Gennadiy Golovkin aims to put a stamp on his second middleweight title reign.
The next step in that journey comes Friday evening, when Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) faces mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KOs) atop a DAZN livestream from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Both boxers made weight for the bout, which kicks off a big fight weekend for the sports streaming service.
Golovkin has never come close to missing weight through 22 career title fights, holding true to that trend in tipping the scale at a shredded 159.2 pounds. Szeremeta weighed in at 159 pounds for his first career title fight.
The bout comes on the eve of Golovkin’s longtime heated rival, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s challenge of unbeaten super middleweight titlist Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith (27-0, 19KOs). Golovkin continues to see his name attached to a long-elusive third fight with Alvarez (53-1-2, 36KOs), though such a fight does not appear to be in the cards for the time being.
Instead, Golovkin focuses on adding to his memorable run at middleweight where he reclaimed a title in a unanimous decision win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko last October at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The 12-round war was hailed by most observers as among the very best fights of 2019.
The win returned Golovkin to the title stage for the first time since his disputed points loss to Alvarez in September 2018, ending a run which dated back to his first interim title win back in 2010. Golovkin made 20 successful defenses of at least one version of the middleweight title, including a highly questionable 12-round draw with Alvarez in September 2017.
Friday’s bout will mark the first fight for Golovkin since his aforementioned win over Derevyanchenko. The same show also marked the last time Szeremeta made his way to a boxing ring, scoring a 2nd round knockout of Oscar Cortes on the non-televised undercard.
The bout marked the first career stateside appearance for Szeremeta and just his third outside of his native Poland. Friday’s contest serves as Szeremeta’s third fight on the road in his past four starts.
Gennadiy Golovkin (Karaganda, Kazakhstan, 40-1-1, 35KOs), 159.2 vs. Kamil Szeremeta (Bialystok, Poland, 21-0, 5KOs), 159—12 rds., middleweight
Ali Akhmedov (Almaty, Kazakhstan, 16-0, 12KOs), 167.4 vs. Carlos Gongora (Esmeraldas, Ecuador; 18-0, 13KOs), 167.4—12 rds., super middleweight
Hyun Mi Choi (Seoul, 17-0-1, 4KOs), 130 vs. Calista Silgado (Tolu, Colombia, 19-11-3, KOs), 131.4*—10 rds., junior lightweight
*Silgado 1.4 pounds over the division limit; will have two hours to make weight
John Ryder (London, 28-5, 16KOs), 170.2 vs. Mike Guy (Sacramento, 12-5-1, 5KOs), 168.2 —10 rds., super middleweight
Reshat Mati (Staten Island, NY, 8-0, 6KOs), 146.6 vs. Dennis Okoth (Siaya, Kenya, 4-4-1), 147—6 rds., welterweight
Jalan Walker (Los Angeles, 6-0, 6KOs), 125.2 vs. Diuhl Olguin (Guadalajara, 14-15-4, 9KOs), 125.4—6 rds., featherweight