Gennady Golovkin is happy to live in Los Angeles, and Los Angeles is very happy to have him. With big chants of "Trip-le G! Trip-le G!" echoing throughout a rocking Forum in Inglewood, Golovkin dropped Willie Monroe Jr three times en route to a sixth round stoppage, running his record to 33-0 (30 KO) and retaining his WBA middleweight title.
Golovkin, 33, outboxed his challenger in round one, slipping shots nicely and outlanding Monroe at about a 2-to-1 clip. In the second round, he caught Monroe (19-2, 6 KO) with an enormous left hook, putting the challenger on the canvas. Monroe got up, but was soon down again, and the fight appeared to be over.
But Monroe survived the Golovkin charge over the final minute, and in the third, started the round moving around, looking to get his legs back. He did so, and dug in with some nice body shots once he got comfortable again. The round, though, still belonged to GGG, who landed his own, harder body shots, and mixed it up better, which would be the story of the fight, more or less.
A headhunting Golovkin was looking to finish things in round four, even baiting Monroe with his hands down and taking clean shots, almost Ricardo Mayorga-esque. And while I said there wouldn't be shades of Barrera-McKinney in this Forum showdown, round four was a pretty good tribute to that fight, with Golovkin landing 30 of 63 total punches, and Monroe landing 33 of 80, standing his ground at the center of the ring.
Round five began with Golovkin hurting Monroe on a left uppercut, Monroe coming back to make it another round of two-way action. But Golovkin was never in any danger, staying in control of the fight with Monroe unable to do anything that could hurt him. Round six started the way round five did, with Golovkin stinging Monroe on an uppercut, this time worse than before. Another hook hurt Monroe yet again, and then a big flurry put the American challenger back on the canvas for a third time.
When Monroe rose to his feet, barely beating the count of ten, referee Jack Reiss asked if he wanted to continue. On jelly legs, Monroe told Reiss, "I'm done," and the referee stopped the fight.
The GGG pandemonium continued after the impressive display, which was just what the crowd showed up to see, and they let him know it with raucous applause and more chants. If you want to know what kind of response Golovkin's style and charisma are receiving in Los Angeles, look no further than this tweet from Mark Kriegel:
Gennady Golovkin is box office already, and it's just going to get stronger.
Monore, 28, deserves some serious respect for his effort tonight. He could have been finished off in the second round. The second knockdown and the time remaining in the round could have convinced a lot of fighters to cash it in there. And while it's true that Monroe didn't go out on his shield -- which we saw Edgar Sosa do in the co-feature -- the reality of the situation seemed to be that either Monroe admitted he was a beaten man and called it a day, or he took some needless punishment that could have gotten him hurt. Golovkin's power is nothing to mess with if you're not all there physically or mentally, and Monroe made a decision that will undoubtedly have him catching some flak from the more bloodthirsty of the fight fans out there, but is one that is quite understandable. Monroe will be back. Golovkin marches on.