On Saturday night we we had a PPV that featured 4 bouts. The first 3 of those lasted a combined 9 rounds, but thankfully the main event gave us not only 12 rounds of action, but 12 of the very best rounds of 2018. Those rounds provided us with a highly technical high tempo war to decide the premier Middleweight on the planet. For once a highly hyped and massively anticipated bout lived up to the expectations and more.
The match up in question saw long term Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 24) take on the hugely popular Saul Alvarez (50-1-2, 34) with the 36 year old Golovkin looking to defend the WBA Super and WBC Middleweight titles against a man he controversially fought to a draw against a year ago.
Sadly for the Kazakh it wasn't to be his day, as Canelo narrowly took home the decision in what was one of the most hotly contested, and exciting, bouts of 2018.
Canelo stamped his authority on the bout early on. He started better, applying the pressure and and landing the cleaner in the first few rounds. Building moment that he could carry forward. The pressure of Canelo saw him not only force Golovkin to move more, but also saw the Mexican landing the eye catching counter shots.
Golovkin managed to stage a fight back in the middle rounds, cutting Canelo's left eye as he began to out work the Mexican fighter. Canelo continued to land the better single blows, but was being out-worked on the whole, in rounds that were very well balanced and featured some fantastic back and forth action. It was a war, yet it was technical. Neither man got reckless, neither man was wild, both were sharp though it seemed like Canelo's shots were that little bit more eye catching, even if he was a bit more conservative.
After the very competitive middle section the bout turned heavily in favour of Golovkin who began to have a second wind in round 9 as he picked up his work rate. Golovkin's success would grow more in round 10, a round that saw him clearly hurt Canelo, and round 11. They were as clear rounds to Golovkin as the first 2 or 3 were for Alvarez and it was clear that the decision was going to go down to how the judges had scored the middle rounds.
The final round, like many of the middle rounds, was close. It ended with Golovkin cut around the right eye, but there had been almost nothing to pick between the two men. It was a round that could have gone either way, like many from the contest.
When we reached the score cards the reality was that the bout could have gone either way. It seemed a lot more competitive and compelling than their first bout. Canelo had changed his style more, going from a back foot boxer to a pressure fighter, and forced Golovkin to show something new to his boxing. Both men were banged up, both had been cut, and both had looked like they were going to need some serious recovery time.
Despite the swelling and cuts it was Canelo who managed to get the win, with a majority decision. The judges returning cards of 114-114, and 115-113, twice, in his favour. Unlike the first bout between the two men there was no outlying score-cards, instead all 3 judges score the bout in a way that seemed right. There was no clear winner, and that showed.
Whilst Golovkin will clearly be disappointed in the result, there can be no major complaint. It really was a bout that was so close that it showed how even the men were. He may want a rematch, but at the age of 36 we wonder if there is another 12 hard rounds left in him. For Canelo the bout is his crowning as the Middleweight's king, and he will now be the man the others will be chasing. His status as a unified champion, and this huge win, will help him put a frustrating 2018 behind him.
A rematch would make sense, and is perhaps the most logical choice for both men, but with fighters like Ryota Murata and Billy Joe Saunders out there it may make more sense for the two to go their own way, rather than take the punishment that another 12 rounds against each other will give them.
A frustrating few weeks for Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 34) concluded earlier tonight as he took on American Vanes Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21), a late replacement for Mexico's Saul “Canelo” Alvarez who failed a drugs test in the build to a fight with Golovkin. Coming in to the bout Martirosyan had been inactive for 2 years, and had lost his most recent bout at Light Middleweight.
Sadly for Martirosyan he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Golovkin's frustrations were taken out on the underwhelming challenger, who suffered his first stoppage loss whilst Golovkin recorded his 20th world title title defense and retained the WBA “super” and WBC Middleweight titles.
The first round saw Martirosyan start pretty well and he seemed sharp and fast, not like a fighter who had ring rust from inactivity. Sadly though his speed and success really didn't help Martirosyan as Golovkin took what blows he landed with out flinching whilst coming forward himself and looking to land his own, trademark, bombs.
