Boxing sensation Gennady Golovkin did exactly what was expected of him on Saturday night, knocking out Vanes Martirosyan in the second round to retain his unified middleweight world championship.

GGG Martirosyan Gennady Golovkin
Gennady Golovkin celebrates after knocking out Vanes Martirosyan on Saturday. GGG made his 20th consecutive middleweight title defense, tying a division record. (Image: Chris Carlson/AP)

The fight between GGG and Martirosyan wasnt the bout that was originally scheduled for May 5. Originally, Golovkin was hoping for a rematch with Canelo Alvarez to follow up on last years controversial draw between the two world-class middleweights.

But when Alvarez dropped out of the fight after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol, those plans were forced to change on short notice. Rather than a megafight in Las Vegas, GGG fought at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles against a last-minute replacement opponent that few expected to pose much of a challenge to the champion.

GGG Dominates From Opening Bell

Sure enough, Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) dominated almost every moment of the fight. GGG took control almost immediately in the first round, exciting the crowd. Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21 KOs) did get at least one good combination in during the opening three minutes, but that was about the only offense he was able to mount.

By the second round, there was little doubt as to who would win the fight, with the only question being how GGG would end the bout. A nine-punch flurry that included multiple power punches to the head sent Martirosyan to the canvas, with referee Jack Reiss counting the challenger out at 1 minute and 53 seconds into the second round.

It was the first time in Martirosyans career that he had been stopped, with his previous losses all coming by decision.

It was like being hit by a train, Martirosyan admitted after the fight. It wasnt one punch. It was all of his punches. It was the hardest I have ever been hit.

Golovkin has had nothing but kind words for Martirosyan since he agreed to step in at the last minute to make the fight happen. That continued after the bout ended, with GGG praising his opponents effort.

Vanes is a very good fighter, Golovkin said. 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.

GGG also noted that he was happy to get a knockout. His previous two fights, including the draw against Alvarez and a victory against Daniel Jacobs, both went to decision.

Whos Next for Golovkin?

The biggest question on the minds of boxing fans is who Golovkin will fight next. The win against Martirosyan marked GGGs 20th consecutive title defense, tying a middleweight record set by Bernard Hopkins in 2005.

The biggest fight for a potential record-setting title defense would be a rescheduled rematch with Alvarez. That fight could potentially take place in September, as Alvarezs suspension will end on Aug. 17.

GGG has repeatedly said that he is angry about Alvarezs failed drug tests, even referring to the Mexican as a cheater. However, Golovkin said after the fight that he would absolutely be interested in fighting Alvarez again later this year.

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