A day ahead of the highly-anticipated return of pound-for-pound Kazakh superstar Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) against undefeated Top-10 contender and Toronto native Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs), the fighters tipped the scales on Friday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
The fight will be contested at a maximum weight of 164 lbs. and streamed live on DAZN beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT. GGG vs. Rolls kicks off the exclusive six-fight, three-year global partnership between GGG Promotions and DAZN, the world’s fastest-growing sports streaming platform.
Undefeated super middleweight contenders Ali Akhmedov (14-0, 10 KOs) of Almaty, Kazakhstan and Marcus McDaniel (15-0, 2 KOs) of New Orleans also faced off ahead of their clash for the vacant WBC International Super Middleweight title in the co-main event.
Also part of the main card, in a battle of undefeated Brooklyn brawlers, rising star Brian Ceballo (8-0, 4 KOs) and Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1, 12 KOs) will be slugging it out in an eight-round welterweight battle for borough supremacy.
Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), the former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion, repeatedly has stated that they settled on a catch weight of 164 pounds to accommodate Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs), who has boxed between 160 and 168 pounds. Rolls weighed 160 pounds for his last fight, however, and noted that it was Golovkin, not him, that demanded the catch weight.
“My previous fights mostly have been at 160, but I’m comfortable at 164,” Rolls said. “I’m comfortable. … I’m good with it. I fought as an amateur at 165, and I have fought, earlier in my career as a professional, at 165 or above. So, I’m good with it.”
Rolls expects to weigh somewhere between 167 and 170 pounds when their bout begins Saturday night.
“Gennadiy’s gonna out-weigh him in the ring,” said Lou DiBella, Golovkin’s promoter. “I mean, I guarantee you Gennadiy’s gonna out-weigh him the night of the fight.”
Golovkin doesn’t think he’ll be heavier for this fight than when he has competed at the middleweight limit.
“I still feel the same as I did at 160,” Golovkin said. “I don’t think I’ll be heavier on the day of the fight as I was [Friday]. It also depends on how much water, how much liquid I will drink. It’s always under 170.”
Assuming the heavily favored Golovkin wins Saturday night, he is expected to return to the middleweight limit for his next fight. He hopes that bout is a third meeting with rival Canelo Alvarez.
DAZN signed Mexico’s Alvarez and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin to lucrative contracts to match them again September 14.
“I still consider myself to be a 160-pound fighter,” Golovkin said, “but this particular fight which we are facing is not a title fight. So, why not make a compromise to the opponent?”