Having had a good opening round Martirosyan seemed to look to start round 2 fast, but was caught by an uppercut that clearly hurt him. The challenger was bundled over before landing a few shots of his. Sadly the success of Martirosyan seemed to infuriate Golovkin who immediately returned fire and lets his shots go, forcing Martirosyan on to the ropes, and then down to the canvas for the 10 count.
Now Golovkin is in a weird position. He clearly wants the rematch with Alvarez, the bout is the biggest paying contest by a mile, but he has an IBF mandatory title fight due with Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko and would also like to have a WBO unification bout with Billy Joe Saunders. It suddenly seems like fighters, like Ryota Murata and Jermall Charlo, want a piece of Golovkin and he may well have gone from being one of the sports most avoided men into one of the most wanted, with a number of fighters vying to have him as their next foe.
For Martirosyan the loss was an expected one, and although it's unclear what his plans are, he really didn't look like a Middleweight in their with Golovkin, and his further could be very short if he continues to fight as a Middleweight.
Earlier today fight fans across Japan, and the US, had the chance to see WBA "regular" Middleweight champion Ryota Murata (14-1, 11) [村田 諒太] record his first defense, as he overcame the game but horribly out-matched Italian challenger Emanuele Felice Blandamura (27-3, 5).
From the opening moments the bout looked like a mismatch, as the physically imposing Murata began to stalk the ring applying his typical deliberate pressure on the challenger. Blandamura didn't seemed too concered about the pressure, and moved well around the outside of the ring, but was unable to ever slow Murata who picked his spots and landed some hard jabs and stiff straight right hands.
There wasn't much original about Murata's work but what worked was working and he kept to the same style through out the fight. Applying his constant, educated and almost mechnical pressure on Blandamura. The Italian was competitive, in spurts, but as Murata moved through the gears the bout was becoming more and more one-sided, with Blandamura given a real pounding in round 5 and 6 as he began to really feel the pressure, power and consistency of Murata, who seemed to land with an insane amount of his shots.
Despite dominating Murata struggled to land clean, had he done so he may have stopped Blandamura early on, but the Italian was in survival mode around round 5 as he retreated and looked like he knew he was a beaten man.
With Blandamura hurt and unable to really stop Murata it did seem like the champion turned off somewhat in round 7. He took the round, but looked less aggressive than he had in the previous few rounds. In some ways it was almost as if he wanted to give Blandamura false hope, allow him to open up and counter him. Sadly though Blandamura didn't really play ball and instead Murata moved up a gear in round 8, finally dropping the challenger, and scoring the stoppage with the referee saving the challenger from further punishment.
After the win Murata spoke about his desire to face Gennady Golovkin, and that is a real possibility down the line, though it does seem like his return to the ring won't be against the Kazakh but instead against Brazilian Esquiva Falcao, who Murata beat several times in high profile amateur bouts including the 2012 Olympic final.
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
Earlier this year we saw Ryota Murata (13-1, 10) suffer his first loss, losing a very controversial split decision to French-Cameroonian Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (36-3, 21) for the WBA Middleweight title. That loss took away Murata's unbeaten record but was so controversial that the WBA ordered an immediate rematch, which took place earlier today in Tokyo.
The fight started closely, with Murata employing a style based around methodical and consistent pressure whilst N'Dam moved and threw combinations. It was a round that could have gone either way, with Murata being the more effective, and the heavier handed, but N'Dam did seem to be out-landing Murata with his flurries, which whilst mostly blocked did have shots getting through. The second round was much like the first, though Murata did manage to have more and more success, landing several shots late in the round, including a left to the body and a huge right hand up top to take it.
In round 3 Murata seemed to step it up slightly and landed more frequently with his heavier blows. There was some flashy work from N'Dam but the body shots and straight right hands from Murata were chipping away at N'Dam's resolve, with the body shots particularly taking a toll on the champion's gas tank. To neutralise N'Dam's holding Murata used his physicality to lean and push N'Dam around, further draining the champion who's footwork had began to slow.
