Another stoppage, another reason to fear Gennady Golovkin
In front of no more than 1,000 spectators in a small concert hall in Monte Carlo, Monaco, Gennady Golovkin successfully defended his WBA middleweight title for the 13th consecutive time against Martin Murray after referee Luis Pabon called a halt to the contest early in the 11th round. Although it was fought in a small venue, HBO featured a matinee broadcast of the world title bout for the growing accumulation of fans in the United States.
After the first bell sounded, Murray took advantage of Golovkin’s deliberate feeling-out process by being the more active fighter, seemingly winning the first two rounds and finding a home for an overhand right early on. Although Murray would land punches, they didn’t phase Golovkin and by the third round, “GGG” got into a rhythm by pressing forward with relentless hooks to the head and body while ignorant of any effort from Murray.
It was at this time when Golovkin showed tremendous ring generalship. As the aggressor, he threw the first punch and as the Kazakh cut the ring off, Murray had nowhere else to go as he was either against the ropes or stuck in a corner from that point on. Murray would try to impede Golovkin’s attack by clinching but it was a tactic Gennady slipped out from. In the fourth round, Golovkin landed a a right cross to Murray’s solar plexus, which immediately forced him to a knee. After catching a breath and beating the count, 20 seconds later, Murray found himself taking another knee while stuck in a corner, eating an uppercut from Golovkin.
Following the two-knockdown round, Golovkin utilized the uppercut more often and bloodied Murray’s nose with a big shot in the fifth. It was at this point when Murray’s face began swelling but his the size of his heart was also under fire. Ostensibly backing up against the ropes all night, Murray was still landed shots rather consistently throughout the middle rounds but they didn’t have the same pop when compared to Golovkin’s. In the later rounds, murmurs from the HBO broadcast team began to suggest that Murray’s corner should stop the bout and withstand more damage from Golovkin’s precise power-punching.
Other than his power, Golovkin threw just about every punch in the book. Whether an uppercut, ambidextrous hooks to the body, a simple jab or an overhand left, Murray had to worry about shots from seemingly every angle. In the final seconds of the 10th round, Murray, yet again, trapped in a corner, got hit square on the temple by an overhand right when trying to escape. It sent him straight to the canvas for the third knockdown of the night and from there, it was only a matter of whether or not Murray could accomplish taking Golovkin all 12 rounds, something no fighter has done. Ultimately he couldn’t. Less than a minute into the 11th, Pabon waved off the fight as Murray was trapped against the ropes, fitting the overall theme of the fight.
It was a premium action fight all the way through and that could be attributed to Murray’s will and Golovkin’s style. With the victory, Golovkin, 32-0 (29), defends his WBA middleweight title for the 13th consecutive time surpassing Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Felix Sturm (12) and is now one defense behind Carlos Monzon (14). The all-time record for consecutive defenses in the 160-pound division is Bernard Hopkins with 20. The streaks don’t stop there for Golovkin as this was his 19th consecutive knockout victory. Leading up to the fight, the Golovkin team was hoping Murray, 29-2-1 (12), would be tough enough to take “GGG” into the later rounds and that’s exactly the opponent they got. Whether or not they keep getting what Golovkin asks for, a unification fight with Miguel Cotto, that remains to be seen.
Budler defends world title
It wasn’t televised on HBO but it’s worth noting South African Hekkie Budler, 28-1 (9), successfully defended his WBA strawweight title for the third time, earning a unanimous decision (117-110, 115-112 twice) against Jesus Silvestre, 30-6 (22), preceding the Golovkin-Murray bout.