Golovkin vs. Martirosyan final punch stats
By Allan Fox: The final punch stats for the Gennady Golovkin vs. Vanes Martirosyan fight last Saturday night don’t tell the whole story about how over-matched the challenger was against GGG. Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) massacred Martirosyan, 32, in stopping him in the 2nd round in defending his IBOI/WBA/WBC middleweight titles at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
(Photo credit: Sumio Yamada)
After a competitive 1st round, the sudden ending of the fight in the 2nd round was what kept the punch stats from looking lopsided in favor of GGG.
Golovkin landed 36 of 84 punches for a connect rate of 43, according to CompuBox. For his part, Martirosyan landed 18 of 73 shots for a 25% connect percentage. Most of Martirosyan’s shots were landed in round 1 when he was the busiest. Martirosyan was moving a lot, and attacking randomly with surprising success. However, things changed in round 2 after Golovkin started throwing more punches.
Golovkin caught Martirosyan with a big uppercut in the early moments of the 2nd round that had him holding on. Martirosyan slipped to the canvas at one point after being shucked off by Golovkin. The referee Jack Reiss ruled it as a slip. But Martirosyan was hurt, and he was not going to be able to keep fighting for long if he didn’t start moving and defending better.
For whatever reason, Martirosyan choose to fight Golovkin instead of moving like he’d been doing in round 1. Golovkin took advantage of Martirosyan’s willingness to engage with him by hurting him with a left hook, and then knocking him down with a blizzard of head shots when he had him up against the ropes.
Golovkin’s win made boxing history with him tying Bernard Hopkins’ record of 20 consecutive title defenses for the middleweight division. It would have been better for Golovkin and the boxing public if he had been fighting Saul Canelo Alvarez to break the record of 20 title defenses instead of the replacement opponent Martirosyan, but there was nothing that could be done.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission handed down a 6-month suspension to Canelo in their meeting on April 18 last month. Martirosyan was the lucky or shall I say the unlucky fighter that got the call to replace the Mexican star Canelo. Martirosyan received a payday of $225,000 for the fight.
It would have been a lot more if the fight had been sold on HBO PPV, but it wasn’t a big enough fight to sell it on PPV. Martirosyan was coming off of a 2-year layoff from boxing and he’d lost 2 out of his last 3 fights.
“It feels great to get a knockout,” said Golovkin. “Vanes is a very good fighter. He caught me a few times in the first round. In the second round, I came out all business after I felt him out in the first round.”
Golovkin, 36, ended a 2-fight knockout drought in stopping Martirosyan, and he seemed relieved at finally getting a knockout. Golovkin had failed to stop Saul Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs in back to back fights.
Golovkin probably could have knocked both guys out, but he would have had to take a lot of shots for him to do so. If Golovkin was willing to force the issue like he did against Kell Brook and Kassim Ouma, then he probably would have knocked them both out. To score knockouts, fighters have to put themselves in harm’s way, and Golovkin is usually willing to do that, but not against Canelo and Jacobs.
It was obviously a letdown for Golovkin to go from a potential fight against Canelo Alvarez on HBO pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada to fighting an inactive replacement opponent in Martirosyan on HBO World Championship Boxing at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
There was nothing GGG could do about it. Canelo set the wheels in motion for Golovkin’s fight to be less than great one when he tested positive for clenbuterol during 2 of VADA’s drug tests on February 17 and February 20. The Nevada Athletic Commission then subsequently suspended Canelo for six months.
A rematch between Canelo and Golovkin would have been far more preferable than the fight with Martirosyan last Saturday. The boxing public was not thrilled with Golovkin’s choice of a replacement opponent, and showed that by not selling out the StubHub. Before this fight, Golovkin had been selling out his venues in Southern California, but the boxing public was not interested in seeing him fight in high numbers against Martirosyan.
Martirosyan got the crowd excited at the end of round 1 when he hit Golovkin with a right hand and then a left that HBO commentator Roy Jones Jr. believed hurt the Kazakhstan fighter. It didn’t look like Golovkin was hurt. The shot got Golovkin’s attention, and made him more focused on using his jab to end the round.
You can say that shot from Martirosyan woke Golovkin up and made him upset, because he came out for round 2 looking like a different fighter. Almost everything Golovkin threw in the 2nd round was with major power. Even Golovkin’s jabs seemed more powerful than they’d been in the previous round.
Golovkin hit Martirosyan with a left hook that he took, and then a right hand that sent him scurrying backwards to escape the heat. Martirosyan quickly ran out of real estate and found himself against the ropes. He was cornered and nowhere to go. Canelo had done a good job of countering Golovkin when he was trapped against the ropes, but Martirosyan didn’t have the countering skills to defend properly against GGG.
Golovkin landed a big right hand, and then a left that stunned Martirosyan to the point where he was helpless for the follow up right hand. Martirosyan went down like a sack of potatoes on the canvas and was unable to rise to beat the count. The fight was over at 1:53 of round 2.
It’s better that Martirosyan didn’t get back up off the canvas because Golovkin would have surely knocked him out badly if he’d gotten back to his feet and continued fighting. Martirosyan tried his best against Golovkin, but he couldn’t handle his punching power and he didn’t possess the fast hands that Jacobs and Canelo had going for them against GGG.
“It was like being hit by a train,” Martirosyan said. “It wasn’t one punch. It was all of his punches. It was the hardest I have ever been hit.”