The Big Question: Golovkin vs Brook - who wins?

Boxing Monthly
03/09/2016 10:48am

With the intriguing contest between unified middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin and IBF welter king Kell Brook on 10 September drawing ever closer, we asked the Boxing Monthly online team a simple question - who wins?

Golovkin. I can’t see how Brook wins. With Khan vs Canelo the argument was that Khan had the better boxing and speed, but I don’t see any huge advantages for Brook. OK, he's a big welter who is probably more suited to light middle, and a slick boxer. But Golovkin can certainly box when he needs to, such as against big hitting David Lemieux, when he jabbed the Canadian's head off. I also don’t believe Brook's resume is all that better than Golovkin's. The Porter win for the man from Sheffield was very good but I am not convinced Jo Jo Dan, Frankie Gavin and Kevin Bizier are any better than recent Golovkin opponents Willie Monroe Jr, Lemieux or Dominic Wade.

I expect Brook to start well but get worn and walked down by Golovkin by the middle to late rounds. - James Oddy

Who wins? Golovkin.  A good big man always beats a good small man. I reckon the eighth or ninth round is on the cards after Brook gives a bloody good showing. - Colin Harris

If the bookies put the over/under for GGG-Brook at six rounds, bet the over. Contrary to most Golovkin bouts, this one will start slow. Brook will use movement on the outside and smothering tactics on the inside to nullify the attack from his naturally stronger opponent, and I do believe he will have some success in the early rounds. However, Golovkin is not above punching shoulders and arms, and his stalking will begin to wear the hometown fighter down in the middle rounds.

I look for Special K to make one last stand around the seventh round before ultimately being stopped in the eighth. This will not be a highlight reel KO via Canelo-Khan, but rather an accumulation ref/corner stoppage.

Golovkin TKO8. Brook dumps his WW title and settles at JMW going forward. - Michael Montero

The bookmakers give Kell Brook a better chance of upsetting Golovkin than any of his opponents, since Grzegorz Proksa. These odds are a reflective of the fact that Brook is the most complete fighter GGG has faced as a pro. Brook is an unknown quantity at this weight, but it's hard to look past Golovkin. - John Angus MacDonald

Kell Brook has taken on the challenge that a lot of fighters won't (some might say like GGG himself) by moving up in weight and facing a dangerous and hard-hitting champion in Gennady Golovkin.

I rate Brook highly and am on record as calling him the best welterweight in the world, post Floyd Mayweather. That judgement is based more on talent than actual accomplishment. Since beating Shawn Porter, in a stellar performance, he has become the king of the mandatories, facing opposition (in Jo Jo Dan, Frankie Gavin and Kevin Bizier) that will not prepare him for this challenge. Golovkin is not only a thunderous puncher but has a tremendous jab and strong ring generalship.

While I'm a big fan of Brook and not completely sold on Golovkin, I think Brook has bitten off more than he can chew here. You could almost say that literally with his extremely high 30-day check weigh-in weight of 176lbs. That rang alarm bells with me - putting on close to 30lbs after a fight is not a good thing however you spin it, and my concern is the extra weight will affect his ability to avoid Golovkin's power shots.

While I can see Brook lasting the distance, I'm inclined to pick a stoppage win for Golovkin and a quick one. Golovkin TKO by Round 5. - Callum Rudge

I've spent hours and hours thinking about this fight since it was announced and I've yet to come up with a way that Brook can seriously trouble Golovkin, let alone beat him.

Brook is a very good fighter. He's one of four or five men whose name you would underline when considering who the best welterweight on the planet is. By all accounts, he has exceptional timing and is a very good judge of distance. I'm sure Brook will look in tremendous shape on the scales and I fully expect him to be better than ever on 10 September.

Brook doesn't have the numbing power to stop Golovkin's relentless pursuit. He won't be able to neutralise Golovkin inside if and when the Kazakh closes him down. He can't hope to outbox Golovkin, who - despite some bizarre claims in the build up - won't simply be reduced to a one dimensional plodder if Brook somehow manages to take his power out of the equation. Brook has never felt anything remotely like the strength, accuracy and weight of punch that Golovkin will impose on him and the chances of him outlasting Golovkin and taking over down the stretch are minimal.

Brook has struggled mightily on the past to boil down to 147lbs, but assuming he can beat the best middleweight on the planet simply because he will be able to weigh 160lbs is to totally neglect the thousands of hours that Golovkin has spent mauling, punching, wrestling and hurting men weighing far more than him. Weighing 160lbs is one thing, acquiring the strength and stamina to fend off a career middleweight is quite another.

