By Marc Livitz: Gennady “GGG” Golovkin took a preemptive victory lap through the first round at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on Saturday evening. The unified middleweight world champion seemed to allow Vanes Martirosyan to briefly get his attention until he turned on the thrusters and treated those in attendance to a Cinco De Mayo special ending as he bought the successive defense of his middleweight accolades to the count of twenty.
Martirosyan returned to the ring after nearly two years and was doing so as a middleweight for the first time. The bout would be the chance for Golovkin to show that the opinions of some in regard to his desire to take little risk as he awaited a rematch with Canelo Alvarez to be completely false.
Vanes looked to jab at Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KO’s) early in the opening round. Gennady did his best to continually move forward and answer with his lead left hand as well. Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21 KO’s) snuck in a straight right before the round came to a close. He jabbed and moved in the second until an onslaught from Golovkin less than two minutes in brought his night to an abrupt halt.
A right uppercut set up the damage, which sent Martirosyan off balance. With his back to the ropes, successive rights and lefts brought him to his knees and to the mat. Vanes did all he could possibly do to regain his footing, but he was in no condition to remain standing. Referee Jack Reiss reached the count of ten at the 1:53 mark of the second round. Golovkin successfully defended his WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO middleweight titles.
“I feel great. I’m back,” the victorious Golovkin said afterward. “Vanes is a good fighter and he punched me a few times. I knew this was serious business in the second round.”
Of course, the questions surrounding his canceled rematch with Canelo Alvarez on the potential horizon was asked. “I want everybody”, he said. “Come take my belt. It doesn’t matter who I fight.”