Golovkin vs Stevens: Fight preview and predictions from the BLH staff

USA TODAY Sports

Gennady Golovkin faces Curtis Stevens in a matchup of power punchers tomorrow night on HBO. Will Golovkin stay undefeated, or can Stevens make a case for Upset of the Year?

Ryan Bivins

This isn't a competitive match-up. Quite frankly I'm shocked we're even doing predictions for this fight. Stevens gets demolished. In a career that has lasted nearly a decade Stevens doesn't even have wins on his resume a level below GGG. And his losses are telling even if he's improved since then. But how significantly improved could he possibly be considering he's still not a disciplined fighter outside of the ring? I don't even see a single physical or mental advantage he has inside of it. And obviously Stevens can't win on experience. Golovkin KO-2

Scott Christ

Stevens has a puncher's chance and nothing more. He's not a better boxer than Golovkin. Really, there's nothing he does better than Golovkin. But he also punches like a mule kicks, and if he cracks the sometimes defensively vulnerable Golovkin with one of his left hooks, this thing could be over before Golovkin knows what hit him. GGG is on another level, though. Unless there's a big shot that can end it early for the upset, Stevens is going to be smashed by a vastly superior fighter. Golovkin TKO-3

Fraser Coffeen, BloodyElbow.com

I see a lot of this being determined by how Stevens plays it. Like Golovkin, his punching power is a selling point, and it's that power that has brought him to the fight Saturday. A lot of Stevens' own pre-fight talk has been focused on that power and how he's going to KO GGG. If he tries to do that, it goes poorly for him. Stevens does have power, but Golovkin has more power. More to the point, Golovkin is deceptively good at getting people into position to use his power. He sets up those power shots with combos and then makes you pay. If Stevens gets into a firefight, I think he'll be surprised by Golovkin's technical skills, and will find himself quickly outgunned. Now, can Stevens avoid that firefight and make it an actual boxing match? Yes, but that seems like it just delays the inevitable, though it is his best bet. With a very well thought out gameplan, he can push Golovkin hard - but I don't think that's the way Stevens fights this fight, and I think it costs him early. Golovkin KO-3

Tom Craze

They say boxing is all about levels, and this looks like a case in point. While we're regurgitating old boxing adages, here's another: in a match-up of punchers, you have to favor the better boxer. While there's, realistically, not an awful lot of difference in terms of quality between the ugly miscellany of knockout victims strewn across each guy's record, it's hard to argue that Golovkin isn't the superior fighter of the two, the Kellerman-patented Next Level Talent. In truth, although he's had his critics for ramping up slowly, the Kazakh edges it there too, as the wrecked chassis of Matthew Macklin can attest, in addition to a demolition of Gabriel Rosado that looks better still after his efforts last weekend.

It's questionable whether Stevens is any better a boxer than either Macklin or Rosado, but what is clear is that neither have anything remotely approaching the show-stopping, HBO-attracting power Stevens does. Golovkin's footwork and overall ring generalship is something to behold, but he can be hit, and, above all, he's human. If Stevens connects with that left hook how he'd like - and he may need just the one - it's hard to envisage Golovkin, or anyone else at 160, standing up to it.

We won't have seen the last of Stevens at this level after Saturday night, but Golovkin isn't as short as a 1-25 favorite for no reason here. It's hard to see how this winds up being anything other than explosive, and it's probably not going to last long. Golovkin TKO-3

Andrew Fruman

Stevens isn't the best guy Golovkin has fought so far, but he's the most dangerous. Any time an aggressive fighter goes up against an opponent with a good left hook, there's always the possibility of stepping into a devastating shot. We saw that earlier this year, when 7 to 1 longshot Jhonny Gonzalez shocked Abner Mares. So while my prediction is Golovkin in a very one sided fight, I'm still going to take a chance on the big odds, and take Stevens in the BLH pick'em game. Golovkin TKO-7

Dave Oakes

It should be a good fight whilst it lasts, but I can't see it lasting too long. There's a big gulf in class between the pair, Stevens is a solid B level fighter, whereas Golovkin proved last time out against Macklin that he's an elite level fighter. Macklin's as tough as they come but was blasted out in merciless fashion.

It'd be nice to see Golovkin's chin tested for once, and Stevens can bang a bit, but apart from Stevens landing the most perfect punch of his career, it's hard to envisage a way in which he can win the fight. Golovkin should be too quick, too talented and too heavy handed for Stevens. I expect the end to come within four explosive rounds. Golovkin TKO-4

Final Tally: Gennady Golovkin 6, Curtis Stevens 0.

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