This Friday on DAZN (Dec. 18, 5:00 pm ET), Gennadiy Golovkin will return to defend his IBF middleweight title against mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta in a main event from Florida.
Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KO) had struggles last time we saw him, when he beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko about 14 months ago, but few would argue that on paper, Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KO) is a pretty significant step back in opposition.
Does the underdog have any chance against GGG? Our staffers throw down their predictions.
I have seen Kamil Szeremeta fight. He’s a solid fighter. A good, European level fighter. Maybe a nice man, a family man, a respectable member of his community, the locals in Bialystok see him running in the mornings and tell their spouses over their coffee, “There goes Kamil, he makes us so proud to be from Bialystok.” Surely he will give his most heroic effort here, attempting to summon any magic he can. He cannot beat Gennadiy Golovkin. Golovkin TKO-6
Let’s just cut to the chase, I’ve had a miserable year in the staff picks department. I feel like I’ve whiffed on more fights this year than I have in the last five (even though we weren’t exactly doing this format back then). Poor form from your BLH reigning champion. All of this is to say that I have nothing left to lose. Time to throw all caution to the wind and go against the grain for any chance to make up the margin. I really don’t think Kamil Szeremeta is better than Gennadiy Golovkin in any particular way, even a faded Golovkin, and the lack of knockouts on Szeremeta’s record isn’t exactly reassuring for his hopes to pull the upset. But what the hell, Szeremeta puts on the performance of a lifetime and stuns Golovkin on the cards. It could happen, right? Szeremeta UD-12
How to Watch GGG vs Szeremeta
Patrick L. Stumberg
This is pretty much the only point in Golovkin’s career since his debut that a fight with Szeremeta is palatable. I had “GGG” losing to Sergiy Derevyanchenko and I didn’t see it as particularly close. If nothing else, Szeremeta is plenty aggressive, and that’s something Golovkin struggled with in his toughest fights to date.
I say that with the massive, massive caveat that Szeremeta doesn’t box or punch half as well as Canelo or Derevyanchenko; he’s an okay aggressor, but has the Guillaume Frenois/Evgeny Gradovich problem where he has nowhere near enough thump to make his style work properly. If he’s willing to enter Golovkin’s wheelhouse with a peashooter, he’s going to get blasted to bits if there’s even a fraction left of the jolly destroyer we know and love. “GGG” by mauling. Golovkin TKO-4
Szeremeta is being sold on his unbeaten record for this one and without doing anything notable at world level or holding notable power this feels like an end of year run-out for GGG. Sure, his reflexes aren’t quite what they used to be and he’s guilty of plodding through recent outings, but a Golovkin KO will go a long way to push the trilogy with Canelo in 2021. I’m certain that is what we’ll get. GGG won’t have to detract away from unloading his power punches in fear of what’s coming back – he’ll realise this early in the fight and poleaxe the Pole inside the first half of the contest. Golovkin TKO-4