On Saturday July 26th at Madison Square Garden IBO and WBA middleweight champion Gennady (GGG) Golovkin (30-0, 27 KO) put on a dazzling display of power as he overwhelmed Australian challenger Daniel “Real Deal” Geale (30-3, 16 KO). This was another step up in the level of competition for Golovkin who has knocked out a division record 90% of his opponents. The only perceived knock on Golovkin’s record by some (I’m not included) has been he hasn’t fought the best. He stepped onto the American landscape with a devastating knockout of once-beaten Gregorz Proksa and has continued to pile up solid wins against the likes of Gabriel Rosado, Matthew Macklin and Curtis Stevens.

Geale was supposed to be different. He is a former world champion who has wins on his resume against Sebastian Sylvester, Felix Strum (in Germany) and Anthony Mundine. To put it mildly, Geale is no slouch. Daniel’s introduction to the American boxing public came when he made his U.S. debut in Atlantic City last August where he dropped a close decision and his IBF middleweight title to the underrated (and now retired) Englishman Darren Barker. After losing his belt, Geale went back to Australia and punished countryman Garth Wood in a get-well/tune-up fight before coming back to the States to challenge the middleweight who hits like a heavyweight, Golovkin.


All it took was three rounds for Golovkin to TKO the previously never stopped Geale in as impressive a display as the Kazakh fighter has have shown. The stakes continue to rise for Golovkin to sell tickets and gain an audience on television so he will be a viable option for bigger name fighters who may have reason to steer away from the heavy-hitting cult hero. This was Golovkin’s first shot in the main arena at Madison Square and the ticket sales were a success in the scaled down version of “the big room”. What happened inside the ring was even more impressive than the number of tickets moved. Golovkin had his way with the overmatched but gutty Geale as he knocked him down with a massive accumulation of punches in the second round and put him out for good with a ridiculous one-punch counter knockout after Geale tagged him clean.

In his post fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman when asked to call out his next opponent, Golovkin made it clear he cares about titles. He wants to unify middleweight belts and mentioned Sam Soliman (IBF), Peter Quillin (WBO) and most interesting of all, Miguel Cotto (WBC) as potential opponents for his next fight. Now that Golovkin has made MSG his home it would make all the sense in the world for him to face the Garden’s champion Cotto in a New York size showdown that would no doubt sell all 20,789 seats the arena is configured for boxing matches. There is always the potential for Canelo Alvarez to swoop in and steal Cotto away from Golovkin for another pay-per-view ready match in late 2014. Quillin does his business with Al Haymon and Showtime so don’t hold your breath waiting for him to face Golovkin. And Soliman would be a real possibility but he would have to come back to the U.S., where he hasn’t fought since 2007.


The notable co-feature to the main event was a heavyweight title eliminator between Philadelphia’s Bryant “By-By” Jennings (19-0, 10 KO) and Cuban defector now working in Ireland Mike Perez (20-1-1, 12 KO). Jennings won a split decision with scorecards in his favor of 114-113 and 115-112 with the third card favoring Perez 114-113. Perez is best known for his November 2013 win over Magomed Abdusalamov which was so brutal it has left Abdusalamov indefinitely hospitalized (at one point in a coma) and likely to never regain his normal physical faculties.

Editorially speaking I was disgusted with Perez blowing kisses at Jennings during this fight knowing the potential damage he can inflict and the potential consequences to the health of himself and his opponents being in the ring can bring. I’m all for a fighter trying to gain a physiological edge (ala Bernard Hopkins) but once would be more than enough and he did it throughout the fight.

This match had it’s moment of controversy in the 12th and final round as Perez was docked (no pun intended) a point by referee Harvey Dock for hitting Jennings on the break. HBO commentators were vocally against Dock, none more than Howard Lederman but I’m in lockstep with Steve Weisfeld who said Dock was correct in taking the point. It turned out to be a massive decision because without the deduction the fight would have been a draw. But Perez’ disregard for the rules (he used his elbows, pushed Jennings head down all night and punched on the break) cost him his shot at the title and elevated Jennings to be the mandatory for the winner of Bermane Stiverne/Deontay Wilder fight for the WBC heavyweight title.

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