Golovkin vs Stevens prediction: Expert trainer's preview & analysis
Although both fighters will bring impressive professional records and deep amateur pedigrees respectively into the squared circle, most boxing pundits are focusing their attention on the one punch knock-out power that both men currently possess.
Will this fight go the distance?
To get the great fans of boxing geared up for this massive undertaking in NYC, experienced fight trainer and master strategist James Gogue gives his expert analysis on the match-up that is Gennady Golovkin versus Curtis Stevens!
Boxing trainer and super strategist James Gogue.
It takes decades of dedication to reach his level of boxing mastery.
"This is one of my favorite pairings of the entire year," states the three decade boxing mentor. "That's saying quite a bit when you consider how great 2013 has been for the sport of boxing."
Because both fighters have the ability to turn their opponent's lights out with one big shot.
Whenever you have two boxers who can change the climate of any fight with a single punch, you don't want to leave your seat. It makes the event that much more spectacular. With two big punchers like Golovkin and Stevens, you don't even want to sneeze because you just might miss the best punch of the night."
While some odds makers have deemed the incumbent champion as high as a 19 to 1 favorite, James Gogue believes that the boxing community could see a colossal upset on Saturday night if the reigning title holder isn't respectful of his challenger's awesome power. Curtis Stevens
"Although Golovkin is the heavy favorite leading into this contest, Curtis Stevens is in this fight for a reason. He earned this title opportunity because he knocked out a very tough fringe contender like Saul Roman with one big left hook in the first round on August 3rd of this year."
"In fact, the Brooklyn born puncher has knocked out three of his last four opponents in the first round. Since moving down in weight and competing in the Middleweight division, this guy has been tearing apart his opposition in devastating fashion."
"Stevens not only has sledgehammers in his gloves, but he possesses quick hands as well. He's explosive, combining speed with power, with his combination punching to the body and head."
"If Golovkin thinks that he can simply march in without caution against a puncher like Stevens, he's got another thing coming. Triple G will have to apply more intelligent pressure than he displayed against Matthew Macklin, Nobuhiro Ishida, and Gabriel Rosado, or he could be staring up at the lights early." Although the reigning WBA Champion has been mowing through his competition as well, James Gogue believes that Curtis Stevens has shown something different than all 27 fighters who have faced Gennady Golovkin as a professional.
"One of factors that most boxing writers and fight fans are overlooking when sizing up this Middleweight match-up is the mentality of the challenger going into this fight. Unlike every other opponent that Gennady has faced prior to this bout, Stevens is not intimidated by the power and skill of the defending champion."
"If you look at Triple G's bouts with Macklin and Rosado, both title challengers showed Golovkin an enormous amount of respect and fought tentatively throughout the entire contest, almost to the point of being scared. That's not how Macklin or Rosado usually conduct themselves in the ring."
"Don't expect the Brownsville based fighter to show that same level of fear in this match-up."
"Expect Stevens to be confident while looking for that counter left hand every time Golovkin moves in to throw his right hand to the body or head. And if Curtis lands something big on the inside within the early rounds of the fight, expect him to swarm all over Triple G with explosive combinations to the body and head."
"Stevens is one of the best finishers in the division." Despite having more than just a puncher's chance in this bout, the prolific fight trainer only sees a small window of opportunity realistically for Curtis Stevens.
"The early rounds of this contest are going to be the most interesting," professes James Gogue. "To land something big within the first few rounds of the fight will be Stevens' best chance for victory against a very smart fighter like Gennady Golovkin. As the rounds pile up in this bout, you'll start to see the separation of class between both fighters."
"Although Curtis has a deep amateur pedigree as well, he's not on the same level technically as the reigning champ."
"Golovkin not only has God given power in both fists, he has elite technical boxing ability. His understanding of balance and range is impeccable. Gennady isn't a guy who will try to bomb an opponent out with one big shot. He likes to break his opponents down systematically."
"Abel Sanchez has done a great job of adding more punches to Gennady's arsenal while under his tutelage. Triple G can fight from short, mid, to long range, while throwing a wide array of punches from multiple angles. It's very difficult for any opponent to anticipate which angle Golovkin's punches are going to come from."
"He has it all. Short compact shots on the inside, and a wide assortment of jabs at multiple ranges. He can hook off the jab at any time as well, which he likes to practice often throughout the fight."
"Golovkin uses the left hand brilliantly, not only to keep his opponent's off balance, but to also set up the right hand down the middle, over the top, or around the side to the body."
"In order to set up the right hand without getting countered by the challenger's compact left hook, Gennady is going to have to keep using an assortment of left hand feints, touch jabs, and forceful jabs to the body and head from different angles."
"If he keeps Stevens' mind working overtime with the variety of left hands, he can eventually land that devastating right hook to the jaw...the same one that put Nobuhiro Ishida to sleep, dangling across the rope in Monte Carlo earlier this year."
"Triple G also has some of the most underrated footwork in boxing. His ability to cut off the ring effectively while staying in position to land something big is picture perfect. Gennady Golovkin is a complete technical fighter with God given thunder in both gloves...that's what makes him so special, and that's why he's so heavily favored in this fight."
Golovkin vs Stevens Prediction
While Gogue sees the potential for a knock-out victory either way, the expert trainer does predict a decisive win for only one fighter.
"Both men can punch, and either fighter could get knocked out in this bout...that's what makes this championship contest so intriguing for every die-hard fight fan," claims James Gogue. "If Gennady gets in trouble early, we're really going to find out what he's made of. This is something that we've never seen from Golovkin; whether or not he has the ability to fight through adversity."
"Although it is a distinct possibility, I don't believe we're going to find out on Saturday night. I see Gennady Golovkin being too smart for Curtis Stevens. Triple G will take away that vaunted left hook by fighting him at angles that will make it virtually impossible for the title challenger to throw the left hook without falling out of position and leaving him susceptible for the counter right hand...check mate!"
"I predict Gennady Golovkin will stop Curtis Stevens midway through the seventh round to retain his WBA Middleweight title!!"