MONACO — Gennady Golovkin defended his WBA middleweight title successfully with a commanding performance against Britain's Martin Murray on Saturday, stopping him in the 11th round of a one-sided contest. Photos by Christian Kuechl & Sanny Lee.
Making his third title defense, Golovkin has stopped his last 19 opponents, and is unbeaten in 32 fights with 29 knockouts.
Prince Albert of Monaco was among the crowd as Murray withstood some heavy punishment, and showed courage to try and trade with the hard-hitting Kazakh.
Golovkin put him down for the third time with a huge right hook in the 10th, but Murray beat the count and was saved by the bell.
It was only a temporary reprieve as Golovkin finished things off early in the 11th, and this time the referee stopped the contest.
"He was very strong, he was a perfect opponent for me," the 32-year-old Golovkin said. Murray, who is the same age, lost for the second time in his 32nd fight.
In a cagey first round, Murray tried to get inside to test Golovkin and the Kazakh waited patiently for an opening.
Golovkin accelerated in the second round and caught the Brit with a few shots, but none of them were flush, while Murray caught him on the top of the head with a good right hook.
Three times in the opening three rounds, Murray dropped his hands and beckoned Golovkin on.
But it was a bad idea.
Golovkin got on top in the third, pushing Murray to the ropes and catching the Brit with a sharp one-two combination. In the next he punished him with a strong jab full in the face.
With under one minute left in the third, Murray dropped on one knee after taking a heavy right cross just above the belt and with 20 seconds left he was down again after another heavy hit. The referee asked Murray if he wanted to continue, and he said yes.
With blood streaming from his nose, Murray looked finished.
Yet his fifth round was better, and he caught Golovkin with rapid three-punch combination — although Golovkin got through with two uppercuts of his own.
Given the amount of punishment he took, Murray showed great stamina to keep going.
He even had to backpedal at speed in the eight as Golovkin unleashed a flurry of punches. He took two huge left hooks right at the end of the round and just made it to the ninth — which was even until Golovkin just shaded it at the end.
Against the ropes again, he could not withstand Golovkin's 11th-round assault as he was stopped for the first time.