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Golovkin gores Macklin

By Matt Richardson
Photos by
Emily Harney

WBA/IBO middleweight title-holder Gennady Golovkin continued to dismiss his critics and scare his future opponents on Saturday night when he stopped Matthew Macklin in the third round of the main event of a six-bout card at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut. 

The bout was the main event of a televised triple-header on HBO’s “Boxing after Dark.”

Golovkin, who now has an argument in his favor as the best middleweight in the world, had very little difficulty with the normally durable Macklin.  Macklin, who lost spirited title challenges at the weight twice before, was never really in the fight, was cut over his left eye and was knocked out for the full count of ten via a perfectly placed left hook in the third.

“I heard that shot!” proclaimed Macklin promoter Lou DiBella after the fight ended at the 1:22 mark.  “The last time I saw a body shot like that was when Roy Jones knocked out Virgil Hill,” the promoter said.  “I felt great,” Golovkin (27-0, 24 KO’s) said after just seven minutes of action.

“Everything I wanted to do I was able to do in the ring,” he continued.  “It was an easy fight for me.  I felt fantastic with every punch I threw.”  Macklin was able to attest that assertion as he was hurt early on.

Macklin (29-5, 20 KO’s) was caught and wobbled into the ropes towards the end of the first after Golovkin connected with a right but it was too late in the round for the Germany-based “GGG” to capitalize.  Golovkin came out patiently in the second as he stalked Macklin in anticipation of securing the knockout punch.  But it was Macklin who came forward and threw and landed more punches to start the third.  Just when it appeared that Macklin was going to fight his way back into the fight, Golovkin backed Macklin to the ropes and crumpled him with a left hook to the body.  Macklin turned over on the canvas and grimaced in pain but it was clear he wouldn’t be able to rise to go on.  Referee Eddie Cotton reached the count of ten as Macklin remained on the canvas for several moments following the ending.

Final punch statists illustrated Golovkin’s dominance: he landed 50-percent of all the punches he threw and 52-percent of his power shots.  Macklin, meantime, landed at half that rate for just 29 punches landed out of 118 thrown.

After such a short a fight it would be understandable if Golovkin wanted to get back in the ring quickly and the exciting knockout artist said just that afterwards.  “I want to fight again soon,” he said.  “Any top fighter, any belt-holder, any champion, anywhere.” –Matt Richardson


Gonzalez, Ooosthuizen draw in 10

Super middleweight Brandon “Flawless” Gonzalez appeared to fight the best fight of his career on the biggest stage he’s been on to date but it didn’t pay off on the final scorecards as he had to settle for a draw against Thomas “Tommy Gun” Oosthuizen in the co-featured fight of the evening.  A lone score of 98-92 for Gonzales (17-0-2, 10 KO’s) was overruled by a tally of 96-94 for Ooosthuizen (21-0-2, 13 KO’s) and an even 95-95.  “I absolutely won the fight,” Gonzales said after hearing the scores.  “I landed the harder shots and I outboxed him.  Unfortunately, the judges didn’t think so.”

Oosthuizen, who seemed befuddled early on in the fight, was cut on his left eyebrow by a head butt in the fifth.  Gonzales boxed well early on, connecting with rights over the top of Ooosthuizen’s guard in the fourth.  Oosthuizen often looked confused as he tried to land single lefts instead of punching in combination.  As a result, Oosthuizen kept walking into punches.  As the bout transitioned into the second half, however, Gonzales slowed down enough for Ooosthuizen to sneak in enough rounds to tighten the fight on the cards.  Gonzales came out strong in the tenth, landing hard but wide rights but it wasn’t enough to secure the decision.

“We’ll go back to the drawing board and figure out where to go from here,” a dejected Gonzales said afterward. –Matt Richardson


Nelson survives Cuello

Junior middleweight Willie Nelson won a tighter than expected 10-round unanimous decision in his HBO debut, beating Luciano Cuello in a somewhat gory encounter.  Scores were 97-93 (twice) and 96-94 for Nelson.  Nelson (21-1, 12 KO’s) was rocked in the seventh and tenth rounds and was cut on both eyes but was able to last the distance, despite a rocky finish in the final round that had the referee perilously close to calling a halt to the bout in favor of the underdog Cuello (32-3, 15 KO’s).

