A few hours had passed since a press release issued by K2 Promotions informed boxing media outlets that their client, WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin, would be facing Osumanu Adama on Feb. 1 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
The general reaction from fans has been one of dismissiveness, even derisiveness, as many feel the relatively unknown Adama (22-3, 16 knockouts), a Chicago area-based Ghanaian, stands little or no chance of giving Golovkin (28-0, 25 KOs) a serious challenge.
Adama hears all of it, but says the reactions haven’t discouraged him at all.
“He’s a dangerous, very strong fighter,” said Adama. “We all know that he’s a very strong fighter. He’s always coming forward and throwing punches.
“I’m a strong fighter too, and I’m not scared of nobody. I’m there to fight and I’m going to show him something different. I believe in myself.”
Adama, 32, has won two straight bouts since losing a unanimous decision to Daniel Geale last March in a vie for the IBF middleweight title. His other two losses – to Don George in 2010 and Dyah Davis in 2009 – have also been by decision. Adama’s biggest win to date is a technical knockout of now-retired former IBF junior middleweight titleholder Roman Karmazin in 2011.
Adama says he had been mentally preparing to face Golovkin for several months, as he was originally slated to get the call in his last fight. Golovkin instead fought New Yorker Curtis Stevens at Madison Square Garden, stopping him in eight rounds.
“His last performance was good,” said Adama, who trains with Joseph Owinongya and Sam Colonna in Chicago. “I don’t know why Stevens gave up, he was doing good. Stevens just stood in front of him. If you stand in front of him, that’s when he’s going to get you.
“You have to be a boxer to fight with Golovkin. You must move and box. That’s what I’m going to work on with him. That’s my technique.”
Golovkin, 31, will be making the tenth defense of his title and enters this bout having stopped his previous 15 opponents. He’s one of the most active elite boxers in the sport with four fights in 2013, and is rated No. 1 at middleweight by THE RING. The division champion, Sergio Martinez, remains sidelined with an injury sustained during his April victory over Martin Murray.
“Golovkin has two hands, I have two hands,” said Adama. “I can move and fight, I can stand and fight. He’s an inside fighter so I’m going to control the distance with him. That’s what I’m going to do.”
Photo from Adama’s Facebook page.
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to The Ring magazine and GMA News. He can be reached at [email protected]. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.