Photo by Will Hart and courtesy of HBO
Murray, who’d never been stopped and arguably was cheated in two previous world title challenges, did a fair amount of grabbing and punching, catching Golovkin repeatedly with right hands to the head. He had some success early, scoring 20 power punches to Golovkin’s 14 in the first two rounds (according to HBO's Punch Stats), arguably taking the second round with his higher level of connects.
However, the tsunami that is Golovkin began to surge from the third round — when he visibly hurt Murray towards the end — and onward with thudding, punishing blows.
Trapping him along the ropes regularly, he began working him over, hurting and dropped Murray twice in the fourth round — first with a right hook to the ribs and perhaps 30 seconds later with another right to the side.
The beating was on.
Golovkin continued stalking, trapping and battering his foe, who tried his best to fight back. Bleeding from the nose and mouth, Murray dug to the body occasionally, scored with combinations and hard rights off the head of Golovkin, who often came in with his left low and was very hittable.
At one point in the 10th round after Murray scored with a four punch volley to the head, Golovkin simply shrugged his shoulders and continued battering away at his prey, who went down hard from a clubbing right to his skull at the end of the round.
Now, a friend of mine suggested that the reason he came in with his right hand low was that Murray was grabbing his gloves every time he came in and, by keeping it lowered, it would be harder to grasp.
Either way, this prompted a tweet from Julio Caesar Chavez, Jr. reading, “Without his power he’s not that good of a boxer, I’ll bet you GGG a million dollars of the purse that I’ll knock you out if we fight.” Moreover, promoter Oscar De La Hoya tweeted, “@lemieuxboxing vs @GGGboxing end of year,” clearly enthused at his middleweight knockout artist's (David Lemieux) chances versus Golovkin.
Golovkin continued the carnage, with referee Luis Pabon halting the bout at 50 seconds into the 11th round after Murray’s head snapped back and his knees buckled from a wicked salvo.
With the win, Golovkin raised his record to 32-0 with 29 knockouts, while Murray, who was halted for the first time, slipped to 29-2-1 (12 knockouts). But, more importantly, he appeared more vulnerable, which may possibly open up the floodgates for a middleweight championship sweepstakes.
It’s a group that would include Peter Quillin, who was stripped of his WBO title for not fighting his mandatory challenger, Matt Korobov in December (but, now, following the birth of his boy, says he wants to fight everyone), Andy Lee -- who knocked out Korobov to win the vacated WBO strap and who faces Quillin in April, Danny Jacobs -- who fights Caleb Truax for the regular WBA Middleweight title in April, and the aforementioned David Lemiux -- who halted Gabriel Rosado (a former stoppage victim of Golovkin’s) in December. There’s also Chavez, but he turned down a previous offer by Team Golovkin and has eaten his way out of the division, with a scheduled fight versus Chicago's Andrzej Fonfara at light heavyweight on April 18th.
Once widely feared, Gennady Golovkin, 32, has had difficulty securing top name opponents, but with his dominant, but flawed performance, that may have just changed. In an era where risk/reward considerations often supplants great matchmaking, this is a good thing. Let the fun begin!