IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) looked sculpted like a statue on Thursday in weighing in at 159.2 lbs. His opponent Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, KOs) came in at 159 pounds for their match live on DAZN this Friday night at the Hard Rock Hotel/Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
A smiling Golovkin says if a knockout presents itself, he will go for it, but he still expects it to be a difficult fight.
You could tell from looking at GGG’s ripped physique that he’s been working hard during the pandemic, training to get ready for this fight. Golovkin, 38, and Szeremeta were supposed to fight earlier this year in February, but the global pandemic upset those plans.
Gennadiy is making his 21st career title defense when he gets in there with Szeremeta, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can score a knockout for the occasion.
“Yeah, it’s essential for me absolutely,” Gennadiy said in talking about his 21st title defense. It probably isn’t important for boxing. Maybe I don’t understand 100% right now.
“Maybe we’ll show the best show for this year,” GGG continued. “He [Szeremeta] had a good amateur career. Right now, he has no losses.
“Come on, guys, he’s my #1, he’s my official challenger. Right now, he has the best record. I know this is boxing, and it’s professional style boxing. Everyone has a chance,” said Golovkin in sounding like he’s defending his choice of opponent.
Szeremeta didn’t have a great amateur career in Poland. He lost Tomasz Jabłoński in the finals of the 2012 Polish National Championship. Aside from there, Szeremeta didn’t do much as an amateur.
As a professional, Szeremeta has put together a handful of wins against fighters with good records, but none of them are considered talented. Arguably the best win on Szeremeta’s resume is former IBF junior middleweight champion Kassim Ouma.
Szeremeta beat the 38-year-old Ouma by a 10 round unanimous decision in 2016, but this wasn’t the same fighter that had given Golovkin all he could handle in 2011.
Golovkin needs to get this fight out of the way for him to move into 2021 to get the bigger match-ups that the boxing world wants to see.
GGG was hoping to face superstar Canelo Alvarez in May 2021, but the Mexican star says he’ll be busy next attempting to unify the 168lb division.
Canelo won’t bother fighting Golovkin until he accomplishes that task, and it’s anyone’s guess whether he has the ability to make that dream a reality.
If not, then we might see Canelo turning his attention to Golovkin soon.
Canelo’s decision to put off the Golovkin fight until after he unifies the 168lb division means that Kazakstan fighters will need to stay busy for a year or two before he gets his chance to face him again.
If Golovkin’s choice of picking Szeremeta as his opponent is any indication, we could see many soft touches from GGG for the net year or so while he waits for Canelo to finish unifying the 168-lb division.
Golovkin needs to move on and forget about Canelo and focus on making the most out of the time he has left in his career. It was a bad decision for Golovkin to pick Szeremeta as his opponent because he could have fought Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders, or Caleb Plant.
Golovkin says he had no choice but to fight Szeremeta, 31 because he was his IBF mandatory. That excuse doesn’t hold water because Szeremeta was someone that Golovkin spoke of wanting to fight when he took on Steve Rolls in June of 2019.
After stopping the 35-year-old Rolls in the fourth round, a defensive-sounding Golovkin said he wasn’t interested in fighting Jermall Charlo.
He said he wanted to fight Szeremeta, and that was BEFORE Golovkin captured the IBF middleweight title in October of 2019 against Sergiy Derevyanchenko. So, Golovkin has had his eyes on a fight against Szeremeta for over a year now, and he finally is getting a chance to face him.
If Golovkin wants to end his career on a high note, he needs to move up to 168 and go after the top guys in the division. Golovkin is too old to waste his time fighting obscure opposition that does nothing for his career and DAZN.
“Thank you for the Szeremeta team. These guys are ready for a good fight, a good event. Why not? I know we had a good time for good preparation.
“I have the experience,” said Golovkin when asked if he’s going to be the ‘seek and destroy GGG or the more patient GGG?’ “Right now, I’m more smart. If you give me a chance, of course, maybe the fight is short,” said Golovkin.
Golovkin will have the size, power, and experience advantage over Szeremeta.
If Golovkin goes after Szeremeta in an all-out seak and destroys mission as he did against Polish fighter
Grzegorz Proksa in 2012, he should obliterate him quickly on Friday night.
What’s important is that Golovkin keeps the pressure on the entire fight and lets his hands go because he was outworked by his last opponent Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
That was what made the fight so difficult for GGG. He let Derevyanchenko outdo him from the fifth round on, which made the contest closer than it should have been.
Szeremeta doesn’t belong in there with Golovkin in terms of power or experience, but he’s got the youth going for him. The blueprint that Canelo Alvarez created in how to beat GGG will surely be followed by Szeremeta, who will go after his body by landing shots.
Golovkin’s trainer Johnathon Banks wants him to let his hands go more, and that’s a theme that he’s repeatedly talked about since he took over as the replacement for Abel Sanchez.
But thus far, Golovkin has failed to follow Bank’s advice by throwing nonstop punches. Golovkin still has that calculated style of fighting, and he hasn’t shined in either of the two fights since Banks started training him.
Official undercard weights
Ali Akhmedov 167.4 vs. Carlos Gongora 167.2
Hyun Mi Choi 130 vs. Calista Silgado 131.4
John Ryder 170.2 vs. Michael Guy 168.2
Reshat Mati 146.6 vs. Dennis Okoth 147
Jalan Walker 125.2 vs. Diuhl Olguin 125.4