It was a short Saturday night for unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin as he knocked out Vanes Martirosyan in Round 2.
Unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) has begun a new knockout streak Saturday night after he dropped Vanes Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21 KOs) in Round 2 of the middleweight showdown at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
The knockout was Golovkin’s first since he stopped Kell Brook in Round 5 of their bout in September 2016. Since then, he won a close unanimous decision against Danny Jacobs in March 2017 and then fought to a draw against Canelo Alvarez in September.
The victory marked Golovkin’s 20th consecutive successful defense of his middleweight crown, tying the mark set by Bernard Hopkins in 2005.
Round 1 was competitive as Martirosyan, who was fighting for the first time in two years, wasn’t intimidated by the hard-punching Golovkin and landed some clean, hard punches to Golovkin’s head.
But Golovkin began to press the action more in Round 2, using his jab to set up his power punches. Halfway through the round, he unloaded a vicious combination attack that sent Martirosyan to the canvas where he was counted out.
— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) May 6, 2018
According to punch stats, Golovkin landed 36-of-85 punches (42 percent), compared to Martirosyan, who landed 18-of-73 punches (25 percent).
After the fight, Martirosyan talked about Golovkin’s punching power to ESPN’s Dan Rafael:
“It was like being hit by a train. It wasn’t one punch. It was all of his punches. It was the hardest I have ever been hit.”
It was important for Golovkin to win in impressive fashion. Not only was Martirosyan coming off a long layoff, but some had begun to doubt Triple G’s reign over the middleweight division. After all, his last two fights went the distance while his 23 previous opponents were all knocked out.
After the fight, HBO’s Max Kellerman asked Golovkin on the broadcast if he would like a rematch with Alvarez, whom Golovkin was originally scheduled to fight. Alvarez was suspended following two failed drug tests for the banned performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol.
“Absolutely,” Golovkin said. “I want everyone. I have lots of belts. I challenge anyone to come and take my belts. I don’t care who it is. Let’s clean the division out. Happy Cinco de Mayo.”
A rematch between Golovkin and Alvarez could happen as early as September in what would be the biggest and most lucrative fight of 2018.