By John J. Raspanti
Rattled at times by combinations, WBC and IBF middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) stopped IBF welterweight kingpin Kell Brook (35-1, 26 KOs) in Round five at a rocking O2 Arena in London, England Saturday night.
Hometown hero Brook did well at times in the opening stanza. He landed a good jab and a couple of right hands. Golovkin, always the predator, stalked and rocked. A wicked body shot wobbled Brook—who fought back at the bell.
Golovkin upped the ante in Round two, but Brook’s faster hands were problematical. He ate a number of lefts, before firing his own volley. Brook jabbed and moved away. Golovkin walked him down and fired, but most of his blows were missing. Brook countered with a stinging combination—followed by a big uppercut. Golovkin went back to his corner with a small cut over his forehead.
A frustrated Golovkin went after Brook in Round three. His shots were hard and heavy. Brook was avoiding some of the bows, but Golovkin’s pressure was wearing him down. Brook connected with a stinging right hand to the head. Golovkin nodded and smiled.
After three rounds, both fighters were marked. There was swelling under Brooks right eye. His nose was bleeding. Golovkin’s cheeks were red. Golovkin pressed forward in Round four. Brook tried to stay away, but he couldn’t keep Golovkin off him.
The pace was frenetic. Golovkin was breaking Brook down.
Golovkin forced Brook into the ropes in Round five and let his hands go. A number of the punches landed. Brook tried to stay away, but his punches had lost their snap. He wearily backed into the ropes. Golovkin continued to unleash blows until Brook’s corner threw in the towel. The surrender surprised everyone in the arena.
A relieved Golovkin bowed and raised his right arm.
“Thank you very much London,” said Golovkin in the ring. “I promised to bring big drama. He’s (Brook) a good fighter, but he’s not a middleweight. I didn’t feel his punches.”
“I’m devastated,” said Brook. “I was seeing three or four of him in the ring.”
The knockout victory was the 23rd in a row for Golovkin.