Golovkin v Brook: How Sheffield’s middleweight challenger can conquer ‘GGG’


Lee Gormley | September 6, 2016

Golovkin v Brook tips for fight night

Sheffield’s Kell Brook faces arguably the toughest task in boxing this Saturday night, as he moves up two weight classes to challenge unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin at the O2 Arena in London.

The reigning IBF welterweight titlist has a daunting night ahead this weekend, as he prepares to go toe-to-toe with one of the sport’s most avoided and feared fighters, with ‘GGG’ also hoping to enjoy a successful debut on UK soil.

‘Special K’ will need to produce the performance of his career in order to gain any success against the Kazakhstan bulldozer, and ahead of fight night, Coral outline Golovkin v Brook tips on how the latter can potentially pull off an incredible shock in the capital.

How ‘Special K’ can cause a ‘GGG’ upset

Brook will enter the ring on Saturday night as the massive 4/1 outsider with Coral to pull off one of the biggest upsets the sport has ever witnessed, with no reigning welterweight champion having moved up to beat a defending middleweight title holder for over 50 years.

After a summer break, the scene is set for an intriguing new boxing season curtain raiser, and standing in front of Yorkshireman Brook will be the undefeated WBA Super, WBC, IBF and IBO kingpin, who is the odds-on 1/3 favourite for an incredible 23rd consecutive knockout.

Despite the odds being well and truly stacked against ‘Special K’, the Dominic Ingle trained challenger is highly confident he can hand Golovkin his first professional defeat in what will be the champion’s 36th outing, but he will need to stick to a solid gameplan.

Simply put, trading blows with ‘GGG’ is a recipe for disaster, with the Kazakh possessing devastating power in both hands, including in his jab. The 34-year-old is capable of viciously rocking opponents’ head back with just his jab, showcased in the early stages of his bouts against David Lemieux and Martin Murray.

In order to get a foothold on proceedings early on and set himself up for the latter rounds, Brook will need to consistently be first to the jab and avoid that marginally longer reach of ‘GGG’.

Movement and speed key to shocking odds

The Sheffield native must be on the move constantly and become a rapidly moving target, slipping, rolling and using his reliable footwork to get around the ring safely, as Golovkin can swiftly punish any lack of motion.

Brook has made a massive jump up in weight from 147lbs to 160lbs and, if his speed is still intact from his time as a welterweight like recently claimed, he will need to use this to his advantage. Speed is key, especially against a fighter than can pressure and bully his rivals constantly throughout the rounds.

Keeping off the ropes is a must for Brook, with Golovkin having proved he can end a fight brutally when forcing opponents against them or in the corner, with his gut-wrenching body shot finish of Matthew Macklin in 2013 being a perfect example.

Liverpool’s four-time world title challenger Murray was also forced into covering up on the ropes in his eventual 11th-round stoppage defeat to the Kazakh wrecking ball, while he was also able to put Marco Antonio Rubio’s lights out with a well-timed left hand over the Mexican’s high guard while cornered.

Heading to the scorecards?

It’s not just Golovkin’s immense punching power that strikes fear into his opponents, but the fact he also possesses a granite chin is another worrying aspect for Brook. The unbeaten champion has never been stopped, and reportedly hasn’t even been put on the canvas before, including throughout his amateur days.

So, it’s likely Brook’s gameplan will be to try and take things to the scorecards this weekend, something no fighter has done in the ring with Golovkin since Algerian Amar Amari lost a unanimous decision over eight rounds.

In order to do so, ‘Special K’ will need to preserve plenty of energy from the early stages in order to stand a chance of getting through to the latter rounds, though it may be a difficult task at a bigger weight.

As seen in the UFC when Conor McGregor was stunningly submitted by Nate Diaz in their initial meeting in March, the Irishman completely ran out of steam early on because of the extra pounds and lack of efficiency. Though, whether Brook can sustain his energy with the extra weight won’t be clear until fight night, having not taken on any warm-up bouts beforehand.

Switching to southpaw at times during this risky match-up may also reap its rewards for Brook, with such a tactic possibly creating new openings for him to exploit as Golovkin hunts him down around the ring.

‘GGG’ is 7/2 to halt Brook’s efforts inside rounds 1-3 on his UK debut this weekend but, with belief and confidence seemingly high in the challenging camp, the latter Sheffield star will look to stun the dominant middleweight champion. Though it’s a truly colossal assignment.


Read our extensive boxing archive ahead of the big fight this weekend.

How do you see Golovkin v Brook going? Have your say below in our comments section!

Have a look back at Gennady Golovkin’s best knockouts before his UK debut this weekend.

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