You would think when you compile their records, which collectively add up to 71-0 (57), you’d have the making of the ultimate slugfest between middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin 35-0 (32) and welterweight title holder Kell Brook 36-0 (25). And that very well could be how it turns out. However, for Brook to give himself his best chance to win, he would be best served fighting as a boxer-puncher more so than as an attacker and seeking the spectacular knockout.

Today everyone looks at Golovkin as if he’s impervious to pain and perhaps unbeatable. But the fact of the matter is, as terrific as GGG has been, he’s been swimming in a shallow pool of upper-tier middleweights. Nobody is giving Brook a chance, but he’s a much better opponent than anyone Golovkin has faced so far.  His positives are that he punches from all angles–sharp, accurate, unpredictable shots that carry some pop–and that he has first rate mobility.  He’s an excellent boxer.  I can see him taking some early rounds.  But here’s where the problems show up.  Even though he’s a very big welterweight, he’s going to get out-muscled by Golovkin. Rather than doing the sensible thing, and opting for a hit and run strategy, he’s bulked way, way up.

He now looks like a body builder–absolutely the dumbest strategy he could have taken.  By packing on useless weight, he has taken away all of his natural advantages. He should have come in at 154-156, and moved all night (or for as long a possible).  It looks like he’s decided to try to get Golovkin’s respect by standing his ground.  If that’s what he does, he’s dead.

Apparently someone convinced Brook that added muscle equates to more power, and that’s a myth. When in actuality all Brook has to do is hit Golovkin just hard enough to get his respect. If by chance Brook can stick GGG hard enough to give him the slightest bit of trepidation, that would slightly impede his aggression. And that slight hesitation on Golovkin’s part would afford Brook the time and distance he would need to box and move. Granted, he’d have to have the night of his life to win; he couldn’t afford to make a mistake, and he’d somehow have to deal with Gennady’s unrelenting pressure without wearing down. It’s a tall order. Golovkin might not be quite the monster he’s been made out to be, but he is very, very good, and a legitimate dangerous middleweight. I doubt anyone disputes that.

Punchers like Golovkin are born, not created or manufactured. His power isn’t forced, it’s natural, and he also has short power — when he’s inside, he doesn’t need much room or leverage to hurt his opponents or get them in serious trouble. In addition to that, over all these years and fights going back to his amateur days, his confidence is off the chart. He has total belief in his power and that he’s eventually going to get you. To date he has never been in the ring as a pro with another middleweight who has been able to shake his confidence for a single exchange, let alone an entire bout. Everyone who he’s fought and stopped has nothing but the ultimate praise for him.

Often when there’s a fighter out there with a rep for being a life-taker, not all of their knockout victims are full of praise for them. They have the typical excuses in their pocket saying until he caught me with the one shot I didn’t see, he never hurt me. Or the typical standby – I underestimated him or didn’t have enough time to get in great shape. This isn’t the case with Golovkin. Every fighter who has either sparred or fought him says he’s dangerous and every time he hits you it feels like he broken something. As a banger/puncher, he’s legit. Yes, he has holes in his game like every fighter not named Sugar Ray Robinson. But his overload of power and physicality outrun and cover up his few flaws. That’s why it would be foolish for a bulked-up Brook to think that he can go in there and force the fight and trade with Golovkin.

What shouldn’t be lost is Brook is definitely the most skillful fighter that Golovkin has ever faced, and that counts for something. As much as I believe Gennady is a legitimate puncher based on my eyes and what his opponents and sparring partners have said – I can’t help but think that had Marvin Hagler (who wasn’t thought of as being a killer puncher), fought every opponent Golovkin fought on the night he fought them, Marvin’s KO percentage would be the same as GGG’s. So maybe a skilled fighter with tools like Brook has a chance to extend the fight if he doesn’t make it easy for Gennady by going at him.

I can’t pick Brook to win. I believe Golovkin’s power, confidence and aggression will be a bridge too far for him. However, if by chance we’ve been too quick to fall in love with GGG and have overrated him a bit, then maybe Brook, if he keeps his head and fights more of his fight, assuming he isn’t overwhelmed physically, can steal the fight. Either way, we just may find out how authentically terrific Golovkin is…..or isn’t.

