Middleweight Champ Gennady Golovkin Stops Welterweight Champ Kell Brook In Five Rounds
Gennady Golovkin otherwise known as GGG, brought his big drama show to the O2 Arena in London against UK's own Kell Brook to defend his WBC and IBF middleweight crowns. Brook, currently a champion himself at the moment, made the jump from welterweight to take on the knockout artist from Kazakhstan. The fight was action packed from the sound of the first bell.
Brook utilized a great strategy early on. He mixed up his attack, varying from outside movement to even exchanging in mid-range with Golovkin. His head movement and angled pivots were the key to him being able to avoid the power shots of GGG. It was obvious Golovkin was a bit irritated not being able to tag Brook early on, while he was on the receiving end of counter shots and combinations from Brook. Brook was able to continue the momentum into round 2, but GGG was able to hurt Brook for the first time as he was against the ropes. Golovkin also began going to the body a bit more to soften Brook up in the round. However, Brook still continued to land combinations, in which Golovkin seemed to have no defense for due to little head movement on his part. Golovkin appeared to be bleeding from the nose toward the end of the round, which may have been caused by an uppercut Brook landed while Golovkin was pressuring to close distance.
Gennady Golovkin picked up the pace in round 3 and you could finally see the power began to wear on Brook. Brook was still putting up a formidable performance, but spectators could begin to see him wearing down. Golovkin's jab became more effective and he continued going to the body when he was in close quarters. It seemed to steer Brook away from his original game plan of utilizing movement as he began to exchange a bit more frequently against the middleweight champ. While Brook was still able to land a few clean shots against Golovkin, it did not detour him from continuing his forward pressure. He landed a left hook in the round that made Brook's eye start swelling immediately. With the eye now a negating factor in Brook's strategy, Golovkin continued to apply more pressure and cut off the ring against Brook in round 4 and take more command of the fight. His jab became even more effective and Brook's movement continued to fade as he was forced to fight for life in exchanges with Golovkin. Brook still had the hand speed to land a few combinations, but with not enough power on his shots to make Golovkin think twice, things did not look well heading into the 5th round for Brook. The start of the round would signal the beginning of the end for Brook. With his eye socket possibly broken, he was clearly bothered and Golovkin began a thunderous onslaught of hooks that sent Brook reeling into the corner. Brook's trainer Dominic Ingle had seen enough and stepped up on the ring platform to throw in the towel, although the referee did not notice at first. Gennady was able to land a couple more blows before the fight was finally called to a halt.
Brook certainly gained some fans for showing resiliency in a fight against a man who is avoided by many within his own weight class. Brook wanted to continue but the stoppage was for the best, as Golovkin seemed to be gaining more steam as the rounds continued. It would not have been pleasant to see Brook's career shortened by taking a beating from a man naturally two weight classes above him. However, Brook expressed he would most likely campaign at the junior middleweight division limit in his post-fight interview.
Golovkin on the other hand expressed interest in unifying titles in another UK bout against current WBO middleweight champion, Billy Joe Saunders. It is a fight that will most likely not come to fruition, as Saunders has been reluctant to defend against anyone of note since winning his title.