Big-fight betting tips: Golovkin too big and too strong for Brook to remain unbeaten
A comprehensive look ahead to Saturday's action at the O2, which promises to be boxing's biggest night of the year as two world champions square off
Kell Brook v Gennady Golovkin
As the old boxing cliché goes, someone’s ‘0’ has to go in this meeting of two undefeated world champions.
Sheffield-born Brook has been thoroughly impressive after recovering from a stabbing in September 2014, with three victories inside six rounds since his comeback.
Facing Golovkin at middleweight represents by far the biggest challenge of his career, though.
The knockout specialist has won 32 of his 35 fights by stoppage, and has never needed to go the distance in a 12-round fight. His last points win came in an eight-round bout back in 2008.
He did take 11 rounds to beat Martin Murray in 2015, a durable fighter who is nowhere near Brook’s level in terms of class.
But that, though, was only the second time in Golovkin’s career that an opponent managed to survive for longer than the eighth.
The Kazakh’s size, therefore, will be the deciding factor in this fight.
Amir Khan’s sixth-round knockout defeat to Canelo Alvarez in May is the obvious example of just how difficult it is to jump up two divisions.
Brook is a smarter boxer than Khan, and he will stay out of range early on against such a dangerous puncher.
But the difference in natural weight will eventually wear the South Yorkshireman down, allowing Golovkin to secure a stoppage late on, just as he did against Murray.
Lee Haskins v Stuart Hall
The main event may be lacking in animosity, but there still is plenty of bad blood between these bantamweight rivals.
Haskins beat Hall when the pair first met in 2012, and the former’s IBF world title is on the line in the rematch.
Words, headbutts and slaps were exchanged at the pre-fight press conference, but the bout itself will perhaps not be quite as explosive considering both fighters boast pretty pedestrian knockout percentages.
Only seven of Hall’s 20 wins came by stoppage, while Haskins’ record is 14 in 33.
Hall simply doesn’t have the power to trouble Haskins – his last knockout victory came in 2011 – and he has lost twice and drawn once since their first meeting.
The 36-year-old’s chance of beating his rival has passed, and he will likely be out-pointed comfortably here to extend Haskins’ unbeaten record to seven fights.
Johnriel Casimero v Charlie Edwards
Eddie Hearn himself has admitted that this is far too early for Edwards to be fighting for a world title, particularly against a dangerous opponent like Casimero.
The 23-year-old has only fought eight times in his professional career, and his Filipino opponent has held IBF belts in two different weight classes.
Edwards has a significant size advantage though, and he is a hard-working fighter that will not grow tired as the fight goes on, proven by the fact that he has won three of his last four bouts by unanimous decision.
Casimero is by no means unbeatable. The 26-year-old has suffered three defeats in his 25-fight career, all of which came in his opponents’ home countries.
With 200 amateur under his belts, though, his experience will ultimately carry him through.
Considering five of the 26-year-old’s last eight fights have gone past 10 rounds, this one will likely go the distance.