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I thought a fantasy fight between Gerald McClellan and Gennady Golovkin would make for a worthy discussion given the similar career parallels of both men. 

McClellan was a middleweight terror who rose to prominence in 1993 with a title winning knockout over Julian Jackson. His time on top was cut short after a tragic bout with Nigel Benn in 1995 in which he suffered permanent brain damage.The irony in comparing these two fighters is that Golovkin is the more experienced of the two. McClellan's career was very brief. He toppled an ancient John “The Beast” Mugabi (KO1) in 1991 and aside from that, really faced no top caliber opposition outside of Benn and Jackson. He had some early career losses against Ralph Ward and Dennis Milton but those appear to be aberrations.

McClellan scored highlight reel knockouts over inferior opposition. The manner in which he destroyed his foes was similar to Golovkin. He took down folks quick and early with big right hands or body shots.

Golovkin, who I am sure everyone reading this will be familiar with by now, is the current WBA “Super World” middleweight champion. He has been a middleweight title claimant for over four years now and sports a gaudy 30-0 record with 27 knockouts.

I offer two possible results below. I ran the proposed fight through a computer program called TITLE BOUT. Title Bout is a computer simulation game that allows you to rank fighters in different categories and the spits out a result. The second possible result is from my own analysis.

TITLE BOUT COMPUTER SIMULATION:

In the opening round, McClellan opened with movement. Golovkin remained stationary for the majority of the round as his brief rushes were stopped by the G-Man's check left hook. Golovkin was a bit more aggressive in the second round but McClellan still landed more. The fight changed in the third, when Triple G caught the Kronk slugger clean with an overhand right. McClellan was stunned and slow to get up. He survived the round by holding excessively. Golovkin stalked throughout in round four as the G-Man did absolutely nothing but run and hold to clear his head. In the fifth, McClellan showed his heart by firing back in ring center. He got the better of most of the exchanges and seemed fully recovered. Golovkin took an uneventful sixth on aggression alone but in the seventh he was shaken by several McClellan right hands. The eighth round was another huge won for the Kronk trained middleweight as he nearly had Golovkin out on his feet with several rights to the head and left hooks to the body. Golovkin looked ready to go at the end of the round. In the ninth, McClellan misses his power shots and Golovkin inches his way back into the fight with hard jabs. The championship rounds were swept by McClellan as he used jabs and check left hooks to keep a tired but still pressing Golovkin at by.

The decision was a unanimous one in favor of McClellan with scores of 116-111 (twice) and 114-113.

 

BOXING DEPOT'S PICK:

In looking at McClellan's footage, his offense rarely varied. He threw a range finding jab to the head and body. This was invariably followed up with a right cross over the top mixed in with left hooks to the body. His offense did not stray from this three pronged attack. But because of his power and range, this repetitive punch selection was more than take his opponents down.

Defensively, the G-Man primarily used his legs to move out of range. He parried with his right to deflect jabs but he was the standard Kronk fighter in that his offense was his defense.

What I found most impressive about McClellan was his killer instinct and the volume of hard punches he threw. He punched hard and punched often which was rare as most sluggers are 'one and done.' And when he had his man hurt, he swarmed in like a shark, throwing huge rights and lefts to the spleen.

His weaknesses were made apparent in his tragic bout with Nigel Benn. He seemed confused when Benn did not wither under his assault. The Dark Destroyer took McClellan's best shots and when he came back with his own he forced the G-Man to hold on. Granted, there are pundits who will point to Benn's headbutts as being probable cause for McClellan's brain injury during the fight. I cannot say for certain as in re-watching the footage McClellan is blinking hard as early as the fourth round and it is really hard to ascertain when the trauma occurred to his brain from one punch or the accumulation.

I will admit that I am late to Golovkin's bandwagon. I had a hunch that he would be Kostya Tszyu 2.0 in that he was a hard hitting front-runner that would lose to the first guy who stood up to him (i.e., when Vince Phillips stopped Tszyu). Granted, Tszyu did complete a Hall of Fame career and Golovkin may still get taken down in related fashion. But the fighter I saw demolish Daniel Geale is clearly head and shoulders above today's middleweights.

Golovkin has numbing power the likes of which has not been seen in years. Matthew Macklin and Daniel Geale are not all time greats but...the manner in which Golovkin defeated them was most impressive. These were world class opponents that were not knocked out...they were annihilated.

If there was any fight of Golovkin's wherein some shortcomings were laid to bare it was his bout against Gabriel Rosado. He looked uncomfortable in spots with Rosado's movement and I thought the Philadelphian won more than a few exchanges.

If there were any weaknesses in Golovkin's game, it was his lack of head movement. He does not employ the same bob and weave style a la Nigel Benn. He elects to use a parry and block style instead.

That being said, I think McClellan made one technical error that would play right into Triple G's hands....He would often throw a jab to the body and lean too far forward. Golovkin would eventually time that punch and catch McClellan pulling back with a big right. Hurt by the shot, McClellan would go into a defensive shell. My pick is that he would not last through the follow-up bombardment.

Prediction: GOLOVKIN KO6

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FANTASY FIGHT REQUESTS BELOW

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Posted by Shaun Boan on August 25, 2014

    Aaron Pryor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

    My opinion: Pryor by KO could be early, middle or late.

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