INGLEWOOD, Ca.-Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin showed he’s the best above 140 pounds and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez showed he’s the best below that weight as both scored sizzling knockouts in their respective world title fights on Saturday.
A crowd of 12,372 screaming fans at the Inglewood Forum saw Golovkin (33-0, 30 Kos) crush Willie Monroe (19-2, 6 Kos) for a knockout victory in the sixth round. Earlier, Nicaragua’s Gonzalez blew out Mexico’s Edgar Sosa in two rounds in their flyweight title fight.
Golovkin walked into the ring with almost unanimous support. Monroe was a supporting character but never acted like he was a fall guy. Though Golovkin cut off the ring immediately he did not deliver any of his big shots in the first round.
In the second frame Golovkin opened up with the real power and connected to Monroe’s chin with a left hook as the challenger tried to exchange. It was one of those hard disguised blows he’s mastered. Monroe beat the count despite shaky legs and was met with a crushing right hand. Monroe staggered to the floor but was able to beat the count. After getting up he fired a low blow that slowed Golovkin’s attack and ended the round. He was warned.
Monroe took the fight inside and kept firing back. Golovkin was patient with his attack and Monroe fired combinations and kept the champion from firing long range. The fourth round saw Monroe score repeatedly with combinations as Golovkin shrugged them off and pointed to his chest.
“He’s easy to hit but he takes a good shot,” said Monroe.
Golovkin began round five with a short sneaky left uppercut that short circuited Monroe’s legs. He stayed upright and managed to land a solid left counter. The challenger fought back as much as possible and refused to run. He just didn’t have enough firepower to keep Golovkin’s progression.
Monroe seemed willing to fight on but could not find the antidote for Golovkin. A Golovkin combination of several left uppercuts, a right cross and two left hooks sent Monroe down to the mat once again. Referee Jack Reiss asked Monroe if he wanted to continue and he calmly said “I’m done.”
“He caught me with a good shot,” Monroe said. “He’s strong.”
Golovkin was ecstatic for the win and for the crowd reaction.
“Muchas gracias,” Golovkin said to the crowd. “I feel great. My performance was for you.”
The WBA and IBO middleweight champion told the crowd he wanted to prove he can fight any style and was gracious on Monroe’s performance.
“He’s a real good fighter. Seriously,” said Golovkin. “I stay here. I’m a real champ. Let’s show who is number one.”
A number of opponents come to mind including Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and possibly Andre Ward.
Just think if Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez were the same size as Golovkin? That would be a fight.
The boxing world will have to be satisfied with Gonzalez ruining the smaller weight classes, division by division. Mexico’s Edgar Sosa tried mightily to slug it out with Gonzalez but was out-gunned, out-quicked and over run by the Nicaraguan, who fought with a hunger not seen in his two previous appearances in Southern California fight cards.
Gonzalez hunted down Sosa like it was dinner time from the opening bell. It was clear that the right hand could land whenever he desired. But Sosa survived the first round.
In the second round Sosa was not so lucky. With thousands of Nicaraguans shouting “Nicaragua, Nicaragua” the WBC flyweight champion increased the already intense pressure on Sosa and during an exchange floored the Mexican with a counter right. Sosa got up and soon was met with a short, crisp left uppercut and that staggered and felled Sosa. But the Mexican challenger surprisingly got up and stood up to accept some more due punishment. Gonzalez had no mercy as he chased Sosa around the ring and fired a barrage, including another right that sent the Mexican down a third time. Referee Raul Caiz stopped the contest at 2:37 of the second round without a count. Gonzalez was the winner by technical knockout.
“It was very important because it’s on HBO,” said Gonzalez. “I wanted to showcase my talent.”
Sosa looked shocked at the intensity of the Nicaraguan’s pressure.
“He was good. He surprised me but he’s a good fighter,” Sosa said.
Gonzalez was giddy in his big win in front of a large American crowd that was filled with thousands of Nicaraguan supporters.
“He was a tough fighter but my punches were too much for him,” Gonzalez said of Sosa. “I want to fight Juan Francisco Estrada in a rematch.”
They fought three years ago in L.A., with Estrada forcing Gonzalez to go the distance in a rousing prizefight.
Tijuana’s Ivan Morales (28-0, 16 Kos) stopped Danny Flores (14-7-1, 8 Kos) of Mexico City at 47 seconds of the eighth and last round. The battle between Mexican bantamweights was a tough struggle until the end. Referee Jerry Cantu stopped the fight after Flores took several flush blows.
Super featherweight Pedro Duran (11-0, 8 Kos) got a gift knockout with seconds left in the fight against Mexico’s Daniel Perales (5-2, 3 Kos). Duran scored a knockdown in the first round with a pretty right cross but was unable to end the fight. Though Duran had all the advantages he repeatedly tried shoe-shining Perales, who made him pay with strong counter rights. At 2:50 of the sixth round, referee Wayne Hedgepeth stopped the fight, causing boos from the crowd.
East L.A.’s Seniesa Estrada (4-0, 1 Ko) floored San Diego’s Carley Batey (4-5-2) in the fifth round with an overhand left and pretty much cinched the fight with that knockdown in their bantamweight contest. Batey was the taller fighter and did well at times with her jab after a seven year absence, but Estrada was able to connect with solid combinations throughout the six round fight. Estrada won by unanimous decision.
Ruslan Madiyev (5-0, 3 Kos) need less than two rounds to knock out Houston’s Julio Sanchez (1-2) with a monstrous right hand at 21 seconds of round two of a lightweight clash. Sanchez was willing to exchange big blows and was knocked down in the first with a seven-punch combination. In the second round a single right by Madiyev pulverized Sanchez into unconsciousness at 21 seconds into the frame.