We love knockouts. Anyone who has followed this series over the last year or so will know that we really love knockouts, seeing them, watching then, replaying them and sharing them. Sadly we need to admit some fighters best KO's aren't their most seen, most watch or most well known. With that in mind this week we want to look one of the less well known KO's by a Kazakh star. This came before the fighter in question became a global star, but is a great sign of what we would later see on a bigger stage!
Gennady Golovkin (21-0, 18) vs Lajuan Simon (23-3-2, 12)
In one corner was "GGG" Gennady Golovkin, a man we would come to all enjoy watching fight. This however wasn't the Golovkin who was ripping up the Middleweight division in the US. Instead this was the Golovkin chasing an opportunity, fighting almost in the depths of boxing a long, long way from the glitz and glamour of Madison Square Garden. This was a 2011 Golovkin. A Golovkin who's biggest win up to this point was against Kassim Ouma. He was a man being avoided in Europe and ignored in the US.
In the opposite corner was the tough, but past his best, Lujuan Simon. The American, who was 32 at this point, had never been stopped but had come up short against the likes Arthur Abrahama and Sebastian Sylvester and Dionisio Miranda. He was rugged, had a bit of name value, but was known as being a step below that of a genuine world class fighter.
Coming in to the bout Golovkin has amassed 18 KO's in 21 bouts. He had stopped his previous 8 in a row and was typically doing so in a round or two. What few would have expected was that he would do the same here against a man who had taken Abraham the distance.
The expectation was that Golovkin would win. Of course he would. But that he would be taken rounds. The thought process was that as long as he had a better result than Abraham he'd be able to put pressure on some fighters for an opportunity, and stop fighting the likes of Milton Nunez and Nilson Julio Tapia.
Golovkin however wanted to prove a point and with just over 2 minutes of the opening round gone Golovkin found a gap for a left hook up top. It landed clean as a whistle as he pivoted and caught Simon perfectly as he came in himself. It was a blink and you miss it shot, but it was perfect.
Simon instantly crashed to the canvas, where he lay motionless for a moment before trying to sit up. He had no idea where he was or how his body worked for a few seconds, as the referee gave Simon the 10 count.
This was a KO that got some buzz in Europe, Boxnation showing the bout in the UK, but sadly it was another 9 months before Golovkin made his US debut, prior to which he had another pointless and easy win over the over-matched Makoto Fuchigami.
Whilst we all know that Golovkin would go on to become a star in the years that followed this win Simon actually fought once more, almost 2 years later, and was stopped by J'Leon Love in 6 rounds, before retiring.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).