Updated: Jun 9, 2019
Gennady Golovkin returns to the ring on June 8th to take on the undefeated Steve Rolls at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The former middleweight king Golovkin has not fought since losing a controversial decision to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez back in September of last year. The fight can be seen live on DAZN in the USA and on Sky Sports Action in the UK.
Tale of the Tape – Golovkin vs. Rolls
|Gennady Golovkin||Steven Rolls|
|Record||38-1-1 (34 KOs)||19-0-0 (10 KOs)|
Fight Breakdown – Golovkin vs. Rolls
Gennady Golovkin is one of the best middleweight boxers of all time. With a record twenty consecutive title defenses at 160 pounds (tied with Bernard Hopkins), Golovkin has already cemented his place in the sport’s history. After two close battles with Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez that resulted in Alvarez taking Golovkin’s three world titles, “GGG” is looking to work his way back to the top of the division and earn a trilogy fight.
Steve Rolls is a former Canadian amateur standout who turned pro in 2011. The 35-year-old has compiled an undefeated record of 19-0 in the pros thus far, with his last fight against KeAndre Leatherwood resulting in a one-sided unanimous decision. Rolls won the NABF super welterweight strap back in 2015 and the USBA middleweight belt when he defeated Leatherwood.
I have not seen a lot of quality tape on Rolls, but from what I can tell, he is technically sound and displays a high boxing IQ in the ring. Rolls likes to throw the jab and has decent inside fighting ability. He does not have huge power, but he appears to have enough pop to keep most opponents honest. One thing to look out for is Rolls’ body work; he loves to throw the left hook to the liver which could be a factor in this fight.
Golovkin is an experienced power puncher with a granite chin. Though he is known for his come-forward, “Mexican style”, Golovkin has the ability to box when he wants to using his hard, accurate jab and good footwork. His biggest weakness is his lack of top-tier hand speed. Against fighters like Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez, Golovkin has been beaten to the punch on the inside at times and lost rounds because of it. Golovkin can also get a bit sloppy at times when he starts head hunting. Now, with that being said, when GGG is on his A-game, he is arguably still the #1 middleweight in the world today at age 37.
Facing a fighter who has never been knocked down (or even noticeably hurt for that matter) like Gennady Golovkin is a tough task. To give himself the best chance to win, Rolls needs to keep his distance, move around the ring, and throw combinations whenever he gets stuck to keep Golovkin occupied. If Golovkin comes into this fight gunning for the knockout from the start, he could make more mistakes than usual, so Rolls should do his best to make GGG miss and make him pay. For Golovkin, all he needs to do is stay patient and work behind the jab, because for him, all it takes is one well-placed punch to put anybody to sleep.
Prediction – Golovkin vs. Rolls
I predict a mid-round knockout victory for Gennady Golovkin. GGG may be getting old, but he still has what got him to the top, his world-class power. After going twenty-four rounds with a fighter like Canelo Alvarez, I think Golovkin will be ready for anything Rolls brings to the ring on Saturday night. Steve Rolls is not going to go down easily, but I believe once Golovkin gets settle in and starts landing, it is only a matter of time.
As we saw last Saturday in the same arena, anything can happen in boxing. Rolls is undefeated, has a good amateur background, is motivated and confident, and is the younger man. While highly unlikely, if Golovkin were to get careless or make too many mistakes trying to force a big knockout, you never know. Rolls could pull it off.
If Golovkin dominates Rolls, does he earn himself another fight with Canelo? Who has the advantage at this point in both men’s careers? Comment below with your prediction for Golovkin vs. Rolls