For so long Gennady Golovkin doing Gennady Golovkin things, mainly knocking out men in spectacular fashion, was almost automatic for hardcore boxing fans. So in sport where you are only as good as your last fight and that outing was a heartbreaking loss of his middleweight titles against Canelo Alvarez, many seemed to take the baby faced destroyer from Kazakhstan for granted.
But last night in Madison Square Garden, in front over 12,000 fans, Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin reminded the boxing world just who he was, destroying Canada’s Steve Rolls in the fourth round. His weapon of a choice this time-an inexplicable left cross from the southpaw stance that sent Rolls face first to the canvas. It was just another in a line of spectacular knockouts spanning GGG’s incredible career.
This fight marked all sorts of new beginnings for Golovkin, as he was fighting with a new trainer in his corner, Jonathon Banks, as well as fighting for the first time on DAZN, the first fight of a six year, hundred million dollar deal. Rolls, a quick handed boxer-puncher out of Canada who came into the fight undefeated but very untested, turned out to be the perfect opponent for Golovkin, giving enough resistance to make the fight interesting but ultimately unable to take the Kazakh’s biggest shots.
Golovkin carried the first round, constantly backing Rolls up and looking to probe him various shots. In the second round, Rolls began to let his hands go, pecking Golovkin to the body and looking to set up big shots upstairs. The Canadian’s best punch landed with about a minute left in the second round-a big left hook following a right hand to the shoulder that snapped Golovkin’s head back. Rolls also landed a nice bodyshot when GGG tried to hit him in the body as the round ended.
But in the third round, Golovkin began to find his way around Rolls’ peek-a-boo defense, coming around his arms with hooks with both hands and progressively going more to the body, especially in the last minute of the round. Rolls continued to occasionally land some nice counters, even going into the fourth round, but about a minute a right hook to the head seem to shake up Rolls, who started moving and punching less. GGG began to back Rolls more and more into the ropes, and twice, Golovkin landed overland left hooks to the top of the head of Rolls that really seem to shake the Canadian.
A right cross really hurt Rolls and Golovkin switched stances to land the left cross that crumpled Rolls and sent him face first into the canvas. Rolls bravely tried to beat the count but had nothing and was counted out by referee Steve Willis at 2:09 of Round 4.
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) June 9, 2019
There was plenty of positive signs for GGG, as some of the diverse punch selection that has been absent in the past few fights returned, as well as the subtle defense and the good footwork. Many will point out that Rolls landed more punches than expected, but the reality is that Golovkin has never been a defensive master and GGG actually held him to only 22 percent of his punches landed. It is the kind of the performance that Golovkin can really build on.
Without saying his name, GGG called out his rival Canelo for a third fight that many still covet, as there are plenty of boxing fans and pundits who believe Gennady won both fights. But Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy know they are in the driver’s seat and they appear ready to use that leverage, with Oscar De La Hoya tweeting that Golovkin needed to win more fights and win another belt. But with the knockout here, especially after Canelo’s pedestrian decision over Danny Jacobs, the fan acclaim may be there for Canelo-GGG 3 to be undeniable, as tonight proved that the Big Drama Show still has some steam left.
And Golovkin seems more ready than ever to prove that Canelo is a Good Boy 😉