Undefeated World Super Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin (31-1) fights his first fight of 2015 this Saturday (Feb. 21) in the European resort city of Monte Carlo when he faces rugged Martin Murray for the WBA, WBC and IBO world title belts at 160 lbs. Golovkin is one of the hottest names in boxing, having won most of the 2013 “Fighter of the Year” awards and placing in the top five for them in 2014, he is expected to have a very high profile 2015, and it all starts with Murray. Right now at the sport books, Golovkin is a major favorite, paying at (-3000) with Murray coming back with (+1500). The over/under for this twelve round bout is set at 7 ½, with the over paying (+130) and the under coming in at (-150). Murray is a tough customer, as his (29-1-1) record shows. His only loss was to Sergio Martinez when the Argentine was considered one of the top pound for pound fighters, and despite fighting in Argentina in front of more than 40,000 people, he dropped Martinez and forced the champion to close strong to win a close decision. His draw comes to Felix Sturm in Germany, and at the very least, the punch stat numbers were heavily slanted in favor of Murray. Murray has won four fights in a row since his setback to Martinez, and he has been eyeing Golovkin for a while. Back in June of 2014, the Murray fought Max Bursak in Monaco, so the experience gives the fight a feel of being on neutral grounds. Golovkin is returning to Monaco, which has been a consistent stop on his tour of the world. Do not mistake Golovkin’s boyish smile and apparent easy going nature fool you into thinking he has anything less than total domination in mind. Murray is going to have a tough time matching boxing skill and speed with Golovkin, and Golovkin’s power is expected to test Murray’s sturdiness. Murray has never been down, but he does not have a lot of KO power himself. Murray has a tendency to take shots rather than be a brilliant defensive fighter, and letting Golovkin unload with power shots while you are trying to get enough points in to win over twelve rounds is a risky strategy to play against Golovkin. That the over is paying just (+130) mat be the most sure testament to how tough Murray really is. Consider this however, that though it is not fair to call Murray a British version of Marco Antonio Rubio, he brings roughly the same gameplan with a lot less KO power. Murray is widely expected to push Golovkin more than Rubio, a fight that may have been stopped early. Also on the card is the brother of top heavyweight Tyson Fury, as Hughie Fury faces off against Andriy Rudenko in a 10 round bout. Right now, Fury is a big (-900) favorite over Rudenko, who is coming back at (+600). This is a step up fight for Fury, as he is a perfect (14-0) but this match marks his first fight scheduled for 10 rounds. Rudenko has a record of (24-1) fighting mainly in his native Ukraine. In August of last year, he fought in England against Australia’s undefeated Lucas Browne, so he will be a known quantity to Fury and his handlers. Rudenko is going to be smaller than the 6’6 tall Fury, and he has the risk of ring rust, as the only fight he will have had in the last two years is the loss to Browne.
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