Boxing: Golovkin eyes Saunders after stopping Brook
The world's top-ranked middleweight Gennady Golovkin wants another fight in Britain after stopping Kell Brook and is targeting a unification bout with Billy Joe Saunders, AFP report.
Golovkin defended his World Boxing Council (WBC) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titles with a fifth-round stoppage at London's O2 Arena on Saturday.
Golovkin's punishingly accurate blows took their toll on Brook, whose corner threw in the towel.
Brook was taken to hospital to be treated for a suspected fractured right eye socket
Golovkin, whose World Boxing Association (WBA) belt was not on the line, now wants to fight Brook’s fellow Briton and World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Saunders before moving on to Mexican Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in a year's time.
Saunders has the only world middleweight belt not held by WBC-WBA-IBF champion Golovkin, who made Brook his third British victim after Martin Murray and Matt Macklin
“First of all Billy Joe Saunders, and then Canelo,” Golovkin, 34, told a news conference. A fight against Saunders could be made for late this year or early 2017, though a mandatory WBA defence could delay those plans.
“My goal is to hold all the belts in the middleweight division. I would like Billy Joe Saunders first of all because he has the WBO belt.
“I would absolutely come back to the UK to fight. Absolutely I love the UK, I’m a big fan of London.”
Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler cautioned that the US-based Kazakhstan boxer may have to fight American Danny Jacobs in a WBA mandatory defence.
“If we can’t make the Daniel Jacobs fight then maybe we do a unification fight,” Loeffler said.
"We tried to make that (Saunders) fight before in the UK and it didn’t go very far. Maybe they will see the reaction and there will be more of an incentive to get in the ring.
“Gennady is open to fight anyone. The WBA is going to order a mandatory with Danny Jacobs, so we will see how that goes. Hopefully we can make it.”
- 'Didn't hurt me' -
Brook, the IBF world welterweight champion, had stepped up two weight divisions to fight the fearsome Kazakh.
The fighter from Sheffield boxed with immense courage against the naturally bigger man, perhaps edging the second round.
"In the first round I felt I’m stronger. In the second round I wanted a street fight and a brawl," admitted Golovkin.
“I believe he’s strong but he's not a middleweight. I didn’t feel power,” Golovkin added.
“He didn't hurt me at all. There were a lot of punches, but I didn't feel them.”
Golovkin’s accurate punches began to trouble the Briton from the third round.
Brook was blinking and his vision seemed hampered as Golovkin began to dominate.
In the fifth, Golovkin’s thudding blows turned Brook’s legs to jelly and, with visible damage to his right eye, the Sheffield boxer’s trainer Dominic Ingle wisely threw in the towel.
Brook, 30, is still IBF welterweight champion despite suffering the first defeat of his 37-fight career but hinted he would not return to that weight division.
“I think I'm more suited at light-middleweight. I know Saul ‘Canelo' Alvarez and Liam Smith are fighting and I want the winner," Brook said in the ring to Sky Sports.
“I am a warrior and I wanted to carry on,” Brook added.
Trainer Ingle said: “When you are fighting someone like Golovkin, he was just taking too many shots.”
Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez praised Ingle for prompting the stoppage. “Dom did the right thing,” Sanchez said.
“As trainer we can’t let 20,000 coaches in the audience dictate to us what to do. We have to be smarter.”
By Nick Parkinson