WBA middleweight beltholder Gennady Golovkin faces his toughest test to date in the form of ex-IBF light middle Kassim Ouma as the two tangle tonight at Arena Roberto Duran in Panama City.
The Kazakhstan puncher is 20-0 (17) as a professional after capping off an exceptional amateur career by winning a Silver medal in the 2004 Olympics.
The 29 year old Golovkin won the Interim WBA crown with a first round KO of Milton Nunez in August, 2010 before knocking out Nilson Julio Tapia in three just four months later to become the full WBA champion.
Despite the title belt, the Stuttgart resident has yet to prove himself among the elite of the 160 pound division but the defense against Ouma is a step in the right direction.
While Ouma, 27-7-1 (17), at 32, is years past his best period of 2003-2006, the Uganda born southpaw is still a difficult opponent, as light middle contender Vanes Martirosyan found out in January, 2010 when he had to pick himself off the canvas to pick up a hard fought decision for the NABF and NABA titles.
Ouma's aggressive high volume approach should give Golovkin ample counter opportunities early on but as the bout goes on, the challenger determination to keep throwing from unexpected angles could provide a difficult puzzle to solve.
While Golovkin has stopped most of his opponents thus far, Ouma's granite jaw will likely carry the challenger the distance and it
will be interesting to see how Golovkin, who has never gone past eight rounds, does in the later stages of the contest.
Also, this could be Ouma's last world title opportunity if he loses, perhaps providing the motivation to turn back the clock but really, this is Golovkin's fight to lose.
There is another world title clash on the bill as local southpaw Anselmo Moreno, 30-1-1 (10), will be making the eighth defense of his WBA bantam title in a bout against ex-WBA flyweight king Lorenzo Parra, 31-2-1 (18).
This should be an excellent clash as Parra gave WBA super bantam champ Cellestino Caballero a tough time in a 2008 title tilt and forced a draw, in Mexico, with Jorge Arce last year in a WBO super bantam title eliminator.
Moreno has a big height advantage and at 25 is seven years younger than Parra, plus he's fighting at home so he's definitely favored to win but it's by no means certain.
Boxing News Tags: Anselmo Moreno, Cellestino Caballero, Gennady Golovkin, IBF, Jorge Arce, Kassim Ouma, KO, Lorenzo Parra, Mexico, Milton Nunez, NABA, NABF, Nilson Julio Tapia, Panama, Roberto Duran, Uganda, Vanes Martirosyan, WBA, WBO