Ranking the 10 Best Knockouts of Gennady Golovkin's Career
Gennady Golovkin made his United States debut less than 17 months ago and he is already among the most popular fighters with North American fans. His cheerful and mellow disposition outside of the ring and his business-like approach inside it appeal to boxing's traditionally blue-collar fanbase.
But it's Golovkin's stunning knockout power that has made him a truly hot commodity. The 28-0 Golovkin has finished all but three of his professional opponents inside of the distance. His average fight length is just over four rounds.
It would be pure ignorance to maintain he's built this record busting open tomato cans. It's true that he has yet to face a true superstar like Sergio Martinez. But many of the guys he's stopped were guys who don't get knocked out.
A middleweight who can punch like Golovkin is a rare thing indeed.
10. Sergey Khomitsky, TKO 5
Sergey Khomitsky was the far more experienced professional when Golovkin faced him in May 2007. For GGG, it was just his eighth fight as a pro, and at the time Khomitsky was 19-3-1.
Khomitsky is no world beater, and he's an obscure name in the U.S. But the rugged journeyman from Belarus doesn't usually get beaten down.
On two occasions he's gone the distance with the highly rated Martin Murray, mostly recently last December, in Murray's first fight back after knocking down Sergio Martinez in April.
9. Javier Alberto Mamani TKO 1
Argentinian Javier Alberto Mamani has turned into a bit of a travelling punching bag since this January 2009 Round 1 destruction, but at the time Mamani was a respectable journeyman with a 35-7 record. He'd even gone to a 10-round decision with Felix Sturm.
Gennady Golovkin walked right through him as if he was made out of tissue paper. Mamani has not been the same fighter since, going just 4-6 in his last 10 fights.
8. John Anderson Carvalho, KO 2
This first-round destruction of Brazilian John Anderson Carvalho in July 2009 earned Golovkin his first professional belt, the WBO Inter-Continental strap.
Carvalho was a fringe contender at best. The year before getting smashed by GGG he was thoroughly outclassed by Sebastian Zbik, and in 2011 he was stopped in four by Martin Murray.
Still, capturing even a minor title was a big step in Golovkin's career. It ran his record to 17-0 and made him a burgeoning star in Germany.
7. Milton Nunez, TKO 1
In August 2010, Golovkin had his first professional fight outside of Europe, as he traveled to Panama to face 21-1-1 Milton Nunez of Columbia for the interim WBA world title.
GGG showed no signs of jet lag in this one. He started quickly and staggered Nunez with a lead hook just seconds into the fight. He kept up the pressure and put Nunez down for good at just 58 seconds of Round 1.
Nunez has gone 5-7 since and is another guy who probably wasn't really a contender in retrospect. On the other hand, you might argue that a minute with Golovkin can derail a fighter's entire career.
6. Gabriel Rosado, TKO 7
As a fighter, Gabriel Rosado is as tough as they come. He's been matched tough every step of his career and he's sometimes received unfair scores from the ringside judges.
He's got the most deceptive 21-8 record in the sport.
But against Golovkin in January 2013, his toughness just kept him on his feet, absorbing a terrible beating. For the first six rounds of this fight, Golovkin pulverized his face and left it a bloody mess. Near the end of Round 7, Rosado's trainer, Billy Briscoe, had seen too much and threw in the towel.
The scary thing about this performance by GGG is that he fought while suffering from the flu.
5. Nobuhiro Ishida, KO 3
Like Rosado, Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan is another journeyman who is better than his record might indicate. In 2011 he shocked James Kirkland with a Round 1 TKO.
In 2012 he went the distance with Paul Williams and with undefeated WBO champion Dmitry Pirog. Entering his fight with Golovkin in Monte Carlo, Monaco, last March he had never been knocked out.
Against GGG, like so many before him, Ishida was simply overwhelmed. The punch that ended the fight knocked Ishida clean out of the ring.
In terms of pure aesthetics, this might have been the best knockout of Golovkin's career.
4. Lajuan Simon, KO 1
Lajuan Simon is a very big middleweight out of Philadelphia. In March 2009 he went the distance when challenging the very rugged Arthur Abraham for the IBF middleweight crown.
In June of that year he lost a competitive decision to future world champion Sebastian Sylvester.
But when Simon challenged Golovkin for the WBA belt in December 2011, he got knocked cold in the first round.
This was another example of a fighter who had looked durable and capable against other world-class fighters looking like a punching bag against GGG.
3. Grzegorz Proksa, TKO 5
When Golovkin made his U.S. debut against Grzegorz Proksa in September 2012, the Polish fighter was the reigning European middleweight champion and ranked in the top 10 at 160 by most credible sources.
Proksa's one loss coming in had been a majority decision that I think he should have won against Kerry Hope, later avenged by stoppage. He also had a TKO victory over former world champion Sebastian Sylvester.
But the beating he took that night in upstate New York from Golovkin likely altered the course of his career. GGG pounded him from almost the opening bell, knocking him down in Rounds 1, 4 and 5.
In his first serious test back, against Sergio Mora in June 2013, Proksa looked like a shadow of his former self.
2. Curtis Stevens, TKO 8
Curtis Stevens is a former light heavyweight and super middleweight. At 160 pounds, he is a compact and explosive wrecking machine.
And as he proved once again on January 24 with his 46-second destruction of Patrick Majewski, he is an extremely dangerous puncher in his own right.
I don't remember seeing or hearing about anybody picking Stevens to win this fight, but fans were at least curious to find out how GGG would handle a guy he couldn't just completely dominate physically.
Against Stevens, Golovkin used superior footwork and boxing IQ to consistently get into better position to land the bigger punches. Golovkin dropped Stevens in the second and the referee called the fight off after Round 8.
1. Matthew Macklin, KO 3
HBO's Max Kellerman said it best during the broadcast of this fight, as Golovkin relentlessly walked Matthew Macklin down and cowed him with his power: "This is not normal."
Macklin was easily a top-five middleweight coming into this fight. He had lost a controversial split decision to world champion Felix Sturm in 2011 and fought pound-for-pound star Sergio Martinez on even terms for much of their 2012 fight, even knocking him down in Round 7.
Against GGG, Macklin never stood a chance. Golovkin put him down for the count with a single body shot in Round 3.