Following the only two blemishes on his professional career, Gennady Golovkin brought the “big drama show” back to Madison Square Garden on Saturday. What he needed was less drama than his two close, debatable fights against Canelo Alvarez was an old school GGG-style thumping.
That’s just what Golovkin delivered, knocking the inspired Steve Rolls out in round 4. The conclusion came as Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 knockouts) followed up on a wobbling Rolls with an overhand left from the southpaw position that put Rolls down face-first for the count at the 2:09 mark.
There was more drama than many had expected, however, with Rolls, listed as a 25-1 underdog by DAZN’s in-house handicapper. The 35-year-old Rolls (19-1, 10 KOs) of Toronto, Canada gave Golovkin all he could handle in rounds two and three, knocking Golovkin’s head back with a straight left and using his shoulder roll to land counter right hands on the aggressive Kazakh.
Golovkin, who was working with trainer Johnathan Banks for the first time after years under the tutelage of Abel Sanchez, brought back some old wrinkles to his game that were missing in his draw and majority decision loss to Alvarez, notably his head movement and body punching.
Golovkin, 37, began to chop Rolls down with left hooks to the midsection that were set up by his head movement and left uppercut. His left hooks, thrown high on the head, began the quick descent towards the end of the fight.
The fight was a massive step-up in competition for Rolls, 35, an eight-year pro who had just one previous fight scheduled for more than eight rounds.
Now the long-time unified middleweight champion Golovkin turns his attention back to Alvarez, who is the star attraction on the DAZN platform which Golovkin is fighting on for the first time.
Golovkin voiced his interest in a third meeting with the Mexican star in the post-fight interview.
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