INGLEWOOD, CALIF. -- It was the second boxing press conference held in Southern California over the course of a week, but didn’t include red carpets, Justin Bieber, Floyd Mayweather Jr., or Manny Pacquiao.
What Tuesday’s festivities did have was Gennady Golovkin and the man who will serve as another test for Golovkin’s mostly untested 32-fight career, Willie Monroe Jr.
The 12-round affair will take place at The Forum on May 16 and feature GGG’s latest defense of his WBA, IBO & interim WBC middleweight titles. The card airs on HBO and also includes an intriguing co-main event of Roman Gonzalez versus Edgar Sosa.
Returning to his new home of California in preparation for his second fight held in “The Golden State,” the 32-year-old Kazakh fighter will be in action for the first time since his late stoppage of Martin Murray in February. Golovkin continues to not turn down any opponents willing to enter the ring with him, but it seems as though big name fighters seem unwilling to return the favor.
After Miguel Cotto signed with Roc Nation Sports earlier this month, rumors swirled that a matchup between Golovkin and the lineal middleweight champion would come to fruition. But after deliberations stalled, “GGG” kept his promise of remaining busy and took the fight with Monroe.
The 28-year-old Rochester, N.Y., native is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak, including three victories in ESPN’s 2014 Boxcino tournament. Well aware of his role in the fight, Monroe has nothing to lose and makes it evident.
“On May 16, I will shock the world,” Monroe said. “I think this is an awesome fight. We have two contrasting styles and that will make for some spontaneous combustion. We will see which style comes out on top.”
Golovkin has everything to lose. A lackluster performance against Monroe could derail everything he has earned throughout his boxing ascension. It’s to the point now where Golovkin’s opponents are treating appearances where they aren’t finished in the opening couple frames as victories.
“Thank you HBO, thank you to the California Commission, thank you very much to my team, to Monroe’s team,” Golovkin said. He then turned to Monroe and added, “Welcome to California, to my home.”
Golovkin continues to smile, win over everyone he crosses paths with and above all else, win.
Expect Golovkin vs. Monroe to be no different.
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