One of two physical attributes that will be almost impossible to measure for Brook, as he will be debuting at middleweight.
However Golovkin has made the weight his home and decorated the walls with the scalps of 35 victims. Only three of those have managed to hear the final bell against ‘GGG’ – the last was Amar Amari in 2008.
The Kazakh wrecking ball is arguably the hardest puncher around at the moment and holds the highest knockout percentage in middleweight championship history. Overall, it’s 91 per cent but all of his world title fights have ended early.
At welterweight, Brook is a strong puncher but by no means the force of nature Golovkin appears to be at 160lbs. The unbeaten Sheffield star has required the judges just twice in the past four years, to outpoint Carson Jones and Shawn Porter. A 2013 four-round blitzing of Vyacheslav Senchenko highlights Brook’s ability to hurt quality opponents early.
However we can only speculate as to what effect the jump in weight will have on his power. The added mass is likely to bring more to his shots, as long as he can deliver them as sharply as he does at 147.
GOLOVKIN 10 – 8 BROOK
Part of Golovkin’s destructive mastery is his ability to launch his gloved missiles with alarming speed, leaving many to wonder how he generates such power. He counters well when required and has a tendency to sneak in a left hook to the body after a swift one-two.
His footwork, while not rapid, allows him to cut the ring off better than most active fighters.
Again, it is difficult to assess whether the extra poundage will slow Brook down or not. At welter, he is a sharp and crisp puncher who puts together punishing combinations. It doesn’t take Brook long to build momentum and when he does, it’s a big ask to slow him down.
He’s also terrificly fit and, if he and his team are to be believed, will have much more in the tank without the drastic weight cut to 147. Brook has also frequently mentioned speed when asked about his preparations for Golovkin, suggesting he may focus on it on fight night.
GOLOVKIN 8 – 8 BROOK
With over 350 amateur contests to his name and an Olympic silver medal to boot, Golovkin has a quality skill set and is a decent defensive fighter – he’s just not really needed to draw on that side of his style much as a pro.
A frequent criticism of Golovkin is that he can be hit a lot, however this is only the case when he has felt an opponent’s power, deemed it acceptable, and worn them down to the point they are no longer dangerous. Conversely, when he fought dynamite-fisted David Lemieux, ‘GGG’ boxed beautifully off the jab and never allowed Lemieux near him. His ability to dictate distance and range in the ring is one of his key assets.
Brook, moulded in the Ingle’s Wincobank gym, is a difficult man to pin down. Shifting his body in unorthodox ways, sometimes with his hands down, while darting in and out of range makes him a tricky target. Sparring partners and former foes alike have mentioned how difficult he can be to hit; Shawn Porter was never really able to catch him clean when they fought.
Jones did, however, in 2012 and it was a tough night for Brook, who admitted he did not have the best preparation for the bout. That bout also showed Brook can sometimes see the red mist and elect to stand and trade when perhaps he should box and move – though in a fight of this magnitude against a puncher like Golovkin, he is unlikely to make such a choice.
GOLOVKIN 8 – 9 BROOK
Golovkin has arguably taken shots from bigger punchers, for example Curtis Stevens in 2013 and Lemieux, and is yet to be really wobbled. He has never been down as a professional and it is alleged that the same goes for his amateur career, which would be an incredible feat.
Comfortable at 160, he is clearly able to take a shot should they slip through.
Likewise, Brook has looked solid when shipping punishment. Again, his first with Jones should be mentioned as the American broke Kell’s nose and pushed him hard.
Not having to shed pound rapidly is likely to help Brook’s punch resistance also.
GOLOVKIN 9 – 9 BROOK
Neither man has a standout record, though they have both beaten quality opponents.
Golovkin has been unable to get the leading middleweights in the ring, but he’s swatted aside everyone else at 160 while waiting. Grzegorz Proksa, Gabriel Rosado, Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray and Daniel Geale were all handled with relative ease.
Stevens pulled out after eight rounds and Lemieux was systematically beaten down inside eight.
Brook’s welterweight record is solid, but he is marked down as this will be his first fight at middleweight. The decision over Porter remains his best win – and it was a brilliant one – but since then he has struggled for opponents. Mandatory obligations and injuries have kept him away from the 147 big guns.
Prior to his world title win he cleaned up at domestic level and has always been able to raise his game according to the level of opposition.
GOLOVKIN 8 – 7 BROOK
GOLOVKIN – 43
BROOK – 41
While I’ve tried to take into account Brook’s jump in weight, the reality is that we won’t definitely know its effect until fight night. However on paper, it seems that Brook will be Golovkin’s most talented opponent to date – and vice versa.