In front of a Madison Square Garden crowd of 12,357, former world middleweight champion Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin knocked out Steve Rolls with a left hook in the fourth round.
The bout was held at a 164-pound catchweight. Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) was simply too powerful for the unheralded Rolls (19-1, 10 KOs) of Toronto. After a slow start where he ate several hard shots from Rolls, Golovkin went to work in the third. He began unloading on Rolls, particularly to the body.
The assault set up the finale in the fourth, courtesy of a hard left hook—thrown from a unique angle—that dropped Rolls for the count. The win sets up a third fight, possibly in September, between Golovkin and unified world middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
Here’s what Golovkin had to say:
Did he want to win by KO?
“Thank you to my opponent Steve Rolls – he looks good, he looks strong. Ya of course, it’s my style. I wanted it. I tried just a couple first rounds, then I told Banks, I see, I see, and that’s it. Right now I feel completely different because I came back to my knockout. I love knockouts and I love New York. It was a great night all around.”
“I feel great. I feel like a new baby.”
“Of course I gave him close distance because he must work too. Because if there’s too much distance, it’s impossible, it’s too hard for me.”
Who does he want next?
“Everybody knows. The fans know who they want me to fight next. I’m ready for September, I’m ready for Canelo. Just bring him, just ask him, I’m ready. If you want big drama show, please tell him. I’m ready to bring back the big drama show.”
Does he think the fight will happen?
“I believe, because this is boxing. This is boxing business. Why not? The next fight will be amazing for us.”
Beat Canelo or get the belts back – which is more important? “I feel right now like the people’s champ. It doesn’t matter for me. I want to beat him but it doesn’t matter, I’m the people’s champion.”
Does he want the fight to be in NYC?
“I want, I want, guys!”
Johnathon Banks – Trainer to Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin
“It’s always good to get the knockout. I like what I saw in the ring for the short amount of time we had in camp. We can do better with a full camp. But we’re going in the right direction.”
Earlier in the evening, Ali Akhmedov (15-0, 11 KOs), of Almaty, Kazakhstan, kept his undefeated streak alive with a dominant performance that ended in a TKO in Round 3 against New Orleans native Marcus McDaniel (15-1, 2 KOs) – making Akhmedov the new WBC International Super Middleweight Champion. And, unbeaten rising star Brian Ceballo (9-0, 4 KOs) of Brooklyn battled Bahktiyar Eyubov (14-1-1, 12 KOs), originally from Kazakhstan, now fighting out of Houston, in an 8-round slugfest that ultimately earned Ceballo a well-earned victory by unanimous decision.
12-Round Middleweight Bout @ 164 lbs.
Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) defeated Steve Rolls (19-1, 10 KOs) by KO at 2:09 of Round 4
10-Round WBC International Super Middleweight Title Bout @ 168 lbs.
Ali Akhmedov (15-0, 11 KOs) defeated Marcus McDaniel (15-1, 2 KOs) by TKO at 1:41 of Round 3
8-Round Welterweight Bout @ 148 lbs.
Brian Ceballo (9-0, 4 KOs) defeated Bahktiyar Eyubov (14-1-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision (80-72, 79-73, 78-74)
10-Round Super Welterweight Bout @ 154 lbs.
Israil Madrimov (3-0, 3 KOs) defeated Norberto Gonzalez (24-13, 13 KOs) by TKO at 2:11 of Round 6
10-Round USBA Jr. Middleweight Bout @ 154 lbs.
Charles Conwell (10-0, 7 KOs) defeated Courtney Pennington (12-4-3, 5 KOs) by unanimous decision (97-92, 97-92, 96-93)
4-Round Nikita Ababiy Middleweight Bout @ 163 lbs.
Nikita Ababiy (5-0, 5 KOs) defeated Juan Francisco Barajas (5-1, 3 KO’s) by KO at 2:19 of Round 1