Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
TWO of the world’s best fighters will soon headline another massive card in New York City, as pound-for-pound stars Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez prepare for their latest ring outings.
Both Golovkin and Gonzalez have become huge hits with fans from their exciting bouts in recent years, and American promoter Tom Loeffler has promised another boxing spectacle at Madison Square Garden on March 18.
Middleweight kingpin Golovkin is set to headline when colliding with latest challenge Daniel Jacobs, while close ally Gonzalez will defend his WBC super-flyweight crown against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in the co-main event.
“We are absolutely expecting a great show and great performances from all the fighters on the show,” Loeffler told Boxing News.
“‘GGG’ and ‘Chocolatito’ are in very tough match-ups, but there is a reason why they are considered the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and the best combination to headline a mega show like this at Madison Square Garden.”
Having rallied to the highest knockout percentage in the middleweight division’s history and currently boasting a fearsome 23 consecutive stoppage successes, Golovkin brings a wealth of excitement to the masses that now flock to arenas and tune in to witness his bouts.
“Gennady has become one of the biggest draws because he is always so exciting in the ring with 23 straight KOs,” continued Loeffler, the Managing Director of K2 Promotions.
“The fans know they are going to get action and not 12-round boring fights, plus he is very likeable outside the ring and someone you want to root for because he respects his opponents and the sport of boxing.”
The 34-year-old previously struggled to gain the bigger name opponents because of his own supreme streak, but an expected victory over ‘the Miracle Man’ in March should set up the huge showdowns he truly desires.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is the one foe that the Kazakh bulldozer is gunning for later in 2017 – along with most boxing fans worldwide.
Although, after many setbacks in negotiations for what would surely be the biggest match-up in the sport, Golovkin’s representatives have become frustrated with so many fighters using his name for publicity.
“It makes my job easier [promoting Golovkin] because people want to see him fight. It makes my job harder because it is very difficult to get people to agree to actually get in the ring with him instead of just talking about fighting him,” stated Loeffler.
“That’s why we give guys like Danny Jacobs, Kell Brook and David Lemieux a lot of respect. Gennady doesn’t respect the guys that use his name for PR and never want to actually fight him.
“Martin Murray is another, I didn’t want to leave him off the list. And Mathew Macklin, all world class fighters that agreed to get in the ring with the most feared fighter in boxing.
“I think if he is victorious on March 18, it will open up the doors for the bigger fights that he’s been looking for.”
While Golovkin is eagerly eyeing up Canelo or possibly Billy Joe Saunders, his fellow undefeated world champion and friend Gonzalez could be set for a second helping with stern former challenger Carlos Cuadras, if he can deal with the threat of Rungvisai next.
The pair of KO artists have featured on two Madison Square Garden cards before. Gonzalez dominated and halted Brian Viloria in nine rounds as Golovkin stopped David Lemieux, before outpointing McWilliams Arroyo on the same night that ‘GGG’ crushed Dominic Wade in two last year.
‘Chocolatito’ also shared television coverage with ‘Triple G’ when the latter arrived on UK soil to stop game IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook in London.
The widely-regarded pound-for-pound number one got the better of rugged Mexican Cuadras that night to make history, as he became the first ever Nicaraguan fighter to win world titles at four different weight classes.
That also saw Gonzalez headline a show for the first time in his career at The Forum in California, as he gallantly surpassed compatriot, idol and mentor Alexis Arguello, a former three-division world titlist, on American soil.
The 29-year-old’s previously forged partnership with Golovkin has seen him gain the grander platforms he rightly deserves, on which he can showcase his elite fighting skills in the squared-circle. It has also given fans the opportunity to see another, much smaller KO specialist alongside ‘GGG’.
“I think ‘GGG’ and ‘Chocolatito’ are the best combination in boxing and having them on the same show gives the fans exposure to their top level talent and excitement they both bring into the ring,” outlined Loeffler.
Appearances can be deceiving in boxing. At 5 foot 3 inches and having contested in the lower weight divisions, beginning at minimumweight, Gonzalez perhaps doesn’t paint the picture of an intimidating knockout artist like Golovkin. Though, he’s devastatingly effective nevertheless.
Despite his small stature, ‘Chocolatito’ has been rampantly rallying his way through opponents with his brilliant blend of technical astuteness and hurtful power. An impressive 38 KO’s from 46 professional bouts isn’t bad for a man of his size.
The unbeaten WBC super-flyweight champion is tipped for a mouth-watering collision with Japan’s reigning WBO titlist Naoya Inoue in the near future, since making the jump to 115lbs.
Gonzalez’s possible Inoue bout or a rematch with Cuadras add to some of the intriguing fights potentially on the boxing horizon in 2017, along with Golovkin’s globally anticipated clash with Mexican superstar Canelo.
Although, such high-profile outings will depend on the duo getting through their next ring outings on March 18, on a night that promoter Tom Loeffler is promising will be another spectacle for the fans in the Big Apple.
“Fans are set to witness an exciting night of world championship boxing with a great atmosphere in the ‘Mecca of Boxing’ with some of the best boxers in the world.”