Golovkin vs. Monroe Jr: Can Willie walk the walk?
In what was perceived as a surprise, and a bit of a let down to many die-hard fight fans, K2 Promotions recently announced talented 160 pound southpaw Willie Monroe Jr. (19-1, 6 KOs) as WBA, IBO, and interim WBC Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin’s next assignment for May 16.
(Image courtesy of Round by Round Boxing)
While most Middleweights perceive a date with Triple G as a genuine “occupational hazard”, the relative unknown from Rochester, New York, views the upcoming fight as an opportunity to shine on boxing’s most revered platform, HBO.
“This fight is huge,” claims the 28 year old fighter. “And this is the fight I always said I wanted, because a lot of other Middleweights don’t want it. When I see everyone else running from a situation, this is when I have to see what the hype is all about. On May 16, I’ll find out.”
According to initial ticket sales, there’s plenty of buzz among fight fans of Southern California. Per K2 and Banner Promotions, over 2,500 tickets have already been sold for the championship bout at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California.
Despite not being a household name within most social media chat rooms, boxing fans in the know understand what a fighter like Willie Monroe Jr. brings to the squared circle, and why he was considered for the opportunity to face the most feared Middleweight on the planet.
In his last three fights, Willie has looked every bit of the budding superstar for which his handlers have been hoping.
In the 2014 Semifinals of Banner’s “Boxcino Tournament” on ESPN, the slick southpaw was masterful in picking apart formerly undefeated and highly touted Ukrainian prospect Vitaliy Kopylenko, en route to a seemingly effortless, unanimous decision victory. In the Finals of the critically acclaimed boxing playoff, Monroe schooled previously unbeaten prospect Brandon Adams and scored a dominant ten round, unanimous decision win.
And in his most recent outing, “The Mongoose” put rugged fight veteran Bryan “The Warrior” Vera on the canvas in earning a very impressive, unanimous decision victory on ESPN in January.
Although Monroe will be stepping in ring with the most avoided Middleweight in the division and arguably the hardest pound for pound puncher in boxing on May 16, the slick boxer/puncher points out that Golovkin hasn’t been the only avoided fighter within the under appreciated 160 pound weight division.
“If you watch guys like me, or like Andre Ward, Guillermo Rigondeaux, or Erislandy Lara, we bring back the true essence of what boxing’s about…the art of hitting and not getting hit,” states Willie Monroe Jr.
“You really don’t see a lot of guys who can do that these days, and most other fighters don’t look forward to facing guys who have that style.”
“If you watch the Boxcino tournament and the Bryan Vera fight, there were times when I used the entire ring and times when I stood and banged. There were also times when I would move in and out of the pocket and pick my spots. So I apply what’s needed and can execute it at anytime throughout the fight.”
“And I know a lot of people are going to laugh at this, because I only have 6 knock-outs on my record, but I know I have power. Most people don’t understand that speed and velocity equals power in boxing."
"Power hurts, but speed kills.”
“Once he tastes my power, Golovkin is going to realize this isn’t Martin Murray or Matthew Macklin. He’ll be in with a guy who knows what he’s doing.”
But the same can be said for Monroe.
How is Willie going to react when he gets hit with by the hardest puncher in the Middleweight division? The seven year professional is ostensibly moving from the wading pool to the ocean overnight.
The confident southpaw technician claims that he’s ready for this “dubious” opportunity.
“This is boxing,” states the 5’10” prospect. “This is what the sport is all about. Like my opponent always says, ‘This is Big Drama Show’. How can you provide a big drama show for the fans if you only have one guy who wants to fight, and a bunch of other guys who don’t?”
“On May 16, fans will see two guys who really want to fight and are willing to put it all on the line to give fans a big drama show.”
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