AMERICAN middleweight Willie Monroe Jr knows exactly what it’s like to fight feared world champion Gennady Golovkin. He lost inside six rounds to him in 2015. It gives him a unique insight into how ‘GGG’ will fare against Canelo Alvarez.
“Don’t get me wrong, Golovkin was skilled and he’s strong. He’s everything that he’s supposed to be. But that moment early in my career, I was 19-1, you’re going into the belly of the beast, you’re fighting in front of 15,000 people and 14,990 are for him, it’s a scary situation. You got to do what you’ve got to do,” Monroe told Boxing News. “He has hard hands. He’s not the most forceful I’ve been hit by, I spar with heavyweights and stuff but he has hard hands, really hard hands, really solid hands.
“He’s awkward, he’s skilfully awkward. It’s hard to deal with an awkward fighter but when you deal with an awkward fighter that’s also skilful, it makes it that much harder.”
But Monroe’s experience leads him to believe that Canelo Alvarez will beat Golovkin when the two box on September 16, the same day that Monroe challenges WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders.
“I think Canelo stops him in 10 rounds. If you watch my fight, rounds three, four and five on the inside, he really couldn’t do nothing with me. That’s when I really started getting off. I was so damaged by then, from trying to fight him at mid-range that I couldn’t get off the way I wanted because of how strong he was. But somebody like Canelo is going to be fighting like that from the jump, definitely,” Monroe said.
“If you’re too far away from him, or too close to him, he doesn’t fight well. When you’re right in his wheelhouse, he’s extremely dangerous. Extremely dangerous. He doesn’t fight real good close. And Canelo’s real good in close. Canelo’s even learned a shoulder roll, like Floyd a little bit. He’s younger, Canelo’s strong also. He’s got power, he’s got speed, I give the edge to Canelo.”
Monroe insists he has learned from his experience for his own world title fight against Saunders. “I learned a lot from the fight. I learned a lot about the business, I learned a lot about the politics of the game, I learned a lot about stuff like this. That’s why this is going to be easy. This is my second opportunity,” Willie said. “I think he’s smart. He tried to insult me but he didn’t go as deep as he did [with others]. He’s knows he’s in here with the real.
“He knows he’s in here with somebody that’s coming to whoop his ass. That’s why he was talking like that. He didn’t get too rowdy though. You see in his other press conferences he got rowdy and all that. You see he didn’t do that. He isn’t stupid.”
Watch Monroe’s press conference with Saunders here: