Both ESPN and Mike Coppinger report that IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin’s mandatory defense against Poland’s Kamil Szeremeta is “being planned” for March 28th in Chicago’s Wintrust Arena.
It’s not the blockbuster showdown Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KO) or his fans might want, but considering what happened the last time “GGG” procrastinated on facing a mandatory, it’s understandable. Plus, he could use a softer touch; he looked every minute of 37 years old against Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October, flooring “The Technician” early before Derevyanchenko clawed his way back into the fight with persistent aggression and a strong body attack. Though Golovkin escaped with a narrow decision, it wasn’t the kind of performance to suggest his unification dreams are back on track.
Hence, Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KO). He’s yet to be tested at the highest levels, but he looks to be a good litmus test for how much of the “Kazakh Thunder” remains.
Late last month, Eddie Hearn raised the possibility of staging the vacant WBO light heavyweight title fight between Krzysztof Glowacki and Lawrence Okolie on the same show, presumably on account of Chicago’s large Polish population. It would be Glowacki’s second appearance in the city, having defeated Maxim Vlasov in the WBSS semis there back in 2018, and Okolie’s first time fighting outside the UK.