NEW YORK (AFP) – Former unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin turned back the clock on Saturday night with a sensational fourth-round knockout of Steve Rolls in their super middleweight fight at Madison Square Garden.
The 37-year-old Kazakhstan fighter hit Rolls with a short left that sent the Canadian crumbling face first to the canvas with one minute to go in the fourth in front of a crowd of 12,357.
“I feel great, I feel like a new baby,” said Golovkin.
Golovkin, who was fighting for the first time in nine months and coming off the first loss of his career, chose to fight the heavy underdog Rolls as he jockeys for a third fight against champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
“It is my style to knock people out,” said Golovkin, who once had a 23 knockout streak. “I told my coach, ‘OK I see it now, I see, I just need a little bit of time’.”
Asked who he wanted to fight next, Golovkin didn’t hesitate, “Everybody knows. I am ready for Canelo. Just bring him, ask him. If you want a big drama show, tell him.”
Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) made a number of key changes heading into the scheduled 12-round fight.
He split with long-time trainer Abel Sanchez and signed a lucrative six-fight deal with US streaming company DAZN which may well smooth the way to a third bout with Alvarez, another DAZN fighter.
This was his first fight with new trainer Johnathon Banks and he hopes also a new beginning for his career.
“I come back to my knockout (ways),” he said.
A calculating pressure fighter, Golovkin is known for his exceptionally powerful and precise punching, balance, and methodical movement inside the ring. He held a streak of 23 knockouts that spanned from 2008 to 2017.