Undefeated WBA/IBO Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin continued his domination of the Middleweight division in scoring a sixth round knockout over WBA number two rated contender Willie Monroe Jr. Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The fight began with the champion looking to cut the ring off on Monroe, who attempted to be an elusive target.
Although the challenger used a lot of lateral movement in the first round and attempted to land punches on Golovkin as he came forward and did manage to make the champion miss with some of his offense, he was unable to land anything to discourage Golovkin from pressuring him. Golovkin continued to pressure Monroe in the second round and dropped the challenger with a solid left hook midway through the round. The champion continued to stalk the challenger and dropped Monroe for the second time with a right hand seconds later.
To his credit, Monroe showed his mettle and was very “Game.” As the fight progressed, Monroe began to stand in front of Golovkin more and let his hands go. By using less lateral movement and choosing to rely on his hand speed, Monroe was able to have success landing combinations and periodically snapping the champion’s head back with his offense. This was particularly evident in rounds four and five where Monroe was able to land to the body and head of the champion and hold his own in exchanges with Golovkin.
The champion however, would bring the fight to its conclusion in round six. A right uppercut from Golovkin at the beginning of the round wobbled Monroe and set off a barrage of punches that led to the challenger being knocked down for the third time in the fight. Monroe was able to barely beat the ten count administered by Referee Jack Reiss who informed Monroe that he had just beaten the count as Reiss was verbally indicating that has count had reached ten. Although appearing willing to give Monroe another chance, the challenger responded to Reiss after being asked if he wanted to continue simply saying “I’m done” causing Reiss to immediately stopped the fight.
Official time of the stoppage was :45 of round six. With the win, Golovkin successfully defended his unified World Middleweight championship for the fourteenth time tying Carlos Monzon’s who held the Middleweight championship from 1970-1977. Golovkin’s knockout of Monroe was also the twentieth consecutive knockout for Golovkin.
As has been the case after each Gennady Golovkin title defense, the question remains who can give Golovkin a significant test? Willie Monroe Jr. did prove his status as a legitimate contender in the Middleweight division and was the first fighter to provide some form of resistance to Golovkin after being dropped twice in the second round.
Although some may be tempted to criticize Monroe for saying that he was done after suffering the third knockdown in round six, this observer will not be one of them. Monroe gave everything he had in this fight and has nothing to be ashamed of. Monroe will give many in the Middleweight division a tough fight, but in this observer’s opinion I believe he simply had nothing left to give in this fight and despite the loss, he proved he belonged in the ring with Gennady Golovkin and will likely continue to be a player in the Middleweight division.
As for the champion he stated following the fight that he wants unification in the Middleweight division. This observer has been vocal in expressing my opinion that I believe it’s time for Golovkin to get an opportunity to face fighters who are considered stars of the sport. Much like Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Bernard Hopkins, Golovkin has gone through everyone that has been placed before him as a challenger to his crown. As was the case with Hagler and Hopkins, each dominated the Middleweight division for a significant period of time before finally getting an opportunity to face fighters who were considered stars in the sport. Once both got the opportunity to go against fighters who were considered not only stars, but also fighters considered to be the best fighters of their era, both Hagler and Hopkins proved their greatness and are rightfully regarded as two of the best Middleweights of all-time.
After fourteen successful title defenses and twenty consecutive knockouts, I believe Golovkin has more than earned his opportunity to show when he can do against some of the marquee stars that the sport has to offer. With potential fights against former Jr. Middleweight world champion Saul Alvarez and current WBC Middleweight world champion Miguel Cotto possibly in Golovkin’s future, it appears that Golovkin may finally get the opportunity to face one of the top stars in the sport.
If however, a fight against either Alvarez or Cotto is not next for Golovkin, there are some interesting options that may be available to him. In terms of further unification of the Middleweight division, possible fights against current WBO champion Andy Lee or the winner of the upcoming fight between top contenders Hassan N’Dam and David Lemieux for the vacant IBF Middleweight world championship could be available to Golovkin.
This observer believes it is more likely that Golovkin will wait for the outcome of the upcoming WBC Middleweight world championship fight between champion Miguel Cotto and former two-time world champion Daniel Geale on June 6th before deciding who he will fight next. We will have to simply wait and see who Golovkin’s opponent will be for title defense number fifteen.
If Golovkin is successful in his fifteenth title defense it will move him into second on the all-time list for successful Middleweight championship defenses behind Bernard Hopkins who successfully defended his title twenty times between 1995-2005. No matter who Golovkin fights next, the Boxing world may be witnessing what could ultimately be a historic championship reign. Whether or not Golovkin will eventually challenge Hopkins’ record remains to be seen.
The Boxing world now awaits the next chapter in the career of Gennady Golovkin.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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