We explain why tomorrow’s BoxNation screened ‘bang-up’ between the monster punching middleweights is ‘must see’ TV.
1. Judges, Take a Night Off!
It’s highly improbable that the three officials accorded the best seats in the house shall need to tender their scorecards.
Kazakh born Golovkin brags the highest kayo ratio (91%) in the history of the division. Only three of his 33 victims have crossed the finish line – the last back in 2008 – and all 14 world title opponents perished early. Only five made it past half way! A smiling assassin, he can execute with a vast assortment of blows, delivered from either barrel.
Left hooker Lemieux is no tickler either. Thirty-one of his 34 wins came before points were tallied. Though latest casualty Hassan N’Dam survived the 12 round course, the Canuck bounced him off the canvas on four occasions.
2. All Hail to the Mecca!
Forget Vegas casinos, Madison Square Garden remains the real ‘Mecca of World Boxing’; an arena steeped in ring history since heavyweight John L. Sullivan defended his world title there in 1882.
Most of the greats have subsequently featured in one of the four versions of MSG, presently situated atop Penn Station in midtown Manhattan. In 2007, the original ring was formally ‘retired’ and donated to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, following 82 years active service!
Named after James Madison, fourth US president, the multi-purpose indoor arena hosts the New York Knicks (basketball) and New York Rangers (ice hockey) franchises.
The 15,000 tickets for Saturday’s dust-up sold out inside a week and with high rollers for once usurped by the Big Apple’s hard beaked fight fraternity, expect the atmosphere to sizzle.
3. Discover If GGG is Worthy of the Vacant P4P Mantle
The ‘retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jnr and the demise of aging stars such as Manny Pacquiao, Bernard Hopkins and Wlad Klitschko sees boxing enter a fascinating transitional phase as it searches for a fresh ‘poster boy’.
Golovkin loiters as a significantly more pleasant and exciting heir to the always brash, often obnoxious ‘Money’ man. He takes risks, punches infinitely harder and delivers more thrills in one outing than you’ll witness in a fistful of Mayweather matches. His power is supplemented with the innate balance, precision and co-ordination of a true pedigree.
Beyond the ropes, his stock is finally starting to soar. He has sold out five figure arenas on both US seaboards and has long been highly regarded in Europe. Respectful and quirky, he is competent in four languages and has latterly been fraternising at the Emmy Awards in LA and endorsing Apple watches.
Saturday represents his pay-per-view debut and Lemieux, easily the most high profile and dangerous foe thus far, should prove the perfect foil for him to make a huge splash.
4. Discover If Lemieux Is More Than a ‘One Trick’ Pony
The Montreal Mohawk gets a gilt-edged chance to convince the world’s fight fans that his locker contains something other than just a lightning and lethal left hook.
Lemieux brings underrated hand speed, a snappy jab and a fast improving defence. Since signing to Golden Boy Promotions last January, he can now tap into the wisdom of ring luminaries Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins.
Seven years Golovkin’s junior at 26, he is physically fresher and the sole stoppage loss on his 36 fight CV was largely due to exhaustion rather than fragility. Unlike ‘Triple G’, he has already experienced the 12 round championship trip twice.
Mentally, Lemieux is determined, strong-willed and famished for success. Having spurned alternative options to pursue this firecracker, unlike most pretenders, sorry, contenders, he clearly isn’t fearful of Golovkin.
5. Unification, Unification, Unification!
Nothing alienates the casual sports fan from boxing more than the quagmire of ‘interim’, ‘regular’ and ‘Super’ titles unceremoniously brandished by each of the four major sanctioning organisations.
However, tomorrow’s tear-up will unite Lemieux’s IBF belt with the WBA Super and WBC interim straps presently in the custody of Golovkin. Whoever prevails can expect to trouser an eight figure PPV purse against the survivor of next month’s WBC regular rumble between Latino stars Miguel Cotto and ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
And with reigning WBO ruler Andy Lee publically expressing interest in a future shootout with Golovkin – provided he sees off Billy Joe Saunders in December – the prestigious 160lb division could soon have its first undisputed champion since Jermain Taylor in 2005.
The Channel Of Champions, BoxNation, will televise the show live and exclusive on Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 415. Subscribe NOW! Or watch online at Livesport.tv and via iPhone, iPad or Android.