If anyone was in any doubt about the unpredictability of boxing, the extraordinary drama at Madison Square Garden last weekend confirmed there is no such thing in sport as a certainty.

Anthony Joshua’s stunning defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr was one of the biggest upsets in boxing history although defeat for Gennady Golovkin this weekend could even surpass this shock.

The Kazakhstan boxer faces unbeaten Canadian Steve Rolls at the same New York venue which hosted last week’s sensational heavyweight fight.

Golovkin is 1/100 for victory with his unheralded opponent 16/1 but few gave Ruiz Jr any hope of toppling Joshua so nothing should be taken for granted on Saturday night.

 

Gennady Golovkin

Former world middleweight champion Golovkin is determined to produce a convincing win which would likely result in a third showdown against rival Saul Alvarez later this year.

Golovkin has won 38 of his 40 professional fights with Canelo the only boxer he has failed to beat after a draw and loss against the Mexican superstar.

GGG is renowned as an explosive knockout artist with 34 of his victories coming by stoppage.

Golovkin defended his IBF, IBO and WBC world middleweight titles with a fifth round win over Kell Brook at the O2 in 2016, which was his 23rd knockout victory in succession.

In 2017 Golovkin failed to stop his first opponent for nine years as he claimed a unanimous decision over Daniel Jacobs.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18: Gennady Golovkin looks on against Daniel Jacobs during their Championship fight for Golovkin's WBA/WBC/IBF middleweight title at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

This set up the first fight against Alvarez and Golovkin was left frustrated after a controversial draw in Las Vegas despite strong claims for a win on points.

Golovkin claimed a record-equalling 20th consecutive world middleweight title defence after stopping Vanes Martirosyan last year.

But Alvarez unified the world titles last September after a majority decision in Vegas handed Golovkin the first defeat of his career.

It seems inevitable the two middleweight stars will agree to a trilogy, after two thrilling fights, but Golovkin must first ensure he does his job in style this weekend.

 

Steve Rolls

Rolls has won all 19 of his fights but comes in completely under the radar after a low key career in the ring.

The 35-year-old has won ten of his bouts inside the distance but is making a huge step up in class against Golovkin.

There are no big names on his record and Rolls comes in off a unanimous decision against KeAndrae Leatherwood in Toronto in December.

 

Golovkin v Rolls: The verdict

Golovkin has had plenty of time to recover since his last fight and the 37-year-old, who is working with Johnathon Banks for the first time, formerly Wladimir Klitschko’s trainer, will be expected to defeat Rolls comfortably enough.

It is 1/6 for Golovkin to win inside the distance but there is no guarantee of a quick finish. Only one of his last four fights have been settled inside six rounds and he comes up against an unbeaten boxer.

Golovkin should finish off Rolls and will want to look impressive to enhance his case for another fight against Canelo but the value could be in backing the fight to go at least six rounds at 6/5.

Tip: Over 5.5 total rounds

Odds are correct at the time of posting

Join the discussion