Gennady Golovkin retained his unbeaten record with a stoppage of Curtis Stevens in the eighth defense of his WBA/IBO middleweight belts. The Kazakh bruiser forced Stevens' corner to step in and end the fight during a one-sided eighth round, with a flurry of punches leaving Stevens dazed and bloodied at Madison Square Garden.
Victory takes Golovkin's record to 28-0, with 25 of those wins coming by stoppage, and it was the 15th fight in a row he has won without needing to go the distance. But it will not go down as an easy victory for the 31-year-old despite him having put Stevens down as early as the second round. Stevens, whose record drops to 25-4, started slowly and could well have been finished inside six minutes, only just beating the count after being caught by a sensational Golovkin left hook. But he took time to recover and Golovkin had to fend off a fierce assault in the fourth, when he was caught by a quick left-right combination by the brave challenger.
Stevens stayed in contention past the halfway mark but started to tire noticeably in the seventh when he had to take plenty of punishment on the ropes. That continued in the eighth when Stevens barely managed to land a counter-punch, and his corner decided enough was enough after the bell rang to end the round.
"My plan was just to box. I know I'm the champion, my speed is better, my power is better. My coach told me to box, not have a crazy fight, a street fight. Stevens is a strong guy. After the knockdown, he started stepping back and I knew it was over. I didn't feel his power. I was able to use my right punches that we worked on in the gym to break him down. I was a little cautious of his strength but I felt comfortable in there and never felt I was in any trouble,' Golovkin said.