HBO’s latest installment of Boxing After Dark shined a very bright light on the potential future star of the Middleweight division, Gennady Golovkin. On the other hand another rising star in Jonathan Gonzalez, light has dulled quite a bit due to a lackluster performance.
Live at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York the night started with Puerto Rico’s top Jr. Middleweight prospect Jonathan Gonzalez squaring off with Serhiy Dzinziruk. Before the opening bell even sounded Gonzalez was unimpressive as he failed to meet the Jr. Middleweight 154lb limit as he weighed in 10 lbs overweight. The final weigh-in before the fight had him entering the ring weighing 173lbs. Not making the weight either shows that he has outgrown the weight class or that laziness has come into effect. I think it’s a case of laziness and it showed in his performance.
Dzinziruk was able to move the fight wherever he wanted to and kept himself slightly more active in the 1st and 2nd rounds. Though it looked like Dzinziruk would control the pace Gonzalez was able to land some hard shots and fought surprisingly well while back peddling. Gonzalez won them both by landing the more effective punches.
Some pretty nice bodywork that Dzinziruk established in the 2nd showed up a little bit in rounds 3 and 4. He should have kept the body attack up because I don’t know how Gonzalez’s flabby body would have absorbed the blows over the course of a full fight. The more technical fighter which was Dzinziruk kept Gonzalez out of rhythm. He led the action in both rounds and was able to win the 3rd and 4th.
Going into the 5th I had it even on my card. Dzinziruk took the 1st half of the round, moving around and snapping his jab. But it seemed that Gonzalez took control of the fight in the 5th by landing some thudding body shots of his own. His right hand landed over and over again rounds 5, 6 and 7. Gonzalez won each of the rounds.
Fatigue seemed to set in for Gonzalez in the 8th. His punch output really dwindled and it continued in the 9th while Dzinziruk kept his foot on the gas. Dzinziruk wasn’t putting together combos, he was picking his punches one at a time, which in my opinion was to his detriment. His punches didn’t hurt Gonzalez but if he would have put something together over a few rounds that could have done the trick to slowing Gonzalez down even more and helped take power off his punches. Dzinziruk won the 8th and 9th.
Rounds 10 through 12 were very back and forth. Dzinziruk had a real chance of taking over the fight due to stamina issues from Gonzalez, which most likely stemmed from the extra weight on his frame. He just didn’t do enough, his hands were half way active enough. He took the first half of the 10th then lost it down the stretch, taking heavy punches and eventually losing the round on my card. He got back on track in the 11th utilizing an occasional jab and pressing the action in an action less round.
Both fighters turned it up in the 12th and final round. It was the most entertaining round of the fight by far. Before the round, each corner told their fighters they needed to win the round to win the fight, to the benefit of the audience. Gonzalez was on full blown attack. The fatigue took steam off his punches but he was still able to win the round.
My final score was 115-113 for Gonzalez. The judges at ringside didn’t see it that way. Tom Schreck had it 117-111, Gonzalez. Wynn Kintz saw it 115-113, Dzinziruk and Don Ackerman scored the fight even at 114-114, making the fight a draw. The final punch stats read: Total Punches landed 170 for Gonzalez to Dzinziruk’s 166. Jabs were in favor of Dzinziruk, 66 to 39 and power punches as expected favored Gonzalez 131 to 100.
A card which saw the 1st fight being up and down was saved by a great performance by Golovkin and a tough all heart effort by Grzegorz Proksa.
Proksa’s herky jerky, flashy style appeared as if it was going to give Golovkin trouble to start the 1st round. The southpaw landed a few lead lefts on Golovkin while dipping return rights. With about a minute left in the round Golovkin took advantage of Proksa being off balance landing a left hand that out him to the canvas. It was the 1st time in his career between the amateurs and professional ranks Proksa went down. Quickly Golovkin’s power turned an even round into a 10-8 round in his favor.
Gennady was able to maintain constant pressure throughout the rest of the fight. He kept giving Proksa a mixture of heavy rights and body shots. The Polish Proksa bobbed back and forth but went mostly to his left which put him right in line for Golovkin’s right hand.
In the 4th, which was the round I predicted Golovkin would finish Proksa, Golovkin pressured him to the ropes. He pieced together a nice combo consisting of both body shots and uppercuts finished with a left to the head to drop Proksa again. It appeared my prediction was dead on but the guts Proksa showed to finish the round were well deserving of a tip of the hat from any boxing enthusiast.
Even with all the heart in the world any man would cave in after feeling Golovkin’s power. The 5th was the end of the road for Proksa. An over hand right hurt Proksa causing him to retreat to the ropes. A well timed, well placed combo of head and body shots was capped off with a left behind the ear and Proksa went down face first. He rose to his feet but referee Charlie Fitch decided he took enough punishment and stopped the fight 1:11 into the 5th round. Golovkin successfully retained his WBA and IBO Middleweight titles. The punch totals were lopsided, Golovkin landed 101 out of 301 to Proksa’s 38 of 217.
In my observation of Gonzalez I have to say I wasn’t impressed. Not only did he look out of shape he looked sloppy in the ring. If Dzinziruk didn’t have so much ring rust, coming off a year and a half layoff, he would have easily been able to counter Gonzalez. Yes he has power but his lack of both hand speed and head movement are going to catch up with him as his career continues.
In his HBO and American debut Golovkin stepped up to bat and knocked a fast ball out of the park, deep out the park. He dominated a fighter in Proksa that crushed some world class opposition including Sebastian Sylvester. Not only did he sweep all 5 rounds, he displayed technique, poise, patience, power and intelligence in doing so. If you haven’t seen him fight before last night I’m pretty sure you’ll be anxiously awaiting his next battle. Will he get the Martinez-Chavez Jr. winner or Dmitry Pirog when he’s healthy. Either way Golovkin has arrived and like he said to Max Kellerman in the post-fight interview, he’s ready, ready for anyone from 154 to 168. Mayweather and Ward both included.
When ThaBoxingVoice.com had a chance to catch up with Team Golovkin, Golovkin stated along with Tom Loefler, his promoter that he wants to unify. “From Chavez-Martinez to Quillin-N’Jikam, we want to fight for the titles. The logical thing to do at this time is to fight Daniel Geale. He has twenty days to decide if he wants to face his mandatory which is Gennady, and if he vacates he vacates. But we have no problem going to Australia fighting Geale with or without an American television backing. We would love to be on HBO again and I think HBO wants us back, and should we get back there, we’d love for it to be before the end of the year. Either way, there are plenty of fights to be made and we’re ready and willing to make any.”