Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Steve Rolls Full Preview:
Gennadiy Golovkin’s first fight since losing a rematch to Canelo Alvarez isn’t exactly one to inspire a ton of excitement, but there is plenty to be paying attention for. The intrigue in this fight is not in the combatants themselves, but in the multiple storylines involving the A-side.
Golovkin will face unbeaten rising middleweight contender Steve Rolls on June 8 at Madison Square Garden in the main event of a boxing card to be streamed on DAZN. The fight will be Golovkin’s first in a three-year, six-fight deal with the streaming service that opens up a potential trilogy fight against Alvarez.
Of course, that all depends on if Golovkin beats Rolls, but there is no doubt that he is not only a heavy favorite to win, but also could be facing Alvarez this September if DAZN had its way. There is one big difference from Golovkin’s last fight to this upcoming fight against Rolls that does not have to do with the broadcast platform.
Gone from Golovkin's team is long-time trainer Abel Sanchez and in his place is Johnathon Banks, a pupil of the late Emanuel Steward and former trainer to Wladimir Klitschko. Looking at pre-fight workout videos, there seems to be more pep in Golovkin's step and now the former middleweight champion isn't the top fighter in the division.
That honor belongs to Alvarez, who now owns three of the four middleweight titles after beating Golovkin in the fall of 2018. But with the absence of the titles came a little less pressure on Golovkin’s world titles, he seems much more lively this time around and we could potentially see the beginning of a slightly improved Golovkin, which, in the best case scenario, would see him remain the most dangerous 160-pound boxer in the world outside of Alvarez.
We might not be able to see the fruits of Banks’ labor given that Rolls isn’t an opponent that will provide much of a challenge to Golovkin on paper. More than anything, it is entirely possible (and to some people, probable) that this fight will end in the same way Golovkin’s fight against Vanes Martirosyan in May 2018 ended with the Kazakh fighter winning by second-round knockout. If the June 8 bout ends up being anything close to what we see in May 2018, then we won’t really know how much better (or worse) Golovkin is with Banks as his new trainer.
“I think it’s going to be a very interesting matchup, because with Steve Rolls, he’s fighting for his chance to a new life. And that never should be overlooked. It’s the same thing I said two weeks ago about Andy Ruiz, when I was asked about that. I said, I just hope Joshua is focused and ready to go because Andy Ruiz is fighting for his life. When you have a guy who has nothing to lose and everything to gain, that becomes the most dangerous man you’ve ever faced. And that’s Steve Rolls. There’s nothing about Rolls that’s being overlooked, there’s nothing about him that’s being underestimated. GGG and I do plan on being successful on Saturday night. The fact that we’re not overlooking him, that’s not going to change our plan to be successful on Saturday night. I hope the crowd is satisfied with the victory. This man is already a complete package. My goal, my vision is to get the knockout. The goal is always the knockout. Only difference now is it’s a different way of going about it. We’re doing multiple things, and hoping to still get it. And if we don’t, still get that decision. We had such a short period of time. I think we jived together right away. For me and GGG, it was like ice cream and cake. I think certain things just fit well together, there’s no explaining,” Banks said in the final press conference during fight week.
Below is the full card:
- Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Steve Rolls: 164-pound catchweight
- Ali Akhmedov vs. Marcus McDaniel: WBC International super middleweight title
- Charles Conwell vs. Courtney Pennington: USBA junior middleweight title
- Israil Madrimov vs. Norberto Gonzalez
- Brian Ceballo vs. Bakhitar Eyubov
- Johnathan Arroyo vs. Jordan Morales
- Nikita Ababiy vs. Juan Francisco Lopez Barajas
Tale of the Tape:
Record: 38-1-1 (34 KO)
Titles Won: WBA “Super” Middleweight, WBC Middleweight, IBF Middleweight, IBO Middleweight World Titles
Notable Opponents: Canelo Alvarez, Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, David Lemieux, Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Matthew Macklin
Record: 19-0 (10 KO)
Titles Won: USBA Middleweight Title
Notable Opponents: Demond Nicholson
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