Gennady Golovkin retained his WBA "regular" middleweight title with an easy win over Japan's brave but desperately outclassed Makoto Fuchigami, stopping the challenger in the third round of a fight that did little more than serve as a payday and a workout for Golovkin.
Golovkin (23-0, 20 KO) spent most of the first round staring at Fuchigami (19-7, 10 KO) as the challenger circled the ring with his hands down, but late in the round landed a few shots, one of which managed to open up a cut over Fuchigami's right eye, sending blood streaming down into it for the remainder of the fight.
That probably made little difference, even though it didn't help. Golovkin put Fuchigami on the canvas in the second round, and did so again early in the third. The referee allowed the fight to continue both times, but shortly after the second knockdown, jumped in to end the mismatch and save everyone from spending any more time on what had quickly become farcical.
Golovkin, 30, is a quality fighter, but has really not proven a whole lot as a pro. He gets great marks for gym work, sparring sessions, his amateur record, and what appears to be a legitimate offensive game. But he's not learned anything, and one gets the feeling -- if one is me, anyway -- that a lot of eyes might be opened if Golovkin did get that fight with Felix Sturm he says he wants, because Sturm is a lot better than Fuchigami, Kassim Ouma, Lajuan Simon, Milton Nunez, and Nilson Tapia. It would be a legitimately huge step up in class for Golovkin if he got there.
Luckily, he's promoted by K2 now, so maybe there's no big rush getting those fights. Maybe he'll just be biding his time, paid well for fights like this one, keeping his name in the headlines mostly for fights that don't happen.
We'll see. He is a talented fighter, but we knew years ago exactly what we know about Golovkin's mettle right now. Personally, I don't see that as a positive.