One of boxing’s most popular fighters once again demonstrated why virtually everybody is foaming at the mouth to see him each and every time out, as Gennady Golovkin put on a show inside Inglewood, Calif.,'s Great Western Forum in the main event of HBO Championship Boxing, stopping tough-as-nails Willie Monroe Jr. in the sixth round.
It seemed as though “GGG” would get another early-round knockout when he nearly flattened the Rochester, N.Y., fighter in the second with a sizzling left hook over a lazy jab. Monroe immediately crumbled to the canvas, but he bravely climbed back to his feet. Monroe was on extremely unsteady legs but he fought back until he was felled moments later by sweeping right hand.
At that point, it was clear that “The Mongoose” was in way over his head, but the slick boxer turned into a brawler and stood toe-to-toe with Golovkin as best he could, somehow surviving the round. From that moment forward, Monroe was no longer the slick pitter-patter challenger; he became a free-swinging brawler and it brought him back into the fight.
Monroe started landing all sorts of punches in the middle rounds, eventually puffing up the corners of both of Golovkin’s eyes. Monroe was on fire with his right jab and left hooks, but Golovkin never blinked, often egging his challenger on to continue throwing punches in bunches.
Monroe won the fourth round by outworking the defending WBA middleweight champion and for a brief moment during the fight, visions of a monumental upset flickered before the boxing world’s eyes. However, all of those were dashed in the sixth when Golovkin nailed his brave counterpart with a ferocious uppercut. The punch buckled Monroe’s knees and as he stumbled back into the ropes; the Kazakhstani bomber was all over him. A hellish onslaught ensued and finally, Monroe was down again.
He was hurt, confused, and bewildered but he just barely beat referee Jack Reiss’ count of 10. It seemed as though his gloves were still touching the canvas when the veteran third man reached the final count. Reiss gave Monroe the opportunity to continue, but after asking “The Mongoose” twice if he wanted to press forward, it appeared as though Monroe said, “I’m done.” From there Reiss waived it off.
The official time of the TKO came just 45 seconds into the sixth frame, allowing the popular knockout artist to improve to 33-0 with 30 KOs.
Immediately following the thrilling affair, all sights were focused on Golovkin’s future. Rumors have been swirling that he may next lock horns with either Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Miguel Cotto later in the year and when HBO’s Max Kellerman asked him about both, Golovkin said it didn’t matter.
“I’m real champion,” Golovkin declared. “I want unification. I want big fights. I show you who is No. 1. I told you, not for the future. Right now I’m ready for big fights. I am ready for Canelo, for Cotto. I’m ready for the big show.”
Golovkin, who said his performance was special for the fans and that he wanted to bring a drama show to HBO, he also stated that he wants to go head-to-head against Andre Ward, but he first wants either Cotto or Canelo.
As for Monroe, who put on a much, much better showing than many had expected, he fell to 19-2 with 6 KOs.
Related » GGG vs. Monroe Round-by-Round Scoring
Gonzalez Destroys Sosa
Nicaragua certainly has had many terrific, Hall of Fame fighters over the years, but it’s been a few decades since the Central American country had a ferocious beast on the level of Roman Gonzalez. “Chocolatito” finally made his American television debut and he certainly didn’t disappoint.
Gonzalez looked invincible against the rugged Mexican veteran Edgar Sosa as he bombarded the former light flyweight champ from the jump. Gonzalez landed hellish shots to the head and body; punches that Sosa simply couldn’t withstand. Sosa was rocked repeatedly in the opening round from an assortment of punches and was summarily stopped a round later.
Gonzalez crushed his foe with a left uppercut/right cross combo midway through the frame, sending Sosa to the canvas. Sosa was able to beat the count, but he was caught in a maelstrom of punches until he was felled again. The end was imminent, but Sosa again proved his champion’s meddle, rising to fight on.
Gonzalez swarmed him with a tornado of punishment until, finally, he crumbled in a heap while referee Raul Caiz Sr. was readying to end it. The official time of the TKO came at 2:37 of the second, allowing Gonzalez (43-0, 37 KOs) to retain his WBC flyweight title. Sosa dipped to 51-9 with 30 KOs.
It was the coming out party Gonzalez and HBO had hoped for and “Chocolatito” delivered the goods.
“I wanted to give a very good fight for this public,” he said afterward. “I’ve given everything I have to the gym for this performance. It was a very important for me to be here on HBO and I am thankful for this opportunity.
“This is what it means to get up at 4:00 in the morning to go and train hard,” he added. “I did this for Alexis Arguello; I dedicate this to him.”
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