By: William Holmes
After a brief hiatus, boxing returned to HBO tonight in HBO’s Boxing After Dark Series. Tonight’s card took place at the Turning Stone in Verona, New York, and featured a rising prospect in the middleweight division who would give Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. a run for their money.
Controversy already erupted last night when Jonathan Gonzalez, who was fighting in the co-feature, weighed in nine pounds over the junior middleweight limit. In order for the bout to not be canceled, Gonzalez had to give up $60,000 from his purse.
Sergiy Dzinziruk (27-1) thus took on Jonathan Gonzalez (15-0) in the first bout of the night in the middleweight division. Dzinziruk, the southpaw, looked to be the much smaller fighter in the ring against Gonzalez, who weighed in ten pounds heavier on fight night. Gonzalez did not appear to be in great shape, looking a little soft in the belly.
This bout was a rather a dull affair, with neither fighter willing to throw combinations. Gonzalez landed the cleaner and harder shots, but Dzinziruk was the more active fighter, even though he was only throwing punches one at a time. In the opening rounds of the fight, Dzinziruk was the aggressor and Gonzalez was the counter-puncher. That changed, however, in the fifth round, when Gonzalez began to open up, forcing Dzinziruk to start moving backwards.
The elder fighter Dzinziruk’s punches never seemed to phase Gonzalez: he walked through them with ease. Gonzalez clearly landed the harder shots, but he never made a serious attempt at knocking his opponent out. Gonzalez’s passivity cost him in the end, as this was a bout that he clearly should have won.
Many in the crowd disagreed with the decision, but Gonzalez never separated himself enough from Dzinziruk to show that he deserved the victory. The judges scored this lackluster bout a draw, with scores of 117-111 for Gonzalez, 115-113 for Dzinziruk, and 114-114.
The main event of the night was between Gennady Golovkin (23-0) and Grzegorz Proksa (28-1) in the middleweight division for the WBA championship belt. Golovkin wasted little time in knocking Proksa down in the first round with a left hook to the temple followed up by a combination.
The southpaw Proksa was game for a fight, however, and landed a few solid straight left hands in the second round. Golovkin was unfazed, and continued to land solid and powerful combinations.
In the fourth round, Golovkin landed a beautiful body-head combination that sent Proksa crashing to the ground. Proksa was still off balance when he got to his feet, and was met with several more beautiful body shots and overhand rights, but the tough Pole somehow was able to survive the fourth round.
Golovkin went right back to work in the fifth round by mixing up his punches to the body and head of Proksa, and another blistering combination sent Proksa to the ground.
Proksa crumbled face first, but somehow was able to beat the count. The referee took a close look at Proksa and wisely waved off the fight.
Gennady Golovkin remained undefeated with a very impressive TKO at 1:11 of round five.