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Fast Results from Madison Square Garden: GGG KOs Rolls, Eyes Canelo

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  • Fast Results from Madison Square Garden: GGG KOs Rolls, Eyes Canelo

    Click image for larger version  Name:	GGG-Rolls-Weigh-In-WESTCOTT-0021.jpg Views:	1 Size:	94.0 KB ID:	13331

    By Arne K. Lang

    A week ago, tonight’s bout between Gennady Golovkin and Steve Rolls, a non-title affair slated for 12 rounds at a catchweight 164 pounds, had no intrigue whatsoever. The 35-year-old Rolls, although undefeated (19-0, 10 KOs), was widely considered the least talented opponent that GGG has faced since winning his first title, a notch below such overmatched foes as Willie Monroe Jr and Dominic Wade. But then Andy Ruiz pulled an upset for the ages in this same building and suddenly the thought of Rolls winning didn’t seem like such a pipe dream.

    But Rolls, a native of Chatham, Ontario, was a much bigger underdog than Andy Ruiz was against Anthony Joshua, and as he discovered to his mortification, lightning doesn’t always strike twice. Rolls held his own for the first three rounds, but it was curtains for the Canadian in round four when GGG backed him into the ropes and felled him for the count with a devastating overhand left. Rolls pitched face first to the canvas, unable to beat the count, another highlight reel knockout for the former unified middleweight champion who improved his ledger to 38-1-1 (35 KOs).

    GGG, who turned 37 in April, was making his first start since suffering his first defeat last September. This was also his first fight with new trainer Johnathon Banks and the first fight of a reported six-fight deal with the live streaming service DAZN.

    Asked before the fight what the odds were of a third fight with Canelo Alvarez in September, GGG said 99 percent.

    Other Bouts

    Super middleweight Ali Akhmedov, a stablemate of countryman GGG and a product of Abel Sanchez's fight factory in Big Bear, made a strong impression with a third round stoppage of New Orleans' previously undefeated Marcus McDaniel (15-1). A big right hand spelled the end for the 35-year-old McDaniel who returned to the ring in February after a nearly three-year absence during which he was injured in a drive-by shooting. He was on his feet but in no mood to continue when the referee called a halt. Akhmedov, 23, improved to 15-0 with his 11th knockout.

    In a fight that was rather one-sided but yet very entertaining, undefeated Brooklyn welterweight Brian Ceballo (9-0, 4 KOs) scored an 8-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-1-1, 1 NC). Ceballo, who won 17 tournaments as an amateur, was simply too well-rounded for the Kazakh slugger. The scores were 80-72, 79-73, and 78-74.

    Uzbekistan's Israil Madrimov, who is being fast-tracked to a world title shot, is now 3-0 (3) after scoring a sixth round stoppage of Mexico's faded Norberto Gonzalez (24-13) in a 154-pound contest slated for 10 rounds. Madrimov, whose first two opponents were a combined 34-4, dominated the proceedings before a flurry of unanswered punches led the referee to intervene. Gonzalez, who always gives an honest effort, has now lost five of his last six but has been matched tough throughout his career.

    In his first scheduled 10-rounder, Cleveland super welterweight Charles Conwell improved to 10-0 (7) with a unanimous decision over Brooklyn's Courtney Pennington (12-4-3). The scores were 96-93 and 97-92 twice. A former National Golden Gloves champion, Conwell was the youngest member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. Pennington had a point deducted for excessive holding.

    Nikita Ababiy, a 20-year-old middleweight of Russian extraction, needed only 41 seconds to polish off Mexico's Juan Francisco Barajas whose 5-0 record was built against opponents who were a combined 1-22. Although Ababiy was fed a softie, this kid from Brooklyn, nicknamed White Chocolate, is a budding star. He's 5-0 now as a pro and the longest any opponent has lasted with him is three minutes and 26 seconds.

    The opening bout on the card, a 4-round welterweight match between Johnathan Arroyo (3-0-1) and Jordan Morales, was cancelled when the boxing commission denied Morales a license. A journeyman MMA fighter, Morales is 3-7 as a conventional boxer. Arroyo, a 32-year-old southpaw, hails from Brentwood, Long Island, the hometown of 2019 IBHOF inductee James "Buddy" McGirt.

  • #2
    Golovkin looked like a piñata.

    Albeit one that hits back but a piñata.