Marco Antonio Rubio was no more a match for Gennady Golovkin than anyone else has ever been, as the Mexican veteran was knocked out in the second round tonight at a packed and rowdy StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Golovkin landed 45 of 99 total punches, compared to 21 of 76 for Rubio. Golovkin also landed 52% (28/54) of his power shots, many coming after a fairly tentative first round that saw Golovkin land a couple clean shots late, with Rubio responding.
The second round was another story, as Golovkin (31-0, 28 KO) pressed the action more, going right at Rubio (59-7-1, 51 KO), who seemed to have no real response. Golovkin popped away at the more experienced man until the tree fell over, which frankly didn't take too long. Rubio went down from a series of shots, and was counted out by referee Jack Reiss.
The official time of the stoppage was 1:19 of the second round.
Rubio had failed to make weight yesterday, so he was unable to leave with the titles at stake even with a victory. Golovkin now has the WBA belt he came with, plus the interim WBC title, and a mandatory shot at the full WBC title, which is currently held by Miguel Cotto.
Golovkin told HBO's Max Kellerman after the fight that he wanted Cotto, saying once again that he respects the Puerto Rican star, calling him a "great champion." He also said he'd like to fight Canelo Alvarez -- "a good boy" -- and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
What's clear is that Golovkin is the most imposing force of nature in the middleweight division. Whether or not you call him the best depends mostly on what you thought of Miguel Cotto's win over a hobbled Sergio Martinez, and how seriously you take Cotto's legitimate claim to the lineal championship of the division.
But Golovkin's 18th knockout win in a row sent yet another statement. It might not be anything we didn't know, but he just doesn't have off nights. He doesn't "fight down" to inferior competition. He treats every fight like it will be the toughest he's faced to date, and he's steamrolling solid if not elite fighters -- the guys who will actually fight him.