Perhaps one of, if not the most talked about fight that Boxing fans have been clamoring for both before and during the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic is a potential third encounter between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. The first two encounters a disputed draw and a narrow decision victory for Alvarez in the second encounter has left many feeling unsatisfied and the fact that a clear winner between the two is yet to be determined in the eyes of many has left a feeling that the rivalry between the two future Hall of Famers is unresolved.
Of course for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to the impacts of COVID-19, which could have delayed a third fight from happening in 2020, as well as a well-publicized legal dispute between Alvarez, his now former promoter Oscar De La Hoya, and digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN, it appeared as though a potential third encounter between the two was no longer a possibility. As many now know, Alvarez appears to be back on good terms with DAZN and will return to the ring in an attempt to win a world championship in the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division when he faces undefeated WBA world champion Callum Smith on December 19th in San Antonio, TX in a bout that DAZN will broadcast as part of its ongoing global launch.
On December 18th however, DAZN will also feature the return of Gennady Golovkin, now a two-time Middleweight world champion as he will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) world championship against undefeated current IBF number one Middleweight contender Kamil Szeremeta at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel And Casino in Hollywood, FL. Obviously, the sub-plot/narrative going into this fight for some will be that should both Golovkin and Alvarez be successful in these bouts that it could likely re-establish the collision course that the two have been on ever since Alvarez was able to score a narrow victory in their rematch in September 2018, which would obviously be a significant event not only for the sport of Boxing , but also for DAZN who now appears to be re-establishing its relationship with Alvarez following that well-publicized dispute that may ultimately be a bump in the road.
While a victory in Boxing and by extension all combat sports should never be viewed as a given because after all, anything can happen and with the Smith-Alvarez bout to be discussed in more detail in the coming days by yours truly here on The Boxing Truth®️, what type of challenge does Gennady Golovkin face in what will be his first title defense since regaining two portions of the World Middleweight championship?
In Kamil Szeremeta, Golovkin will face a former European Middleweight champion, who will enter the fight unbeaten in twenty-one professional bouts. Although Szeremeta is not known for his punching power having scored knockouts in only five of those twenty-one wins, he does have a come forward pressure style, which on the surface is not unlike the style that Golovkin used to carve his reputation as a “Knockout Artist.” The obvious difference is that Golovkin does have punching power and has shown the ability to knock an opponent out with either hand.
Despite his briefly holding the European Middleweight championship, Szeremeta has not fought fighters that are particularly well-known to the general public. What Szeremeta does have however, is a rather compact style in which he throws punches and particularly, does like to balance his offense to the body and head of his opponents by often throwing punches in short combinations. While the challenge for the challenger will be much like many previous Golovkin opponents in whether he will be able to avoid the champion’s power for the entire duration of the scheduled twelve round world champion bout, in Golovkin’s last fight in October of last year where he regained his standing as a World Middleweight champion, Sergiy Derevyanchenko consistently focused a portion of his attack on Golovkin’s body and appeared to have some success in being able to hurt him throughout the fight.
Although Golovkin was said to not be feeling well in the days prior to that fight, one could argue that Derevyanchenko was able to have more success against Gennady Golovkin than any previous opponent including Saul Alvarez. Whether or not Szeremeta will be able to implement elements of Derevyanchenko’s strategy into his own approach remains to be seen.
Given the difficulty that Golovkin had against Derevyanchenko and the feeling of some that at thirty-eight years old, he might be starting to decline as a fighter, it is logical to assume that the champion with much still at stake beyond his unified world championship will be looking to make a statement in his first title defense following what was a grueling battle against Derevyanchenko. Although many Boxing fans scoff at the concept of mandatory title defenses because there are times where mandatory challengers emerge as largely unknown figures as Szeremeta has, the old cliché of a fighter that has nothing to lose and everything to gain certainty applies to this encounter.
While Kamil Szeremeta may have nothing to lose by challenging a future Hall of Famer for his world championship, Golovkin has much to lose in this fight. Not only his unified world championship, but as the odd man out in the ongoing situation involving the career of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, with the relationship between Alvarez and DAZN appearing to be on a new chapter, it is crucial for Golovkin to not only retain his world championship, but also do so in such a way to fuel demand for the long anticipated third encounter between himself and Alvarez. While it remains to be seen whether Golovkin will be able to do this, there may be no better opportunity than to provide a strong argument for himself one evening before Alvarez himself enters the ring to challenge Callum Smith for his Super-Middleweight crown.
This observer for one cannot wait to see how this will play out.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
Golovkin vs. Szeremeta takes place on Friday, December 18th at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL. The fight as well as its full undefeated can be seen globally on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN beginning at 5PM ET/2PM PT (U.S. Time.) For more information about DAZN including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices/platforms/Smart TVs, availability around the world, and to subscribe please visit: www.DAZN.com.
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