Message received, Gennadiy Golovkin.
If the 38-year-old wanted to show that he was still capable of showing some of the most masterful performances in boxing, he did so this Friday night. Golovkin’s technical prowess was shown in a seventh round stop win against Kamil Szeremeta in Hollywood, Florida to defend his IBF middleweight title.
Golovkin set the record for most title defenses in boxing history with a middleweight (21). More importantly to his career, though, he had the kind of outing that showed he was worth facing some of the top names in the sport, including a possible third fight against Canelo Alvarez.
“He has a lot more gasoline in the tank,” Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said in an interview with DAZN after the fight. “The most exciting boxer in the world, still. Devastating power in both hands. We want to see him in the megafights next year.”
In his first fight in 14 months, Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) knocked Szeremeta down four times in an attack that began at the beginning of the fight. The Champion sent Szeremeta to the canvas at the end of the first round with an uppercut followed by a left hand over it.
From there, Golovkin overwhelmed Szeremeta (21-2-0, 5 KOs), the mandatory challenger from Poland who fought in the US for the second time in his career. Golovkin’s final knockdown came on the seventh of a burst, evidence of his dominance throughout the night.
The middleweight champion from Kazakhstan scored two defeats in the first three rounds for the first time since April 2016 when he defeated Dominic Wade in the second round, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research.
In five of the seven rounds, Golovkin landed more power punches than jabs, according to CompuBox numbers. It linked 56.5% of these recordings.
The thrust, however, made Golovkins big shots all night and was a focal point in his third fight with coach Johnathon Banks. For most of Golovkin’s middleweight reign, he was known as a violent power puncher seeking knockouts. The banks wanted to change that.
“They made him a one-trick pony,” Banks told ESPN ahead of the battle for Golovkin’s former coach. “That’s all he was known for is just the knockout power. But he’s a beautiful boxer. He has beautiful movements. I wanted to go. I wanted to open Pandora’s box again.”
After defeats in the first and second round, Golovkin remained measured with his strokes. Between the seventh and eighth rounds, referee Telis Assimenios went to Szeremeta’s corner and stopped the fight.
During his post-fight interview with DAZN, Golovkin said the late end was intentional.
“I feel my push,” said Golovkin. “I feel my strength. I can feel my timing, my distance. I needed a little more time. OK when I’m done [in the] second round, maybe too early. I want to get more people to watch TV. “
Golovkin stepped into the ring about 24 hours ahead of Alvarez in San Antonio against Callum Smith for the WBC and WBA super middleweight titles. Since Golovkin has been fighting on DAZN, there has been fierce speculation about a possible third fight between the two men.
The first two fights barely settled between them. A 2017 bout was viewed as a controversial draw, while Alvarez’s 2018 majority knocked out a two point combined decision.
Hearn said Golovkin will determine what’s next for his career. Golovkin promised something big after his one-stop win against an overmatched Szeremeta.
“Trust me folks,” said Golovkin. “We [will] Bring the best fight for next time. “