Murata seemed to grow and grow through the bout and in round 4 the body shots of the Japanese really began to land at will along with a number of huge right hands. He wasn't ultra active but was consistent and methodical with his work being incredibly effective, whilst N'Dam seemed to be wasting energy just trying to get Murata's respect. The pressure was amped up again in round 5 and the round could have been scored a 10-8 with Murata simply bullying N'Dam as the wheels began to come off the champion who was beginning to be force fed right hands. To his credit N'Dam showed his toughess and always tried to fight back, but was wobbled several times as Murata turned the screw, one right hand at a time.
The screws tightened further in round and N'Dam started to become more and more desperate as the shots began to buckle his knees. For a man who had been down numerous times in the past it was staggering to see N'Dam remain upright, but he was taking a beating and it was clear that he wouldn't see the final bell unless something changed. There was simply nothing N'Dam could do to get space, time or respect of Murata, who marched forward and did as he pleased whilst N'Dam began to show visible signs of tiring.
With N'Dam looking like a man falling apart Murata only had to keep doing what he was doing, chipping away at N'Dam and breaking him down. That's exactly what he spent round 7 doing, landing some lovely short burst up stairs and down stairs, and landing his right hand consistently onto the had of N'Dam who was wobbled. Even the jab of Murata's was thrown with bad intent and forced N'Dam on to the back foot.
The corner of N'Dam seemed to realise their man was too deep after round 7 and retired their man, who really had taken a lot of punishment, and was taking more round by round. The body shots had taken his snap away and the head shots were all shaking N'Dam, who's toughness was tested to the extreme. The corner, knowing their man had taken enough made the right call, well aware it was only going to get worse.
For N'Dam it ends his short reign, which really never should have been, and saw him suffer his first stoppage loss. For Murata, who was very emotional after the win, the victory sees him become only the second Japanese fighter to claim a world title at 160lbs, even in this overly diluted era, and helps set up potential super fights with Billy Joe Saunders, David Lemieux, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and even Gennady Golovkin. It might not erase the “1” from his record, but it will go some way to easing the pain of the injustice of the decision in the first bout.
The problem with super-fights is they very rarely live up to the hope and expectation. Tonight however we had one of those rare fights that lived up to the marketing, the hype and fans hopes and dreams, and what a fight it was as Middleweight supremacy was settled, and we were able to see something truly memorable. Soured only by the judges ringside who, once again, saw something very different to the reality in the ring.
The bout in question saw Kazakh destroyer Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33) take on Mexican icon Saul Alvarez (49-1-2, 34) in a bout for the WBA, WBC, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine Middleweight titles. It was a bout that had been spoken about for weeks, every boxing fan had some sort of view on the bout and it promised so much, yet delivered even more.
The fight perfectly for Alvarez who had a dream start as he looked too quick and too explosive for the older, slower Golovkin. The Kazakh struggled to get his range as the Mexican just used his edge in speed and youth to take control and use Golovkin's pressure against him. The early work of Canelo made it look like he was going to find life easy but in round 3 his speed started to decline just a touch and Golovkin began to find his range, with his pressure beginning to take effect.
As the pressure from Golovkin grew so did his success as he repeatedly walked Canelo back to the ropes and unloaded. The pressure forced Canelo to work hard to create openings, and although he was trying to fight as a counter puncher he was taking significantly more than he was giving and often he was forced to take the heavier and more telling shots.
From round 3 to 10 the fight took the same basic approach round after round. Golovkin would force Canelo back, Canelo would fight off the ropes in spurts, but would never be able to earn the respect of the Kazakh who walked through everything without even blinking whilst grinding down the Mexican. Canelo landed huge rights,massive uppercuts but couldn't slow down Golovkin who came through them like the terminator and landed his own shots, in much higher volume than Alvarez.
In the final two rounds Canelo came alive slightly, managing to find the energy to fight hard for about a minute of each round. Though he was then forced back, and the typical action of the fight continued, with Golovkin forcing Alvarez on to the backfoot and limit his activity.
