Perhaps the sport’s most feared fighter, middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin has built a powerhouse reputation by demonstrating a willingness to take on any challenge and displaying an intriguing array of skills, highlighted by stunning knockout power.
The Kazakhstan native makes his 2015 U.S. debut when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: GENNADY GOLOVKIN VS. WILLIE MONROE JR. AND ROMAN GONZALEZ VS. EDGAR SOSA is seen SATURDAY, MAY 16 at 10:00 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from the historic Forum in Inglewood, Cal., exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will be ringside to call all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino
Other HBO playdates: May 17 (9:45 a.m.) and 18 (11:30 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: May 17 (3:30 p.m.) and 19 (11:15 p.m.)
In the 14th defense of his middleweight crown, Gennady Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs), originally from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, and now training at Big Bear, Cal., meets Willie Monroe Jr. (19-1, 6 KOs) from Ithaca, NY, in a scheduled 12-round contest. Currently boasting a knockout victory streak of 19, Golovkin has taken the boxing world by storm with an extraordinary knockout-to-win ratio of better than 90%. No opponent has gone the distance with him since Nov. 2008, and he began 2015 by battering and eventually knocking out the formidable Martin Murray on Feb. 21. His 2014 fights ended in the seventh, third and second rounds. Trained by the highly regarded Abel Sanchez, Golovkin will be making his eighth appearance on HBO since his auspicious network debut in Sept. 2012.
Willie Monroe’s top accomplishments as a pro include a victory against the previously undefeated Brandon Adams to win the 2014 Boxcino Middleweight Tournament final, and defeating the hard-nosed Brian Vera this past January, while his only loss came more than four years ago via a close split decision. The slick southpaw faces the toughest test of his career in what will also be his first 12-round contest.
The opening bout is a spectacular flyweight attraction, as 112-pound rising star Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (42-0, 36 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua meets Edgar Sosa (51-8, 30 KOs) of Mexico City in a 12-round title bout. Gonzalez has become a consensus top-ten pound-for-pound fighter and looks to extend his knockout streak to eight. Crafty veteran Sosa has a history of accepting difficult challenges.
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The executive producer of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Rick Bernstein; producer, Jon Crystal; director, Johnathan Evans.
Photo: WBA, IBO & Interim WBC Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (Left) and #2 ranked contender Willie Monroe Jr. (Left) pose in Los Angeles on May 12, 2015 at the final press conference for their world title fight on May 16, 2015 at the Forum in Los Angeles, California and telecast Live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00p.m. ET/PT.
WBA, IBO & Interim WBC Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, WBC Flyweight World Champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, undefeated super flyweight Seniesa Estrada will face Carley Batey on the non-televised undercard, undefeated bantamweight Ivan Morales will face Danny Flores on the non-televised undercard and #2 ranked contender Willie Monroe Jr. pose in Los Angeles on May 12, 2015 at the final press conference for Golovkin vs. Monroe and Gonzalez vs. Sosa on May 16, 2015 at the Forum in Los Angeles, California and telecast Live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00p.m. ET/PT.
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN
“Willie Monroe is a slick southpaw and this presents a challenging style for me to fight. This is what I wanted. “
“My focus is on Willie Monroe, I’m not concerned right now with any other fights. “
“I’m very happy living in Los Angeles, my family is with me now. “
“My power comes from hard work everyday in the gym.”
TOM LOEFFLER, K2 Promotions
“Willie Monroe has a very unconventional style which is a challenge for Gennady and made the most sense. He won the 2014 Boxcino Tournament and easily defeated Bryan Vera, fighting all four bouts on ESPN in the last twelve months.
“Gennady always wants to test himself and Willie’s style presents challenges in the ring he hasn’t faced before.”
“Gennady will continue to fight as often as possible, he brings great ratings and huge ticket sales whenever and wherever he fights.”
ABEL SANCHEZ, Trainer of Golovkin
“Gennady is harder on himself then anyone else is.”
“Gennady works on trying to be perfect with every positioning and technique.”
“Willie Monroe was chosen because Gennady wanted a new challenge and his slick, southpaw style presents that.”
“If the knockout comes great, if not we will be prepared to fight Monroe for twelve rounds.”
JOEL FISHER, Madison Square Garden
“Tom brought Gennady into our offices five years ago and said he wanted to make Madison Square Garden his home. We love his fighting style, his personality and potential.”
“We love our relationship with Gennady and are thrilled to be having him fight on our West Coast property, The Forum in Los Angeles on May 16.”
World Boxing Association (‘WBA’), International Boxing Organization (‘IBO’) and World Boxing Council (‘WBC’) ‘Interim’ Middleweight World Champion GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN, 32-0-0 (29KO’s) of Los Angeles, California via Karaganda, Kazakhstan will make the 14th defense of his title against top rated challenger WILLIE MONROE JR., 19-1-0 (6KO’s), of Ithaca, New York on Saturday, May 16 at The Forum in Inglewood.
On February 21 in Monte-Carlo, Golovkin stopped Martin Murray for his 19th consecutive win by knockout, the most in the history of the middleweight division. This will be Golovkin’s second fight in Los Angeles, having stopped former world title challenger Marco Antonio Rubio on October 18, 2014 before a record setting crowd of 9,323 at the StubHub! Center in Carson, CA.
Monroe Jr. won the acclaimed 2014 ESPN Boxcino Tournament defeating fellow contenders Donatas Bondorovas, Vitaliy Kopylenko and Brandon Adams towards the title.
Most recently Monroe Jr. won a 10-round unanimous decision over former world title challenger Bryan Vera on January 16 in a bout telecast on ESPN Friday Night Fights.
Monroe is currently ranked #2 by the WBA, #5 by the WBO and #9 by the WBC.
Advance tickets, priced at $300, $200, $100, $60 and $30, are now on-sale through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000) and the Forum Box Office.
GOLOVKIN vs. MONROE is presented by K2 Promotions and GGG Promotions in association with Banner Promotions and the Forum.
Co-featured on the telecast is an outstanding Junior Flyweight matchup between World Boxing Council Champion ROMAN “Chocolatito” GONZALEZ and #2 ranked challenger and former world champion EDGAR SOSA.
GONZALEZ vs. SOSA is presented by K2 Promotions and Teiken Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions.