Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin knocked out Martin Murray of the UK on Feb. 21 in Monte Carlo in the 11th round, securing his 32nd career win and increasing his KO streak to 19. The Brit earned a lot of spectator sympathy for sustaining three knock downs and taking a heavy 11 round beating which left him stumbling prompting the official to stop the fight. Prior to this match, Golovkin’s longest encounter in his entire career lasted 10 rounds and was back in 2011.
The match started with Golovkin’ dominating, a signature strategy of his, while Murray picked rather defensive tactics to counter one of Kazakhstan’s most feared boxers. The first round, due to its notably limited contact, did not impress the booing crowd. Golovkin was seen as having the slight advantage.
Murray attempted to balance the second round and had merely done just that when Golovkin quickly came back with a strong third round, chasing the Brit along the ropes at the end of the round. Murray was saved by the bell. Golovkin’s clear advantage by round four didn’t surprise anybody as the last two of Golovkin’s matches didn’t last more than three rounds. Kazakhstan’s famed athlete charged with an all-out attack with 30 seconds left on the timer in an attempt to floor the Brit in his GGG style. Murray once again was saved by the bell.
Round five turned into a nightmare for the Brit as his eyes began to swell and his nose began bleeding after a few precision upper cuts. At that point in the night, Murray seemed to be looking for a safe spot in the ring and the fight quickly turned into another GGG show of cat and mouse, with the audience anticipating a quick end.
During the next three rounds, Murray barely managed to survive Golovkin’s attacks, taking a decent beating, while Kazakhstan’s own employed every counter measure known of in search of the magic final blow, just like in practice. “Keep practicing,” his coach Abel Sanchez instructed before round nine, as heard on TV broadcasts of the match.
Round nine looked like a practice session for Golovkin, who kept openly walking up close to Murray to seek exchanges while operating on a completely different level of durability. Golovkin’s confidence in the inevitability of a KO did not surprise anyone.
The moment of truth finally came for the undefeated Golovkin in round 10, symbolically with 10 seconds to go, he dropped Murray, who after a heavy beating, still managed to get up by the count of eight and yet again be saved by the bell.
With only two more rounds to go, Murray’s corner let the Brit out to seek more trouble. However, after a powerful right hand by Golovkin, the referee had to stop the fight as Murray went slack against the ropes and Golovkin went on to celebrate his 19th back to back KO of his career.
The previous record of 19 straight KOs was set by Mike Tyson.
Following the fight, Golovkin retained his WBA World middleweight title.