At the end of the fight it seemed clear that Golovkin had won, he had taken rounds 4-10 with no argument at all, and the closest it could have been, giving Canelo every close round, was 115-113. The reality however was that the fight had been more of a 10-2 or 9-3 fight in Golovkin's favour. Somehow though Adelaide Byrd, a judge who is now gaining a really serious reputation for outlandish cards, had scored the bout 118-110 to Canelo, a card that simply made no sense and really needs to be scrutinised in the most serious of fashion. The second card was on the edges of reality, at 115-113 for Golovkin whilst the third was 114-114, forcing a split draw.
After the fight both men were interviewed, and the reactions of the crowd said it all as they cheered Golovkin and heavily booed Canelo. The crowd were pissed about the decision, and had every reason to be as there was a clear winner, denied his glory and the fight was left with a disgusting black mark against due to the judging.
At it's best the sport of boxing is one that entertains, excites and has us talking for all the right reasons, the action and the drama in the ring. Sadly however our great sport is one that often pushes away it's best fans and has decisions thats leave even the most ardent of fans confused and feeling like they should be doing something other than watching the sport. Sadly we had one such decision earlier today, and one that cost Japanese icon Ryota Murata (12-1, 9) [村田 諒太] a place in history, his unbeaten record and the WBA Middleweight title, whislt Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (36-2, 21) has ended the day feeling like the luckiest man in Japan,and one of the luckiest in the sport of boxing.
It was a decision that was so wrong that it has since seen the WBA head honcho Gilberto Mendoza apologise to Murata, the promoter Teiken, and fight fans whilst publically stating that he will be demanding a rematch. It was the type of result that no one could explain, and the sort of outcome that further harms boxing.
Despite the result, and post fight outrage, it was actually N'Dam who started the fight well. He seemed to clearly take the first 2 rounds as Murata started very slowly and did little other than apply ineffective pressure on the Frenchman, but by the end of round 3 Murata had began to find a home for his right hand, which would become one of the fights key punches.
In round 4 one of those Murata right hands deteonated on N'Dam who dropped hard to the canvas, in what was the bouts only, official, knockdown. It showed Murata's power was genuine, though of course it also showed N'Dam recuperative powers as he not only got back up, but went on to take the fight back to Murata as he looked to re-establish himself.
The Frenchman was shaken again in round 5, and it looked clear that Murata's right hand was a major concern and at one point it looked like the ropes had kept him up right as he was rokced backwards. It could well have been a second successive 10-8 round for Murata, had Luis Pabon seen the shot that sent N'Dam stumbling into the ropes. In round 6 Murata again hurt N'Dam who had began to do little more than run and through "stay away" jabs, rather than actually try to fight. The pressure of Murata wasn't the most intense, but it was effective with N'Dam hitting little more than gloves, and being forced onto the back foot through out.
Had N'Dam's jabs been landing, and had he controlled the tempo of the round, avoided the solid right hands of Murata and fought with conviction he could have had some claim to the round, but he didn't and it was clear that Murata's slow start was behind him and that he was now in the drivers seat.
Murata continued to apply his constant and educated pressure through the rest of the middle rounds with N'Dam doing incredible little in round 7, as he danced around the ring, and refused to engage with Murata, showing far too much respect to the Japanese fighter. N'Dam, to his credit, did let his hands go a little more in roudnd 8, but was again incredibly negative, putting on performance that really lacked any fire at all, with shots that hit the guard and did little to really impact the fight. Murata was kept quiet,due to the movement of N'Dam, but he was looking to make a fight, something N'Dam was trying to avoid.
After 8 rounds the bout seemed like one that Murata was leading comfortably, however the officials cards had the bout almost even after 8 rounds, with the judges having the bout 77-74 to Murata, 76-75 to Murata and 76-75 to N'Dam. Murata rocked N'Dam again in round 9, whilst N'Dam struggled to land anything meaningful. N'Dam seemed to come alive a bit in round 10, but was again made to look like a scared fighter, moving excessively and being tagged by both the jab and right hands by Murata.
In the final couple of rounds N'Dam did let his hands go more often than he had earlier on, but he was tagged just as often as he landed, with the Frenchman taking the bigger shots, and being negative throughout.
After 12 rounds they went to the score cards, and amazingly the bout was announced as a split decision, an instant shock to many including the fighters, fans, and everyone in the arena. It seemed that whilst N'Dam had his moments, he had been beaten in whatever way you want to score the bout. Unless you were scoring for landing on the guard and negative movement. Shockingly however the cards read 116-111 and 115-112 to N'Dam whilst the third was 117-110 to Murata.
The first card to N'Dam drew real shock from the crowd, and commentary, whilst the final decisoon drew loud boos, from a Japanese audience who are usually happy to respect a result against their fighter. Their disgust here was obvious, and it's the confusionm of those at Teiken, Murata himself and Fuji TV was clear.
The decision has been widely criticised, representatives from Teiken have said it was one of the worst they have seen in years, French TV critiised it and Murata himself has stated he feels it was wrong. The fact Mr Mendoza has criticised it as well syas it all. The decision was wrong, it was rotten and it made little sense. It wasn't a shut out, but it was a bout that looked like a clear win for the local fighter who will now be wondering whether their is any point in continuing in a sport that will, right now, feel corrupt to him.
Whilst a rematch is seemingly set to be ordered it is a shame that the judges got this so badly wrong. Interestingly however one of the judges scoring for N'Dam has turned out peculiar scorecards in Japan in the past. He had the December 31st 2014 bout between Takashi Uchiyama and Israel Hector Enrique Perez a draw at 85-85, prior to the stoppage, whilst one judge had that 90-78 amd another had it 88-82, he also had Noberto Jimenez beating Kohei Kono 115-112, with the other judges having it 114-114 and 116-111 for Kono, he was one of two judges to favour Anabel Ortiz against Etsuko Tada in their 2013 clash , though he did strangely have Koki Kameda beating Juan Jose Landaeta in their first meeting back in 2006.
A seriously look needs to be had of Gustavo Padilla's score card, and the refereeing of Luis Pabon who has consistently been poor in the big fights.
Although we suspect Murata Vs N'Dam II will be a huge fight later in the year, it doesn't help the sport in the slightest. The fans are agry, the media is angry and the sport will have some way to go to rebuild the trust in Japan. N'Dam might be the champion but it's clear that even his own countryman are unhappy at the result, with the media over their have suggested it was an "unfair result", with a "very surprising result, as Murata seemed to have dominated ". It's a shame that a fighter who could have created several slices of history has veen denied in this way and in many ways it's an issue with boxing that needs to be sorted before fans turn away all together.
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Boxing has it's upsets, it has it's real moments of magic and it also has it's moments that leave us empty. Tonight we had had an upset that shook the boxing world, as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai out battled and out fought Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez to claim the WBC Super Flyweight title, in an upset of the year contender. Around 1 hour later we saw the Middleweight division leave us with a foul taste.
That taste has been left due to a poor decision by the judges that left the WBC, IBF, IBO and WBA “Super” titles all with Kazakh Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33) who seemed to be out boxed, out though and out sped by American Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29). In fact it seemed so clear that Jacobs won that that it really will be one of the bouts that ends up being discussed as the “robbery of the year” come December.
The fight started tentatively, with both men showing a lot of respect to the other man. Coming in both were vaunted punchers and both were considered real dangers to the other, meaning that the tentative nature was understandable.
The first 3 rounds were all close, they were too tentative to really call a clear winner, but if there was a man coming off better in them it was Jacobs, who seemed to out land and out skill a rather predictable and overcautious Golovkin. The Kazakh did land some solid jabs, but their American just seemed to land the more varied and more consistent leather.
The first really clear round was round 4, a round that saw Golovkin's power secure him the round with a knockdown. The knockdown wasn't a heavy one, and Jacobs looked like he was hungrier afterwards, but it was a knockdown that essentially put Golovkin back into the picture.
The success Golovkin had in round 4 seemed to inspire him in the following round, but Jacobs stood his ground more often and although he was tagged a fair bit he was firing back, using his better speed and lateral movement to more than hold his own.
