Gennady Golovkin Says He's 'Ready for Canelo' After Steve Rolls Knockout

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2019

Kazakhstan's Gennady Golovkin, left, punches Canada's Steve Rolls during the fourth round of a super middleweight boxing match Saturday, June 8, 2019, in New York. Golovkin stopped Rolls in the fourth round. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Gennady Golovkin called for a third fight against rival Saul "Canelo" Alvarez after his knockout win against Steve Rolls on Saturday, saying it's the bout the fans want and that he's ready for it.

The 37-year-old knocked out his opponent in the fourth round, and after the fight, he was asked whom he would like to face next. Per ESPN's Dan Rafael, Golovkin said he wants to complete the Canelo trilogy:

"Everybody knows. The fans know who they want me to fight next. I'm ready for September. I'm ready for Canelo. Just bring him, just ask him. I'm ready. If you want big drama show, please tell him. I'm ready to bring back the big-drama show."

"I believe, because this is boxing. This is boxing business. Why not? The next fight will be amazing for us. I feel right now like the people's champ. It doesn't matter for me. I want to beat him, but [the belts don't] matter. I'm the people's champion."

He also took a shot at Canelo's promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, per sports writer Ryan Songalia:

Ryan Songalia @ryansongalia

Gennadiy Golovkin responds to @OscarDeLaHoya’s pre-condition of getting a belt before making a third fight with Canelo Alvarez, says “he talks too much” and won’t get into a Twitter battle with him #GGGRolls https://t.co/LQpwS1XxTE

De La Hoya said the plan is to make Golovkin wait for a third fight in an interview with TMZ Sports earlier in June.

Saturday's fight was GGG's first since he suffered the first loss of his career against Canelo in September. He lost that bout by majority decision, an outcome he has disputed, per Rafael.

The judges weren't needed on Saturday:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

GGG put him to SLEEP 💤 (via @DAZN_USA) https://t.co/A9TjBApU56

Rolls came into the fight with a pristine 19-0 record but was not expected to challenge the Kazakh. GGG looked far from his best, showing some rust in the first three rounds, but his trademark overhand right found the target from start to finish.

Sports writer Michael Benson noticed Golovkin wasn't up to his usual standards, and he expects a third fight between him and Canelo:

Michael Benson @MichaelBensonn

💥 Gennady Golovkin back with a big fourth-round KO, but looked unusually vulnerable in the opening few rounds. Canelo trilogy seems inevitable for September regardless.

The two fought to a draw in their first meeting in 2017, an outcome that was just as controversial as their second fight. One of the judges, Adalaide Byrd, was temporarily stood down after turning in a much-derided 118-110 scorecard in favour of the Mexican fighter, per ESPN.com.

Golovkin fought once before the rematch, knocking out Vanes Martirosyan, while Canelo remained inactive. He has fought twice since their second bout, picking up wins over Rocky Fielding and Daniel Jacobs.

The two are among the biggest draws in boxing today, and both sit in The Ring's pound-for-pound top 10. GGG is signed with DAZN, the streaming service that also houses Alvarez, so setting up a third fight between the two should be relatively easy should the middleweight king and De La Hoya be interested.