SAN DIEGO, May 17, 2015 – Gennady Golovkin gave the fans exactly what they hoped to see in Los Angeles at the Forum Saturday night, and then some.
Golovkin dispatched a game Willie Monroe Jr. in the sixth round after multiple knockdowns. With the stoppage, Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) breaks Mike Tyson’s knockout streak with his 20th straight stoppage of Monroe (19-2, 7 KOs).
The fight seemed it might be over in the second round. Golovkin smashed Monroe with body shots and a left hook to his head, which dropped him halfway through the round. Monroe got up, and 30 seconds later was down again. Somehow, Monroe wobbled his way out of the round. “We were both in motion and he hit me with a good shot,” said Monroe.
Monroe came out for the third round to face more of the same with the roar of the partisan Los Angeles crowd in his ears. He recovered enough to get his feet under him and carried on. Into a fourth round no one imagined would happen, Golovkin appeared to bait Monroe, who responded with nasty shots to Golovkin at close range including the best straight left landed in a long time on Golovkin.
Was GGG “letting” Monroe wear himself out a bit before going in for the kill? Or was it a crafty gambit, leading potential opponents to think, “hey, this guy might not be so invincible after all” so the big fights the fans want to see can get made. Either way, it was a risky thing for Golovkin to do; Monroe wasn’t quite out of it yet. Had the fight gone to the scorecards, this was a round for Monroe.
By the fifth round, Golovkin buckled down, starting the round with a wicked upper cut. Monroe initially wobbled but stayed on his feet and survived another round. But the end was near. Golovkin stepped on the gas, putting his successful upper cut back to work, followed by the left hook, and Monroe was down. Although he beat the count, Monroe told referee Jack Reiss “I’m done.” The crowd roared its approval, getting exactly what they wanted.
Golovkin landed 133 of 297 punches, a 45 percent connect rate; Monroe was 87 of 305, a 29 percent connect rate. Golovkin landed just under 50 percent of his power punches.
After the fight, Monroe said he’s been hit harder, but never so hard with the kind of accuracy Golovkin employs. “He is the most accurate, that makes the difference.” Monroe said he had taken too many punches to the kidneys and hips, and had trouble feeling his legs when he called it a night.
What happened to Monroe’s plan not to stand in front of GGG and let himself get hit? “I’m a boxer first, but once I get hit, that warrior mentality kicks in, and I’ve got to fight,” said Monroe. Monroe did win something valuable, the respect of those watching his gutsy performance. His return will be welcomed.
Once Monroe made his formal exit, Golovkin acknowledged his Los Angeles fans, focusing on the devoted Mexican and Mexican-American fight fans who have embraced the Kazahkstan native as their own champion. He loves them, and they love him back. “Muchas gracias everybody … uno mas for my fans,” Golovkin said.
Golovkin called the performance “a present” for the fans, saying he urged Monroe to take him on. “I show him who’s number one, who’s real champ. I gave him a chance, here, come on, big drama show, let’s go.” Golovkin said he respected Monroe “because he’s not scared.”
With another win and another knockout in the books, talk with Triple G always turns to who’s next, which is code for “When is a big name opponent going to fight GGG?”
Golovkin is increasingly insistent he fight Miguel Cotto, the current lineal middleweight champion with the WBC title belt Triple G wants. Assuming Cotto beats Daniel Geale on June 6, Cotto becomes the mandatory challenger for Golovkin. However, if Cotto and Canelo Alvarez decide to fight first, Cotto will give up his title unless Golovkin and his promoters agree to delay a fight with Cotto until after such a bout. Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions said Golovkin will fight again in September, would like to fight four times a year, and will fight the best available opponent.
It’s more likely Golovkin will face the winner between Hassan N’Dam and David Lemieux, who fight for a vacant IBF Middleweight Belt on June 20. Loeffler said that’s a great option. Andy Lee also holds a title at the moment. The prospect of a fight between Golovkin and Lee should thrill fans who love an action packed fight.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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