Gennadiy Golovkin came into Madison Square Garden with a new broadcast deal, a new trainer and even a new way to spell his first name, but still provided a vintage performance.
It took Golovkin four rounds to showcase his power and knock out Steve Rolls in the main event of a DAZN card from the Garden, home to several of Golovkin's best wins in the United States. The fight was Golovkin's DAZN debut as he signed a three-year, six-fight deal with the streaming service months ago.
Opening the first round, Golovkin landed several solid body shots, but nothing was thrown too hard that would hurt his opponent. Rolls did manage to tag Golovkin with a left jab that rocked Golovkin's head back in the second round, but the former middleweight champion was able to take Rolls' best and dish out even bigger punches.
The third and fourth round saw Golovkin attack Rolls' body with several left hooks while throwing the occasional right jab upstairs. It wasn't until there was less than 90 seconds remaining in the fourth round when Golovkin landed a left hand from an awkward angle that landed near the top of Rolls' head. That was enough for Rolls to get staggered, opening the door for Golovkin to land a major left hook and knock him out.
Despite the early trouble in the second round from Rolls, Golovkin was still ahead on all three judges scorecards with two of the three judges having Golovkin ahead 30-27. Fightful had Golovkin ahead 29-28 at the time of the knockout on its live coverage page which can be seen at this link.
While the fight was Golovkin's first under the DAZN banner, it served nothing more than an opportunity to make a statement to his long-time rival Canelo Alvarez, who is also on a multi-year deal with DAZN. When asked in a post-fight interview who he wants to face next, Golovkin said he wants to face Alvarez one more time.
"Everybody knows, everybody knows. I'm ready for September, I'm ready for Canelo, just bring him. Just ask him, I'm ready. If you want me to bring the big drama show, just tell him," Golovkin said.
Alvarez and Golovkin have fought twice already with the first bout ending in a controversial split draw back in 2017. The rematch, which took place last September, ended with Alvarez capturing the WBA and WBC middleweight titles with a majority decision win.