The west coast crowned their king this past Saturday night. With Los Angeles being a prominent Latino stronghold for boxing, you would imagine that man would have been a Mexican or Mexican-American fighter. It wasn’t. The man who walks around L.A. as if he owns is none other than a native of a small country in Eastern Europe, the WBA, IBO and now WBC interim middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin of Karaganda, Kazakhstan. On Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, in front of a record crowd of ninety-hundred raving mad boxing fans, Golovkin made quick and easy work of sixty-six fight veteran Marco Antonio “El Veneno” Rubio. The destruction took less than five minutes.
In a StubHub Center first, Team Golovkin decided to take the long way to the ring on Saturday night when instead of going straight across from the tunnel, they made a left and went all the way around the floor to the sounds of the White Stripes before stepping into the ring and annihilating Rubio minutes later.
The ring walk might have taken longer.
Rubio, who came in nearly two pounds overweight the day before at the weigh-in and lost his green and silver WBC interim belt for his troubles on the scale, always seemed hesitant and not really willing to engage with Golovkin. Some might even say the fear was in his eyes from the moment he stepped out of his dressing room. It didn’t help that the majority of the crowd was with Golovkin despite the fact that many of them probably couldn’t point out Kazakhstan on a map, let alone spell it.
Near the end of the first both fighters gave what the crowd wanted and exchanged for the last ten seconds of the round. The fact that Rubio came out unscathed from that battle might have given him false hope that he might be able to hang with the thirty-two year old married father of one.
Golovkin turned up the heat in the second and after connecting with a solid jab followed with a right hand, he walked Rubio towards the ropes. Before Rubio felt cornered, Golovkin landed a devastating right uppercut that snapped the Mexican’s head back and then followed it up with a left hook. Rubio’s eyes got even wider than usual as he backpedaled against the ropes where Golovkin was finally able to trap him and go to work.
As Rubio held his guard up, he never saw the jackhammering left hook to the top of his head that instead of snapping his head to any direction, tried to bury it into his shoulders. Rubio crumbled to his left while referee Jack Reiss jumped in and began the count. Rubio looked resolute as he lay on the canvas and only reached his feet when he was sure that he wouldn’t be made to continue. A shrug and a smile towards his corner might be the everlasting image of Rubio’s career, a career that never was made complete with a world title.
As for Golovkin’s everlasting image for his career? It hasn’t been captured yet.