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Golovkin Just Wins

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In a contest that started resembling something more of a blood drive sponsored by the Red Cross than a prizefight, WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin scored a seventh round stoppage over the game but outgunned Gabe Rosado before a loud and enthusiastic gathering of 4,850 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Golovkin, who has been a bit of an urban legend for his amateur and sparring exploits, has been built up as boxing’s latest boogeyman. A combination of Stanley Ketchel, Carlos Monzon, Marvin Hagler, the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch with a friendly and affable demeanor from Kazakhstan (still best known to many over here as the home to one “Borat”).

But while he dominated Rosado (who was in retreat from the very beginning of this bout), he looked less-than-unbeatable on this evening. Golovkin’s certainly a formidable prizefighter but perhaps everyone needs to pump the brakes just a little bit. Against Rosado, he looked just a bit off his top form. He looked, well...human.


Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions told Maxboxing shortly after the fight, “The reason why he was out of sorts tonight - besides the fact Gabriel came in really tough - he had the flu. He was in bed for the last two days and it’s not making any excuses but he definitely didn’t have the regular power in his punches.” This, of course, is a statement Rosado might disagree with given he took a sustained beating that turned his visage into a crimson mask.
 
“It’s true that I was sick on Thursday and Friday but there’s no excuses,” said Golovkin, who wants to go big game hunting between 154-160 pounds. “My power was there; I wore him down in the fifth and sixth rounds just like I said I would.”
 
Again, as Chris Rock once stated, you shouldn’t get too much credit for something you’re supposed to do. “GGG” was a prohibitive favorite coming into this fight. He did what he was supposed to. Now, in what is supposed to be a profile-building campaign in 2013, it’s on to the next step in a year that might be more about volume and activity than anything else. “That’s the plan as of right now,” said Loeffler, who’s in charge of mapping out Golovkin’s future. “We have two potential fights, one in March, one in April. I want to make sure Gennady stays busy.”
 
And they will do it with or without HBO (which seems to have hitched onto this bandwagon).
 
“He needs to keep fighting. Obviously, HBO doesn’t have enough dates to show him as often as we want to fight. We have a very good relationship with HBO and they have a strong interest in Gennady but we’re going to keep him active and hopefully they can broadcast as many as possible.”
 
It wasn’t the most potent Golovkin has ever been but he did leave you wanting to see more of him. The first step in this process has been taken. Perhaps, in this circumstance, that’s good enough.
 
“It’s a good win for me,” said the 30-year old Golovkin, who improved to 25-0 with 22 stoppages, “but this is not a statement - just a win.”
 
THE CARD
 
The overall card was pretty good, even if it didn’t necessarily live up to its lofty expectations. In the opening bout of the HBO telecast, most ringside observers had Juan Carlos Burgos doing enough to take the WBO junior lightweight title from Rocky Martinez. But the NYSAC arbiters ruled the fight a draw. Personally, I had the fight scored 116-112 for Burgos on the basis of his body work and strong finish.
 
The main event saw Mikey Garcia put on a dominant performance in winning the WBO featherweight crown against the usually durable Orlando Salido, who hit the canvas twice in the first and once each in the third and four frames. Warning for future foes of the talented counterpuncher from Oxnard (now based in the Inland Empire in Southern California): Lead against him at your own risk because Garcia is like a sniper - cold, calculating and with deadeye accuracy. As Salido kept coming through the front door with no hesitation, he kept finding himself off his feet. From a perspective of pure talent and skill, Garcia is as gifted as any boxer today - and he’s still just 25 years old. After a lost 2012, this New Year could be a big one for him.
 
But it has to be mentioned; as he built a big lead over “Siri,” the battle-hardened veteran from the dirt streets of Ciudad Obregon wasn’t going away easily and he kept pressing the action and actually had some success in the seventh and eighth rounds. But a clash of heads (caused by Salido) broke Garcia’s nose. After the round, it looked like Garcia’s corner - led by his brother, Robert - seemed to lobby the doctors to halt the fight, knowing they were ahead on the scorecards. No, Garcia didn’t quit and, no, Salido probably didn’t have enough to muster a late rally but you never know how fights play out. Anything can happen in that squared circle. It seemed here that the natural course of the fight was not allowed to play out. No rules were broken (and it certainly was the smart thing to do) but it does seem the system was gamed.
 
It’s a dangerous precedent.
 
MSG
 
I talked late into the night at Jimmy’s Corner with an employee of Madison Square Garden who told me they absolutely consider themselves in the Golovkin business. Judging by the crowd, there were a good number of Kazak’s out in the audience with their flags. Yes, like the Klitschkos (who have done significant business in the Big Apple in the past), it does look like there is something to be had here. He has a fan-friendly style and a constituency in this region.
 
Also selling a good amount of tickets was undercard fighter Sean Monaghan who, despite limited talent, is a guy who brings his share of people through the turnstiles. Go to any card in New York City with this guy (big or small) and he brings a sizable clan with him. In talking to a few fans who went to the Theater on Saturday night, they noted that partisans of both Monaghan and Golovkin left after their guys finished fighting, not caring too much about what fights followed.
 
Hey, root, root, root for the home team - and then get the hell outta there.
 
FINAL FLURRIES
 
Yes, the fight Top Rank is trying to make for Tim Bradley on March 16th is against Yuriorkis Gamboa but the issues of the catchweight and money (what else?) are still hurdles that need to be cleared. Home Depot Center is on hold for this potential fight...For all this talk of Nonito Donaire taking on Guillermo Rigondeaux on April 27th, just remember: HBO is already committed to airing Sergio Martinez’s bout in Argentina versus Martin Murray...Kelly Pavlik is retired - for now...Manager Henry Delgado reached out to say that Mike Alvarado is completely on board to face Brandon Rios on March 30th...For boxing fans who will make the trek to see a fight in New York soon, make sure you hit Jimmy’s Corner. It’s a great bar and on fight week, you will see people from the boxing community there. I always make it a point to drop by. Talking with Jimmy Glenn is a treat...RIP to a trio of baseball legends, Earl Weaver, Stan “The Man” Musial and Ron Fraser...As I’ve been saying, stick a fork in the Lakers...Ray Lewis and Frank Gore in the Super Bowl, not sure who I’m pulling for. How ‘bout dem ‘Canes?... And Joe Flacco, wellllllll, I’lllllllll be...


Steve can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and he tweets at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.



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