Perhaps switching trainers from longtime comrade Abel Sanchez to former World Cruiserweight title challenger Jonathan Banks was too sudden, even for the former unified Middleweight Champion. Maybe Golovkin – at age 37 – had finally begun to slow down.
That was the thinking after widely unknown challenger Steve Rolls won round two over Triple G, rocking him multiple times in the process and serving as a live challenger for the first three rounds of their super middleweight bout at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
And then the “Big Drama Show” happened.
It was a chopping left hook that begun Golovkin’s fourth-round flurry, subsequently backing Rolls into the ropes and setting up a knockout blow to end the evening.
With the win – his first since May of 2018 – Triple G improves to 39-1-1 (35 KOs), and now eyes a third bout with middleweight rival Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) in September.
“The fans know who they want me to fight next,” said Triple G after the win. “I’m ready for September, I’m ready for Canelo.”
Golovkin and Alvarez shared the ring in each of the last two Septembers. In 2017, the two battled to a 12-round championship draw, where Golovkin – then undefeated – defended his WBA Super, WBC and IBF Middleweight titles.
The two were expected to rematch in May of 2018 before Alvarez failed a February drug test and was suspended for six months after Clenbuterol were found in his system.
Alvarez blamed the failed test on contaminated meat he consumed in his home country of Mexico, so the fight was delayed until September, when Alvarez was awarded a majority decision.
Many boxing fans dispute both outcomes, suggesting Triple G should have won the first, if not each, bout.
Both now fight on DAZN, making a third consecutive September date possible, though Oscar De La Hoya – Alvarez’s promoter – suggests Triple G’s victory over Rolls isn’t enough to warrant the trilogy.
“Nice comeback win,” De La Hoya wrote on his official Twitter. “Now fight a real fighter, win a belt, and I’ll consider doing the third fight.”
Regardless, Triple G is optimistic that he’ll get his just due.
“I’m not thinking about what Oscar says,” Golovkin said. “I’m not really interested in what Oscar is doing.”