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Can Macklin stop Golovkin? The experts weigh in
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Gennady Golovkin will be after his 14th straight stoppage victory against Matthew Macklin, who many believe is the toughest opponent the WBA middleweight titleholder has faced to day, when they fight on Saturday in Mashantucket, Conn.
When Saturday night's WBA middleweight clash was announced in April in New York, challenger Matthew Macklin expressed supreme confidence that he could vanquish titleholder Gennady Golovkin in similar fashion to how Bernard Hopkins handled previously unbeaten Felix Trinidad in September of 2001.
Hopkins came up with an upset 12th-round stoppage that unified the middleweight division for the first time since 1987 against Trinidad, whose record before that night was 40 fights -- 40 wins, 33 knockouts.
"This fight reminds me a lot of the Trinidad-Bernard Hopkins fight when you had the knockout specialist in Trinidad who was an undefeated guy with a lot of power," said Macklin (29-4, 20 knockouts), who will meet Golovkin (26-0, 23 KOs) in an HBO-televised matchup in Mashantucket, Conn.
"Felix Trinidad fought Bernard Hopkins, who had a couple of losses. But Bernard Hopkins had learned a lot from those losses and came back a seasoned, hard professional. During that fight, he out-fought, out-maneuvered and out-hustled and out-punched an eventually knocked out the supposed knockout specialist in Felix Trinidad, and that's exactly what's going to happen on June 29."
In a battle of 31-year-olds, Golovkin will pursue his 14th straight stoppage victory against Macklin, having won his past two bouts bloody seventh-round stoppage of Gabriel Rosado in January and third-round knockout of Nobuhiro Ishida, who was stopped for the first time in his career in March.
During Wednesday's final press conference promoting their fight, Golovkin praised Macklin, who was last in the ring for September's first-round stoppage of ex-titleholder Joachim Alcine that helped him to rebound from consecutive setbacks against RING champion Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm.
"We are very close right now to the fight night and I am very excited. I think this is a great fight for us," said Golovkin. "I am the champion, and Matthew is the best challenger out there for me. This fight will prove who is truly the best in the middleweight division."
RingTV.com sought the opinions of 19 boxing insiders as to their thoughts on what will transpire in Golovkin-Macklin.
Gennnady Golovkin by mid-to-late KO Matthew Macklin: I think Matthew Macklin will present a stern challenge with the right mix of boxing and slugging for the first four or five rounds of the bout, but I expect Gennady Golovkin to hurt him before the sixth or seventh.
Record: 8-4 [Last pick: Froch UD 12 Kessler]
Gennady Golovkin KO 5 Matthew Macklin: Gennady Golovkin wants to stay busy and in front of an HBO audience. With Sergio Martinez hobbled and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., busy with plans to repair his battered image in an August comeback, Matthew Macklin is a good alternative.
Record: 9-3 [Froch UD 12 Kessler]
Gennady Golovkin TKO 9 Matthew Macklin: If you ask die-hard boxing fans who they think will win this fight, you'll hear scary words like slaughter, massacre, and destruction. That should tell you just how highly regarded Gennady Golovkin is as a fighter and just how under-appreciated Matthew Macklin is as a contender going into this WBA middleweight title fight.
Record: 6-6 [Froch W 12 Kessler]
Gennady Golovkin TKO 7 Matthew Macklin: I am a big believer in Matthew Macklin’s talent but I think he comes up short in this one. For me, the Manchester star should have been champion in June 2011 when he threw the kitchen sink at Felix Sturm but it was not to be.
Record: 1-1 [Peterson W 12 Matthysse]
Gennady Golovkin TKO 8 Matthew Macklin: Gennady Golovkin by eighth-round TKO. Matthew Macklin is the best legitimate middleweight Golovkin will have faced in his seven-year pro career, and, himself a very tough guy.
Record: 4-2 [Froch UD 12 Kessler]
Gennady Golovkin UD 12 Matthew Macklin: Gennady Golovkin has stopped every opponent he's faced over the past five years, but I think that streak ends against Matthew Macklin, who is versatile enough to box or brawl when necessary.
Record: 6-5 [Froch W 12 Kessler]
Gennady Golovkin TKO 9 Matthew Macklin: This is going to be a good, tough, exciting, fan-friendly fight. I think they'll both be throwing bombs and their will be plenty of rock-hard shots landed by each man.
Record: 8-4 [Froch UD 12 Kessler]
Gennady Golovkin KO 9 Matthew Macklin: Go ahead, make my day. This is a slam dunk pick to get back to even on my count. Matthew Macklin is a gamer all the way, but he is up against it in this one.
Record: 4-5 [Froch W 12 Kessler]
(Click on NEXT button to read the predictions of the other 11 experts)