Jason Gonzalez was ringside for the return of Gennady Golovkin
There would be no upset at Madison Square Garden this time around. As the adage states, lighting doesn’t strike twice [referring to the Andy Ruiz-Anthony Joshua fight].
With that being said, the Gennadiy Golovkin renaissance has begun. Golovkin, now 37, returned to the squared circle for the first time since losing to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez just 9 months ago. With new lead Johnathon Banks in his corner, the former unified middleweight champion rebounded with a fourth-round knockout of Steve Rolls from Toronto, Canada before a crowd of 12,357. The bout with Rolls marked Golovkin’s first scuffle of his six fight, three-year deal worth a reported nine figures with the sports streaming service DAZN.
"I love knockouts and I love New York," said Golovkin, who fought at a contractual weight of 164 pounds, while improving to 39-1-1, (35) in the process. "It was a great night all around. I’m ready to come back in September. I’m ready to bring back the big drama show. We know who the fans want me to fight next."
Obviously Golovkin is referring to Canelo. But after two close bouts with the native of Guadalajara, Mexico [the first fight ended in a draw, and then Canelo won the rematch by a close margin] Golovkin signed on with DAZN in hopes of completing a trilogy with boxing’s biggest superstar in the post Floyd Mayweather world.
"Everybody knows. The fans know who they want me to fight next," Golovkin said. "I’m ready for September. I’m ready for Canelo. Just bring him, just ask him. I’m ready. If you want big drama show, please tell him. I’m ready to bring back the big drama show."
As for Golovkin and Rolls, Golovkin went after his 35-year-old foe at the commencement of the skirmish. As opposed to what Golovkin neglected to do against Canelo, he went to the body against Rolls, leaving him looking bewildered. Realizing that this strategy worked effectively, Golovkin did more of the same thing in the second round. But to Rolls’ credit, he managed to land some heavy shots of his own, including a left hand that snapped Golovkin’s head back. The argument could be made that Rolls may have won the third round.
By the time of the fourth round, Golovkin continued to pressure Rolls (19-1, 10 KOs) eventually backing him up against the ropes. Now smelling blood on weakened prey, Golovkin relentlessly let his hands go, ultimately scoring with a looping left hook. The shot dropped Rolls face first to the canvas. Rolls failed to beat the count of ten, which prompted the referee, Steve Willis to call the carnage off at the 2:09 mark of the same round.
"It’s always good to get a knockout. I liked what I saw in the ring for the short amount of time we had in camp, but we can do better with a full camp," Banks expressed to the media, as he gave an honest assessment of his new charge. "We’re going in the right direction."
Well, what direction is Banks pointing to? For Golovkin all roads lead to Canelo. However, there is the remote possibility of Golovkin squaring off with the WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade from Providence, Rhode Island. It is unlikely, especially when you take into consideration that it may be a high-risk low reward type of scrap for Golovkin. Andrade’s style of fighting could potentially give Golovkin problems. As for his rival Canelo, the current unified middleweight champion, well he has options that don’t necessarily include Golovkin in September. Canelo has some lucrative options if you think about it.
Last month, after his victory over Daniel Jacobs, Canelo’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya discussed the likelihood of Canelo fighting the Ring and WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith in the United Kingdom as a realistic probability. Conclusively the ball is in Canelo’s court. He will decide who he fights in three months, that is if he even chooses to fight in the fall. As for Golovkin, he will simply play the waiting game.
One last quick footnote worth mentioning, Golovkin legally changed the spelling of his first name. Golovkin has now added an ‘i’ between the ‘d’ and ‘y’. Interesting to say the least.