Gonzalez and Golovkin make it look easy: Weekend Review
Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez: Neither featured fight on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden provided significant surprises. Golovkin and Gonzalez were as good as billed, which is saying something given the respect they have in the boxing world. Golovkin (34-0, 31 knockouts) turned a solid middleweight, David Lemieux, into his personal punching bag to the delight of his many fans at a packed Garden, who repeatedly chanted “Triple-G! Triple-G! Triple-G!” The Kazakhstani star set everything up with his jab and followed with more and more punishing power shots until the referee decided Lemieux could take no more in the eighth round. Thus, a potential action bout became a rout. Gonzalez (44-0, 38 KOs) did a similar number on Brian Viloria, who fought bravely but couldn’t withstand the firepower the No. 1 fighter in the world brings into the ring. He gradually – and cruelly – broke Viloria down until the American suffered the same fate as Lemieux: The ref ended a rout in Round 9. The victories weren’t monumental. Lemieux’s limitations were obvious and Viloria, while still very good at 34, is nearing the end of his fine career. At the same time, the dominance of Golovkin and Gonzalez – skill level, power, poise, everything – was breathtaking. Rarely do two fighters of this quality fight back to back on the same card. It was a treat to witness it.
For the record, as great as Golovkin looked, I thought Gonzalez’s performance was even better because Viloria (36-5, 22 KOs) is better than Lemieux. ÔÇª I thought Golovkin and Gonzalez would win their fights but I expected slightly more from the losers, particularly Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs). I thought (hoped?) the French-Canadian could get in enough of his power shots to make it interesting. The few he landed did no damage whatsoever in as one-sided a fight as you’ll ever see. Kudos to Viloria on a gallant, competent effort. He was just in with a monster. ÔÇª Heavyweight Luis Ortiz (23-0, 20 KOs) stopped Matias Vidondo (20-2-1, 18 KOs) in three rounds on the Golovkin-Lemieux card. The Cuban looked fierce and powerful but the victory didn’t mean much because of Vidondo’s apparent limitations. Still, I would say Ortiz is one to watch. ÔÇª Tureano Johnson (19-1, 13 KOs) fairly easily outpointed Eamonn O’Kane (14-2-1, 5 KOs) in a 12-round middleweight title eliminator on the Golovkin-Lemieux card, putting the Irishman down twice in the first round. Johnson is a tough guy but not an appropriate opponent for Golovkin, the new IBF champ. He’s simply too limited.
Lee Selby (22-1, 8 KOs) looked just OK in his U.S. debut Wednesday in Glendale, Arizona, as he defeated veteran Fernando Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs) by a unanimous decision to retain his IBF featherweight title. I suspect he’ll have an easier time in his next fight after getting this out of the way. And respect to Montiel, who is still a good fighter. ÔÇª Also making his U.S. debut, RING and WBO junior flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (37-1-4, 21 KOs) pummeled the overmatched Juan Alejo (21-4, 13 KOs) to a unanimous-decision win at the StubHub center in Carson, California. The scores were 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109 in favor of the Filipino, who now has his sights on the pound-for-pound king. It’s not a bad idea; Nietes represents one of the more challenging options for Gonzalez. … Andrezj Fonfara (28-3, 16 KOs) defeated Nathan Cleverly (29-3, 15 KOs) by a unanimous decision Saturday in Chicago to remain a player at 175 pounds. Cleverly, back down from cruiserweight, fought well enough to be taken seriously going forward even though he’s 3-3 in his last six bouts. ÔÇª Devon Alexander (26-4, 14 KOs) appears to be finished as an elite fighter. He lost a unanimous decision to Aron Martinez (20-4-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight fight in Glendale, his second consecutive setback and third loss in four fights. Alexander seems to still have the tools but something less tangible is missing. The victory was huge for Martinez, who had lost three of his previous four. ÔÇª Lamont Peterson (34-3-1, 17 KOs) got past Felix Diaz (17-1, 8 KOs), winning a majority decision in a 10-round welterweight bout Saturday in Fairfax, Virginia, to remain the mix in a deep division. ÔÇª Prayers go out to Prichard Colon and those close to him. Colon was disqualified against Terrel Williams when his corner mistakenly removed his gloves after Round 9, thinking it was the 10th and final round, on the Peterson-Diaz card. Afterward, he fell ill and was taken to a hospital, where he reportedly had a brain bleed and was placed an induced coma. He was still in critical condition on Sunday, according to a statement from promoter Lou DiBella. Colon had complained that Williams was hitting him behind the head.