Halloween is only one day away, but this year two of the scariest creatures around will wait until November 2 to show us the true definition of frightful.
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs) and Curtis “Showtime” Stevens (25-3, 18 KOs) will engage in a Middleweight battle live from the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
The championship showdown will be shown live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.
Both men are known for being fearsome knockout artists, yet they project fear in their own ways.
Golovkin is boxing’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Outside of the ring, the WBA and IBO champion is a self-proclaimed “Good Boy.” From all accounts, Golovkin seems to be a mild mannered and genuinely nice guy who doesn’t fit the mold of boxing assassin.
Photo by All City Images
Inside the ring is a different story.
With 24 knockouts in 27 bouts, GGG’s KO percentage of 88.89 is the highest among active champions.
He’s been on a demolition course this year, scoring knockouts over Gabriel Rosado, Nobuhiro Ishida and Matthew Macklin.
To Golovkin, Stevens is just another guy in line to get knocked out.
Stevens is a different kind of scary. He’s the monster that doesn’t hide his true identity.
He’s a wrecking ball from Brownsville, Brooklyn that comes to check your chin and more than likely, if you get in his way, you will get stretched.
Earlier this year, hard-nosed veteran Saul Roman found that out the hard way.
Some may think that Stevens is in over his head against one of the two best Middleweights in the world. But while this is Stevens’ first major title shot, he isn’t new to the spotlight.
Almost 10 years ago, Stevens and fellow boxer Jaidon Codrington were can’t-miss prospects from New York who were nicknamed “The Chin Checkers.”
But—as usually is the case in boxing—a few losses turned high praise into skepticism.
After a surprise loss to Jesse Brinkley, Stevens retreated into retirement and many people forgot about the next big thing from Brooklyn.
After a two-year hiatus from boxing, Stevens returned to the ring in March of 2012 against Romaro Johnson and won by TKO in Round 1.
Since then, Stevens has won three more bouts, including the destruction of Roman in August.
So not only is Stevens trying to—in his own words—shock the world with a win over Golovkin, he’s also trying to remind people of who he is.
The advantage in pre-fight trash talking—sometimes referred to as Round 1–certainly went to Stevens.
— Curtis Stevens (@Showtime_curtis) September 4, 2013
In September, Stevens posted a number of pictures on Twitter next to a coffin that had “RIP GGG” written on it, which seemed to get under Golovkin’s skin. In an interview with ESNews, the Kazakh fighter admitted that he wanted to score a knockout because Stevens “has a big mouth and talks too much.”
He also stated that the knockout may come in the first or second round.
When asked by a fan on ESPN Sports Nation Chat, Golovkin said the photos were motivation. “Yeah. That is motivation. He has a big mouth. He is talking, talking, talking too much.”
We’ll have to wait for fight night to truly know if the pre-fight hype was more motivation than distraction.
Regardless of who gets their hand raised at the end of the night, folks should take Stevens’ words to Fight News as a sign of what’s to come; “Come November 2nd don’t blink.”