Mehdi ‘The Brave Heart’ Bouadla is one of only three fighters able to go the distance with boxing newest superstar Gennady Golovkin when the pair locked horns way back in 2007.
At the time, Golovkin was an 8-0 prospect with a 100% KO ratio going into the Dusseldorf contest, although Bouadla was able to last the full distance over eight rounds and even take a couple of rounds from the current middleweight champion.
Given what the Kazakh has gone on to achieve, Bouadla was asked his thoughts on becoming the first man to hear the final bell against Golovkin and if he was surprised by the pound for pound status his former opponent has secured recently.
“When I met Gennady Golvkin, given his success as an amateur winning a silver medal at the Olympic Games and world junior champion – plus his run as a pro at the time having eight KO wins, I knew he was a very good boxer,” Bouadla told World Boxing News.
“I thought he had everything it took to be a champion in the professional world. I managed to survive against him because I had come to win and because I know how to box. Plus, I’m a mentally tough, solid boxer.
“I’m proud to say that I managed to go the distance as only three have, but it would be even better if I had won. I’m sure that right now, I’d be able to renew this performance and become the first to go the full twelve given a second chance.”
Born just two months apart, Bouadla and Golovkin have certainly had contrasting careers since turning pro as the Frenchman has fluctuated between 160 and 168 pounds, whilst GGG rigidly fights at around 159 and a half pounds every single fight.
Whilst Bouadla has been handed title opportunities at super middleweight, the 33 year-old is adamant his best weight is at the eight pound lighter limit currently dominated by Golovkin, whom he hopes to once again oppose at some point in the future.
“We started our careers in very different ways. He had a big team around him and influential promoters, whilst I only had both my trainer and my friend, Halim Chalabi, who was with me from the beginning,” he pointed out.
“If I had had the same opportunities, we sure would have met again because our paths would have been similar. Now if I was offered a revenge match against him, I would accept with pleasure because I’m sure I could renew my performance and hear the final bell. And just like my first match against him, I would come for victory with the aim to be the first to defeat him.”
Bouadla’s career has stalled since losing an interim WBA title shot at 160 against Dmitry Chudinov back in August 2014, although he told WBN that he will be ready to return in January after taking care of some business outside of the ring.
“I hope to be boxing again in January 2016, or earlier if any opportunity arises,” said Bouadla. “You have to keep in mind that I had put my career on hold for a little bit longer than a year and I stayed away from the ring because I had a real-estate project to finish.
“I have to prepare for my after-boxing life, but I will never stop training and will always be ready,” he added.
Watch the full fight below: