Just moments ago we saw former Middleweight king Gennady Golovkin (39-1-1, 35) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] return to the ring for the first time since losing to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last year Canadian Steve Rolls (19-1, 10).
From the off Golovkin applied pressure, backing up Rolls, who looked confident in the opening moments but appeared slightly nervous and worried of Golovkin's pressure and power. The nervous seemed to dissipate early in round 2, as Rolls began to let some of his own shots go and even managed to back Golovkin up at one point.
Although Rolls has lost the two opening rounds Rolls had really grown into the fight in the second round landing shots to both the head and body of the Kazakh, to make things very competitive. That same level of success was shown again in round 3 from the Canadian, who landed a lot of clean shots on Golovkin, who looked a little rusty at times. Despite being caught however Golovkin was getting shots of his own through, and the more success Rolls had the more he seemed to be taking risks.
Early in round 4 Golovkin began to up his pressure and got through to the body of Rolls several times early in the round. He continued to press and rocked Rolls before a follow up dropped the Canadian face first, from a huge right hand on. To credit Rolls tried to get to his feet, though failed to beat the count.
Despite the win Golovkin did leave us with a lot of questions on what he has left, and whether father time is catching up with him, given the success Rolls had. He is however clearly chasing a third bout with Alvarez, and we wouldn't be surprised to see that happen later this year.
Tomorrow we'll see former Middleweight king Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34) return to the ring for the first time since his loss Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last year. The Kazakh, who will be fighting under the guidance of Johnathon Banks, will be up against unbeaten Canadian Steve Rolls (19-0, 10) in a bout being fought slightly above the Middleweight limit.
A few hours ago the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men looked in great shape.
Golovkin hit the scales at 163lbs, a career high and the first time he's come in over 160lbs since his 2008 win over Malik Dziarra. Rolls was a touch heavier, at 163.75lbs, but still lighter than he has been in some recent bouts.
Of course it's worth noting that Golovkin isn't the only Asian fighter on this show, in fact there are two other Kazakh's and Uzbek, all of whom are unbeaten and in interesting bouts.
One of those is Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1, 12) [Бахтияр Эюбов] Brian Ceballo (8-0, 4). On the scales Eyubov was 148lbs whilst Ceballo was 147.5lbs, for the bout being fought just above the Welterweight limit. The other Kazakh is Ali Akhmedov (14-0, 10) [Али Ахмедов], who takes on who faces Marcus McDaniel (15-0, 2) in a bout for the WBC International Silver Super Middleweight title. On the scales Akhmedov was 167.5lbs whilst McDaniel was bang on the Super Middleweight limit of 168lbs.
The other Asian on this card is fast rising Uzbek Israil Madrimov (2-0, 2) [Исроил Мадримов], who takes on Mexican veteran Norberto Gonzalez (23-12,13). Madrimov hit the scales at 153.25lbs whilst Gonzalez was slightly lighter at 152.75lbs.
With just a week to go to the return of Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34), as he takes on unbeaten Canadian Steve Rolls (19-0, 10), there is worry in Kazakhstan that the bout may not be aired locally, with no broadcaster yet announcing that they are showing it.
Golovkin, who was last seen losing in a very hotly contested bout to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, is still big news in Kazakhstan and he is one of 3 Kazakh's on the show, with Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0-1, 12) [Бахтияр Эюбов] and Ali Akhmedov (14-0, 10) [Али Ахмедов] also in action, making the decision of Kazakh TV channels a very strange one.
There is a chance things will change and someone will pick up the fight in the coming days, but at the time of writing it seems the only way for a Kazakh fight fan to watch the bout will be going through an international feed, which would be a huge shame.
Since making is professional debut last November Israil Madrimov (2-0, 2 [Исроил Мадримов] hasn't been able to stop himself from impressing fans. On debut, a 10 round, he showed cased confidence, a great in ring style and tough match making, before stopping Vladimir Hernandez. In his second bout he blew away Frank Rojas with one of the best KO's of the year so far.
With those wins he has quickly skipped the typical prospect status to immediately become a contender, and is already ranked #7 by the WBA at Light Middleweight, after just 2 professional bouts.
Madrimov's next contest will come on the June 8th card at Madison Square Garden, a show headlined by Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34) making his ring return to take on Steve Rolls (19-0, 10), and will see the Uzbek take on Mexican veteran Norberto Gonzalez (23-12,13), in what is thought to be a 10 round bout at Middleweight.
The 37 year old Gonzalez is a great trial horse, who tends to lose to his best opponents, but rarely gets stopped. In his 35 fight career he has seen the final bell against the likes of Antwone Smith, Erickson Lubin, Kanat Islam, Esquiva Falcao, Frank Galarza and Bakhram Murtazaliev, with only Jermall Charlo and Terrell Gausha managing to stop him.
On paper this is a slight step up for Madrimov, given the competition that Gonzalez has faced, but in reality it feels more like a lateral step for the Uzbek, who should win comfortably. The only question is whether he can become the third man to stop the Mexican trial horse.
It's fair to say it's been a frustrating few weeks for Daniyar Yeleussinov (6-0, 3) [Данияр Маратұлы Елеусінов]. Originally he was pencilled in to fight on May 25th, as part of the Oleksandr Usyk Vs Carlos Takam card, which has under-gone multiple changes in recent weeks, then he was scheduled to fight on the June 8th card headlined by Gennady Golovkin battling Steve Rolls.
Now he has seen his bout shift back to the originally planned May 25th date.
Originally the hope had been for Yeleussinov to face Fernando Carcamo (23-9, 18), who was unable to make the May 25th date for reasons relating to his trainer. Instead Yeleussinov will now face Miguel Zamudio (43-12-1, 27), with the bout taking place in just over a weeks time.
On paper Zamudio looks like an interesting test, with over 40 wins and more than 50 bouts. In reality however he's a very, very limited fighter who has been stopped 10 times, including an opening round loss to Shakhram Giyasov last November, the same Giyasov that Yeleussinov beat in the 2016 Olympic final.
Given the bout has been put together on short notice it is better than nothing, but this isn't really great for his development and it's a shame he is wasting time facing someone like Zamudio at this point.
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