The appeal of WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is obvious.
He’s soft-spoken and kind. He never dismisses an opponent.
When he wins a fight, he’s almost apologetic.
But it seems what fight fans love most about Golovkin is that the man can flat-out punch.
On Saturday night, at a sold-out StubHub Arena in Carson,CA, Golovkin made Marco Antinio Rubio his eighteenth consecutive knockout victim. The end came in the second round.
Golovkin barely broke a sweat. After an uneventful opening stanza, Golovkin went to work in round two.
Rubio never saw the short uppercut that jolted him to his heels. Golovkin finished the job with a left hook off the top of Rubio’s head. The Mexican veteran of 67 fights took his time getting up. He didn’t beat the count.
Golovkin took a bow in the center of the ring as nine thousand boxing fans serenaded him.
Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, which represents Golovkin, should have been in the ring sharing the limelight since Loeffler has done such a brilliant job of promoting the champion.
Golovkin has now scored an impressive 28 knockouts in his 31 professional fights.
He hits like a mule and fights like a calculating assassin.
But it’s his resume that comes up short.
In fact, his list of opponents is hardly a “Who’s Who” of the sport.
He captured the WBA belt in 2010 by defeating one Nilson Julio Tapia. He’s also beaten Kasiim Ouma, Lujon Simon, and Makoto Fuchigami. Two years later he brutalized Gabriel Rosada, knocked the stuffing out of Nobuhiro Ishida, and stopped Matthew Macklin with a wicked body shot. Pretty good fighters for sure, but not in the boxing world’s top five.
Not that there’s anything wrong with building up one‘s record. In the late 1930s, Joe Louis campaigned in what was called “The Bum of the Month Club.” Louis knocked out a number of overmatched fighters.
After beating Curtis Stevens, Golovkin faced what many considered his toughest opponent to date,– former champion Daniel Geale.
It took Golovkin a little over eight minutes to put him away making the win the most impressive of his career.
Golovkin is 32 years old. His popularity soars with every fight.
HBO reported that his match with Rubio attracted 1,304,000 viewers. That makes it the second highest performing bout on cable television in 2014.
Next year may be even bigger for Golovkin. He wants to face the big names like Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez.
But Is he as good as his promoters promise?
Only time will tell, but in the history of pugilism, fighters are judged by the competition they face, not the easy touches they destroy.