SAN DIEGO, February 21, 2015 – Another Gennady Golovkin fight, another stoppage and another Big Drama Show. Martin Murray managed to tweak the plot a little this time, and wrote himself a decent role in Monte Carlo Saturday.
Despite a fine effort, Murray went out on his shield as referee Luis Pabon called a stoppage at the start of the 11th round for a TKO win by Golovkin, his 19th stoppage in a row and equal to Mike Tyson’s knockout streak.
Murray proved supporters right who said he was a tough warrior and Triple G’s biggest test to date. But there was no denying Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs), who gave Murray (29-2-1, 12 KOs) a beating and a lesson in ring management.
Golovkin started off cautiously, and Murray took advantage by getting leather on Golovkin in round 2 and winning the round. Murray continued to trade as Golovkin started going to work, until the end of the third round when he was tagged with a Triple G left hook, followed by a straight right hand. Murray wobbled but stayed upright.
Murray took more shots from Golovkin and continued to trade until he was hit with one of Golovkin’s stinging body shots about two minutes into the fourth. He had to take a knee before Triple G finished him off, a smart move. Fifteen seconds later, Murray got hit with a repeat of the same body shot, and again he took a knee.
Murray willed himself to carry on. In the sixth round, Golovkin changed tactics, using upper cuts and straight rights, which opened a significant nosebleed on Murray. Murray stayed competitive, throwing decent clean punches, still making an effort to win. Murray rallied briefly at the end of the seventh and he made Golovkin feel multiple shots. It showed for the first time that Golovkin has a tough chin and can take a punch himself.
By the eighth round, it seemed Murray’s corner was contemplating stopping the fight. He was holding on but taking a beating. Under the open scoring system, Golovkin was far enough ahead on the judges’ scorecards that Murray needed a knockout to win, and he wasn’t going to get it. Calling it a day to preserve a boxer’s career is a reasonable call.
Trainer Oliver Harrison and Murray decided to continue. By round 10, Golovkin was standing right in front of Murray and letting him take his best shots. They lacked the power to do any damage. At the end of the round, Golovkin hurt Murray against the corner, and as Murray turned away on weakened legs, Golovkin hit him with the same kind of overhand punch to the head that finished off Marco Antonio Rubio in October. Murray took the same kind of fall to the canvas.
Murray beat the count, and the round was over. Would his corner let him continue? It did, but referee Luis Pabon kept his eye on Murray. When he took another overhand right from Golovkin with 2:10 left in the round, his legs buckled and his hands dropped. That was enough for Pabon, and the fight was over.
Golovkin landed 292 or 816 punches (36% connect rate); Murray only managed to land 131 punches of 469 thrown (28% connect rate). Many of Triple G’s punches were power shots. Translation: Murray got roughed up good.
Murray was a serious player in this Big Drama Show and he deserves credit for it. He took Golovkin further into a fight than any other opponent.
Let the naysayers who continue to criticize the quality of Golovkin’s opponents take a breath. Golovkin showed he can take a punch. He demonstrated patience and ability to maintain focus while working into the later rounds. Golovkin never gets rattled, never gets emotional. He is in tremendous condition, and he unleashed a beating on Murray. After the fight Golovkin barely shows any signs of getting hit, and he did get hit this time.
Golovkin called it a “step by step drama show” in his post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman. “This is my strategy, show you my drama show, and after six rounds knock him down,” said Golovkin.
The nature of this fight sets Golovkin up well for the top tier of fighters ahead of him. Golovkin wants Miguel Cotto, because he wants to unify all the belts of the middleweight division, and Cotto has the WBC title he wants. But Cotto seems to be in no hurry. It’s far more likely Golovkin will get the likes of Canadian middleweight David Lemieux. With Canelo Alvarez recently signed to HBO, the network will want Alvarez to get a few more wins before putting their two marquee middleweights together.
Meanwhile, Julio Caesar Chavez Jr., who backed out of fighting Golovkin last summer, decided to call Triple G out on Twitter. Fans immediately began blasting Chavez Jr. for his false bravado. This is the fight trainer Abel Sanchez really wants, and it would be a sensation if staged in Los Angeles. Despite his lack of work ethic, Chavez Jr. is tough and has the power to take anyone down if he gets lucky. But he must be smoking something calling out Golovkin.
The ultimate test comes after Golovkin has cleaned out the middleweight division and moves up to face the likes of Andre Ward. There is plenty of time for this, but let’s hope it doesn’t take as long as it did to bring Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao together.
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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