On Saturday at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York, Gennady Golovkin [above left] (34-0-0-31) unified the middleweight titles with a sensational eight round technical knockout of the game but overmatched David Lemieux (34-3-31) of Montreal, Canada. It was the 21st consecutive knockouts for the boxer-puncher from Kazakhstan, who also defended his title for the 15th time. Golovkin has now surpassed Carlos Monson’s 14 title defenses and is six titles away from tying the record of the great Bearnard Hopkins.
Without a doubt, the hard-punching French-Canadian Lemieux was the most dangerous opponent for Golovkin, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist. It was a battle between two knockout artists that thrilled fans at the sold-out Garden and those watching at pay per view centers. Gennady proved in this fight once again that he is a true ring general. After the first round in which Golovkin connected with 26 hard jabs, it became clear that Lemieux would not be able to outbox the champion that most boxing fans now view as the new face of the sport with the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Golovkin completely dominated the Canadian, who seemed bothered all night long by the champ’s pinpoint, accurate jabbing that kept him off his game plan if had any coming into the fight. Lemieux had a hard time getting in to do some damage to Golovkin, who showed his versatility by not only out boxing his opponent but also punishing him with hard shots to the head and body to the delight of the roaring, raucous fans. Lemieux had his moments in the fight and he did tag Golovkin a few times with some nice shots. But Golovkin shook off those shots and was the effective aggressor throughout the fight.
The fifth round produced some drama as both sluggers went toe-to- toe in the ring with Golovkin gaining the upper hand. Midway through the round Golovkin connected with a nasty uppercut that was followed by an even nastier body shot, sending Lemieux to the canvass. At the end of the fifth round, the Canadian had been busted up by Golovkin, as he bled profusely from the nose. That Lemieux came back and was competitive in the sixth round was a testament to his resilience as a fighter.
But the end came for Lemieux in the eighth round when the referee halted the fight after taking a flurry of punches from Golovkin. After this victory, Golovkin will probably wait for the winner of the upcoming battle between Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez.
By Bayo Akinnagbe
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