By Keith Idec
CARSON, California – Vanes Martirosyan expected Gennady Golovkin to hit him harder Saturday night than any junior middleweight he had faced.
Martirosyan admitted after his second-round knockout loss to Golovkin, though, that he still was surprised by Golovkin’s pulverizing power.
“It was like being hit by a train,” Martirosyan said. “It wasn’t just one punch. It was all of his punches. It’s the hardest I’ve ever been hit.”
The heavily favored Golovkin’s overwhelming combination of power punches, started by a crushing right uppercut, ended when the Kazakh knockout artist’s left hook knocked down Martirosyan for the first time in his career in the second round of their scheduled 12-round, 160-pound title fight at StubHub Center.
Martirosyan attempted to get up, but he was hurt badly by Golovkin’s brutal assault and couldn’t reach his feet before referee Jack Reis counted to 10. Their fight, which HBO broadcast, was stopped at 1:53 of the second round.
The 36-year-old Golovkin improved to 38-0-1 and recorded his 34th knockout.
The 32-year-old Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21 KOs) had lost only three 12-round decisions during his 13-year career before Golovkin knocked him out.
Golovkin’s previous two fights – a narrow win over Daniel Jacobs and a controversial draw with Canelo Alvarez – went all 12 rounds. He had won 23 straight bouts by knockout before Jacobs took him the distance 13½ months ago at Madison Square Garden.
Martirosyan took this fight on only 2½ weeks’ notice, despite that he hadn’t fought in nearly two years and had to move up from 154 pounds to 160 for the opportunity. Golovkin was supposed to face Alvarez in a pay-per-view rematch Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but Alvarez withdrew from their high-profile fight April 3 because he knew the Nevada State Athletic Commission would extend his temporary suspension for failing two performance-enhancing drug tests in February.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.