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Golovkin vs Lemieux: Predictions from the BLH staff

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Gennady Golovkin takes on David Lemieux tomorrow night on HBO pay-per-view. Who comes out on top? The BLH staffers give their picks.

Scott Christ

There's just too much in Golovkin's game for a fighter like Lemieux to handle. The only chance that the challenger (well, he's a fellow titleholder, but we all see him as the "challenger" here) has is to hurt Golovkin early and finish him off. The good news for Lemieux is twofold: he punches hard, and he has shown a good ability to finish in the past. The bad news is multiple, but let's focus on just one thing: he's never finished any of his better opponents, other than Gabe Rosado, who battled for several rounds with a smashed orbital bone.

Lemieux is a hell of a puncher, but he's not a dynamic boxer. If you can get through his power or stifle his offense to some degree, he's very beatable. Hassan N'Dam had a lot of success against Lemieux earlier this year, and other than the four knockdowns fought Lemieux fairly even in that fight. Golovkin has thrashed opponents with various styles, who came in with various approaches, all of them unsuccessful. Lemieux is a good fighter, but he's not going to look like one compared to GGG. Golovkin TKO-6

Patrick Connor, Top Men Boxing Radio

For now it appears that in order to beat Gennady Golovkin a fighter is going to have to either neutralize his offense somehow or survive it long enough to retaliate in kind. David Lemieux can dish it out just fine, but his durability has been an issue before. The puncher vs. puncher match up should be exciting, but any result outside of a Golovkin win by stoppage would be surprising. Golovkin by stoppage

Tom Craze

It's hard to see how anyone could be backing against Golovkin here, speculative or otherwise. Aside from pure one-punch power (and there's even a debate with that), Golovkin simply does everything better than Lemieux. This is a good fight, dressed up by the fact that Lemieux now has a (formerly vacant) version of a world title, but not much more than that.

You don't need this sentence to tell you that it should make for a fun style clash, but there's a reason the Canadian is quoted as the same type of betting odds that Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Martin Murray were assigned. Lemieux has a puncher's chance, no more, but we've seen him hurt before, and I have to side with the early-ish blitz here. Golovkin KO-3

Wil Esco

Look, I like David Lemieux. I really, really like him as a fighter and have followed his career for quite a while now. But Eddie Mustafa Muhammad has given the most apt and succinct description of Golovkin I've heard thus far: "When I saw that kid punch, Golovkin, he is no joke. They need to leave that kid alone...he's from a country where they're hungry over there, and he's not playin'!" Not sure I could say it better myself.

Both Golovkin and Lemieux are great punchers, but the main difference is Golovkin has the much, much better boxing ability between the two. Lemieux can only fight coming forward with aggression, which will invariably walk him right into harm's way - and he can't switch to boxing once he gets hurt. I see a fun, action-packed fight that ends early. Golovkin KO-4

Steve Janoski

Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux are both tough guys — power-punching, combination-stringing, rough-and-tumble sons of bitches. But if toughness was the only measure of a fighter, Micky Ward would be king of the world and you’d have never heard of Victor Ortiz. So in a fight like this, where both guys are coffin-nail hard and hit with loaded gloves, pure skill will be the deciding factor. And there, Golovkin, with his hundreds of amateur fights and slow, stalking style, has a considerable advantage.

Lemieux will start fast, and I expect a firefight as each boxer looks to damage the other early. But Golovkin, a master of range, will not be caught flush by Lemieux’s hooks and straight right hands, and he’ll probably hurt Lemieux at some point in the barrage. As Lemieux sees his chances for a knockout slip away in the mid-to-late rounds, he’ll open up in desperation and eat the inevitable counters. By the 10th, I expect a tired Lemieux to be in full retreat in the face of an overwhelming Golovkin. Expect Golovkin to end the fight via a trademark overhand left hook sometime in the late rounds. Golovkin TKO-11

Kyle McLachlan

Although Lemiuex has shown some deficiencies in his defence, he's a compact puncher with a solid arsenal, good punch precision and serious power. Golovkin is known for his awkward assault--often shots that start slower then speed up as he gets closer to landing them--so there's a good chance Lemiuex can get off first in my opinion. Golovkin of course uses his style to his advantage, so he will catch Lemiuex off guard and get those pile-driving shots into the target zone. Lemiuex will have to mix his approach up and choose his spots. Golovkin--as you'd expect--will likely be in seek and destroy mode, feinting his way in to score an opening that will lead to a devastating knockout blow.

So I'm predicting a fire fight, which is no surprise. Golovkin will be hurt in my opinion--and Lemiuex will likely land more punches until the end comes--but the Kazakh has proven durability so unless he has a bad weight cut or has aged overnight, he should bust up Lemiuex after the Canadian has got his licks in. Golovkin KO-4

Patrick L. Stumberg

I have a ton of respect for Lemieux for continuing to hone his craft despite his gifts and for maintaining the confidence needed to throw those bunker-busters even after the Rubio and Alcine losses. Defeats like that can break young punchers; we've seen it before in Alfonso Zamora and many others. I can only hope he bounces back as well from what Golovkin will unleash. While Lemieux has some deceptive hand speed and showed that he can carry his power late in recent fights, I don't see any real way for him to get past GGG's bazooka jab and superior ringcraft.

If he comes out guns-blazing, Lemieux has a real chance of punishing Golovkin's oft-porous defense, but the far more likely outcome is that GGG's body attack breaks him somewhere around the midway point. Golovkin KO-7