By Darryn Albert
Middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin made quick work of challenger Daniel Geale on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, successfully defending his title once again, this time in just 3 rounds. It was a dominating performance for the Kazakh superstar Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) as he bulldozed right through the Australian Geale.
A former middleweight titleholder himself, Geale (30-3, 16 KOs) came out wild and shaky and never really seemed to challenge Golovkin, who was methodical and devastating all night. Golovkin, nicknamed GGG, floored Geale once in the second round, then sealed the deal with a crushing right hand at just past the 2 minutes, 35 seconds mark of the third round that sent Geale sprawling to the canvass. Geale got up but was wobbling pretty badly, prompting referee Michael Ortega to stop the fight.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the knockout blow by Golovkin was that it was actually a counter punch thrown in response to straight right hand by Geale that landed near-flush. That was the theme of the evening for Golovkin: responding to Geale’s unsteadiness with precision, efficiency, and destruction.
Golovkin set the tone early with his right jab in a 4 minute first round, though Geale looked good in the early going as well with counters and combinations. The second round is where Golovkin really started turning up the heat, answering with some combinations of his own and pinning Geale on the ropes and firing away. After touching the canvass in the 2nd round, Geale seemed to change his approach to a more conservative one and any hint of aggressiveness from early on quickly disappeared. Geale began moving all around the ring, moving his head wildly, and even appearing to taunt Golovkin at one point, but it was nervous energy at best as he actually seemed quite rattled. Golovkin then stopped Geale shortly thereafter.
It was a clinic for Golovkin as he showed on Saturday night that he’s one of the best in the business at picking his spots and controlling the tempo of a fight. Geale fought his fight all night long and Golovkin provided a nice juxtaposition to Geale’s nervous movement with calm, precise motions.
The final Compubox stats had Golovkin landing 56 of 191 punches (29%) and Geale landing 40 of 140 punches (29%).
The post-fight interview with Max Kellerman was a good one as Golovkin was humble and thanked both Geale and the fans for the opportunity. Golovkin also talked about his style of fighting, one which Kellerman fittingly dubbed “Search and Destroy,” to which Golovkin added that he embodied the Mexican style of aggressiveness and action-seeking as well. Golovkin also provided the quote of the evening telling the fans “You need an amazing show? Just call me!!!”
But perhaps the highlight of the interview was when Kellerman asked Golovkin what his future plans were and which opponent he would like to face next. To that, Golovkin responded that he was focused on 160 and wanted the unification fight. He mentioned “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin as well as Sam Soliman. But he made it clear that his next preferred opponent is none other than the one and only Miguel Cotto. Golovkin essentially called out Cotto and made every indication that Cotto is the man he wants next, which would make for quite the quality fight, to say the least.
At the end of the day, it was just another dominating performance by the rising Golovkin, but this one occurring in his debut in a main arena. Daniel Geale was supposed to be his stiffest test yet but Golovkin turned him into nothing more than a statistic: 17th straight opponent knocked out. We’ll see if the Cotto fight happens, but one thing is for sure: Gennady Golovkin is the real deal and he won’t stop until he annihilates anyone and everyone who stands in his way.