Two-weight world champion and British boxing legend Ricky Hatton discussed Gennady Golovkin's (38-1-1) ring return against Steve Rolls (19-0) in depth.
'GGG' is the bookies favourite, naturally, with some offering odds of up to 29/1 for the unherald Canadian.
The 35-year-old from Toronto tackles the fearsome Kazakh at the 'Mecca of Boxing', Madison Square Garden, this Saturday, June 8 in New York. The 37-year-old pound-for-pound superstar comes into the fight following a loss to bitter rival Canelo last September, plus with a new trainer in his corner, something that the 'Hitman' has experienced himself during his glittering professional career.
Ricky Hatton told betoclock.com/, “This will be a test for Golovkin because he has gone all these years without being beaten and he has been destroying his opponents. He has been up against good, solid fighters and absolutely walking through them, but has now lost a fight when he might have thought he was never going to lose. It will have hurt his pride, but legacies are built on how you come back from defeats. When you are blasting everybody away, things are all very nice, but you find out about somebody when things aren’t going your way and your backs against the wall.”
“Any great champion is always judged on how they come back from that defeat. I don’t think he has the toughest of tasks in front of him, so he will probably bounce back in tremendous style and set up a third fight with Canelo.”
“Rolls is unbeaten, but he has had the majority of fights in Canada and he will never have faced anyone like Golovkin before. Golovkin will not be looking at Rolls’ record and thinking he will be in for an easy night; he knows he has to get up for this. He must think this guy has 19 fights, 10 knockouts, no defeats, he might be a superstar. That is the way you have to look at it. There is a reason why he has chosen this fight. Golovkin went on that long knockout run, but three of his last four have gone the distance. He will be thinking if he can flatten this guy, the confidence will be up again, and he can move on from that to maybe face Canelo again. It will increase confidence in the new trainer too. I can see Golovkin getting the job done in rounds two or three. I certainly can’t see it going past four, even if he is a little bit nervous coming back after his first defeat.”
“It is a dangerous move. Golovkin has been with his trainer so long, there is no one who will know him better. When you are looking to bounce back from a defeat, it helps to have someone around who knows you as a character. It is the first defeat in a long career, so who would you want better to help you through that? I’d think it would be the person who has been there for a long time. When a new trainer comes in, it doesn’t mean he is going to do things any different, it is just a fresh emphasis and that might raise his game – maybe that is what he is thinking.
“We don’t know the ins and outs of his decision to change trainers - sometimes there has been a fallout, sometimes they just fancy a change. It always seems to be after a defeat that people change, though. I would have stayed with Billy Graham for my whole career and the only reason I changed was because he had problems with his hands and elbow and if we were going to continue, I felt I needed the best Billy Graham. It was no fault of his that I switched.”
“The second one was a close fight; I could see a case for either boxer. Some said Golovkin, some said Canelo and whichever way they went it wasn’t the most diabolical of decisions. The first one I had no doubt that Golovkin deserved to win. But while the second fight was close, we saw a new side to Canelo, he used a bit more speed, he looked a bit lighter and was pot-shotting, often beating Golovkin to the punch.”