That third special fighter is, of course, Middleweight sensation Gennady Golovkin (32-0, 29) who retained his WBA “super and WBC “interim” world titles with one of his most impressive performances to date. Battling against the Martin Murray (29-2-1, 12) of the UK, Golovkin showcased all the things that make him special whilst also showing a few new things to his arsenal.
The fight began somewhat slowly and frustratingly as Murray decided the best line of defence was holding. It was a clever tactic from the challenger in some ways through he was still forced to take hard jabs between the breaks. Strangely when Murray did let his hands go in a positive manner he did look good though it was clear, even in the first round, that he lacked the power to make Golvokin respect him. The holding was again seen in the second round, though it was Murray's best round of the fight as he managed to get through with a lot of good shots of his own, especially to the body of Golovkin. What made things difficult for Murray was his willingness to back up to the ropes where he was a sitting duck for some of Golovkin's work even if the champion wasn't landing too many clean and hurtful shots.
Having taken a couple of rounds to get through the gears Golovkin managed to break through for the first time at the end of round 3 as he seemed to wobble Murray in the final seconds of the. It was the first chink in Murray's armour and the first time Golovkin had managed to really hurt the challenger.
With Murray being wobbled at the end of the 3rd round it seemed that Golovkin could smell blood and in round 4 he upped the ante. This saw Golovkin targeting the body of the challenger who was down twice in the round as he took a battering. For the first time the bout was really looking like a mismatch and for the first time Murray was completely unable to neutralise the Golovkin offense. The best the challenger could manage at times was an occasional low blow that did little more than slow Golvokin down for just a few milliseconds before he was back on the offensive.
Although down twice in the 4th Murray showed a lot of guts, heart and toughness to get to his feet, twice, and continue the round. At the time it seemed pointless though it was the courage of the challenger who was refusing to just lose after 12 minutes of the fight.
With his body aching and breaking Murray then felt the full force of Golovkin's attack up top as his face burst open with his nose bleeding heavily. The blood and pain didn't stop the challenger who tried to fight back and landed a number of eye catching shots, including an eye catching right hand that did little more than bounce off the champion who showed his chin before firing off his own arsenal of punches later, including a beautiful double uppercut late in the round a huge right just before the bell.
Having fallen a mile behind on the cards Murray than mounted a few solid rounds in the middle of the bout as he managed to hold centre ring for some prolonged moments. Although rounds 6 and 7 were better for Murray they weren't rounds he won, in fact he took much better than he gave and in fact Golovkin evened seemed happy for Murray to land some of his sharp combinations with the shots literally bouncing off the champion. So comfortable was Golovkin that he even started to look for his now infamous “top of the head” shot that he stopped Marco Antonio Rubio with, and he tried landing it with both hands.
With Murray having had a couple of moderately successful rounds it seemed like he could mount a bit of a fight back. Those thoughts were quickly ended in round 8 as Golovkin put on a beating on Murray who ended the round wobbling and doing little more than surviving. It seemed as though the Brit was all in and that he was essentially running on fumes and surviving on toughness alone. It was clear he was needing a knockout but he had never managed to do little more than irritating Golovkin with counters in the first 8 rounds.
In the 9th we again saw Murray irritate Golovkin who seemed willing to take a few shots in the hope of finding the perfect counter. The opportunity for Golovkin didn't come but it was obvious that Murray's best hope was to see out the distance. Golovkin however had different plans and in round 10 he against dropped the challenger, scoring his 3rd knockdown of the bout. By the end of the 10th Murray was looking gone, he had wobbled to his corner and seemed like he needed saving. His corner should, really, have done their job there but instead they sent him out for the 11th.
It was to be a foolish move from Murray's corner and within a minute he was stopped as he was on his way down again from another Golovkin assault.
Although Murray had taken Golovkin into the 11th round it was hard for the challenger to take too many positives from the bout. He had spent much of the bout surviving and although his toughness was impressive he was completely out classed, out powered, out muscled and out fought. He had given his all and the best he could do was land a few clean shots here and there whilst being broken down round after round.
The big plus from Golovkin's point of view however was that he had managed to answer another question fans had regarding him. He had managed to prove he had stamina, he looked like he had plenty in reserve at the finish and although he had slowed at times he had never really looked like he was gassing. He also managed to again prove his chin as he took some sharp counters with out even flinching.
For Golovkin it seems like a summer return is inevitable, possibly a WBC world title fight against Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto. The questions for Murray's future however, are much harder to answer and he may well be considering his future options following the first clear loss of his professional career.