On Saturday night, Golovkin vs Monroe Jr will be headlining at the Forum, Inglewood, California. Undefeated wrecking machine Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin will be looking to add to his unbeaten record by dispatching of challenger Willie Monroe Jr. Golovkin’s IBO and WBA (Super) Middleweight titles will be on the line.
Golovkin’s record stands at 32 wins, 29 knockouts, and Monroe’s 19 wins, 6 knockouts, 1 loss.
When it comes to analyzing this fight, it’s hard to see beyond any other result than a Golovkin win. And yes, by method of what else than knockout? Probably a particularly violent one, too.
But let’s forget about formidable ‘GGG’ and the hype that surrounds him for a second. Let’s take a look at what Monroe brings to the table.
Golovkin vs Monroe Jr: Strengths and Weaknesses
Willie Monroe Jr
The underdog without question. It’s hard to say exactly how good this young 28-year-old really is given his twenty-fight professional career. But we know enough about him to gauge just how well he might fair against Kazakhstan’s finest.
His biggest win to date was over Brian Vera in January, which saw New York’s Monroe score a 5th round knockdown and take home a shutout decision. But it’s generally accepted that Vera is more gatekeeper than champion-killer these days. He had two wars with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr a few years back, yes, but since then he’s failed to light up the boxing world.
What else? Monroe was the winner of ESPN’s Boxcino Middleweight Tournament, beating a then unbeaten Brandon Adams by a wide 10-round decision. These are Monroe Jr’s main achievements in the professional ranks. Throughout these fights Monroe has displayed very good skills, such as precise counter-timing, elusivity, and movement. He’s built a small highlight reel of his own – certainly against Vera – but we have to seriously consider the lighter opposition faced.
It’s worth noting that Monroe has tasted defeat against journeyman Darnell Boone back in 2011. Since then, Monroe has improved vastly, but a defeat is a defeat. Hopefully he can use it in a positive way when he dances with ‘GGG’. Getting on to weaknesses, one immediately has to consider the lack of knockouts on Monroe’s record.
Six in nineteen wins doesn’t sound like stats capable of deterring Golovkin from the onset. If we assume – or pretend – Golovkin had respect for Martin Murray’s reasonable power in February (a fighter with 12 KOs in 29 fights), it’s likely Golovkin won’t mind walking through the young Monroe’s shots to land his own more savage variety.
Then there’s the issue of Monroe not having gone the 12-round distance in his pro career. To look at the guy in training, it would seem fitness isn’t going to be an issue. He looks capable. But it’s something that may play on his mind if he’s still standing in the 10th round (the furthest he’s been in a bout).
Monroe Jr Keys to Victory
- Box, box, box – like his life depends on it
- Don’t trade with ‘GGG’ for any reason, even if Monroe is hurt
- Pepper ‘GGG’ with jabs center-ring and counter with singular shots when necessary
- Keep his back off the ropes at all costs
- Be elusive – try to tire and frustrate ‘GGG’ by making him hit air
If only it were that easy…
We’ll get the weaknesses out the way: there isn’t any. At least none the world has witnessed yet. Yes, he’s been tagged on occasion – but what great fighters haven’t? Men like Martin Murray and Marco Antonio Rubio have touched the guy with leather – but nothing noteworthy. ‘GGG’ is human – we’re pretty sure of it – and so he is apt to take a shot from time to time. Especially given his wrecking ball style. As it stands, he’s left few significant openings for his opponents to exploit. So, in hair-splitting fashion, we’ll just say his defense has ‘holes’.
Are there enough openings for Monroe to find on Saturday night? If the New Yorker can counter and time his shots well enough, sure. We’re not talking about a Floyd Mayweather exactly here. But with six knockouts on Monroe’s record, are his punches going to dent Golovkin’s armor? Unlikely. We haven’t seen Golovkin in with any true punchers, but if Murray, Rubio and Daniel Geale were unable to rattle ‘GGG’, logic states Monroe doesn’t possess enough whack in his arsenal, either.
We don’t really need to touch on Golovkin weaknesses in terms of footwork and punch technique, let alone power. His seek-and-destroy style and refusal to be backed up makes him one of the most terrifying fighters on the planet. So the above are unbelievable strengths. You don’t need to hit this guy to make him see red – Golovkin’s knockout switch is flicked on prior to the first bell.
He may seem humble on the surface, but it’s likely he wasn’t too impressed that Murray was able to stave off some attacks by being a ‘mover’. Now, our guess is that Golovkin despised having to almost go the full 12 back then, and to subsequently hear analysts comment that ‘movers’ may be his kryptonite. Golovkin will be looking to put that theory to bed and take out a mobile, athletic fighter like Monroe in style. Probably at the first chance.
Golovkin Keys to Victory
- Don’t change a darn thing
- Go out there and do what he does best
- Don’t let Monroe build momentum – cut the ring off, find him, and remove his mobility with shots to the body
Golovkin vs Monroe Jr: Prediction
Golovkin KO inside 6 rounds
This is a fight that could well end in the early rounds due to Golovkin’s superior power and experience – especially in big, international fights. But let’s be objective. As Monroe is probably one the fastest, mobile opponents Golovkin will have faced, his slippery, agile style will cause some temporary problems for ‘GGG’. Monroe will land some counters center-ring, but it’s on the ropes where he will increasingly find himself.
This is where Golovkin will back him up and do the crucial damage. Stoppage, straight out KO, Retirement – whatever it is – Golovkin will become 33-0 before the 6th round is through.
That’s our prediction for Saturday. But what about yours? How do you see this fight going down, and will ‘GGG’ be picking up his twentieth consecutive knockout? Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to check back in at BoxingBase.com later for the Live Stream Golovkin vs Monroe Jr Weigh-In.
In the meantime, if you’re still craving more, check out the Kazakhstan monster’s scary mitt training workout. How can Abel Sanchez’s hands take such punishment!
The BoxingBase.com writing staff provide worldwide boxing news, coverage and analysis – they can be contacted via email and social media.