Gennady Golovkin annihilates Matthew Macklin on HBO Boxing last night, cements place as man to beat at 160 pounds

USA TODAY Sports

Kazakh wrecking machine, Gennady Golovkin, retained his WBA and IBO Middleweight titles with a devastating third round knockout of Irish tough guy, Matthew Macklin, courtesy of a body-crunching liver shot.

In the main event of a three-fight HBO boxing card from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., last night (Sat., June 29, 2013) Gennady Golovkin -- one of boxing's most devastating punchers -- took on who many considered his greatest challenge yet in the form of 160-pounds division contender, Matthew Macklin.

Golovkin was clearly a terrible style match up for Matthew Macklin from the get-go, but even under those standards, he made it look easy on HBO's "Boxing After Dark."

From the beginning, it was clear that "Mack the Knife" -- like so many other members of the division -- just couldn't handle Gennady's power. He did some solid work early in the first round, but the first big punch from Gennady -- a lead right hand through the guard that sent Macklin stumbling into the ropes -- put the fear of God in him.

From that point on, Macklin just fought scared. And maybe that was for the best.

After a tentative second round, Macklin nutted up and attacked in the third, firing off heavy body and head shots at the historically-hittable Golovkin. While valiant, the effort ended in a hurry as Golovkin pressed him into the ropes, opened up the body with some short blows to the head, and crushed Macklin's liver with a vicious left hook that left hom crumpled in a miserable heap on the mat.

He stayed there for quite a while after the 10-count.

With the win, Golovkin picks up the highest-profile victory of his career and almost assuredly earns the No. 2 or No. 3 spot in the division. With the sort of punching power and amateur pedigree he packs, it's no wonder most of his compatriots have been steering clear.

Ideally, his next opponent will be kingpin Sergio Martinez in a fight to determine the division's unquestioned No. 1 top dog.

For "Golovkin vs. Macklin" quick results, including round-by-round coverage of the night's proceedings on HBO Boxing, click here.

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