With a performance as dominant as the oddsmakers expected and a stoppage as everyone expected, Gennady Golovkin remained undefeated as he unified the WBA and IBF middleweight titles tonight in front of over 20,000 fans at Madison Square Garden, putting away David Lemieux in the eighth round.
Golovkin (34-0, 31 KO) was in control from the outset, proving in the opening round that he was the better boxer as both explored their options with the jab. Lemieux held up well over the opening few rounds, but was unable to get his own offense going, and for a fighter with little hope but to land something big and end the fight in dramatic fashion, Lemieux (34-3, 31 KO) not being able to open up his own offense had him pretty much doomed early.
Golovkin's own chin was on display again, as well as his icy demeanor, as he took some hard shots from Lemieux in the fifth round. But just as Lemieux seemed as though maybe he had something going, Golovkin dropped him to the canvas with a hard body shot late in the round.
The sixth and seventh rounds were further Golovkin domination, and when the beating continued in round eight and Lemieux was staggered again, referee Steve Willis stepped in to stop the bout.
Golovkin, 33, continues to look like a man among boys in the middleweight division, and as good as they are, it's hard right now to imagine the Cotto-Canelo winner giving him any serious issues. The way he simply brushed off the power of Lemieux -- a hard-hitting, legitimate middleweight -- means that Cotto or Canelo would have to so thoroughly outbox Golovkin as to basically shut him down offensively.
On the undercard, flyweight champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KO) also remained unbeaten and also dominated, stopping challenger and former three-division titleholder Brian Viloria (36-5, 22 KO) in the ninth round. Viloria was dropped in the third round. Viloria came out aggressive and was there to win, but Gonzalez was simply a better fighter.
The other two undercard bouts also went as expected. Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz (23-0, 20 KO) wiped out Argentina's Matias Ariel Vidondo (20-2-1, 18 KO) in three rounds, and Tureano Johnson (19-1, 13 KO) won a wide 12-round decision over Eamonn O'Kane (14-2-1, 5 KO) in an IBF middleweight eliminator. Johnson is now in line for a shot at Golovkin.