Golovkin vs Brook: Prediction, expert strategy and analysisVal Jones
Excitement is mounting for the much-anticipated clash between IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook and reigning middleweight king Gennady Golovkin at London’s O2 Arena.
Golovkin is undoubtebly the biggest foreign star to land in the U.K. for a mega-bout since Mike Tyson crossed the pond to face Julius Francis in 2000. British boxing fans took note when the fight was announced in July--selling out tickets in twelve minutes.
Though he possesses a stellar ring IQ, the Sheffield native, Brook, enters the fight as a 9/2 underdog; and not without reason, his opponent has knocked out his last 22 consecutive challengers. Golovkin is a titanic force in the middleweight division, the adamantine-fisted Kazakh holds a commanding 91% knockout rate over his opponents.
Even super middleweights like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. have refused to step into the ring with the dreaded Triple-G. And so, unable to secure a marquee-level opponent at 147, Brook has chosen to rise two weight-classes with an eye towards past legends like Sugar Ray Leonard in order to take on the high-octane Golovkin.
Brook shocked boxing pundits when he tipped the scales at 176 pounds for the WBC’s 30-day weigh-in--outweighing Golovkin by 11 pounds. Based on that disparity, it would seem that Brook may be keen on employing smother-and-maul tactics in a bid to outmuscle Golovkin on the inside. Such an approach would be ill-advised as GGG is a maestro at breaking clinches.
Golovkin vs Brook fight strategy
An in-the-trenches war would not favor Brook. Golovkin has brawled in the pocket with veritable giants like Marco Antonio Rubio, who weighed in at 181 pounds on the night the Kazakh knocked him out with a colossal overhand left.
GGG KOs Rubio
Brook’s best bet at dethroning Golovkin would be to utilize a hit-and-run sniper-style, though it remains to be seen how his bulk-up in weight will affect the mobility and feline-quick hand speed he displayed at 147.
Interestingly, there is a Magic Mirror of sorts which can illustrate how Golovkin-Brook could play out, and that vessel of foresight can be found in the form of Brook’s 2013 bout with Ukrainian slugger Vyacheslav Senchenko. Now, Brook is a slick offensive technician, and though he won the match in question quite emphatically, it is clear that Senchenko’s unorthodox Eastern European boxing style gave him cause for grave concern in some stretches.
The danger for Brook here is that Golovkin is the avatar of this Soviet style, that is to say, he is Senchenko but with paralyzing force and a more durable mandible amongst other things.
The major takeaway from this fight is that Brook’s rigid upright posture left him open to Senchenko’s looping hooks. Brook was unable to telegraph the Ukrainian's odd-angle shots and was consequently wobbled badly by a chopping overhand right in the 4th round.
This does not bode well for the Brit as off-kilter haymakers are a staple of Golovkin’s arsenal, one need only look at the thudding cranium shot GGG KO’d Rubio with in their 2014 bout. Based on Brook’s susceptibility to Senchenko’s angular blows it is not difficult to see how he could be blindsided by Golovkin’s wide powershots should he find his back against the ropes.
When Golovkin corners his opponent, he throws a mixed cocktail of feints, range-finder jabs and super-concussive hooks leaving his bewildered foe unable to anticipate which shot will be the fatal blow.
For an accuracy-centric sharpshooter like Brook, it will be nigh impossible to strike back with precision when arching punches are raining in on him from all sides.
By meandering further down Brook’s resume, one can discern another portent of doom ahead of the GGG clash in his 2012 war of attrition with American fighter Carson Jones. In that bout, the sturdy Oklahoma slugger took Brook into deep waters by outlanding the Brit to the body and thereby slowing his work-rate while unravelling his defenses.
And though Brook ultimately coasted to victory in the Jones match, it was plainly clear that his mantid-like stance made him vulnerable to leveraged powershots to the body. This could be the death knell for Brook as Golovkin’s deadly palms-down left hooks to the body have a way of making his opponent’s torsos feel like they are inhabited by glass ribs.
In addition to being one of Brook’s toughest opponents, Jones has also served as a sparring partner for Golovkin at the Summit Gym in Big Bear Lake, California.
In a recent online interview with BaylorIC Boxing, Jones had this to say when asked about the upcoming clash: “I’ve been hurt more sparring with Gennady wearing 20 ounce gloves and a rib protector than I have with Kell Brook fighting with 8 ounce gloves."
In the end, Golovkin’s knockout streak will continue as an uproarious Big Drama Show rolls to a close. Kell Brook might as well sell ad space on the soles of his Adidas boxing boots, for, despite a valiant effort, he will likely end the night in a canvas-planted state.
Golovkin vs Brook prediction: Golovkin/5th Round TKO
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