WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin continues to impress with every showing.
His latest victim was a game and tough Curtis Stevens on Saturday night in Madison Square Garden. After dropping Stevens with a face-distorting left hook in the second round, Golovkin systematically pounded the Brooklyn native into submission for the next six frames.
Mercifully, the fight was stopped after the eighth round. Stevens made a good account of himself, but the stoppage was just because it was clear who the better man was. Golovkin improved his record to 28-0 with 25 wins coming by TKO/KO.
There was much to like about the 31-year-old Kazakh's performance, and here are the highlights.
Steady, Hard and Effective Jab
Per HBO.com, Golovkin had landed 11.2 jabs per round in his last three fights. The official jab totals were not immediately available via CompuBox, but in the pivotal second round, I counted 16 jabs landed for GGG.
With this as a weapon, GGG has become a complete offensive fighter and even scarier for potential opponents.
On Saturday night, his game plan was to land a hard, counter left hook. On a few occasions, he did catch Golovkin with power shots from both hands.
A couple of those punches backed Golovkin up, but none of them drastically altered his physical demeanor or discouraged his long-term pursuit. One question that some may have had about Golovkin was whether he could take the punch of a heavy hitter like Stevens. On Saturday night, he answered that question.
According to the HBO broadcast, he absorbed 97 power punches from Stevens en route to his victory.
The pressure only accentuates the impact of the thudding shots because he doesn't give opponents time to recuperate.
What's Next for GGG?
Who would win a Golovkin vs. Martinez bout and how?
Against Martin Murray in April, he was dropped in the eighth round and won a controversial decision in his native Argentina. Many believe he was the beneficiary of a hometown advantage in that one.
In any case, he's the biggest name in the division and the next target on Golovkin's radar. We'll have to wait and see if GGG gets his man.
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