Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing.
Too big, too strong, too good.
On Sept. 10, 2016, Gennadiy Golovkin scored a punishing fifth-round stoppage over Kell Brook to retain his IBF and WBC middleweight titles at the O2 Arena in London. The official time was 1:57.
Golovkin was unbeaten in 35 fights with 32 knockouts. Legitimately feared by some of the world’s best middleweights, the Kazakhstan-born destroyer was literally struggling to secure a 160-pound opponent.
Step forward unbeaten IBF welterweight titleholder Kell Brook.
Many felt the Sheffield star had a death wish. While Brook was bursting at the seams to make 147 pounds, he was a medium-sized junior middleweight at best. To give away size to a fighter as formidable and skilled as Golovkin was a disaster waiting to happen.
In the end, it could have been worse.
Brook tried his heart out and scored with some fantastic combination work. Nothing happened. Golovkin, accustomed to taking punches from middleweights, soaked up the best his smaller challenger had to offer and waited to hit him back. When he did land, the damage was catastrophic.
By the fifth, Brook had sustained a broken eye socket and he was struggling terribly to hold Golovkin off. Trainer Dominic Ingle had seen enough and ascended the ring steps while waving the white towel frantically.