NEW YORK, Oct 18, (AFP): Gennady Golovkin looked dynamic in his coming out party Saturday and now says he wants to rule the suddenly resurgent middleweight division and make boxing history at the same time. “I am happy I gave my friends and fans a big show,” said Golovkin after destroying David Lemieux in a middleweight unification title fight. “My goal is to have all the belts in the middleweight division. I want to break a new story.” WBA champ Golovkin grabbed the IBF belt, running his unbeaten streak to 34 straight wins with an eighth-round stoppage of Lemieux in front of a crowd of 20,548 at Madison Square Garden.
The Kazakh national put on an explosive display of punching power in the 160-pound fight, dominating the former Canadian champion from the opening bell before the referee stopped the slaughter halfway through the round. Golovkin staggered Lemieux with a vicious left hook halfway through the fourth round and then scored the first knockdown of the fight in the fifth with a crushing body shot that caused his opponent to take a knee. Golovkin had to be careful though not to get disqualified as he continued punching Lemieux while he was on one knee before the referee stepped between them. Lemieux proved to be a game brawler and even landed a few blows of his own. But he was simply outclassed by a much harder puncher and better boxer. Golovkin was able to score at will with his jab as Lemieux proved to be an easy target, moving straight ahead and walking into jabs and uppercuts without much defense.
Golovkin, who has drawn comparisons to former undisputed middleweight champ Marvin Hagler, now hopes to become the face of the 160- pound division and this win should put him into the mix of the fighters hoping to follow in the footsteps of the flamboyant Floyd Mayweather, who says he has retired.
The 33-year-old Golovkin improves to 34-0 with 31 knockouts and he has now stopped his last 21 opponents within the distance. Lemieux was the heavy underdog coming in and his only hope of winning the fight was if he could turn it into a brawl. Lemieux, of Montreal, said he was upset the referee stopped the fight when he did and called for a rematch, which appears unlikely considering how onesided this one was. “He is a great fighter. Tonight he is the champion,” said Lemieux, who had won nine in a row. “I didn’t think it should have been stopped. I could have continued,” he said. “But tonight I will keep my mouth shut. I have a lot of respect for Golovkin. I will beat him in the future.” Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs) won the vacant IBF title in June when he knocked Hassan N’Dam down four times en route to a unanimous decision. He landed a couple of heavy right hands but had never been in the ring with a middleweight as dangerous as Golovkin before. On the undercard, Nicaragua’s Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez retained the WBC flyweight title with a ninth-round stoppage of the ex-American Olympian Brian Viloria.