Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Kamil Szeremeta possible for late March
By Barry Holbrook: Gennadiy Golovkin will likely be back in the ring in late March to defend his IBF middleweight title against mandatory Kamil Szeremeta challenger, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
The good news for GGG’s boxing fans is he’s expected be in action in the next three months, but the band news is it’s going to be against Szeremeta and NOT a high level opponent. Szeremeta is unbeaten, but his resume is weak, very weak. If this is the kind of mandatory defenses GGG is going to be forced to make as the IBF belt holder, he might as well vacate. He doesn’t have enough years left in the sport to be wasting time on guys with arguably inflated rankings.
Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) and his promoter Tom Loeffler wanted to get the International Boxing Federation’s mandatory defense out of the way early so that they could be available for bigger fights.
Very little interest in Golovkin vs. Szeremeta fight
The fans DON’T want to see Golovkin-Szeremeta based on the social media reaction to this fight, and it’s arguably a mistake on Golovkin’s part in facing the little known Polish fighter right now. Given Golovkin’s controversial win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October, that’s the guy that GGG should be fighting right now. It would be risky for GGG to face Derevyanchenko again due to the bigger money fight that the Kazakhstan fighter is trying to get against Canelo Alvarez. Derevyanchenko did a better job against Golovkin than Canelo did.
People want to see Golovkin face Canelo in a trilogy fight, and that’s the match that DAZN wants as well. Canelo has been dragging his feet on the idea of facing GGG again, and saying that he doesn’t view as a challenge to him.
DAZN signed Canelo thinking that he would face Golovkin a third time, but the Mexican star might want the deal to be sweetened before he agrees to a third fight. Whether DAZN will bump up Canelo’s pay for a trilogy match with GGG is unknown at this time.
GGG has the perfect showcase opportunity against Szeremeta
Golovkin’s decision to face Szeremeta in March makes it impossible for him to face Canelo in May, but he probably had no chance of getting that fight anyway. In facing Szeremeta, Golovkin has someone that he can look against in a showcase fight, and that’ll help him gain back some boxing fans that may have lost after his controversial decision win over Derevyanchenko last October.
The light hitting Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KOs) hasn’t faced a high level opponent during his seven-year professional career, and he’s been given the IBF mandatory spot without having fought anyone of note. Szeremeta’s resume is littered with no names from top to bottom. In looking at all the obscure opposition Szeremeta has faced, it’s a wonder that the IBF has him even in the top 15.
Here are the Szeremeta’s last 10 opponents:
- Oscar Cortes
- Edwin Palacios
- Andrew Francillette
- Ruben Diaz
- Alessandro Goddi
- Sebastian Skrzypczynski
- Jose Antonio Villalobos
- Kassim Ouma – 41-years-old
- Artem Karpets
- Patrick Mendy
Just based on the low level opposition that Szeremeta has faced during his career, he arguably shouldnt be ranked anywhere near the #1 spot in this writer’s opinion.
Golovkin to defend IBF belt against Szeremeta
With a KO percentage of 23.81, Szeremeta poses very little threat to GGG. Szeremeta did look good in knocking out his last opponent Oscar Cortes in the 2nd round on October 5 in fighting on the undercard of Golovkin vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko, but that was a rare KO for the Polish fighter.
“There’s a possibility of him fighting at the end of March,” said Hearn about Golovkin. “It has a lot to do with who Canelo fights, and you kind of have to wait for that. We’ve got Golovkin, Callum Smith, and Billy Joe. They’re all queuing up for that fight,” said Hearn.
A lot of boxing fans think the 37-year-old Golovkin is just looking to cash out with big money fights against Canelo Alvarez, and not interested in taking on high level opposition. Golovkin recently signed a lucrative deal with DAZN that could finish his career by the time he’s done with it. Since signing with DAZN, Golovkin has little known 35-year-old Steve Rolls and Derevyanchenko.
GGG stopped Rolls in the 4th round last June at Madison Square Garden in New York. In Golovkin’s last fight, he won a controversial 12 round unanimous decision over Derevyanchenko on October 5 at MSG in New York. Golovkin was hurt in the fight by a body shot in the 5th, and he looked close to being stopped. The fans booed when the results were announced, as many of them thought New Yorker Derevyanchenko should have had his hand raised.
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