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Golovkin punishes Lemieux for eight rounds

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By John J. Raspanti

WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin added the IBF title to his resume by stopping game David Lemieux in round eight at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in New York City Saturday night. 
 
The knockout victory was the 21st in a row for the 33-year-old Golovkin.
 
Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) showed patience in the opening stanza. He worked behind a stinging jab and added an occasional right hand. Conventional wisdom indicated that Lemieux’s only chance was to clock Golovkin with a hard punch.  
 
Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs) came out more aggressively in round two. Golovkin used angles to connect with a variety of blows. Lemieux’s face was being peppered by jabs and hooks and there was nothing he could do about it. Lemieux needed to get closer to uncork his shots, but Golovkin was boxing more than banging.

In rounds three and four, Lemieux, 26, was finally able to touch Golovkin with some blows, but the Kazakhstan native made him pay dearly. A number of sharp punches connected on the chin of the defending IBF champion. 
 
The heavy-handed Lemieux landed a hard right hook in round five. Golovkin absorbed the blow without incident and seconds later returned fire. A number of punches had the Canadian fighter backing up. With a minute to go in heat, Golovkin delivered a pretty left to the gut. The punch drove Lemieux to his knees. Golovkin let go with an illegal right hand that also landed. He immediately apologized. Lemieux beat the count and survived the round.    
 
Golovkin continued his onslaught in round six, but Lemieux fought back effectively, clipping Golovkon with a right hand and left hook. Lemieux, with blood dripping from his nose, was looking to land a bomb, but Golovkin was systematic in his approach. He hammered Lemieux with punches to the head and body.  Golovkin went for the kill in round eight. A big combination staggered the gutsy Lemieux. After Golovkin landed another hard blow to the chin, referee Steve Willis jumped in and called a halt to the contest.
 
The time was 1:32 seconds into round eight. 
 
“This was a very important fight,” said Golovkin in the ring. “I’m very happy. David is a very good fighter.”
 
“There were some rounds that were close,” Lemieux said. “I give him all the respect.”
 


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