By: William Holmes
Gennady Golovkin tested the PPV market tonight from the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City as he challenged fellow middleweight world champion David Lemieux in a middleweight title unification bout.
Three bouts were featured on the untelevised portion of the undercard, and three bouts preceded the main event on the Pay Per View telecast.
The opening bout of the telecast was between Tureano Johnson (18-1) and Eamonn O’Kane (17-1-1) in an IBF Middleweight Title eliminator.
Both boxers started the fight off by fighting in tight and Johnson staggered O’Kane early in the first round with a left hand to the temple, and followed it up with a right hook that sent O’Kane to the mat. O’Kane was able to get back up, but Johnson continued to land hard hooks around the guard of O’Kane and scored another knockdown before the end of the round.
O’Kane continued to take a pounding in the second round when they fought in tight but he was able to land his own shots in tight, though they didn’t have the power of Johnson. O’Kane had a good third round as he appeared to outwork Johnson, but Johnson did connect with some head snapping uppercuts.
Johnson’s right hooks were landing with regularity in the middle rounds, but O’Kane was able to keep Johnson backing up and fighting with his back against the ropes.
The biggest reaction of the fight from the crowd was when Donald Trump walked into the arena in the fifth round and met with a chorus of boos.
Johnson did better when he fought from the outside, such as the seventh round, but even when they fought in tight he appeared to land the harder and cleaner punches, though O’Kane showed an incredible chin and a solid gas tank.
O’Kane was briefly stunned in the seventh round and Johnson switched from a southpaw stance to an orthodox stance several times throughout.
The crowd was lackluster for this fought, though both fighters landed and threw a large volume of punches.
Johnson simply landed the harder and cleaner punches and won the fight with scores of 118-108, 117-109, and 119-107.
The second televised bout of the undercard was between Luis Ortiz (22-0) and Matias Ariel Vidondo (29-1-1) for the vacant WBA Interim Heavyweight title.
Ortiz is one of Golden Boy’s prized prospects and he quickly overmatched Vidondo in the fight. Ortiz was rocking Vidondo with his left hand in the first round and touched him at will in the second round. A stinging left hand by Ortiz sent Vidondo crashing to the mat face first, but he was able to get up and survive the round.
Ortiz came out aggressively at the start of the third round and connected with another clean straight left hand that sent Vidondo crashing to the mat face first, but this time he wasn’t able to beat the count.
Luis Ortiz wins by KO at 0:17 of the third round.
The co-main event of the evening was between Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (32-0) and Brian Viloria (36-4) for the WBC Flyweight title.
Gonzalez is considered by many to be the top pound for pound boxer in the world and was greeted very warmly by the crowd.
Vilroia came out aggressively at the opening bell and immediately threw hard right hooks to the body and head of his opponent. Gonzalez was slow to start in the first round and Viloria kept up the pressure, but Gonzalez did land a good right uppercut at the end of the round.
Gonzalez began to loosen up in the second round and was more willing to throw combinations and uppercuts to the body and head, but Viloria still appeared to outwork Gonzalez and keep up the pressure.
The tide of the fight turned in the favor of Gonzalez in the third round when he scored an early knockdown with a short right hand and began to batter Viloria with combinations from all angles throughout the round.
The fourth round was tight but Gonzalez was landing the harder shots, though Viloria showed that he was willing to take a punch to land a punch and wasn’t backing down from Gonzalez’s power. However, Gonzalez dominated the fifth round as Viloria looked to be slowing down and worn out from the body work and uppercuts of Gonzalez.
By the sixth round Viloria was face was badly bruised and Gonzalez was landing at will, and his offense was having no effect on Gonzalez. Gonzalez dominance continued in the seventh and eighth rounds and the ring side doctor had a talk with Viloria before the start of the ninth round to make sure he was able to continue.
Viloria got pummeled from corner to corner in the ninth round and looked he was about to go down before the referee jumped in and stopped the fight after another hard combination by Gonzalez in the corner.
Roman Gonzalez wins by TKO at 2:53 of the ninth round.
The main event between Gennaddy Golovkin (33-0) and David Lemieux (34-2) began at 11:30 P.M. and the sold out crowd was mainly pro-Golovkin.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance but it was Golovkin who touched Lemieux first with a jab and stayed consistent with it throughout the opening stanza. A right hand may have stung Lemieux by the corner in the middle of the round.
Golovkin’s accuracy only improved in the second round as he was methodical with his jab and connected with some stinging straight right hands. Golovkin had landed seventy five punches by the end of the second while Lemieux only threw sixty two punches.
Lemieux connected with his first effective flurry of the night in the third round and tried to press the pace afterwards, but most of his punches were short of their target while Golovkin remained accurate with his shots
Golovkin had Lemieux hurt in the fourth round with a crisp left hook that sent Lemieux stumbling backwards, but Lemieux recovered quickly and stayed on his feet for the remainder of the round.
Golovkin and Lemieux had some good exchanges in the fifth round but Golovkin cracked Lemieux with a body shot that sent him to one knee and clearly in pain. Lemieux was able to beat the count and survive the round.
Golovkin was able to control most of the sixth round but Lemieux was able to surprise Golovkin with a straight right hand near the end of the round, but Golovkin landed the final punch, a clean right uppercut.
Golovkin’s sharp jabs had busted up the nose of Lemieux in the seventh round and the referee briefly stopped the fight to have the ring side doctor take a look at it, and he sent Lemieux back to the ring and he continued to get tagged by the accurate punching of Golovkin.
Golovkin pressed his assault in the eighth round and was hurting Lemieux with every jab and body blow. At one point Golovkin landed a hard shot to the body and Lemieux appeared to look at the referee as if he was about to take a knee, but Golovkin gave him no room to breathe and connected with a hard combination to the body and head before the referee stopped it.
Gennady Golovkin continues his incredible run of stoppage victories with a TKO victory at 1:32 of the eighth round.
Undercard Quick Results:
Maurice Hooker (19-0-2) defeated Ghislain Maduma (17-2) by a majority decision to retain the NABO Junior Welterweight Title with scores of 95-93 Hooker, 95-93 Maduma, and 95-94 for Hooker.
Lamont Roach Jr. (9-0) defeated Jose Buston (7-6-3) by unanimous decision with scores of 59-55 on all three scorecards.
Ruslan Madiyev (6-1) defeated Sean Gee (2-3) by a unanimous decision with scores of 40-35, 39-36, and 40-35 in the welterweight division.
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