Golovkin grinds down Stevens to retain WBA title
Gennady Golovkin (28-0) retained his unbeaten record with a stoppage of Curtis Stevens (25-4) in the eighth defence of his WBA middleweight belt on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Kazakh bruiser forced Stevens' corner to step in after a flurry of punches left Stevens dazed and bloodied at the end of the 8th round.
It was the 15th fight in a row Golovkin has won without needing to go the distance, taking his unbeaten record to 25 KO's in 28 contests.
But it will not go down as an easy victory for the 31-year-old despite him having put Stevens down as early as the second round.
The American started slowly and could well have been finished inside six minutes, only just beating the count after being caught by a sensational Golovkin left hook.
But he recovered and Golovkin had to fend off a fierce assault in the 4th, when he was caught by a quick left-right combination by the brave challenger.
Stevens stayed in contention past the halfway mark but started to tire noticeably in the 7th when he had to take plenty of punishment on the ropes.
That continued in the 8th when Stevens barely managed to land a counter-punch, and his corner decided enough was enough after the bell rang to end the round.
Golovkin was soon setting his sights on the future after the fight, calling out a number of likely rivals he would like to take on soon.
He said: "My plan was just to box. I know I'm the champion, my speed is better, my power is better. My coach told me to box, not have a crazy fight, a street fight.
"Stevens is a strong guy. After the knockdown I felt great, it was my fight. I am open for everybody. Sergio Martinez, Peter Quillin, I am here."