It was billed as Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin’s toughest fight to date but nearly ended as soon as it began.
Golovkin’s growing fan base at the “Mecca of Boxing” cheered for the middleweight knockout artist as soon as the opening bell chimed. And although Geale boxed well early on, Golovkin seemed to be landing the harder shots.
In what was a major flub, the first round went on for an extra minute clocking four total.
In the second round, GGG sent his foe to the canvas for the first time thanks to a hard, crisp combination. Geale, showcasing his resilience, rose quickly and continued fighting.
When the third round started, Geale came out to fight as Golovkin stalked. The challenger landed landed a peach of a right hand that snapped Golovkin’s head back. However, within the same second, Golovkin was already in the process of firing his own right hand while would connect and send Geale crashing to the canvas.
The crowd at MSG erupted as Geale lay flat on his back while the referee started to count. Again, the Australian rose relatively early in the count but this time he was 'out on his feet' as he stumbled mightily to regain his composure.
The fight was called off.
What is most impressive about GGG’s performance was thathe, once again, demonstrated focus and the composure. Immediately after getting hit with Geale’s best right hand, he came back with his own to end the fight.
If this was, in fact, GGG’s toughest test to date he certainly passed with flying colors.
Post fight stats, facts and quotes
- According to CompuBox, Golovkin landed 56 of 191 punches, and 33 power shots; Geale connected on 40 of 140 punches, also finding a home for 33 power shots of his own.
- Golovkin drew 8,572 fans, surpassing his promoter’s goal of 7,500
- “We were happy with the attendance,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, which handles Golovkin and scaled the Garden’s arena to just over 10,000 seats. “We were happy with the energy and happy with the fans who turned out. I think it was the right decision to bring the fight to the big room.”
- Golovkin recorded his 17th straight knockout; The loss is Geale's first by KO
- "He may be the best 160-pounder I’ve ever seen in my years in boxing,” said Gary Shaw, Geale’s promoter. “There’s nobody at 160 or 154 and I’m not sure there’s anybody at 168 who can be competitive for 12 rounds with him.”
- “I’m very happy with the performance,” Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) said in the ring afterward. “I want only unification fights.” Pressed on who he’d like to face, Golovkin said, “Cotto,” referencing WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, who thrashed Sergio Martinez last month at the Garden.
- Golovkin was originally slated to fight Andy Lee on April 26 but following the death of his father on Febuary 18, he was forced to return home; As part of ritual, he observed a a 40-day mourning period with his family