In a PPV NOT featuring anyone named Mayweather or Pacquiao, both Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez demonstrated why they are considered to be two of the best fighters in the world last Saturday in Madison Square Garden.
In the co-feature bout of the evening, Gonzalez (44-0, 38KO) put on a masterful display of boxing poise and precise power-punching by pummeling former Flyweight champion Brian Viloria (36-5, 22KO) to a 9th round TKO. Gonzalez, considered to be the best fighter in the world today, showed great poise in the first round defending himself from the hard left hooks and right hands Viloria tried to land on him. Gonzalez kept his defense tight and neutralized a lot of Viloria’s punches. If Viloria had been fighting any other fighter on Saturday, he probably would have won considering his speed and power. Gonzalez is not like most opponents though.
Gonzalez initiated his offense gradually, never overextending himself or making himself vulnerable to Viloria’s counters. The fight shifted in the third round when Gonzalez landed a short right hand on Viloria, dropping the former champion for the first time in his career. Viloria managed to survive the round, but he took tremendous punishment as Gonzalez began to put more pressure on Viloria.
Viloria bravely kept trying to win, but Gonzalez never got careless enough to allow Viloria to land any significant combinations. The amazing thing about Gonzalez is he dominated Viloria, one of the better fighters in the lower weight classes, after the knockdown by using great boxing skills to seek-and-destroy Viloria, landing vicious combinations to the head and body while at the same time keeping his defense responsible.
Gonzalez wore Viloria down to the point where Viloria lacked the explosiveness he displayed in the first round. Viloria kept trying, and even landed a great body shot in the 9th round which forced Gonzalez to take a moment to concentrate on defense. This proved to be Viloria’s last stand though because as soon as Gonzalez recovered from the body shot, he went back to landing a variety of combinations to the head and body which forced Viloria to the ropes. The referee had seen enough and waved the fight off to prevent the tough Viloria from taking further punishment.
Gonzalez’s utter dominance of an excellent fighter in Viloria just adds to his case in being considered the best fighter in the world pound-for-pound. What’s refreshing about Gonzalez is he uses his boxing skills to finish his opponents off instead of scoring points for a decision win. His mix of punching power and skill are going to pose problems for the lighter-weight fighters for a few years at least.
In the main event, Golovkin (34-0. 31KO) completely outclassed hard-hitting David Lemieux (34-3, 31K0) and beat him down to an 8th round TKO victory.
Golovkin, known mostly for his punching power, baffled Lemieux with a hard, crisp jab which kept Lemieux from crowding Golovkin and landing his signature hard shots.
After establishing his jab, Golovkin began to set-up his offense by landing hard right hands and left hooks to the body. Lemieux struggled to get inside and didn’t seem to have any response to the jab from Golovkin. If Lemieux did land a punch, it was only one at a time and largely ineffective because they landed on Golovkin’s shoulders and arms for the most part. Golovkin displayed excellent defense as well as boxing skill and power.
Golovkin’s lauded power finally cracked Lemieux’s resolve in the fifth round as a body shot forced the Canadian to take a knee. Golovkin landed another punch after the knockdown, but Lemieux didn’t try to get a DQ victory and Golovkin apologized for the illegal blow.
Golovkin continued his dominance of Lemieux, landing hard body punches and head shots while Lemieux occasionally scored with his punches. But, Golovkin displayed excellent defense and a sturdy chin in taking Lemieux’s shots.
The referee put a stop to the beatdown in the 8th round after a vicious combination by Golovkin. Lemieux protested the call, but the referee made the right choice in saving Lemieux from further punishment.
Golovkin did a great job in displaying his superior skill, which doesn’t often get talked about because of his punching power. He is the logical choice for the winner of the Miguel Cotto-Saul Alvarez bout in November. Props need to be given for Lemieux for being willing to take on Golovkin in the first place. Not many middleweights are eager to face Golovkin, but Lemieux decided to take him on. He will be entertaining to watch as long as his career lasts.