television show “The Contender”. Adams decided to Fight Jermall “Hitman” Charlo (28-0, 21KOs) instead of GGG, in hopes of improving career opportunities if he pulls off an upset.
Rolls is a Canadian boxer who is virtually unknown and not viewed as a legitimate threat. This is simply a tune-up fight for Golovkin. Boxing fans would have hoped for someone of a higher caliber, but we get what we get in boxing. Rolls last fought in December and scored a unanimous decision over KeAndrae Leatherwood (21-6-1, 13KOs). That just about says it all. Rolls is also 35 years old (Golovkin is 37), so don’t expect any kind of Ruiz/Joshua type upset. I know that some of you would love to see that. It’s no real disrespect directed at Rolls, but he doesn’t belong in the ring with someone of Golovkin’s caliber. I’m a big fan of Golovkin, but it’s hard to defend the move, even if it’s a tune-up. Prediction: Golovkin TKO 5th round
There’s a lot of talk about GGG/Canelo III. Golovkin is on record saying he is 99% sure the fight will happen next, assuming he beats Rolls. Maybe Golovkin has had behind the scenes talks, or maybe he is just saying that. We will see. If the fight does not happen next, who are some other names boxing fans would like to see him fight? Maybe a move up to 168lbs? Maybe take on WBO Champ Billy Joe Saunders (28-0, 13KOs). The two should have met years ago at middleweight but the fight never came to fruition. Maybe a fight against WBO Middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17KOs)? Both are be fights that would draw interest from many fans. Personally, I would like to see GGG/Canelo III with the winner fighting Andrade for all the marbles at middleweight. There has not been an undisputed middleweight champion since Jermaine Taylor in 2005 after he defeated Bernard Hopkins.
As for the GGG/Rolls undercard it is not a great, but there are some good prospects fighting and also Eastern Europeans that GGG has promised to showcase under the DAZN banner.
- Ali Akhmedov (14-0, 10KOs) vs Marcus McDaniel (15-0, 2KOs) for the Vacant WBC International Silver Super Middleweight Title
- Charles Conwell (9-0, 7KOs) vs Courtney Penningon (12-3-3, 5KOs) for the Vacant USBA Super Welterweight Title
- Israil Madrimov (2-0, 2KOs) vs Norberto Gonzalez (23-12, 13KOs)
- Brian Ceballo (8-0, 4KOs) vs Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1, 12KOs)
- Nikita Ababiy (4-0, 4KOs) vs TBD
- Johnathan Arroyo (3-0-1, 1KOs) vs Jordan Morales (3-7, 2KOs)
The prelims air live on DAZN at 7:00 p.m. ET, and 9:00 p.m. ET for the main card.