By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Gennady Golovkin told HBO’s Max Kellerman in the ring that nothing Curtis Stevens landed affected him during their WBA middleweight title fight Saturday night in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Golovkin acknowledged later, however, that he fought a more responsible defensive fight because he was concerned about Stevens’ vaunted power.
“He was strong and I was a little cautious because of his strength,” Golovkin said after his technical knockout win. “But I felt comfortable in there and never felt I was in any trouble.”
Golovkin (28-0, 25 KOs) has never been knocked down in well over 300 combined fights as a pro and amateur. The knockout artist from Kazakhstan was heavily favored to defeat Stevens (25-4, 18 KOs), yet most onlookers were interested to see how well Golovkin took Stevens’ power, particularly his left hook.
“I think Curtis threw a lot of hard shots and Gennady walked right through them,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, which represents Golovkin. “He wasn’t fazed. It’s not like we’re trying to prove how good of a chin he has, but he’s never been knocked down before and Curtis certainly gave a valiant effort to win the fight.”
Loeffler liked the more measured defensive approach Golovkin took, a strategy trainer Abel Sanchez pleaded with Golovkin to take against a dangerous puncher in their HBO main event.
“With a guy like Curtis, you can’t be careless,” Loeffler said. “You have to be on your game and Gennady, I wouldn’t say he was cautious, but he didn’t take any unnecessary risks.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.