Having realised he could take Golovkin's power Jacobs had a sensational 6th round, which saw him really take the fight to Golovkin and land some seriously big leather on to the Kazakh. Golovkin did well to never look hurt, but the bombs were landing from Jacobs who looked like he was building in confidence. That confidence continued to grow with Jacobs again having sustained success in round 7, despite taking some heavy shots late.
Golovkin seemed to sense the fight was slipping away and came out for round 8 faster than he had earlier on. It was a good start by the Kazakh but by the end of the round Jacobs seemed to have done enough with his combinations and to impress and to over-come the slow start to the round,
Jacobs was becoming over-confident at times and that was most obvious in round 9 when he was wobbled big time, following a big uppercutt and right hand from the Kazakh who looked close to dropping Jacobs for a second time. The American, to his credit, withstood the assault, hold and saw his way through the round. It seemed like it would be the start of a charge from Golovkin but in round 10 Jacobs was again the man shining with a number of big left hands and a lovely flowing variety from his shots. The American didn't looked phased in round 11 either when Golovkin tried to turn the screw and instead the was Jacobs who seemed to land the better shots, though Golovkin landed the single best shot which was a cracking uppercutt.
Going in to the final round it seemed like Golovkin would need a stoppage to retain his title, he however struggled to connect with much cleanly. It was a round he won but not one that saw him hurt Jacobs.
At the end it felt like a fight like Jacobs had won, despite the knockdown. He neutralised Golovkin, for the most part, he hand landed the eye catching flurries, he had boxed brilliantly through the fight and it looked like he felt he'd won whilst Golovkin looked like he felt he'd lost.
Despite the bout feeling like a close but clear win for Jacobs, the judges all disagreed, scoring it 114-113 and 115-112, twice, in favour of Golovkin. The Kazakh had seemingly gotten out of jail with 3 very cards, in a bout that he really didn't do enough to win. Interestingly the final round, which Golovkin won with ease, was essentially the thing that turned a split decision into a unanimous decision.
One thing we will admit is that bout does seem to have split fans, with plenty suggesting that Golovkin's jab was the key punch and earned him the win. Whilst we can see the argument that Golovkin's jab was the most significant punch during the fight, we can't help but feel that it wasn't ever enough to overcome the combinations of Jacob's on the whole.
For the second time in the space of 24 hours fight fans saw a farcical world title fight as Kazakh destroyer Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32) scarcely broke a sweat defending his WBA “super”, IBF, and WBC “interim” Middleweight titles against the previously unbeaten unbeaten IBF mandatory challenger Dominic Wade (18-1, 12).
The fight, which saw odds of 1/100 on Golovkin was a clear mismatch before it was made, though Wade had spoken the big talk, claiming that he would “break” Golvokin's face and that he was a “thug”. Sadly for Wade that big talk did nothing for him and by the end of the opening round Wade had been dropped, looked like a fish out of water and had scarcely landed a blow of his own. Golovkin hadn't gone hell for leather, in fact Golovkin hadn't even got out of first gear, but was in complete control.
Wade was saved by the bell at the end of the opening round, but that scarcely helped with Golovkin licking his lips for round 2.
In the second round Golovkin took a few shots, almost by choice, before heavily dropping Wade for a second time. This time it looked like the end but Wade, to his credit got to his feet, then got given a significant amount of extra time as the referee repeatedly asked him to verbally confirm that he wanted to continue. That however was a mistake and only seconds later Golovkin dropped him for a third time, and final, time.
Having been stopped Wade became the latest in a growing line of "good boys" that Golovkin has been slicing through in the division's B-tier, it's a shame however that he can't get a prime top contender in the ring.
Kazakh star Gennady Golovkin (34-0, 31) continued his dominance of the Middleweight division this past Saturday as he scored an 8th round TKO win over the brave but out matched David Lemieux (34-3, 31). The win, for Golovkin, saw him adding the IBF Middleweight title to his WBA “super” and WBC “interim” belts and take another step towards a total unification of the division.
The fight started tactically for Golovkin who fought behind his accurate and hurtful jab. For the first 4 rounds it was all about the jab which was wonderfully effective as an offensive weapon and seemed to slowly but surely destroy Lemieux's confidence. The Canadian, a vaunted puncher himself, was essentially boxed out of the first for the first 4 rounds as Golovkin showcased little more than just his boxing.
