Can there be another upset at Madison Square Garden Saturday night? Steve Rolls, the unknown will look to follow what Andy Ruiz Jr. accomplished in the same ring a week ago in New York City when he meets former champion Gennady Golovkin in a fight that has a catch weight at 164.
However, nothing may top what Ruiz Jr. accomplished. The new heavyweight champion still has the boxing world talking with the stunning upset and spoiled the United States debut of Anthony Joshua before a sell-out crowd of over 20,000.
As said many times here, this is boxing. And of course the promoters, networks that televise these things, and boxing fans, all love the unexpected. It causes a buzz and increased volume to enhance subscriptions of the streaming networks. DAZN, as was the deal last weekend, has the rights to Golovkin and Rolls.
This fight, 12-rounds, has not created a buzz. Perhaps back-to-back and major fight cards at the Garden, and at a busy time of year in New York, are a reason why ticket sales have moved at a snail pace and a sellout is not expected. Tickets are widely available, and during this week to the buildup, and if you were in the proper place, free tickets were distributed at the public workouts and at boxing gyms.
What matters here is a sport that is thriving with money. There has been a buzz and Gennady Golovkin is always in the spotlight. He is an attraction and the 2004 Olympic silver medal winner for Kazakhstan is headed to a possible third fight with Canelo Alvarez, the middleweight champion at 160.
Look at this fight tomorrow night and this is all about Golovkin-Alvarez, a trilogy that will generate interest. Perhaps not the hype or magnitude of the two before, but everyone wants to see a third time to close the chapter.
And Steve Rolls, in that category of the unknown, is looking to change the script. If everything goes to plan. Gennady Golovkin, the record holder of middleweight title defenses with 20, is headed to that third fight with his adversary. The first fight was a controversial draw and Golovkin dropped the middleweight title in September with another controversial and majority decision.
But this one could go to plan. Golovkin loves to fight in New York, and is hungry to regain the title. He also has a mega-million contract with DAZN, nine fights over a six-year period. Don’t forget, Canelo Alvarez is a main star with the streaming network, 11-fights in a span of five years at $375 million, considered the richest athlete on record.
“I want the third fight,” said Golovkin again this week. “I can’t say I am dreaming of this fight every night.” Yeah, but the man known as “GGG” is confident a third fight will occur in September. Regardless of the first two, and how the boxing public feels, this is one of those that is anticipated.
DAZN, of course, looks to gain more subscribers when the trilogy is announced. This is how the boxing business works today and it’s all about business and competition to provide the best fights for their fans.
HBO Boxing ended their long run as the main network of televised fights and it was Golovkin delivering a good resume to DAZN, as the sought after free agent of fighters. New management, a transition of trainers, Abel Sanchez to Johnathon Banks, and It was a new chapter.
Steve Rolls, 35-years old, undefeated in 19 fights from Hamilton Ontario, with that orthodox stance, does not have the history. Though, he is bringing his fight to the ring with a low key approach.
Golovkin, 38-1-1, 36-years of age, could be winding down a career. Redemption and that third meeting with Canelo Alvarez? Well, it’s all about the business of boxing.
And of course, one should never underestimate the opponent. Should Steve Rolls, the unknown, pull off a version of the Andy Ruiz Jr. upset, then the middleweight division will also have a new game plan.
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