Gennady Golovkin's New York return has David Haye excited but the Betfair Boxing Ambassador is predicting a tough night's work for Triple G...
"I’d still very much like to see Golovkin v Saunders."
GGG must go through the weights
The question of where to rank Gennady Golovkin amongst the all-time greats of the middleweight division comes up often. Could he mix it with the likes of Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns? It's difficult to make that judgement between a current fighter and the stars. In the modern era, however, Golovkin 100% deserves to be ranked alongside men such as Bernard Hopkins.
Only in years to come, when we look back at the Golovkin reign, will we know if he was one of the true greats with a real legacy. In terms of his aura and his record, only losing to Saul Alvarez, he's got a very strong body of work. He reigned supreme in the middleweight division for many years, but is he able to go up and down in the weights? Can he fight at super middleweight, light heavyweight?
Can he take his greatness through the divisions, something fighters like Roy Jones Jnr was able to do? I believe, to be considered a great fighter, you have to be able to jump through the divisions and give the fans the fights they want. Moving up to super middle and fighting Callum Smith, for example, would be an absolute barnstormer. Win that and he'd cement his legacy. Having said that, what GGG has achieved already makes him one of the best of our era.
Golovkin v Saunders would be interesting
There's a lot of talk on who Gennady Golovkin should fight next if he does as expected and wins on Saturday. Personally, I'd prefer to see him in with Billy Joe Saunders over a third fight with Saul Alvarez. I think most would agree the argument between Triple G and Canelo has been settled already with that clear victory for the Mexican last time out. I'd still very much like to see Golovkin v Saunders.
Billy Joe Saunders is a very tricky and awkward southpaw. He's elusive, has fast hands and has become a bit of an avoided fighter in recent times. It would be interesting to see how Triple G would handle that style. Fights like the Saunders match are the ones great fighters do well in. Tricky fights against awkward opponents.
If you were to pick the opposite style of Golovkin it would be that of Billy Joe. It would be a huge fight, particularly in the UK, and one I'd very much like to see happen before it's too late.
Long night expected
Returning to the here and now, Gennady Golovkin faces Sergiy Derevyanchenko at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. My prediction for this fight is that it'll be a long night. It'll be a fight where Golovkin may have a few issues in the early exchanges. The opponents he has fought recently haven't really tested him and I hope he doesn't believe this is going to be another comfortable outing.
Whenever you fight someone who is a massive underdog the pressure is all on you to perform, leaving your opponent free to go in and do their thing. Sergiy Derevyanchenko has nothing to lose, whereas Triple G must perform. All eyes will be on him to see how much he raises his game.
As he's getting older the pressure also builds on him to put in a spectacular performance to stay relevant. I'm taking Gennady Golovkin to win on points here. The points win for Golovkin is 11/8 on the Betfair Sportsbook.