Golovkin-Monroe: Swarmer vs. Boxer, Who Has The Advantage?

The upcoming middleweight title bout between WBA/IBO champ Gennady Golovkin 32-0 (29) and southpaw Willie Monroe Jr. 19-1 (6) represents the classic boxer (Monroe) versus swarmer (Gokovkin) clash.

It’s also one of the match ups in which many cook-book boxing analyst will come out from under the woodwork to inject their perfect world strategy and fight plans. You know the ones who will either write an article or post a YouTube video which brilliantly, so they think, deduces how Golovkin has to force Monroe to the ropes and into the corners to be successful. Then in the next article/video they’ll suggest how in order for Monroe to have a chance to win, he’ll have to stay off the ropes and keep Golovkin at center ring. The words will flow and the video, if they make one, will incorrectly make you think they’re the wizard of boxing when it comes to breaking down a fight from an X’s and O’s vantage point.

The Golovkin-Monroe fight is a classic example in which pre-fight strategies won’t mean a thing if neither fighter, especially Monroe, doesn’t possess the needed physicality to implement and execute the winning battle plan. Monroe is a good boxer with quick hands who moves and utilizes the entire ring. The ideal fight for him if things are to go his way see him keeping Golovkin at the end of his punches as he’s scoring from outside and center ring without having to fight with his back against the ropes or in a corner.

Conversely, backing Monroe to the ropes and cornering him is Golovkin’s sole intention. Gennady wants to fight up close and on the inside. He wants Monroe to have to fight him off of him on the inside where Monroe’s jab and movement are nullified, and the fight becomes a battle of hooks and uppercuts. Which usually results with the fighter who owns the bigger guns, Golovkin, winning.

When a “boxer” like Monroe faces a “swarmer” like Golovkin, in order for the boxer to be effective he must possess enough power to where he keeps the swarmer honest so he can’t just walk him down as if he’s handcuffed. Nothing breaks me up more than when I’ve heard it said over the years that Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes couldn’t punch because they didn’t score picturesque knockouts like George Foreman and Earnie Shavers often did. Today the same asinine thing is said about Floyd Mayweather, who many believe is the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing. My retort to that is, if Ali and Holmes couldn’t bust a grape, why didn’t George and Earnie go after them as if they had no arms and punch them all over the ring? Why didn’t Cotto or Maidana go after Mayweather as if he were handcuffed? If you don’t know, and you might not, I’ll tell you why they didn’t; because Muhammad, Larry and Floyd hit plenty hard enough to the point that their powerful and aggressive opponents couldn’t attack them blindly without getting hurt themselves.

Mark my words, Monroe might be the smoothest and slickest fighter in boxing, but if he doesn’t punch hard enough to give Golovkin the slightest bit of concern, then what? What’s to stop Golovkin from just walking him down to the point to where there’s nowhere for him to go – then blasting him with his finishing shots? And from what we’ve seen Gennady doesn’t have to land punches in bunches to hurt his opponents.

I saw that Monroe said on the Boxing Channel that his bout with Golovkin, “Will be a physical chess match.” Oh how wrong he is! Golovkin isn’t going to even attempt to out-think Monroe, no sir. He’s going to feel what he has in the first round and gauge to himself if there’s anything coming back at him that he needs to be leery of. And if there’s not, he’ll raise the rent and force Monroe to fight, and that’s when we’ll find out if Willie has the other requisite tool needed to beat Golovkin, and that’s a good chin. Yes, when a “boxer” fights an attacker, the boxer needs enough punch to impede the swarmers aggression, if only for a second…..and he also needs a chin to keep him upright when the big punching attacker lands on him.

Just because a fighter is a “boxer,” it doesn’t mean he can’t punch (although sometimes that is the case). It just means he’s not a life-taker. If Monroe is to beat or even compete with Golovkin, he needs enough punch so Gennady doesn’t throw caution to the wind and he needs a strong chin for when GGG lands a few good ones, because he will. And a lot of that is because some swarmers are too strong to box, and I’m betting Golovkin is one of them. When a good boxer meets a good swarmer, which isn’t often because there’s a dearth of outstanding swarmers fighting in 2015, the X’s and O’s go out the window if the “boxer” doesn’t possess enough punch to give the swarmer/fighter something to think about. Which is something the YouTube video boxing gurus never take into account because they usually don’t know. Fights are not decided on paper or mapped out by an instructional video. They take place at the speed of live where each fighters’ physicality dictates who’s going to execute the X’s and O’s.

I have no doubt that Willie Monroe Jr. knows what he needs to do and how to fight Gennady Golovkin. But if he doesn’t possess the requisite tools mentioned above to apply what he knows, Gennady will find that out in not too much time, and then he’ll start executing his X’s that will stop Monroe’s O’s!

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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COMMENTS

-Radam G :

Worm Junior will be no match for 3g's swarming attack. His shots are going to be stinging The Worm as if they are a zillion-and-one attacking angry bees. Holla!


-SuperLight :

Love your work, Mr Lotierzo. Ali, Ray Leonard and, dare I say Naseem Hamed, were all great movers and pretty fierce finishers. Will be great to see how Monroe goes against the widely considered indomitable GGG.


-New York Tony :

Golovkin versus any middleweight in the world ... never mind who has the advantage, it's who wins. And that who is Triple G.


-deepwater2 :

Let's give GGG some credit. He is more than a swarmer rushing in dropping bombs. The man has great defense,parries punches, uses beautiful feints and the man uses the Fitzsimmons shift for crying out loud. THE FITZSIMMONS SHIFT. He puts his body in perfect positions,uses his head effectively and cuts off the ring like a paid assassin . I guess he is a paid assassin but the man uses a beautiful art in there.


