[caption id="attachment_29813" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Gennady Golovkin March 2013 USA TODAY Sports[/caption]

Thirty-year-old Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan successfully retained his IBO and WBA Middleweight Championships in Monaco on March 30 with a sensational third-round knockout over Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan.

Golovkin, known for his power, caught his challenger with a tremendous right hand to the head and sent him crashing to the canvas. When he hit the deck referee Stanley Christodoulou called the contest over without starting a count. The official time of the stoppage was 1:13 of the third round.

Golovkin was in complete control right from the opening bell as he put the pressure on the veteran Ishida with stiff, accurate left jabs and some solid right hands. Golovkin has impressed boxing fans and promoters greatly over the past year with his powerful pinpoint punching and desire to fight every month or two.

However, he hasn’t fought a truly elite boxer up to now. This could all change in the near future, though, as he may soon meet one of the division's other champions. These include WBC boss Sergio Martinez of Argentina, WBO champ Peter Quillin of America and IBF titleholder Daniel Geale of Australia.

The knockout saw Golovkin raise his unbeaten record to 26-0 with 23 KOs. He has the highest knockout-ratio of any middleweight champion in boxing history. The 37-year-old Ishida fell to 24-9-2 with nine KOs and will now likely retire from the sport.

Ishida was hurt as early as the second round then Golovkin opened a cut under his right eye with a splendid three-punch combination, but he showed a lot of heart by trying to fight back. It was the first time Ishida had been stopped as a pro in 35 bouts.

Golovkin has now defended his titles seven times and he went into the bout as the favorite since Ishida isn’t considered to possess much power. The knockout blow was a crushing overhand right which almost knocked the challenger right out of the ring.

It was another highlight-reel win for Golovkin, but he hasn’t really been tested yet by one of the division’s biggest hitters. However, many other boxers in the 160-pound middleweight class may want to avoid the hard-hitter, including the other champions.

Golovkin made a name for himself as an amateur back on 2004 when he won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. However, professional boxing fans in America didn’t really know who he was until fighting on American television last year.

He’s now a regular on TV and this bout against Ishida was a pay-per-view event, which goes to show just how popular he currently is. Golovkin has repeatedly said that he’s willing to go either up or down in weight if it means landing a fight against a top contender or world champion.

It’s possible that he could eventually move up to the 168-pound super-middleweight division to challenge undefeated WBC champion Andre Ward of the U.S. Until one of the top fighters is willing to meet him, fans will have to be satisfied with Golovkin’s performances against whoever is brave enough to step into the ring with him.



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