(Photo by Wojtek Urbanek)
Big Drama Show is Back!
Albeit in a much tougher than anticipated bout. Correction, fight! Even though LongLiveBoxing.com was money on its prediction, the first few rounds had me thinking Father Time was creeping up on the former unified middleweight champ, Gennady Golovkin. Better known as GGG.
After landing the most significant jab of his career in Round 2, one that snapped GGG’s neck back, Steve “Mr.” Rolls (19-1 10 KO’s) connected with the best counter right of his young, now 20 pro fight careers. Those punches sent the 12,357 in attendance at Madison Square garden into a frenzy! But the flushness from Rolls counter shot sent team GGG’s game plan out the window. Something he sheepishly acknowledged post fight with "Radio Rahim" from Seconds Out. “It’s boxing” GGG said grinning. A now much more aggressive GGG channeled his inner “Mexican Style” in Round 4 by finishing Rolls with a power left hook placed inch perfect behind Rolls right glove.
One fighter landed career defining shots, while the other his normal patented power shots. That’s the difference in skill level between them. The levels to the “Sweet Science” and GGG is as cerebral as they come. Just look at how the knockout punch was set up one round prior. The loopy overhand lefts coming north to south above the forehead set it all up. The exact punch he used to floor Marco Antonio “El Veneno” Rubio at the StubHub Center, Carson, California in 2014.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Those punches forced Steve Rolls to bring his guard up a bit higher and closer together than what normally is comfortable. Leaving the backside of his face exposed by just a mere inch or two. Enough for GGG to feint the loopy shot and land the power left hook that ended his night!
Again, levels to this. GGG did what we expected him to in his debut for streaming service DAZN. When you have defended the middleweight titles 20 successful times in a row, tying Bernard Hopkins for most in boxing history, the bar remains high. Luckily for us, he is a serious fighter showing no signs of slippage from his 37-year-old body. So serious he ignored the special ring entrance Team GGG had organized for him. Pyrotechnics and the works. (Seeing as how “White Stripes” by 7 Nation Army was the ring entrance song, today I’m a bit let down. That tune plus fireworks and GGG! Yes!)
In that same serious tone new trainer Jonathan Banks, making his own debut with GGG since his split with Abel Sanchez, discussed his noticeably unhappy demeanor with the media. “I thought (the fight) was ok,” he stated “, no excuses, we have to get better on the offensive to defensive side of things. I think his offense is pretty good, but his defense is kind of lacking a little bit. So, We are going to work on that.” Especially if a showdown with Canelo Alvarez is on the horizon. There’s a little bit of a difference in Rolls connecting on punches than Canelo.
Speaking of the Mexican ginger middleweight King, who is now synonymous with Golovkin, Canelo has remained quiet. The complete opposite of his promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
Plans for a September Fight make sense. “You know who I want next,” said a gleeful GGG post fight. “I’m ready for September. Just bring him. Just ask him. If you want big drama show, please tell him.”
The ingredients are there. Trash talk, story-line and a rivalry that to GGG and his fans remains unsettled. “(the third fight) will be more interesting. More like a real fight. Not like his last fight. A sparring match. No. More like warriors. It’ll be a more interesting fight (than that).”With those shots fired the countdown to September begins!
Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez during their middleweight bout at T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 16 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Article written by:
Manuel “Hopper” Dominguez