Gennady "GGG" Golovkin raised his stock Saturday in New York City. | Photo: Al Bello/Getty
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, welcome to the big time.
The popular knockout machine was electrifying and terrifying in his pay-per-view headlining debut Saturday night, as he dazzled and wowed the sold out Madison Square Garden by dominating Canadian powerhouse David Lemieux from the start.
Golovkin relied almost solely on his battering ram-like left jab, snapping his foe’s head back repeatedly. Lemieux tried to get into his usual aggressive rhythm, but Golovkin’s reach and sickening power nullified virtually everything David tried early on. “GGG” remained calm, looking to detonate some of his hand grenades when then opportunities presented themselves, but he was having so much success with the jab, he didn’t need to over-extend with any of his power shots.
Golovkin slowly poured on his offense in the fourth when Lemieux started to increase his aggression level. When the Montreal native began digging hard shots to the body behind a few short left hooks to the head, the Kazakhstani nailed his foe with a sneaky counter left hook. The punch wobbled Lemieux, who quickly had to retreat and cover up. With his back to the ropes, Lemieux had to fend off a relentless – yet patient – attack from the pound-for-pound entrant and was in peril of being taken off his feet. The Canadian titlist was able to survive the round, but the punishment only increased from that point forward.
Gennady scored a knockdown in the fifth when a debilitating left hook to the liver underneath a three-punch combo upstairs forced Lemieux to back up, grimacing in pain. Lemieux intelligently took a knee, but the proud Canadian battled back to his feet and trudged forth even after Golovkin inadvertently smacked him with a right while he was down.
For the next three rounds, Golovkin battered Lemieux from pillar to post, broke his nose and eradicated his spirit.
Lemieux’s resolve was never in doubt, though, as he continually tried to catch up on points with his neutralizing power. But even when the handsome pugilist was able to connect with some of his vaunted power, Golovkin shrugged it off as if nothing landed on him.
Finally, Golovkin’s Terminator-like approach was too great for Lemieux to handle as another wicked left was stuck deep in his liver. David doubled over, grimaced and then backed into a corner. He looked at referee Steve Willis for a second, but Golovkin was already raining anvils onto him to the head and body. Willis had seen enough at that point and mercifully ended the carpet-bombing just 92 seconds into the eighth, giving “GGG” his 21st consecutive knockout.
“This was a very important fight,” Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) told HBO’s Max Kellerman after the shellacking. “I am very happy. He’s a very good fighter. He’s very strong. But I’m not just a puncher, or a crazy fighter. I’m a boxer.”
Golovkin packed the Mecca of Boxing and is quickly becoming boxing’s biggest attraction now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has retired from the Sweet Science. The fans love his style and the media has had its sights on the Kazakhstani for a few years now, believing he is the one man to take the torch from “Money.” Golovkin understands this and said he is on a specific mission.
“My next goal is all the belts in the middleweight division,” Golovkin, who added Lemieux IBF 160-pound crown to his IBO and WBA titles, stated. “I told you a long time ago that I want a big day for the middleweight division.”
Lemieux, who fell to 34-2 with 31 KOs, said afterward that he felt like the fight was stopped too soon. He said he plans on meeting his conqueror again in the future.
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