As if he needed the public affirmation on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, Gennady Golovkin proved he was every bit as good as people thought he was, earning a TKO referee stoppage just over minute into the eighth round against David Lemieux.
Golovkin opened the bout landing stiff jabs far too often for any of Lemieux’s supporters to feel comfortable with, using the punch to soften his opponent up for bigger power shots as the fight wore on. “GGG” was cruising through the middleweight title bout, staggering Lemieux in Round 4 and dropping him in Round 5.
There was a bit of controversy surrounding the knockdown, as Golovkin was seen landing a punch on a downed Lemieux. There was no discussion of a point deduction or DQ.
“GGG’s” corner found a bit of concern with their fighter’s approach, often seen changing his gameplan once knocking his opponent down — a gameplan that could leave him more susceptible to Lemieux’s punches down the line.
“He’s a very good fighter, he’s a very strong guy,” Golovkin said during the post-fight in-ring interview. “I must show [that] I can box too. I’m not just a crazy fighter, I’m a boxer too.
“Every fighter is very dangerous and very strong, and more respect to David; he’s [a] very good fighter.”
Golovkin vastly outlanded Lemieux in power punches, connecting on 110 total punches to Lemieux’s 54.
Now, as fight fans move forward, a vast majority of boxing’s experts, including HBO’s Max Kellerman, are faced with a tough question.
“Is there a middleweight out there capable of putting him in the sort of drama we really want to see?” Kellerman asked after the fight on the HBO broadcast.
Some look toward the winner of Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as a potential opponent. They face off next month.
Others continue to call for Andre Ward.
Whoever it may be, Golovkin’s surely making a strong case for the sport’s pound-for-pound best in the post-Mayweather era.