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It’s very rare that two Eastern Europeans get to headline a major boxing card in the U.S., but that’s what happened on Septemer 1 when Gennady Golovkin stopped Grzegorz Proksa in the fifth round in their bout in Verona, New York.

Golovkin, the WBA Middleweight Champion, was making his American debut and the bout was televised nationally by HBO.

The 30-year-old Golovkin, who hails from Kazakhstan, impressed the live crowd at the Turning Stone casino as well as the millions watching on TV with his fifth successful title defense. The champion took on the European titleholder in the Polish-born Proksa and dominated from the opening bell.

Other than fight fans in Europe, most average American boxing supporters are unfamiliar with Golovkin. He was a silver medal winner at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, and entered the ring with an unbeaten record of 23-0 with 20 KOs.

Golovkin now fights out of Germany and most of his bouts have been held there since he turned professional back in 2006. His dream was to find in the U.S. and thankfully HBO signed him to a deal for the bout against Proksa.

However, the champion was originally scheduled to meet Dmitry Pirog, but he had to pull out of the bout after rupturing a disc in his back about a month before the fight.

The 27 Proksa offered to step up to the plate and HBO accepted him as a legitimate opponent. Proksa, who is now based in England, had made a name for himself after stopping Sebastian Sylvester, a former world champion, last October during the third round of their European title fight. Proksa’s a good southpaw with good speed and decent power and has a bit of an awkward style.

Proksa was dropped in the first round though as Golovkin walked through his arsenal and took the fight to him. Golovkin lands some punishing blows to Proksa’s head and body and seemed to hurt him every round.

Proksa managed to land some clean blows of his own, but they didn’t have any effect on his opponent. Golovkin decked Proksa again in the fourth round and bloodied his nose and then dropped him with a flurry in the fifth round.

Proksa was laying face-first on the canvas after eating a right hand and left hook, but managed to beat the count. It was obvious the fight was over though and referee Charlie Fitch made it official when he called it off at the 1:11 mark of the fifth round.

Golovkin proved to be a very likable fellow while being interviewed in the ring after the bout and thanked everybody he could think of while giving credit to Proksa, whose record fell to 28-2 with 21 KOs.

HBO might have found a new star in the Champion and it’s likely he’ll be back fighting in America and on HBO again in the near future. Golovkin is hoping to face the winner of the Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight which takes place on Sept. 15.

Golovkin also finds himself as the mandatory challenger to the WBA’s Super Middleweight Champion Daniel Geale and could face him before the year’s out.

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