The Next Big Boxing Star Will Be On HBO PPV This Weekend


If you’re only a casual fan of boxing, you may have lead to believe that boxing was headed toward irrelevance now that the sport’s top star, Floyd Mayweather, has decided to retire — though calling it quits is hardly permanent when it comes to the sweet science. I’d submit that the Next Big Thing is already around, and that he’ll be fighting on HBO pay-per-view Saturday night.

His name is Gennady Golovkin, or as he’s more commonly known to fight fans, GGG. Though the 33-year old middleweight champion is not American (he’s originally from what is now Kazakhstan), which can sometimes make top boxers a tough sell in the U.S., he’s got all the other qualities necessary for superstardom.

Golovkin is good, undefeated in 33 pro fights. He’s charismatic, managing to bring humor to most of his interviews even in somewhat broken English. Perhaps most importantly, he’s exciting, racking up 30 of his wins by knockout, while appearing just vulnerable enough at times to think that someone might have a chance to beat him. In other words, he’s the anti-Mayweather in many respects.

What he needs most now, besides continued exposure on a platform like HBO PPV, is a worthy nemesis. David Lemieux, his opponent at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, thinks he can be the kryptonite to GGG’s Superman. The Canadian certainly isn’t lacking in power (31 KOs in 36 pro fights) or confidence, as he’s been talking tough in the build-up to the bout.

An exciting fight that ends in another trademark Golovkin knockout could cement him as the next big attraction in boxing. If Lemieux pulls off the upset, it would likely be worse for the sport as a whole, though it would add intrigue to the question of who would be the next man to headline the biggest cards and give that opportunity to someone else — perhaps Canelo Alvarez.

Either way, it’s as close to certain to be worth your time and money to watch as there is in boxing right now. Golovkin-Lemieux headlines a four-fight card on HBO PPV Saturday night at 9 pm Eastern time.

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