GGG and Chocolatito in the City of Champions
“I’m done,” said Willie Monroe Jr. to referee Jack Reiss after he endured his third 10-count 45 seconds into the sixth round. Reiss responded by waving his arms and with the stoppage, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin stopped his 20th consecutive opponent while successfully defending his WBA middleweight title for the 14th time. The bout was the main event of HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” broadcast on Saturday evening.
Monroe came out of the gate doing exactly what he intended to do, use his feet to parade around Golovkin all night and try and produce a boxing match contrary to which Golovkin is accustomed. He did so for about four minutes of official time but wasn’t able to land as many punches as his pressing opponent. A minute into the second round, Golovkin trapped Monroe in a corner and landed a perfect left hook to his chin that dropped him to the canvas immediately. Monroe gingerly got back to his feet and as time resumed, his attempt to use them in order to elude Golovkin’s charge was all for naught as his legs still hadn’t fully recovered. With a minute left in the round, Gennady caught a flailing Monroe with another clean left hook and right hand to drop him to his back for the second knockdown of the round.
After surviving a tough round of punishment, there was an underwhelming sense that the bout wouldn’t last much longer. Monroe’s original strategy also went out the window but he never gave up the fight. He stood toe-to-toe with Golovkin in the third round and coincidentally had some of his best success. While Golovkin was still landing his fair share of accurate shots to the head and body, Monroe seemingly got his legs back and in the fourth round, he started to convince fans that he was back in the fight. Monroe snapped Golovkin’s head back a few times from uppercuts and straight left hands but they didn’t faze GGG.
There was a moment in that fourth round in which Monroe landed a perfect straight left hand and it forced Golovkin to take a step back but the champion responded by nodding his head and pumping his chest with his glove, seemingly asking for more. After withstanding the only round in which he didn’t outland Monroe, Golovkin relentlessly came back in the fifth and Monroe was forced to use his feet more. He regained his momentum and carried it into the fateful round. Golovkin couldn’t miss in the 45 seconds that elapsed before the fight was waved off. Monroe was wobbled by an uppercut and once Golovkin saw he had him back on shaky legs, he didn’t stop attacking. A left hook to the back of Monroe’s ear may have sealed his fate and Monroe fell forward to his knees as Golovkin was still trying to put him away for good. Monroe got up just at the count of 10 from Reiss but after thinking about for a moment, he decided to seal his own.
Monroe, 19-2 (6), was overmatched but must be commended for still giving it his best effort. There’s no shame in losing to a force that as yet to be stopped and Monroe will certainly benefit from his valiant effort. Golovkin, 33-0 (30), Karaganda, Kazakhstan, looked impressive yet again and, this time, in front of 12,372 boxing fans at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. It was his second fight in the Los Angeles area within the past seven months and although this was another case of his superior talent against an average opponent, a growing legion of fans keep coming back for more. Per usual, after every Golovkin win, in the post-fight interview, Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez are called out by Golovkin with a smile – practically begging them to give him a chance to prove his worth. Until that day comes, he intends to stay active and will continue to groom his mystique, as well as his following.
The first bout of the HBO broadcast featured a new face to the network, Nicaraguan flyweight sensation Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, in a mere prelude of dominance.
Gonzalez, 43-0 (37), walked right through Edgar Sosa, 51-9 (30), and, after the third knockdown of the second round, referee Raul Caiz Sr. had seen enough. It took about 90 seconds for Chocolatito to figure out his veteran Mexican opponent and a hard left hook toward the end of the first round made Sosa weary to start the second. Gonzalez pressed forward and a body shot to start the second began Sosa’s demise. Shortly afterward, a right cross sent him to the canvas for the first time. Sosa reluctantly rose from the shot that kicked his leg out from under him and, a moment later, he found himself on the floor again with Caiz aggressively counting to 10 in Spanish. Gonzalez had his opponent beaten but Sosa was willing to go out on his shield. As Gonzalez kept dishing out fluid and accurate three-to-four-punch combinations to the head and body, Sosa tumbled to the canvas a final time and the fight was rightfully stopped. With the victory, Gonzalez successfully defended his WBC and THE RING flyweight titles for a second time.
Inglewood is nicknamed the “City of Champions” and, for one night, it was that indeed when Chocolatito and GGG graced its presence. As expected, it was a showcase of their superior talent over common fighters but they did so in such entertaining portions that left the viewer wanting to see what they’re capable of against the best. One things for sure: Whomever those opponents may be, they will also be fighting the best.