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HBO Boxing Preview: Gennady Golovkin vs. Grzegorz Proksa

September roles around once more and with it, as always, comes a new season of Boxing. HBO kick things off tonight in New York, not with marquee names, but what on paper looks an excellent trade fight. Two European based standouts making their big show debuts in America – both with realistic argument for a top 10 ranking in one of the sport’s deepest divisions. Tonight should tell us which of them belong amongst the middleweight elite.

Golovkin will be viewed as the A-side in this one, but opinions on the Kazakh remain split. By some, he’s viewed as THE one to watch at 160 pounds. Others point to his age (no spring chicken at 30) and level of opposition (soft) as reason for caution. I fall into the former category.

While his best wins have come against “once good” fighters; it’s not who he’s beating, but how he’s doing it. This guy knocks out opponents who just don’t get knocked out. He’s got the physical strength, amateur pedigree (world – gold, Olympic – silver) and natural power to shake this division. His punch picking at times is a thing of beauty, he is clever at opening up defenses, and has superb timing and shot variety. We are talking about real high level boxing here.

In the opposite corner is current European champion Grzegorz Proksa. Comparisons are drawn between Proksa and Sergio Martinez based on their similar stance and unorthodox styles, but his work lacks the flow and finesse of that of the Argentine. He can look clunky and awkward at times, but it also makes him difficult for opponents to measure, and with the right openings, he can really bang to.

His total destruction of former world titlist Sebastian Sylvester last year appeared to put the division on notice. However, Proksa was brought right back to earth in his very next bout, when upset by light punching Welshman Kerry Hope. A terrible cut early in that one rattled him and Hope outhustled him after that to clinch a majority decision. He avenged that lone defeat last time out, this time dominating Hope and knocking him out badly in the 8th round, but questions will linger on. The Sylvester performance may have been, at least in part, a mirage, with the German being a spent force at the time they met.

My gut tells me that Proksa is a quality European level fighter, capable of going a grade higher with the right match up, but this is not it. I’m sticking my neck out on this one and saying Golovkin is something that bit special. I haven’t backed a middleweight like this since Martinez made the step up. Golovkin for my money is the heir apparent. He knows the score tonight; the W alone won’t be enough, if he wants a career in America’s big leagues, he needs to create demand for it. I don’t think this is going the distance and I don’t think it will be altogether competitive either.

Prediction: Golovkin within 8.
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2 thoughts on “HBO Boxing Preview: Gennady Golovkin vs. Grzegorz Proksa

  1. I’m really excited about this guy. I wanted to get this out there yesterday because I knew that most of the “who has he beaten?” brigade would be on board after the fight. I know that he wants to become a star and is going about it with the mindset of making a statement with each fight. If you get the chance; do absolutely check out the highlights or something. I would be interested in seeing what you thought.

    I think he can catch on as a really good TV fighter. His style is fantastic to watch, and he has that type of power that he doesn’t need to swing wild to be able to take somebody out at any second. He’s so heavy fisted and accurate that his regular shots land like wrecking balls. He’s also got a really different look and interview style, which I think will work in his favour to.

    And the thing is, I think he is actually better still than he was last night. He looked a little over eager to please and was forcing it more than usual, plus Proksa style is difficult to come to terms with. This is just scratching the surface.

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