“I feel great,” a cut and bloodied Nelson stated after the bout’s conclusion.  “He’s tougher than I thought but I still thought I won convincingly,” he said.  “I want to fight all the top 154-pounders and this was another step in the right direction.”  For many parts of the fight, however, it looked like Nelson’s direction was about to be derailed.

Nelson won the first two rounds by being more active, throwing long shots from the outside and up close.
Cuello came back well in the second half of the third as Nelson pawed at his cut right eye.  Nelson went back to boxing more in the fourth, though, preventing Cuello from getting off.

Nelson was badly rocked in the seventh by a left uppercut and a follow-up left hook but Cuello couldn’t get off enough punches to put him down.  He had Nelson backed against the ropes but was ineffective in trying to connect with uppercuts and rights when it appeared that he should’ve thrown more to the body instead. Nelson survived the round but looked shaky in his corner when the round concluded.

Nelson did better in the eighth and boxed more in the ninth. But the Ohio-based boxer got cut over the left eye in the tenth and was squinting badly as he pointed toward the gash.  As Nelson coped with the new cut, he was rocked again, along the ropes.  Nelson was holding throughout and when the referee separated them Nelson immediately went back to holding, causing the crowd to boo heavily.  He decided to fight Cuello in the final seconds of the round but after getting caught on the cut, he held once again, long enough this time to hear the final bell. –Matt Richardson


O'Connor looks impressive!

New England fan favorite Danny O’Connor improved to 21-0 with 7 knockouts with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over a surprisingly determined Hector Munoz. Working hard to impress, O’Connor chose to initiate the action and take the fight to Munoz from the start.

Fighting at close quarters, O’Connor’s speed and combination punching overcame Munoz’s strength and determination. Munoz, who was actually one pound lighter than O’Connor at the scales, looked ten pounds heavier in the ring, and used his weight and size to make the early rounds a brawl.

Both fighters exchanged hard body shots, with enough straying low to prompt repeated warnings from referee Danny Chivone.

By round four, O’Connor began to find his range and box, landing sharp combinations up top.

Returning to close quarters, in the fifth after his success in the previous round, a clash of heads opened a gash over the left eye of O’Connor.

Instructed by his corner to return to boxing from the outside, O’Connor continued to mix boxing and slugging for the remainder of fight, out landing Munoz to bring home a clear decision, 79-73 across the board.

O’Connor, although happy with the victory, had hoped for a shorter night.

“He took a better shot than I thought he would,” he said in his locker room after the fight. “I envisioned it a little different, should have boxed more and broken him down. I’m glad to be back, and can’t wait to get in there again.”---Matt Thompson


Rosa beats Beranza in six

122-pound hopeful Luis "The KO King" Rosa had his hands full in a more competitive fight than expected, beating Jose Angel Beranza via eight-round unanimous decision.  Rosa, who had some success banging to the body in the second round, had a point deducted in the fourth for low blows.  That followed two warnings from the referee beforehand.  Rosa (14-0, 6 KO’s) earned a shut-out decision but due to the low blow deduction, all three judges handed in identical scores of 79-72.  Beranza, who was actually coming off a win in Mexico, is now 36-27-2 with 28 of those victories inside the distance. – Matt Richardson


Harrison dominates Ankrah

Welterweight Dusty Harrison (14-0, 7 KO's) won a dull decision in six rounds against Ben Akrah.  Harrison boxed from the outside throughout the fight, keeping Ankrah off balance.  Ankrah (15-15, 6 KO's) was rocked in the final ten seconds of the fourth after absorbing some flush uppercuts but was able to remain on his feet.  Two judges submitted scores of 60-54 while a third judge scored the fight 59-55. –Matt Richardson