In round 5 we saw Golovkin's power as he dropped Lemieux. The knockdown, which came from a body shot, saw Lemieux drop to a knee and sadly the Kazakh showed a little bit of naughtiness as he landed a cheap shot on Lemieux. It was something he apologised for, and something we hadn't seen from him before, but it was perhaps his one dark moment of the fight.
Lemieux, who didn't play up the cheap shot, got back to his feet but was never in the bout as Golovkin continued to toy with him, landing his jab at will and mixing up his arsenal as and when he wanted to. The power and accuracy told with Golovkin messing up the nose of the Canadian, who's face looked to be getting broken up for sheer accumulation.
With Lemieux being slowly but surely broken down referee Steve Willis seemed to be looking for an opportunity to stop the bout which he found in round 8 when Lemieux was on the receiving end of more powerful blows form Golovkin.
With the win it seems likely we'll see Golovkin continue his pursuit for the WBC and WBO titles. For Lemieux however it ends his short reign as a world champion and will likely send him back to Canada, where he will remain a big draw but one with a tarnished legacy after this defeat.
The Middleweight division is certainly an interesting one right now, though it's also a frustrating one with one man ripping through the contenders but unable to get a big fight. That man is Kazakh destroyer Gennady Golovkin (33-0, 30) who retained his WBA “super”, IBO and WBC “interim” this past Saturday as he recorded his 20th successive stoppage and over-came the skilful Willie Monroe Jr (19-2, 6). Not only did Golovkin over-come the challenge of his American opponent but he became the first fighter to stop Monroe.
The opening round was a close one with Monroe circling around the ring and having some success with his own quick sharp punches. Unfortunately for the challenger he was forced to work really hard for his success and was forced to take some very solid shots. To his credit Monroe took the shots well but it seemed clear that Monroe was going to have to work amazingly hard to have any real success, and was never really going to get Golovkin's respect.
The second round was the most dominant, by far. Monroe was again on his feet and dancing around to begin with but was caught in the corner part way through the round and was dropped by a monster left hook. The challenger showed his bravery to get up but was sent down again only moments later as Golovkin smelled blood and went for the kill. Monroe saw off the storm with the bell coming to his aid though it seemed that that was going to be it.
Amazingly Monroe took the minute break between rounds 2 and 3 and came back looking a new fighter and actually took the fight to Golovkin as the two men stood in front of each other and took turns in landing shots. It was a great comeback round for Monroe, who appeared to land the higher number of shots, but it seemed that Golovkin had no respect at all for the challenger and was happy to take a few clean shots in the hope of inducing a mistake.
Monroe's confidence from round 3 grew significantly the following round. That growing confidence saw Monroe letting his hands go happily through the round and it was by far his best round as Golovkin seemed happy to let Monroe fight. Golovkin did land some of his own shots but it was a Monroe round and it was well won by the challenger, who really had to grit his teeth. It was clear that if Monroe was going to win more rounds he was going to have to have an amazing engine. Unfortunately however it seemed that he was being broken down mentally by Golovkin, who lost the round but won the mental battle.
The action swung back in Golovkin's favour in round 5 as he began to break up Monroe's face. Not only was Monroe running low on energy but he was continuing to take heavy shots from the champion who seemed to enjoy the fact that Monroe was trying to fight rather than just survive.
Sadly for Monroe his survival didn't last long. Early in the 6th he was rocked, his legs buckled and Golovkin went for the kill. Soon afterwards Monroe was on the ropes, taking hard shots, his movement was gone and his was a sitting duck until he was finally dropped. He looked to be aware and took the count on a knee, until rising just after the 10 count. The referee had every right to stop the action there and then but instead had a look at Monroe, before deciding that enough was enough.
After the fight Golovkin indicated that he wanted big bouts next. The two he seemed to want the most were Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez though we suspect he may need to find a different opponent with Cotto and Alvarez apparently having plans to face each other. Despite needing to wait we are expecting to see the Kazakh in the ring twice more before the year is out.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.