1. ‘Triple G’ Can Do a Lot More Than Just Put Opponents To Sleep
The smiling Kazakh might have exacted a 21st consecutive stoppage win on his history breaking 34-0 (31) slate but there was so much else to commend him here as he effortlessly dispatched Lemieux in eight painfully one-sided rounds.
His Canuck victim came with his own fearsome rep for wreaking carnage and, in the build-up, Golovkin conceded: ‘I’m little bit scared.’ But he nullified any risks by proceeding with commendable patience and executed coach Abel Sanchez’s impeccable fight strategy to perfection.
We witnessed a jolting jab, educated combinations and hitherto unseen evasive qualities as he systematically and rather spitefully smashed the stuffing out of Lemieux.
Both his timing and judgement of distance were again exemplary. ‘See, I’m not just crazy fighter, I’m boxer,’ he quipped afterwards.
2. Golovkin Has Never Been Closer to Defeat Than He Was at the End of Round Five
Formerly a world amateur champion and Olympic silver medallist, the increasingly invincible looking 33 year old had barely conceded a round since entering the pros back in May 2006.
But the Kazakh clouter came perilously close to receiving a red card when, having dumped Lemieux with a rib bending left hook, he rashly crashed a follow up right into the French-Canadien’s unguarded head, whilst he crouched on the canvas.
A less lenient referee might have ordered his immediate eviction but Steve Willis didn’t even dock a point.
For this, Golovkin owes a huge debt to Lemieux. The 26 year old had already endured 15 minutes of torture and humiliation yet, true gladiator, he showed respect for the sport’s nobility and refused to ‘faint’. Premier League footballers please take note.
3. Lemieux Isn’t Yet Ready to Compete With the Elite
Though Lemieux showed obscene courage and huffed and puffed earnestly, it’s doubtful he won any of the 24 minutes that this slaughter lasted. The only men inside the arena who were braver were his cornermen.
Some optimists and patriots accorded him the proverbial ‘puncher’s chance’ but it soon became apparent that he lacked both the tools and nous to force the ‘shootout’ which provided his best chance of springing an upset. You can’t hurt what you can’t hit and at times his feted left hook missed by feet rather than inches.
Thankfully, he had the dignity of finishing on his feet but must now trundle back to the gymnasium and put right his wrongs. ‘Today, David went to school, boxing school,’ assessed his conqueror afterwards.
Lemieux is both an engaging personality and noble warrior but endured the kind of beating that ruins careers.
4. Golovkin Has the Hardware to Assume Floyd Mayweather’s Mantle as the Biggest Draw in Boxing.....
Ignored, then underappreciated for years, Golovkin’s star is belatedly soaring out of the stratosphere.
His talent to deliver at elite level and the explosive excitement he generates are incontestable. On Saturday a sell-out 20,548 graced the hallowed Madison Square Garden for his HBO pay-per-view debut. No one will have left feeling short-changed.
His impish personality and quirky broken English appear to be endearing him to the mainstream.
By adding Lemieux’s IBF strap to the WBA and bit part WBC belts he already owned, Golovkin is gradually cutting off the escape routes for rival 160lb pretenders. Yet to debut in Las Vegas, future superfights beckon with whoever prevails in the divisions mega matches between Cotto-Canelo and Lee-Saunders later this year.
5. But Roman Gonzalez is the Best Technician Active in the Sport Today!
‘GGG’ hits harder and shifts more tickets but even he needs to genuflect to the skills and smarts of this diminutive Nicaraguan master.
The 38 stoppage wins which grace ‘Chocoltito’s’ perfect 44 fight CV provide a distorted impression of his power. Sure he hits hard and lands often but it is as a ring mechanic where he really excels.
On Saturday, we finally got to assess him over a good few rounds and he proved utterly mesmerising, despatching Hawaii’s four time world champion Brian Viloria in nine. Nimble of foot, the 28 year old possesses every shot in the book. Studying him smoothly moving through the gears and peeling off bewildering chords was a joy.
The tussle between ‘GGG’ and Gonzalez to determine ‘top dog’, pound-for-pound, over the next year promises to be compelling.