Photo Credits: Will Hart/K2 Promotions
NEW YORK CITY, NY — The weigh-in results are in for tomorrow’s HBO “Boxing After Dark” double-header with Golovkin-Geale and Jennings-Perez. All the fighters made weight without visible issues. Now it’s time to discuss the potential outcomes.
GOLOVKIN: 159.8 LBS.
GEALE: 159.2 LBS
PREDICTION: Geale is being lauded as GGG’s toughest opponent to date and I’d have to agree. Geale’s win over Felix Sturm and being in the championship mix for most of the last decade makes him a worthy scalp. More importantly, Geale has attributes that will serve him well against the Good Boy killer: high punch activity, good defense, speed and a strong chin.
If you’ll recall the Stevens fight, GGG did show the tendency to freeze and retreat when fast combos came his way. If Geale can make it a fight at mid-range, where his strong jab and speed should give him a slight advantage, GGG could find himself in an early scoring hole we haven’t seen since the Kasim Ouma bout.
The problem for Geale from my vantage point is his fearlessness. He will mix up inside and this is where I feel GGG will do considerable damage courtesy of his left hook. I see a fight on even terms until the middle rounds where Geale gets dropped. From there, Geale goes more defensive and GGG starts to control the pace. With Geale’s smarts and chin, I expect him to have a moral victory of sorts in not only breaking GGG’s KO streak, but also giving him his most competitive fight in years. GGG by unanimous decision in an 116-112 type of fight.
JENNINGS: 222.6 LBS.
PEREZ: 242.2 LBS
PREDICTION: I fully expect this to be Jennings’ coming out party. Sure, the Artur Szpilka KO put him on the HBO map, but Mike Perez is a class above that Polish bruiser. A dominant performance tomorrow night makes that #3 ranking Jennings holds from the WBC perfectly legit.
Perez had to postpone this fight in May due to a left shoulder injury. From the pictures, it doesn’t appear the extra time did him any good — he looks bloated at 242 pounds (his highest weight since 2011). As Jennings told me himself, what makes him special at heavyweight is that he’s athletic. He has the stamina to go late rounds and increase his workrate. I don’t see Perez being able to do that. In addition, Jennings is the more cerebral fighter in terms of adjusting strategies as the bout progresses.
Perez has fast hands, so I see Jennings being cautious early and likely losing a few of those opening rounds on sheer lack of activity. But once he gets Perez’s timing down, I see another slow dissection with Perez being exhausted (and helpless) on the ropes much like Szpilka was. Jennings TKO9.