Gennady Golovkin unquestionably established himself as the finest middleweight in the world on Saturday with a brutally one-sided knockout of Matthew Macklin at the MGM Grand Theater in Mashantucket, Conn.
Fighting with precision, poise and, most of all, power, Golovkin battered Macklin for the better part of two-and-a-half rounds before finishing the Irishman with a crushing left hook to the liver.
Golovkin is everything he was advertised to be, and more. That's the good news.
It's also the bad news. There are no significant fights to be made for Golovkin because the promoters of the best potential opponents will do everything they can to avoid him.
Moments after the fight, Macklin promoter Lou DiBella ventured over to reporters at ringside and ended any suspense. He's not looking to put Sergio Martinez, who holds the WBC middleweight belt, in with Golovkin any time soon.
Martinez is injured and likely to miss the rest of the year. Assessing a potential Martinez-Golovkin match, DiBella quickly killed all hopes of a fight.
"[Martinez] is not going to come off a 14-month layoff and fight this animal," DiBella said.
Golovkin would utterly destroy Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. It wouldn't be much of a bout, though it would be a big attraction because of Chavez's name. But Top Rank, which promotes Chavez, will make excuses that Chavez can't make middleweight while moving him toward opponents who are far less dangerous than Golovkin.
Macklin, who dropped Martinez in the seventh round of a 2012 fight that Martinez won by 11th round TKO, was amazed by Golovkin's skills.
"Without a shadow of a doubt, he's the best kid I ever fought," Macklin said.
If there was a knock on Golovkin entering the bout, it was that he hadn't faced very good competition and that he was a bit crude, that his power covered up a lot of weaknesses.
But Golovkin looked like a very complete fighter on Saturday. He put his combinations together well, he worked behind a good jab and he was fluid and graceful in his movements.
He was hurting Macklin repeatedly – the right hand he landed near the end of Round 1 could have been called a knockdown be referee Eddie Cotton, as Macklin snagged the top rope to hold himself up – and he didn't appear to be going for the home run.
"He wasn't rushing and he was patient and he was hard to hit clean," Macklin said.
There's no one in the division, and few in boxing, who are as complete as Golovkin. He's a friendly, affable guy who loves to put on a show. He seemed to know what to throw, and when, as if he could anticipate Macklin's moves. That's the sign of a thinking man's fighter.
He moved Macklin to a corner midway through the third and then hit him with a hook to the body that left Macklin breathless. In one blazingly quick instant, Golovkin buried his left fist under his Macklin's rib cage and the Englishman went down in a heap.
Cotton dutifully made the count to 10, but he could have counted to 100 and Macklin wasn't going to get up.
"I was in good position for the body shot," Golovkin said. "It was my perfect position. That was my lucky punch."
There was nothing lucky about it. The guy has the kind of power that trainers dream of. Abel Sanchez for years trained thousands of kids in his gym up in the mountains in Big Bear, Calif., hoping that someone like Golovkin would one day walk through the door.
And when he saw Golovkin, he knew: this was a special fighter, one who was destined to be better than the rest, to be the star, to become the talk of the game.
Combine his punch with his toothy smile and engaging nature and he's a promoter's dream.
Except, that is, for the promoters of the other middleweights. Those guys, from Lou DiBella, Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer on down, will only see Golovkin as a nightmare.
So, Golovkin will fight on, clubbing the division's lesser fighters while the big boys whistle past the graveyard and look for someone less vicious.
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