This Saturday, HBO features the long awaited return of Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin (33-0) as he returns to the ring at New York’s Madison Square Garden to face David Lemieux (34-2). As expected, Golovkin is a prohibitive (-1900) favorite at the books, with Lemieux paying back at (+1200). The twelve round bout has an over/under set at just 5 ½, with the over paying (-135) and the under at (+115). With a combined 61 knock outs (30 for Golovkin, 31 for Lemieux) in 67 career wins for the two, the general consensus is that the fight will not go the twelve rounds. That is really the only chance Lemieux is getting, that of the big puncher, because the line indicates that at the end of the day, Golovkin is expected to notch a victory. The physical match-up is practically even, with reach being the same and Triple G just an inch taller. Lemieux is seven years younger at 26 years old, though at 33 Golovkin is considered to still be in his prime. The two men have a common opponent in rugged Mexican Marco Antonio Rubio. In April of 2011, the then (25-0) Lemieux was knocked out by Rubio, who was able to use good defense to get through Lemieux’s flurry of power shots. Rubio seemed to hurt Lemieux in the 6th round and by the 7th Lemieux’s corner stopped the fight to save their man from further punishment. Perhaps by late 2014 Rubio was a different fighter after so many wars, but Golovkin finished him in two rounds in a fight Rubio was never really in. Though the common opponent is sometimes leads to an unfair assessment of the fight, most people feel Golovkin’s skill level are more than a notch above. Does Lemieux have a chance? There is a quiet and small group that feels he does. Golovkin faced Willie Monroe Jr. in his last outing, and though he won the fight by KO, there were times where Monroe was able to back Triple GGG up as he landed clean shots. Monroe is a solid boxer, but he is not known for his punching power, and he was able to find holes in Triple G’s defenses. If Lemieux can land a few shots the way Monroe did, his punching power could be enough to actually hurt Golovkin.
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