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Like GGG, Lee wants unification fight

2/17/2015
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Look back at some of the best moments of Gennady Golovkin's career.

The one thing middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin has been crystal clear about time and again is his desire to unify the belts at 160 pounds. His biggest problem has been getting the other titleholders to face him.

But now it looks like he has some company when it comes to a desire to unify. Andy Lee, who claimed one of the belts with his rousing come-from-behind sixth-round knockout of Matt Korobov to win a vacant title on Dec. 13, has the same desire as GGG.

Lee said he plans to be ringside on Saturday (HBO, 5:45 p.m. ET/PT) at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo to watch Golovkin (31-0, 28 KOs) defend his title against Martin Murray.

Should Golovkin defeat Murray, and should Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) take care of his own expected difficult business against undefeated former titlist Peter Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs) on April 11 (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Lee wants to face Golovkin in a unification bout.

“Golovkin and Murray are nice guys and good fighters, and I hope to fight both of them some day,” Lee said. “It's a genuinely interesting fight -- one I'd be interested in even if I wasn't at their weight -- and it also carries relevance to me and my career. I'll be looking to see certain things in both fighters. I've seen Golovkin fight at least once before in the flesh, but I've never seen Murray fight in the flesh. It will be nice to see them up close and get a sense of what they're like around a big fight.

“I think about a unification fight all the time. And even though I'm now a world champion, Golovkin is still ‘the man’ in the division. He is rightly considered the No. 1 middleweight in the world. Maybe this time next year we'll be fighting for all the marbles. Though I'm sure Martin Murray will have something to say about that.”

Lee said he is predicting a Golovkin victory on Saturday but he expects Murray (29-1-1, 12 KOs) to be a formidable opponent. After all, the only blemishes on Murray’s record are a controversial decision loss to then-champion Sergio Martinez and a draw with Felix Sturm in a title fight.

“I think Murray is the best opponent Golovkin has faced,” Lee said. “I'd probably say [former titlist] Daniel Geale was the best up to this point, but Murray is a bit better than him. He's more solid, stronger and he's a big middleweight.

“Saying that, though, I don't know if Martin will be able to do as much with Golovkin as even guys like [Gabriel] Rosado and [Curtis] Stevens did. From what we've seen of his past fights, Martin tends to be in front of you, he stands square and you don't have to go looking for him. That might suit Golovkin.

“Remember, Murray has experience at this level. He's gone 12 rounds with both Martinez and Sturm. He's definitely world class. He also has belief. I don't think he will be in awe of Golovkin. He won't think he's going to lose. Most people who face Golovkin are beaten before they've even stepped in the ring with him.”

Lee and Golovkin have faced each other before -- as amateurs at the 2003 world championships. Golovkin outpointed Lee and went on to win the gold medal. Even back then, Lee was impressed.

“His footwork, feints and ability to cut off the ring are second to none,” Lee said. “He always has his opponent on edge. You're in a constant state of panic, thinking he's going to attack you at any moment, but he's totally relaxed. It's no big deal to him. He puts pressure on you with his feet all the time. And it's mental pressure. Then, when you step to him, he'll take a quick step away. He's always on his toes, ready to fire.

“Murray will find he has to pick his spots wisely. You don't get many of them and you have to be absolutely certain when they arrive. If you get it wrong, you could leave yourself exposed and end up in trouble.”