Gennadiy Golovkin, who’s accomplished virtually everything in his amateur and professional career, fought like he had something to prove Saturday night at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL.
Maybe some of the whispers about his age and eroding skills bothered him. Or perhaps he needed to prove it to himself.
Whatever it was, the IBF middleweight champion looked very sharp, retaining his IBF title by overpowering game Kamil Szeremeta in seven one-sided rounds.
Szeremeta, bobbing and weaving, came out jabbing in the opening stanza. Golovkin [41-1, 36 KOs] fired his own jab, followed by right hands. Szeremeta [21-1, 5 KOs] fought back, but near the end of the round, Golovkin connected with an uppercut, and two body shots followed by a left hook that put Szeremeta on the seat of his pants.
Golovkin,38, landed an overhand right that staggered Szeremeta early in round two. A minute or so later, a right on the ear put Szeremeta down for the second time. The gutsy Polish fighter got up an ate some more blows but made it to hear the bell.
In round three, Golovkin continued to work. His jab was on point. Szeremeta, with only five knockouts, needed to get some respect from Golovkin but couldn’t deter him. Golovkin connected with a few bodyshots as well that had to hurt.
Golovkin ate a right but landed two left hooks in round four. Szeremeta,31, was hanging tough, but Golovkin was punishing him. A heavy two-punch combination floored Szeremeta again. The defending champion went to the body. Somehow Szeremeta stayed upright. Golovkin opened up immediately in round five. He worked up and down. An uppercut landed. Also, a left hook. Golovkin landed a hard combination in round six. Szeremeta fought back. Golovkin looked a little gassed as the round ended.
Told by his trainer Johnathon Banks that Szeremeta was “ready to go home,” Golovkin came out looking for the stoppage in round seven. He landed a half dozen shots to the body and head. A double jab put Szeremeta down for the fourth time. The courageous challenger got up. Golovkin caught Szeremeta with more blows but the challenger made it to his corner.
The referee went to check on Szeremeta before round eight commenced and waved off the contest. A good call.
The title defense was the 21st [combined] of Golovkin’s career, surpassing Bernard Hopkins’ division record for title defenses and retained his IBF and IBO 160-pound belts.
“I come back. I’m still sharp,” said Golovkin. ”I felt comfortable. I work hard,” the Kazakh said in his post fight interview.