Golovkin retains middleweight titles with third-round TKO
May 13. USA TODAY
By Bob Velin
Rising star Gennady Golovkin defended his WBA and IBO middleweight titles Saturday night by stopping Makoto Fuchigami in the third round in Kiev, Ukraine.
Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs), from Kazakhstan, wasted no time in the scheduled 12-round bout, nailing Fuchigami (19-7, 10 KOs) with a right cross in the first round to open up a cut over the Japanese fighter’s right eye.
Golovkin continued to punish Fuchigami with power shots, knocking him down in the second and third rounds before putting him away. Referee Ignacio Martinez finally put an end to Golovkin’s relentless attack when he halted the fight at 1:43 of the second round. The loss ended Fuchigami’s nine-fight win streak.
“We had a great camp in Big Bear (Calif.) and my punches felt strong early on,” Golovkin said. “I knew Fuchigami was hurt after the first knockdown so I let my hands go in the second round. Abel (trainer Sanchez) and I worked on staying patient and studying my opponent and it worked tonight.”
Golovkin looked ahead to a mandatory showdown with WBA Super Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm of Germany. that fight must take place by Sept. 30.
“I want to fight Sturm finally and then later this year I would like to fight in the United States, preferably at Madison Square Garden,” Golovkin said. “I was at Sergio Martinez’s fight there in March of this year and would be very interested in fighting him there.”
Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, which handles Golovkin, said, “Our immediate plan is to face Sturm and then have Gennady fight in America. Madison Square Garden has shown great interest in having his U.S. debut there and we have had good discussions with HBO, Showtime and EPIX about broadcasting his fights.”
“Gennady (will) fight any champion from 154 to 168 (pounds), anywhere in the world.”
Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, who hails from Kiev, and is running for the mayor’s job there, was at ringside to watch the fight.
The Golovkin-Fuchigami bout will be broadcast on EPIX on a tape delay. The date has not yet been announced.