FIGHT week is upon us now and I’ll be travelling out to Monte Carlo with Hughie on Thursday. We’ll get there in time for the weigh-in on the Friday and then, of course, the fight with Andriy Rudenko on Saturday night.
As you can imagine, Hughie is in great spirits at the moment. The finish line is in sight and he’s straining at the leash to show the world what he can do.
He sparred four rounds on Monday and then yesterday did a few rounds with me on the pads. Now it’s all about recovery. We’ve done all the hard stuff – that’s all in the bank – and there’s no real need to do more cardio work. It’s just a lot of shadowboxing and light weights to keep loose. We’re counting down the days now.
Hughie knows he’s had a good camp, he knows he’s done plenty of sparring and he knows no stone left has been left unturned. Hughie is ready to show people exactly what he’s about.
I’ve been to Monte Carlo many times in the past and I’ve been to the casino as well. It’s an unbelievable place. It’s got to be ranked up there as one of the very best places in the world to host a boxing event. That’s how highly I rate it.
I only live fifteen miles down the road, so I know the area very well. We consider that a bit of an advantage on Saturday, funnily enough. Although Hughie has fought all over the world, we see a fight in France as giving us a bit of a home advantage. Hughie has been going there since he was a child. He knows the area inside out. It’s like a home from home, to be honest. I know a lot of people there and Hughie has even featured in a few of the local papers over the years.
In addition to Hughie’s crucial fight with Rudenko, I’ll also be keeping a close eye on the intriguing world middleweight title fight between Gennady Golovkin and Martin Murray, which is shown LIVE that night on Channel 5.
I just think it’s unfortunate that Murray is coming up against probably the best middleweight in the world right now. Golovkin’s got immense power and he’s got skill. You can train as much as you want, you can be the fittest you’ve ever been, but that all counts for little if the other guy is an elite-level talent. I like Murray, and I hope he does really well, but you have to say it’s a very tall order for him.
I admire everything Golovkin does. I like the way he cuts the ring off and I like the way he makes his opponents fight his kind of fight. He seems to do everything well. He’s like a hawk. As soon as he spots an opening, he’s on to you. If you blink, you’ve got a problem.
Murray will be well-prepared, of course, and he’ll be in super condition, but he has never before met anybody quite like Golovkin. Golovkin will be right in front of him and he’ll be waiting for him to blink. Once that happens, he’s got you. The man can hit like a mule and he can also box. That’s something you rarely see nowadays. Only the world’s very best fighters can combine big punch power with good fundamental skills. Golovkin has both.
I just think he’ll get to Murray with clean shots and eventually wear him down. But that doesn’t mean Murray will be outclassed. It doesn’t mean he won’t put up a fantastic fight. Murray always does. He’s a quality operator in his own right. Murray is a world-class fighter who is good enough to win a world title, but I see Golovkin as another Floyd Mayweather. He’s an elite world champion – the very best in the world.
If I was advising Martin Murray, I’d advise him to keep up a fantastic work-rate. He’s got to be all over Golovkin and not let him set. In other words, he’s got to take him out of his rhythm, rough him up and chuck boxing out the window. He’s got to step all over Golovkin and land punches, arms, elbows, whatever it takes. He’s got to rough him up and have a good go. He needs to bite down on that gum shield and say to himself, ‘Right, let’s have a war.’ He needs to be on Golovkin’s chest to stop him getting leverage on his heavy shots. He needs to completely maul him.
If he stands off from Golovkin and tries to have a boxing match with him, he’s going to get annihilated. No, he’s got to jump all over Golovkin and take him out of his comfort zone. Then he might have a chance. I wish him the very best. May the best man win.
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