NEW YORK -- Three thoughts on Gennady Golovkin’s third-round knockout of Daniel Geale and Bryant Jennings' narrow decision win over Mike Perez at Madison Square Garden.
Golovkin continues to terrorize, well, everyone
Golovkin is as close to must-see TV as there is in boxing right now, a 160-pound wrecking ball who actively seeks to destroy every opponent he faces. He’s a pocket Mike Tyson, with power that has opponents nervous before they even step into the ring. Daniel Geale is the most accomplished opponent on Golovkin’s résumé, a two-time world champion who went into Germany -- twice -- to win world titles. And Golovkin just destroyed him. Golovkin dropped Geale with a looping right hand in the second round and peppered him with thudding power punches. In the third, he did one better. After Geale landed a solid left hand, Golovkin, leaning backwards, connected on a crushing right hand counter that sent Geale careening to the canvas. Geale popped right up but could never get his bearings and referee Michael Ortega wisely waved off the fight. It was another devastating performance from the most entertaining fighter in boxing.
Said Geale’s promoter, Gary Shaw, “In all my years of boxing, Golovkin is the best 160-pounder I have ever seen.”
Does anyone want next?
Golovkin has made his feelings on his future clear: He wants to unify the middleweight titles. That means WBC champ Miguel Cotto, WBO titleholder Peter Quillin and IBF champion Sam Soliman. After the fight, Golovkin called out Cotto, who claimed his piece of the title with a dominating win over Sergio Martinez last month. Cotto-Golovkin would be a huge fight at MSG, and Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, made it clear that Golovkin would be accommodating to Cotto’s financial demands.
“Cotto would make a lot of money in a fight with Golovkin,” Loeffler said. “Gennady is fine being the B-side. He’ll be the C-side for the fight.”
Quillin is another option, though Quillin told SI.com recently that he is committed to fighting on Showtime. Golovkin fights exclusively on HBO. And it’s hard to imagine any middleweight getting into the ring with Golovkin without a huge financial incentive.
“We can’t force anyone to fight,” Loeffler said. “But we’ll fight anyone.”
Big win for Bryant Jennings
With Vitali Klitschko’s decision to vacate his WBC heavyweight title, the division has opened up a bit. In May, Bermane Stiverne knocked out Chris Arreola to win the vacant title. This fall, Stiverne will defend the belt against Deontay Wilder, the No. 1 contender. The winner of that fight is obligated to face Jennings, who moved into a mandatory position with a narrow split decision win over Mike Perez. Perez was the aggressor early, dictating the tempo of the fight, consistently beating Jennings to the punch. But from the seventh round on Perez started to fade while Jennings, who is always in shape, came on. Jennings landed the heavier punches (136 power punches to 104 for Perez, per CompuBox) while Perez seemed content to hit and hold on. The difference maker came in the 12th, when Perez was penalized a point for hitting Jennings during a break. Without the penalty, the fight would have been scored a draw. The deduction allowed Jennings to escape with the win and move one step closer to a heavyweight title.