THE one knock against Gennady Golovkin during a brilliant run of 20 consecutive middleweight titles defences was that defining fights and big-name opponents eluded him. He got one in the end, of course, when engaging in two classics with Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, but it was a long time coming and one could argue, through no fault of his own, the Kazakh’s best years were wasted on mediocre opposition.
That said, if comparing the opponents during this run to Steve Rolls, Golovkin’s foe this Saturday (June 8) at Madison Square Garden, New York, they stack up rather favourably. Compared to Steve Rolls, they were household names, career-defining fights. Compared to Steve Rolls, they all made sense.
Steve Rolls, an unheralded 35-year-old from Canada, will be Golovkin’s first opponent since the former middleweight champion saw his undefeated record soiled by a loss to Alvarez last September, and the fight will be the first of a money-spinning deal between Golovkin and streaming service with DAZN.