Gennadiy Golovkin vs. Kamil Szeremeta: Fight prediction, card, odds, start time, how to watch, live stream


Of all boxing’s issues, the leverage and importance of sanctioning bodies ranks near the top. Friday’s fight between IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin and Kamil Szeremeta from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida (5 p.m. ET on DAZN, sign up now) is a direct result of the politics driven by those sanctioning bodies.

Golovkin is 38 and already seems as though his best days as a boxer are behind him. Time catches up to all men, after all, even top-tier athletes. While the world is waiting for a trilogy fight between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, or really any “A-list” fight involving Golovkin, he has been forced into a mandatory title defense against Szeremeta, a fight he has to take or vacate the championship.

Szeremeta’s 21-0 record passes the initial eye test. A deeper look, however, brings up serious questions about how he has worked his way into the IBF’s rankings as the top contender to Golovkin’s belt. Szeremeta has just five knockout wins in his career. Two fights ago, Szeremeta beat Edwin Palacios, a fighter who is currently riding a 10-fight losing skid and has been knocked out in six of his seven most recent fights. The lone man Palacios took to decision? Szeremeta.

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The fault for bad matchmaking can’t be laid at the feet of Golovkin. World championships matter to fighters and they’re routinely backed into corners to either fight their mandatory or sacrifice their title on the altar of politics. Belts are also bargaining chips, and in making a trilogy fight with Alvarez, having a title can help Golovkin push for an increase in his share of the purse after losing the second fight to Canelo by majority decision after a split draw in their first meeting.

Alvarez will be in action against Callum Smith on Saturday, looking to pick up a pair of super middleweight belts. Should both men win, they’re now on the same schedule and a spring fight between the two could be made. One more dance with Canelo would give Golovkin the opportunity to pick up a truly career-defining victory.

That is, of course, as long as Golovkin doesn’t suffer a potentially career-destroying loss to Szeremeta.

Golovkin vs. Szeremeta card, odds

Gennadiy Golovkin (c) -2200 vs. Kamil Szeremeta +1100, IBF middleweight title
Hyun Mi Choi vs. Calista Silgado, junior lightweight
John Ryder vs Michael Guy, super middleweight
Ali Akhmedov vs. Carlos Gongora, super middleweight
Reshat Mati vs. Dennis Okoth, welterweight
Jalan Walker vs. Rafael Reyes, featherweight

Prediction

There’s not much mystery around this fight. Golovkin is a pressure fighter and a true elite-level finisher. The counter to that style is to have enough power to discourage your opponent from unloading with their biggest weapons. Szeremeta has no true power to speak of, showing no real ability to consistently knock out even low-end opponents. That leaves Szeremeta with one path to victory: a flawless technical boxing performance. Golovkin is too good of a fighter to get outworked over 12 rounds by a guy who can’t hurt him. This should be an easy night of work for the champ. Pick: Golovkin via TKO3





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