Fast rising star, Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, made his first appearance of 2015 against tough British veteran, Martin Murray, at the Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Golovkin put his IBO, WBA and interim WBC belts on the line against a fighter which many felt would be the toughest test in Golovkin’s career. The Kazakhstani fighter walked into the fight with an impressive 31-0 record, 28 of his wins coming by way of knockout, as he looked to stake his claim as the best middleweight in the world.
Standing opposite from Golovkin was Martin Murray, a legitimate contender who had faced the likes of Sergio Martinez, Felix Sturm and Domenico Spada in his career. Holding a record of 29-1-1, Murray aimed to capture his first legitimate title belt by derailing ‘GGG’ in Monte Carlo.
Round one commenced with both fighters testing the waters, carefully treading and gauging distance. Golovkin sent out a range finding jab as he walked towards Martin Murray. Holding a high guard, Murray also looked to test the waters before engaging with his power punching foe. As the round neared the end, ‘GGG’ began firing shots with more intent, picking up his pace.
Gennady Golovkin applied more pressure at the start the second round, pushing Murray up against the ropes. The UK fighter managed to land a couple of overhand rights as his back was on the ropes, looking to gain respect by testing the chin of Golovkin. Both fighters exchanged left hooks to the body when they were at close quarters, although the punches of ‘GGG’ seemed to land with more power. Very close round two.
The action continued in round three with Murray finding a home for his quick right hand. Body punching seemed to be a key for the strategy of Martin Murray as he repeatedly aimed his attack downstairs. Despite landing some shots, they were not inflicting much in terms of damage to Golovkin, and it did not slow his forward pressing attacks. Gennady looked very calculated with his plan of attack, mixing body punches in with his combinations, steadily wearing Murray down. Towards the end of the round, Golovkin landed the most meaningful punch of the fight, a right cross which seemed to momentarily stun Martin Murray.
In the fourth round, Golovkin sensed blood in the water and went to work, forcing the 32-year-old Murray to get on his bike and move away. As Murray attempted to escape danger, Gennady Golovkin closed the distance and landed a devastating right hook to the body that sent the UK fighter to the canvas. After making it up for the count, Golovkin instantly swarmed once more and made Murray take a knee following another crushing body blow. This was by far the best round of the fight for Golovkin at that stage.
In round five, Gennady was trying to find a home for his uppercuts in close. On his end, Martin Murray was still recovering from the body onslaught of the previous round and was desperately trying to do anything that would sway the tide in his favor. Unfortunately, the lack of knockout power of Murray really hindered his success because even though he did land clean blows, they were simply no match for the types of punches Golovkin was landing.
Rounds six and seven played out in similar manners with Murray showing an undeniable amount of heart each second he stood in front of ‘GGG’ but he was systematically getting dismantled by the superior skills and power of his opponent. Murray did not fall back to a full defensive shell, he fire many quick shots, some of which found their target, but the pressure was catching up. After rounds eight and nine did not see much change in the action, the tenth saw Golovkin drop Murray once again, this time with a right hand to the head at the end of the round, leaving Murray having to once again climb to his feet and beat the count.
As the eleventh round began, it seemed it was only a matter of time as Murray had the watchful eyes of the referee set on him and it would not take much from Golvokin to end the bout. Less than a minute into the round, Golovkin did just that, as he caught Murray against the ropes and few hard connect later, Luis Pabon stopped the bout, and ‘GGG’ officially retained his belts. With the win Golovkin maintains his status as one of the deadliest and most feared punchers in the sport, and with his popularity growing it seems a potential bout with Miguel Cotto might be closer than ever.