CARSON, Calif., May 5, 2018 – Nothing could dispel the good mood Saturday at the Stub Hub Center. The weather: postcard perfect. The cerveza: cold. Grills in the parking lot were fired up. Inside, every seat is a good seat.
The last ingredient needed was an action-packed main event in the beloved “Mexican Style,” the come forward, take no prisoners, warrior approach revered in the boxing crazy country and by millions of boxing fans around the world – including those with European roots in the ring.
Unified middleweight Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin started a new knockout streak after going the distance twice. Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) make quick work of local favorite Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21 KOs), scoring a knockout at 1:53 of the second round.
With the win, Golovkin now ties Bernard Hopkins with the most consecutive title defenses in the middleweight division at 20. He is currently the longest reigning champion in boxing.
The Kazakh native last appeared at the Stub Hub Center in 2014, when he set an all-time attendance record. He didn’t break that record with 7,837 fans in the stands, but promoter Tom Loeffler said the revenue record for the center was broken with this fight card.
Martirosyan’s style perfectly tailored for Golovkin
Martirosyan’s style made him a perfect opponent for Golovkin, as fitted as Triple G’s custom tailored Bijan suits. From the opening bell, Martirosyan put himself right in front of Golovkin. For the first three minutes, it seemed the fight might be more competitive than originally expected. Martirosyan popped Golovkin twice with left hands, and they made an impression.
“Vanes is a very good fighter,” said Golovkin. “He buzzed me a couple of times. After the first round, I thought, ‘This is serious. This is serious business now.’”
Unfortunately for Martirosyan, the impression Golovkin took away was that Martirosyan needed to be put away, and didn’t have enough firepower to prevent him from coming in and finishing him off. Golovkin came in and let his hands go. He landed a sensational right hook, snapped off a few jabs to follow it, then blasted a second right hook and a powerhouse left hook to end the barrage. Martirosyan crumpled to the canvas, falling forward. Referee Jack Reiss got down next to Martirosyan, counting him out in a loud voice since Martirosyan wasn’t looking at him. It didn’t matter. He’d had enough. The long layoff, combined with Golovkin’s skill and power, proved way too much for the game Martirosyan to take.
After the fight, Martirosyan said Golovkin was the hardest puncher he’d ever faced. “It was like being hit by a train. It wasn’t just one punch. It was all of his punches.” Golovkin’s hooks are impressive, but most of the real work is done with his snapping jabs. In the abbreviated fight, Golovkin landed 36 of 84 total punches (45 percent), but only 16 were power punches; 20 were jabs. Martirosyan landed 19 of 73 total punches (28 percent), with 10 of 31 power punches.
Who will get the chance to try and take GGG’s titles next?
At the post-fight news conference, Golovkin, trainer Abel Sanchez, and promoter Tom Loeffler responded to numerous questions about rescheduling the rematch with Canelo Alvarez, derailed by positive drug tests. Loeffler said he is discussing it with Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Boxing. He made it clear drug testing is a non-negotiable issue. “There is no reason to put a champion like Gennady into a fight with an opponent who has an unfair advantage,” insisted Loeffler. Sanchez added, “Canelo’s side is not doing enough to try and make the fight”
If not Alvarez, who else might be in line? Sanchez said he wants to see the outcome of a Jermall Charlo and Daniel Jacobs matchup, also naming IBF mandatory challenger Sergey Derevyanchenko, WBA mandatory challenger Ryoto Murata of Japan, and Demetrius Andrade. In a short space of time, the middleweight division is full of talent. They all want Golovkin’s titles. Golovkin’s attitude? “I want everybody. Guys, just come take my belts.” Golovkin said he would like to fight twice more in 2018. Loeffler can’t take too many days off; he’ll need to get busy to make it happen.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer 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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