After weeks of trash talk and promotional build-up, Gennady Golovkin (28-0, 25 knockouts) and Curtis Stevens (25-4, 18 knockouts) finally faced-off in the ring as the main-event to the November 2nd edition of HBO’s World Championship Boxing broadcast. With both fighters coming off of exciting wins (and Stevens’ pre-fight press conference antics) there was a certain air of excitement surrounding the bout. To some, Golovkin is the next great force to emerge in the force of boxing, but to others Stevens would serve as a real test as to whether or not Golovkin can actually stand up to those lofty expectations. To make a long story short he proved many wrong, but some questions still remain.
The opening round was about as slow and calculated as many expected. Golovkin relied on a stiff, constant jab to not only get a sense of Steven’s power but to begin timing him as well. The rounds were slow, and Stevens’ hoped to capitalize on the lull in action by bombarding Golovkin with concussive shots with intentions of ending the fight both early and violently. Although Golovkin was never rocked, Stevens managed to land a few hooks that may have been glancing, but eye-opening nonetheless.
As the second round continued, Golovkin managed to land a booming left-hook that floored Stevens and left him on the floor with a stunned look that is sure to be a part of Internet lore by the time one comes across the result of the fight. Somehow, Stevens managed to beat the referee’s count, but did little more than defend in order to make it out of that round with his senses still intact.
After a third round which saw Stevens doing more of his survival act, he came out in the fourth fully recovered and determined to put his opponent on ice. Stevens had his moments of brilliance as he landed lunging power shots on Golovkin, but it was hard to ignore that more were missing than were actually landing. Even in the rounds that Steven’s had his best punch output, Golovkin still managed to win the rounds thanks to his calm and devastating attack.
Sensing he may have lost the round, Golovkin once again managed to turn up the intensity of his attack and ripped shots to both the head and body of Stevens. Even after a fairly successful fourth round, it was clear that Stevens was getting methodically torn down by Golovkin’s attack. Golovkin stalked Stevens around the ring, got him along the ropes, and mixed up his combinations enough to keep the challenger desperate but increasingly frustrated.
Golovkin continued in his almost surgical attack round-after-round, and it eventually led for the Stevens’ corner to call for an end to the action after Golovkin began teeing off on their fighter as he was along the ropes. Golovkin was awarded the stoppage and managed to close out 2013 with a perfect 4-0 record. After the fight Golovkin expressed his desire to fight Sergio Martinez which is much talked about option, but with Martinez’ recent string of injuries it is one that may also not be the most realistic. If there was one thing this fight with Stevens proved however it was that the super-fights Golovkin so desires may have to wait. If Stevens was able to land some punches one can only imagine was a more technical fighter might be able to do. Still, Golovkin’s stock is still on the rise as he manages to add another scalp to his growing resume.