Boxing promises Big Drama Show between Golovkin, Lemieux in NYC

All fighters on the top-notch card made weight in front of enthusiastic fans at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

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Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux show mutual respect with a handshake at their weigh-in Friday at Madison Square Garden. Photo: Jason Hesbach of Communities Digital News
Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux show mutual respect with a handshake at their weigh-in Friday at Madison Square Garden. Photo: Jason Hesbach of Communities Digital News

NEW YORK, October 16, 2015 – All of the participants in Saturday’s ‘Big Drama Show’ at Madison Square Garden in New York City have stepped on and off the scale, made weight, and said their final words to fans. Now it’s time for the truth in the ring.

Former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins poses with Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux at Madison Square Garden Friday. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News
Former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins poses with Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux at Madison Square Garden Friday. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News

Headliners Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin and David Lemiuex will fight in an all-too rare unification bout for Golovkin’s three middleweight belts and Lemieux’s belt. It is also a rare matchup of power punching sensations, with 61 knockouts between the pair in 67 bouts. Both of them along with their trainers and promoters have promised their fans exactly what they want to see, and none will mind if the fight ends long before 12 rounds are up.

Golovkin weighed-in at 159.4 pounds; Lemieux looked to be hedging his bets with a sheet in front of him, but did not have to disrobe, making weight at 159.8 pounds.

Lemieux knows he is the underdog but expressed confidence in himself. “David Lemieux is going to be the best David Lemieux you’ve ever seen. It’s history in the making.” Golovkin expressed his thanks to fans who have made the event a Garden sellout. “My respect, my pleasure to my fans. It’s an amazing day.”

Roman Gonzalez and Brian Viloria fly their flags in a salute to fans Friday in New York. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News
Roman Gonzalez and Brian Viloria fly their flags in a salute to fans Friday in New York. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News

There is nearly as much anticipation for the co-main event between WBC flyweight champion (112 pounds) Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua (43-0, 37 KOs) and American Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria (36-4, 22 KOs), fighting for Gonzalez’ WBC title belt. Gonzalez is considered the number one pound for pound boxer in the world on multiple lists. Nicaraguan fans cheered their champion as he hit the scale. Both fighters weighed in at 111.8 pounds.

“Making weight was the most important part. Now we’re ready to fight,” said Gonzalez through a translator. “It is a dream come true at Madison Square Garden where a lot of legends fought. I just want to put on a good show.”

Viloria knows the odds are against him, and he has to fight the perfect fight to win. “I’m just going to let my hands go, let it fly, and hope he’ll get to taste some of that Hawaiian Punch,” laughed Viloria. “A lot of people aren’t giving me any chance. I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again.”

Heavyweights Luis Ortiz and Matias Ariel Vidondo face off at their weigh-in Friday in New York. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News
Heavyweights Luis Ortiz and Matias Ariel Vidondo face off at their weigh-in Friday in New York. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News

The third title bout on the card features two undefeated heavyweights, Cuban Luiz Ortiz of Miami (22-0, 19 KOs) versus Matias Ariel Vidondo (20-1-1, 18 KOs) of Argentina. Ortiz weighed in at 237.8 pounds; Vidondo at 261 pounds. The soft-spoken Ortiz said, “The hands will definitely be doing the talking,” predicting a knockout. Vidondo said “I have a big heart but I have even bigger (testicles),” which drew a roar of laughter from fans at the Garden.

Tureano Johnson and Eamonn O'Kane at Friday's weigh-in at Madison Square Garden. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News
Tureano Johnson and Eamonn O’Kane at Friday’s weigh-in at Madison Square Garden. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News

The most enthusiastic crowd were flying the Irish flag and wearing green in support of Irish middleweight Eamonn O’Kane, while opponent Tureano Johnson’s family and friends cheered with equal passion. Johnson (18-1, 13 KOs) weighted in at 159.4, O’Kane (17-1-1, 5 KOs). right at the limit of 160. “I expect an explosive, dynamite fight,” said Johnson. “I’m in the best shape of my life,” said O’Kane. “I’m just looking to do everyone proud. Before bedtime, it’s showtime.”

Middleweight champions past and present: (L to R) Gennady Golovkin, Roberto Duran, Bernard Hopkins, David Lemieux, and Oscar De La Hoya. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News
Middleweight champions past and present: (L to R) Gennady Golovkin, Roberto Duran, Bernard Hopkins, David Lemieux, and Oscar De La Hoya. Photo: Gayle Falkenthal, Communities Digital News

Fans enjoyed a rare alignment of middleweight stars past and present on the stage when Golovkin and Lemieux were joined by former middleweight champions Bernard Hopkins, Roberto Duran, and Oscar De La Hoya. The middleweight division is rich with talent after some lean years. It is the division capable of providing the perfect intermingling of speed and power. If the stars align the same way in the ring Saturday, fans will be talking about this one for years to come.

Communities Digital News is ringside in New York and will bring you all the coverage leading up to Fight Night on Saturday, October 17.  Follow news on Twitter at @CommDigiNews and Gayle Falkenthal at @PRProSanDiego for the latest from New York.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.

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