Matthew Macklin steps into the squared circle for the third world title fight of his career against Gennady Golovkin, having lost his previous tilts against Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez. He acquitted himself well in defeat on both occasions and comes into this meeting with a renowned power-puncher saying all the right things, but it’s unlikely he’ll last the full 12 rounds.
During the 26-fight career of WBA and IBO king Golovkin, just three fighters have been able to go the distance. Each of those hardy souls came across him in one of his first 13 outings and in all three cases the distance in question was only eight rounds.
With an extra four rounds scheduled for their meeting in Connecticut, the prospects of Macklin surviving are that much less likely.
The “Tipperary Tornado” can point to the fact that Golovkin hasn’t proved himself against fighters of the calibre of Sturm or Martinez and even argue that his opponent has never had to prove he can last the full 12 stanzas, but a look at “GGG’s” resumé quells those doubts.
The unbeaten Kazakh’s last 13 wins – including eight at world title level – have come by stoppage. Of his eight world title opponents, just two have lasted beyond the fifth round.
For those who doubt the durability of the men he’s been mowing down there are the recent wins against Grzegorz Proksa and Nobuhira Ishida to consider – neither had been stopped in their 20-fight-plus careers before meeting Golovkin. Then there’s the fact that he once stopped former IBF super middleweight boss Lucien Bute in amateur competition.
Neither of those professional foes were near the same level as Sturm or Martinez – two of just four men to best Macklin in the ring – but nonetheless they vouch for Golovkin’s ability to bang out punch-resistant fighters.
Sturm and Martinez haven’t proven devastating punchers in recent contests, yet Macklin was one of just three fighters amongst the Argentinian’s last nine victims that failed to take it to the scorecards, hardly speaking volumes for his durability.
Such is the odds-makers respect for the murderous KO-power in the Kazakh’s gloves that he’s just 1/3 to win the bout by KO, TKO or disqualification, so it may be worth wagering on a late-middle rounds dismissal for his Irish challenger.
In an era of manicured career trajectories Macklin has the look of fighter hand-picked to boost Golovkin’s profile, thanks to his credible losing experience and he’s fancied to harry his opponent valiantly for some rounds before the guillotine comes down.
Macklin’s two stoppage reversals to date have come in the 10th and 11th rounds, but given this may be the most powerful puncher he’s faced yet it’s the 4/1 about the curtain going down at some point between the start of the seventh and the end of the ninth that’s the favoured wager.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.