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Golovkin-Monroe a battle of contrast

Gennady Golovkin is looking forward to facing a technical-style boxer, as he believes he needs to face fighters of all styles to improve his craft.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Although the likes of Tureano Johnson and Jorge Sebastian Heiland were rumored to be the leading candidates for Gennady's next outing, Willie Monroe Jr. ended up getting the nod. During the yesterday's presser, both Golovkin and Monroe discussed their upcoming fight.

"A lot of people respect me as a fighter," Monroe told at the kick-off press conference, which took place at The Forum on Tuesday. "They know that I'm cut from the same cloth as Andre Ward, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Erislandy Lara. We're bringing back the essence of boxing, which you don't see that often anymore."

Monroe gained some attention by winning the Boxcino middleweight tournament on Friday Night Fight's last year, and is known for adopting what come consider to be a "cuban style" of boxing. Strictly speaking, more of a hit-and-run style than a scrapper. Monroe likes to operate on the move and can think his way through fights. He works well on the outside but he's also not bad at getting on the inside without taking too much return fire. This will also be sort of a new kind of fighter for Gennady, who has yet to face a truly slick boxer-type, who is also a southpaw, and prides himself on fighting off intellect rather than just aggression. Not that Gennady is shying away from the challenge...

"I want to be able to beat any style," Golovkin told a small group of writers just before the start of Tuesday's presser, "to get used to all styles, I need southpaws. I need good boxers like Monroe. He's a smart guy, a good prospect.

"He's not open to easy punches. I think he's got a Cuban style, which can be difficult. We saw how much trouble Lara gave Canelo [Alvarez], maybe Monroe can do the same. I want to go rounds. I need longer fights to get better."

This could surely be a fight where Gennady gets some rounds, perhaps even more than he wants against someone whose adept at avoiding punches - meaning his pretty knockout streak could be in legitimate danger even if he ends up winning the fight. Golovkin, though, is just looking forward to staying active, no matter who he winds up in front of.

"I want to fight four times this year. Martin Murray was the first step. He was a solid guy. This is the second step. This guy (Monroe) has things that can test me. I want more work. I want to go seven, eight, 10 rounds."

Despite Monroe's KO percentage (19-1, 6 KOs), he believes that he's going to surprise Gennady with his power, believe that it's underrated.

"People may laugh when I say that my power will surprise him because of my KO percentage, but speed and velocity is power, and I have a lot of speed. Power hurts, but speed kills. When he gets hit, he's going to see that he's not in the ring with Martin Murray or Matthew Macklin," stated Monroe.

Golovkin, for his part, is eager to find out.

"I respect all styles of boxing," he said. "I have fought strong guys, rough fighters, street-fighter styles, punchers like Stevens. Right now, I need technical boxers.

"OK Monroe, show me your technical ability," said Golovkin.

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