 

Frank Lotierzo can be reached at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

 

COMMENTS

-Radam G :

If KB has a chin and some body-punch resistance, he is going to upset 3g. This scrap can be the biggest upset of a middleweight by an upcoming welterweight, since Sugar Ray Leonard edged out Marvelous Marvin Hagler way back in the grade school days. Holla!


-deepwater2 :

It looks like Brook does have a chin. A double one. I don't think he put on weight the right way. Brook is daring to be great. Good for him. GGG wins in 7. Brooks corner throws in the towel to save him for another day. Should be fun to watch.


-Kid Blast :

Frank has the beat. He knows what goes on in that ring and is a very good student of TSS


-teaser :

Gotta go with Frank also ...(when has he been wrong lately ?) ...Leonard said the key was to keep speed by not bulking up to much against Hagler ...he understood the type of fight he had to fight


-Radam G :

Gotta go with Frank also ...(when has he been wrong lately ?) ...Leonard said the key was to keep speed by not bulking up to much against Hagler ...he understood the type of fight he had to fight
Brook is using an old classic secret of keeping and increasing his speed. Super athletes do this old school thing on da reg. Brook is going to have speed to burn with bulk on it. Holla!


-brownsugar :

Brook can't make 147 without extreme duress, why should he allow the hungry Errol Spence to knock him off his perch? How can he be expected to make his way thru a murderers row of contenders at 154? Even Nelson gives him a hard time. GGG is the perfect out, no matter what happens he will be one of the most recognizable guys in the sport if he offers a decent amount of resistance. And he'll get an invite to other lucrative paydays against guys like Cotto or Canelo or Bradley. Gimme Golovkin in eight or less, Brook doesn't have the foot speed or stamina to stay out of Golovkins way for 12 rounds.


-KO Digest :

Brook has to be bulked up. His plan will be to stand in with Golovkin. And try to hit more than he gets hit. But he must get hit to win and he needs to be solid for that.


-DaveB :

The main problem I have with Brook is will he be able to stand up to GGG's punch? If he can take a good punch a couple or three times during this fight without crumbling I think he has one hell of a chance to pull it off. It is hard to go against GGG because he is so superior to everyone he has fought along with Brook coming up from WW and never fighting at MW. As good as GGG is I can't see him beating prime Hagler. I would loved to have seen that one. Anyway I don't think GGG is unbeatable. It would be interesting to see how he would respond if he gets buzzed. Will he keep it all together or will he fall apart? No one knows. No one knows how Brook will react to getting hit either. The fun part of this fight will be if Brook can mount an attack and make GGG hestitate. If GGG tears him apart or breaks him down that will not be any fun at all. GGG seemingly has big advantages here. Brook needs to stick and move, sit on his punches and move some more. I'm expecting a good fight from Brook. I respect him that much.


-Skibbz :

At the weigh in, there's a queue of at least 1000 people waiting to go inside.. some already on the drink!


-King Beef :

Brook can't make 147 without extreme duress, why should he allow the hungry Errol Spence to knock him off his perch? How can he be expected to make his way thru a murderers row of contenders at 154? Even Nelson gives him a hard time. GGG is the perfect out, no matter what happens he will be one of the most recognizable guys in the sport if he offers a decent amount of resistance. And he'll get an invite to other lucrative paydays against guys like Cotto or Canelo or Bradley. Gimme Golovkin in eight or less, Brook doesn't have the foot speed or stamina to stay out of Golovkins way for 12 rounds.
I was thinking the same way, a loss to GGG should harm his standing at all (can't say what physical harm is coming his way) but a possible loss to young Spence or any other 147 would be a big hit, especially if "you know who" decides to make a "pop up for 50" I think him and Khan are on the same mind wave as much as they were at each others throats. Although I see Kell getting in the mix with the 147 big dogs before Khan does, but I also see that Brook is not so sure he will be returning to 147 after this fight so who knows. Don't know if he put the weight/muscle on right or not, (I personally think it won't matter, once a few GGG bombs land) but reading how they went about it had me picturing Drago in Rocky IV.
->http://www.boxingnewsonline.net/the-science-behind-kell-brook-challenging-gennady-golovkin/