-Domenic :

Let's give GGG some credit. He is more than a swarmer rushing in dropping bombs. The man has great defense,parries punches, uses beautiful feints and the man uses the Fitzsimmons shift for crying out loud. THE FITZSIMMONS SHIFT. He puts his body in perfect positions,uses his head effectively and cuts off the ring like a paid assassin . I guess he is a paid assassin but the man uses a beautiful art in there.
10-4. I hope Willie acquits himself well but he doesn't have the requisite pop to keep Golovkin off him. GGG, who invited shots from Murray, will be even more inviting here. Credit to Monroe for taking the bout.


-Domenic :

Let's give GGG some credit. He is more than a swarmer rushing in dropping bombs. The man has great defense,parries punches, uses beautiful feints and the man uses the Fitzsimmons shift for crying out loud. THE FITZSIMMONS SHIFT. He puts his body in perfect positions,uses his head effectively and cuts off the ring like a paid assassin . I guess he is a paid assassin but the man uses a beautiful art in there.
10-4. I hope Willie acquits himself well but he doesn't have the requisite pop to keep Golovkin off him. GGG, who invited shots from Murray, will be even more inviting here. Credit to Monroe for taking the bout.


-michaelabii :

Great perspective by Frank. Unfortunately, I have not seen enough of Monroe to gauge his ability with regards to his upcoming fight with Triple G. I will say this however - I am not of the opinion that triple G is unbeatable. I happen to think he can be out boxed and outmaneuvered by a smart fighter who is willing to use his legs for the full distance. By this I dont mean running away but by sometimes engaging Golovkin and moving at the same time. Watch how Frankie Randal beat Cesar Chavez or even how James Toney eventually bust up the rampaging Vassily Jirov. Certainly, Monroe would have to fight the fight of his life to pull this off. Fighters like Triple G and Kovalev need to be made to think twice about moving forward and like Frank rightly said a fighter can only do this by having enough pop to make the other guy honest.


-Kid Blast :

Slaughter


-oubobcat :

Sometime last year when Golovkin was cruising through his opponents, the question was posed on here who, if anyone, could give him trouble. My answer was not Ward or Froch or Cotto...it was Willie Monroe. And not because I currently live in Rochester (no bias I swear) but its because of Monroe's style. Golovkin was given a tough fight by another southpaw some years ago, Kasim Ouma. Now granted, this is a different Golovkin from that fight. But stylistically Monroe is a very slick southpaw and defensively very skilled. Much better than Ouma but doesn't hit as hard. Golovkin has not fought anyone since Ouma who can use their legs. Murray was supposed to but when he got in the ring with Golovkin did not use movement like we'd seen from him in the past. And Murray is not nearly as slick or quick as Monroe. Monroe has the quickest feet and fastest hands that Golovkin will have seen. Can this along with his slickness and defensive skills cause issues for Golovkin? Well its not out of the question. Monroe's biggest problem is his punch. He can't punch. Golovkin is also very skilled at cutting off the ring (just watch the Murray fight) and Monroe has a bad tendency of laying on the ropes at times in his fights like he did in his last bout against Vera. This is not Bryan Vera and taking a few to counter quickly off the ropes won't work as well for Monroe against Golovkin. I am not picking Monroe but think he could give Golovkin problems. Its possible and at least a different style fighter for us to see Golovkin in the ring with. I am interested to see how he handles Monroe's style.


-deepwater2 :

You did call it. Styles make fights and as long as worm is always taking 2 steps back he will be ok. The thing is GGG knows the fitzsimmons shift. Jr might look great as long as it last but I think GGG will time him,trick him and take jr out after jr wins 2 rounds.


-brownsugar :

Oubobcat is right... This Monroe kid is light as a feather on his feet and could probably dance circles around both Pac and Mayweather. Its the kind of agility you only see in young, lower weight fighters, unless its someone in the flyweight division...no middleweight over 30 years old moves like this. Monroe wasnt bragging or trying to be disrespectful... He just knows his capabilities and is too young to accept the fact that GGG could match him in skill. Its the way fighters are supposed to think. With other agile fighters like Charlo, Andrade, and Lara gradually growing in confidence, and questioning the reasons why they wouldnt be successful against the offensively minded GGG, Monroe is a fight to augment Golovkin's already considerable talents... But a fair warning should be sent to Monroe...Golovkin can move too. He can slow dance, breakdance, rumba, and even do a mean salsa in the ring... Just because he usually swaggers around like Godzilla doesnt mean he hasnt had already had a few dance lessons against a couple of generations of skilled boxers during his long amatur career. Monroe is an excellent choice for Honing his skill set while preparing for the increasingly impatient next generation of fighters who are naturally drunk off the power of their youth and will soon begin raging for the opportunity to be " next " in the rapidly ensuing years to come....a good change of pace from watching GGG corner a fleeing array fighters who keep getting their feet tangled up in the hidden snares Golovkin has laid around the ring....they lie quietly ....escaping detection along the perimeter of the ring and are activated by Golovkins intense but subtle pressure. Lets see if Monroe can handle it.


-brownsugar :

Also i forgot....you cant put GGG into the category of a swarmer. He's more like a hunter, a trapster, a terminator, an illusionist and a high-roller-lottery-hitter, not because he's lucky but because he throws so many high percentage bombs... Something has to land. He has the perfected the ultimate algorithm for connecting his shots.