Atlas: Monroe is going to need some offense to hold Golovkin off
By Dan Ambrose: If #2 WBA contender Willie Monroe Jr. (19-1, 6 KOs) is to have a chance to win tonight’s fight against IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs), he’s going to need to find some offense somewhere.
ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas says he sees Monroe as a good fighter defensively with his Floyd Mayweather Jr-like fighting style, but he feels that Monroe is going to need to do a lot more on offense for him to hold off a puncher like Golovkin in their fight at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Atlas doesn’t think Monroe is going to be able to hold off Golovkin by landing pot shots with his left hand and looking to counter him at every opportunity. Atlas doesn’t think that Monroe’s tendency to stay on the move will serve him in this fight, because Golovkin will quickly figure him out and get to him with his power shots.
“The answer is probably slim and none,” Atlas said via ESPN about Monroe’s chances of beating Golovkin. “The approach of Monroe, who did well, he won the Boxcino tournament, and I give him all the credit and I like him. His approach is going to be a little like Mayweather. He doesn’t give out exciting fights. He’s concerned with taking the air out of the balloon. So he cares about the same things that Mayweather does.”
That’s Monroe’s whole problem, his lack of offense. He’s a good pot shot type fighter, but that style only works against guys with average offensive skills. We saw Monroe lose to journeyman Darnell Boone, who put a lot of pressure on Monroe and nailed him constantly with hard shots in their fight in 2011.
Guys that put a lot of pressure on Monroe are going to force him to punch, and that’s not something that he does very well. Monroe is a poor man’s version of Mayweather Jr. in my estimation, and he’s a lot easier to hit. When his opponents come at him, he either runs or holds. He can’t win like that against the big named fighters because the judges won’t give him many rounds.
Monroe is going to need some actual offense for him to compete against Golovkin, and I’m not sure that Monroe is capable of that. He’s too weak of a puncher, and he hates to stand in the pocket because of the shots he’s forced to absorb.
“His [Monroe] philosophy is a little similar believe it or not,” Atlas said “If you come in six inches with Mayweather, he goes back ten, and that’s what Monroe does. He uses his legs to control range, control distance, to make you miss, to create gaps, holes where he can fill them with counter punching. He’s going to have to do that, but he’s going to have to do more. That’s move in and out. You come in, he goes back, and he creates those gaps. He hopes he goes back at the right time, but he’s going to need another dimension. If he doesn’t do that, Golovkin is going to figure him out pretty fast. That’s the thing that concerns me. It’s not his [Monroe] defense so much. He will play that game that Mayweather does, controlling range, sliding out on you, and picking those gaps, making you fall short, hoping to create those counter punching opportunities. But he’s going to have to come up with some real offense to hold this man [Golovkin] off. He’s not a puncher, Monroe. He’s accurate, he’s a good boxer, but he’s going to need more than just a jab and a straight left from the southpaw position. He’s going to need maybe a body shot, something to slow down Golovkin. With all that’s in front of him, he’s [Golovkin] got 12 rounds by the way, to be able to figure out what he’s doing and make that ring too small for Monroe to deal with,” Atlas said.
I don’t think this fight is going to go too well for Monroe because he’s likely going to be focusing too much on trying not to get hit, and that’s going to result in him giving up every round of the fight until he gets knocked out. If Monroe runs constantly, he might be able to survive the full 12 rounds, but he’s going to stink up the joint. Monroe will lose all the rounds, and wind up looking bad.
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