-Radam G :

I was thinking the same way, a loss to GGG should harm his standing at all (can't say what physical harm is coming his way) but a possible loss to young Spence or any other 147 would be a big hit, especially if "you know who" decides to make a "pop up for 50" I think him and Khan are on the same mind wave as much as they were at each others throats. Although I see Kell getting in the mix with the 147 big dogs before Khan does, but I also see that Brook is not so sure he will be returning to 147 after this fight so who knows. Don't know if he put the weight/muscle on right or not, (I personally think it won't matter, once a few GGG bombs land) but reading how they went about it had me picturing Drago in Rocky IV.
->http://www.boxingnewsonline.net/the-science-behind-kell-brook-challenging-gennady-golovkin/
Hehehe! He has done a wonderful job of legally doping. And he is going to take away one of those g's from the boksing Jesus in dat squared jungle. "Special K" is no Amir "King(less)" Khan. And 3g -- soon to be 2g -- is no Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran or Carlos Monzon. "Father! Why have thee taken away one of my g's?," just may be the cry post fight. Holla!


-Skibbz :

Hehehe! He has done a wonderful job of legally doping. And he is going to take away one of those g's from the boksing Jesus in dat squared jungle. "Soecial K" is no Amir "King(less)" Khan. And 3g -- soon to be 2g -- is no Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran or Carlos Monzon. "Father! Why have thee taken away one of my g's?," just may be the cry post fight. Holla!
Thing is RG there's a difference between stepping on the scales as a middleweight, and actually having the core strength and cardiovascular ability of a middleweight. If Brook indeed does have those traits, then he won't be so easily worn down and will still be able to punch by the 8th. If he does not... I can not foresee him still standing by the 8th, especially if he tries to pedal on his back foot or even stand toe to toe.


-Radam G :

Thing is RG there's a difference between stepping on the scales as a middleweight, and actually having the core strength and cardiovascular ability of a middleweight. If Brook indeed does have those traits, then he won't be so easily worn down and will still be able to punch by the 8th. If he does not... I can not foresee him still standing by the 8th, especially if he tries to pedal on his back foot or even stand toe to toe.
Agreed! I hope that he has doubled up on baking soda, coconut water and wheatgrass. Rumors are everywhere. Holla!


-Skibbz :

Agreed! I hope that he has doubled up on baking soda, coconut water and wheatgrass. Rumors are everywhere. Holla!
Rumours are everywhere.. People calling Gennady ill! He seemed perfectly fine to me on Tuesday and Thursday. At the weigh in the clips don't show but there was a crowd of over two thousand people in the stands with banners, giving as rude a reception as they could to Golovkin. There was a solitary Kazakh flag amidst the the sea of union jacks. It's been a while since he's fought in front of a crowd who are not in his corner, and well he just had his professonal fighter's mask on. Should be a great night tonight, hope Casimero doesn't beat on Edwards too much, also Stuart Hall v Lee Haskins should be a war. Hope you guys enjoy the fights.


-KO Digest :

If running and boxing was the plan, bulk would hurt. It's not so I can only think it will help Brook hang.


-oubobcat :

I have seen the rumors on Golovkin being ill. I think this is more from the British media who sometimes can be just a little biased. If Brook takes Golovkin's power early, he is going to test him like we have not seen Golovkin tested before. Brook is athletic, well schooled and has good hand speed. Through no fault of Golokvin's he has never faced such an opponent. Make no mistake, Brook is far and away the best Golovkin has faced and is a live dog. I believe, like most, Golovkin ultimately wins. I would not be shocked though if Brook pulled it off. Personally, I believe Brook takes Golovkin's power early and goes rounds. Say at least to cover the over on this.