The face and the demeanor are an incongruent juxtaposition, and it makes for a fascinating study in a dichotomy when Gennady Golovkin, the pleasant-faced man from Kazakhstan, who has the highest KO percentage of any middleweight champ in history, does his fistic fury thing in a ring.
We saw it again on Saturday, when he did the job on Martin Murray, a Brit who was on paper supposed to be his sternest test. Indeed he was, going down twice in the fourth, but stunning many of us with his recuperative powers. He went to the mat in the tenth, off a right, and we wondered if he did what he wanted to do, go the distance. Not so; a nasty right cross in the 11th had the ref pull the plug.
Golovkin had to work hard for the win, but his foe deserves more than ample credit. His heart is bigger than is perhaps healthy for him. The end came at 2:10 of round 11, and it was a great stop, as his hands had dropped and he could have been really hurt.
GGG went 292-816 to 131-469 for the man I don’t want to call a loser. Man, there should be a column for HEART on BoxRec…
After, Golovkin was asked by Kellerman who he wanted next. A unification bout, against Miguel Cotto, he said.
The bout took place in Monaco, on the French Riviera, with Golovkin described as “perhaps the most feared” man in the sport by HBO’s Jim Lampley.
Lampley worked the show on site, with Max Kellerman and Roy Jones. Golovkin (31-0 with 27 KOs) is 32, was 158.9 to 159.9 for the 30-year-old Murray.
Last times gloving up, GGG beat down Daniel Geale, and Aussie, a KO3 victim, and then took out Marco Rubio in round two. He generally turns legs to jelly, and makes brain pans rattle in alarming fashion. Murray knew that coming in; he’d given great account of himself vs. Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez a couple years ago, so he could be considered not 29-1-1 (12 Kos), but 31-0.
In the first, Murray was busier as GGG scouted. He opened up in the last third. Trainer Abel Sanchez called the first a “very, very good round.”
In the second, Murray landed two rights early. He tied up, smartly, as well. He fought smart and confidently, and his right hand was working. Sanchez asked for uppercuts placed smartly. CompuBox saw 20-14 Murray edge in power shots after two.
In the third, Murray showed good hand speed, and was fine working back to the ropes, then sliding off, and often clinching. He ate some left hooks to the body, and a right cross by GGG looked solid. A right buzzed Murray late, and the bell might have helped him.
The jab was setting things up well for GGG.
In the fourth, Murray answered with body work, but his power didn’t bother GGG. Murray tried to grab and clinch with no luck now. A body shot sent Murray down, at 1:10. He was up and GGG sent him down again. 41 seconds were left. He made it to the end.
In the fifth, GGG threw and Murray fended him off, or tried to. His nose bleeding, he tried to run, hold, answer some, and did well to stay aloft. He perked up, and landed body shots, and looked to land sneaky-quick rights. GGG stalked, so patient, so nasty. “We’re back in the fight,” the Murray corner told him.
In the sixth, Murray started out strong. Props to him for recuperating so well…He was jabbing, and slipping some shots, and again clinching to good effect. GGG landed around the guard, then used uppercuts. GGG was 154-69 in punches landed to this point.
In the seventh, GGG stalked, ever patient but persistent. Murray landed the left hook to the body, a few times, but his power ain’t Golovkin-esque. A counter right had Murray fans jazzed after he ate too many shots, and it looked like his hands were dropping. In the eighth, the sneaky jab bothered MM, but his spirit shone through. He was there and wouldn’t be dismissed without a monumental effort by GGG. Little left uppers, thrown so effortlessly, landed on MM, who worked back to the ropes so often. He went down, and it wasn’t ruled a knockdown. It was pure fatigue…He amazingly made it to the end of the round.
In the ninth, GGG attacked, as blood on Murray’s face spread. Little jabs, then power shots…Murray landed an answer right, bless his soul, in the last minute.
In the 10th, GGG stalked, and Murray countered a few times, keeping the plug from being pulled. He slipped shots, moved, reset, blocked, tried to counter, and did it again, while GGG stayed busy. Murray went down late, off a right, and made it to the corner. In the 11th, the first 11th for GGG. A nasty right had ref Luis Pabon stepping in…That was it.
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