Golovkin never rushes his work but is under constant pressure to turn in destructive performances. Brook might pinch an early round or two as adrenaline surges through his veins, but as soon as Golovkin feels comfortable, the pressure will ratchet up. If Brook wins, it will be the biggest upset in British boxing history. Golovkin inside 6. - John Evans

In spite of the weight division controversy, I was intrigued by this fight from the start. Brook is a very well-rounded fighter with good technique, speed, and reflexes. Golovkin is, obviously, especially famous for his concussive power, but he's an excellent boxer too with a very underrated jab. He's very durable and as there is no chance of Brook knocking him out, as I see it, then Brook will have to sustain accuracy and flawless evasive action for 12 rounds against a fighter who is particularly skilled at cutting off the ring. As harsh as it sounds, I feel Brook's skills and activity may only really give this fight the illusion of being competitive. Once Golovkin connects, it's game over. I'm concerned that the skills Brook relies on - speed, agility, and reflexes - may not have followed him up in weight, even if he is able to look good for a few rounds. I'm personally expecting Golovkin to want to box well initially in order to give his recognisable "big drama show", before ending the fight decisively - and destructively - after a brave and game showing from Brook. Golovkin within 8. - Jessica E. Sinyard

When Puerto Rican star Felix Trinidad, long-term holder of the IBF welterweight belt Kell Brook wears, stepped up to middleweight (via a short stop at 11 stone) he blasted out belt holder William Joppy in five rounds before an electrified Madison Square Garden in 2001.

Of course, Trinidad was dominated soon after by the man revealed as the one true King (no promotional pun intended) of the middleweights, Bernard Hopkins, at the same emotional post 9/11 venue.

Were Brook challenging a mere belt holder in the mould of Joppy (who himself shamelessly feasted on the carcass of all-time great former lightweight Roberto Duran) I'd give the Sheffield man a decent chance. Brook may in fact be, as his promotional team often parrot, the best welterweight in the world based on a close but convincing away win v Shawn Porter. Granted, Brook is extremely big and strong at welter and possesses the skill set to match up against anyone at the lower weight.

Of course, Gennady Golovkin is the real deal and a different matter entirely. Although absent of the lineal title, we know that's because holder Saul Alvarez, who famously claimed Mexicans don't "f*ck around" when asked if he'd sign a WBC mandated GGG bout, did exactly that in starving back down a division to fight Liam Smith in a less anticipated bout. All signs are that Golovkin is cut from the same hard middleweight cloth as predecessors Bernard Hopkins and Marvin Hagler.

I expect Golovkin to start patiently, enjoying a wild London atmosphere where his fascinatingly paradoxical aura of everyman nice guy mixed with cold-blooded assassin will prompt at least a third of the crowd to cheer for the travelling King. Brook will score reasonably well, mainly with a sharp jab during these early periods.

Despite some excellent sparring with the 'Liams' Williams and Smith, Brook simply can't be prepared for GGG's power and measured aggression. US referee Charlie Fitch controlled Golovkin's 2012 defence against Grzegorz Proksa and told me he'd never witnessed such loud and damaging thuds from a fighter he described as incredibly efficient and ruthless.

My pick is for Dominic Ingle to pull a valiant, bloodied Brook out after suffering a number of knockdowns (at least one to the body) in the second half of an absorbing if largely uncompetitive bout. - Chris Williamson

When a fighter is unbeaten and untested at the most rarefied level of boxing - as both Golovkin and Brook are to a certain extent - you never quite know how good they are, or what they are going to produce when the chips are down. Golovkin has, of course, looked sensational of late, but who is the most accomplished man he has ever faced? David Lemieux? Martin Murray? Good fighters, yes, but hardly all time greats. The same goes for Brook - Shawn Porter has been a cut above the rest of his opposition, who have comprised fighters of a domestic or European level or on the fringes of world class.

Similarly, when a boxer moves up in weight you never quite know whether they are going to be able to carry it off or not - Sugar Ray Robinson, Emile Griffith and Sugar Ray Leonard were welterweights who looked pretty comfortable at middleweight whereas Jose Napoles, say, looked lost.

It's these unknowns that make this fight such a fascinating prospect. Of course, Golovkin should win, and win well, courtesy of a late rounds stoppage, but Brook is a determined and accomplished character who has all too often been overlooked. He will, I believe, put up a stern fight, possibly the sternest Golovkin has ever faced. - Luke G. Williams

Final count: Golovkin 9 Brook 0