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What's next for Gennady Golovkin after stopping Martin Murray last night?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It lasted longer than most expected, but Gennady Golovkin's (32-0, 29 KO) bout with Martin Murray (29-2-1, 12 KO) ended as so many of "GGG's" fights have before: With the referee saving his over-matched opponent from a hellacious beating.

To watch full fight video highlights of Gennady Golovkin vs. Martin Murry, including the finish, click here.

Coming into the bout last night (Sat., Feb. 21, 2015), Murray was noted for his grit, which was on full display as he endured three knockdowns en route to an eleventh-round technical knockout loss. Nobody had ever lasted that long against Golovkin -- only Kassim Ouma had made it into the double-digits before, surviving 10 rounds back in 2011.

Now, of course, the ever-present question remains: What, more like who, is next?

Well, that's a little complicated.

With Sergio Martinez out for the foreseeable future and ravaged by injury, the Golovkin sweepstakes basically boils down to the following five:

  • Miguel Cotto, who beat Martinez to earn the lineal title.
  • Andy Lee, who knocked out Matt Korobov for the WBO title.
  • Peter Quillin, who will fight Lee in April.
  • Hassan N'dam N'jikam, who routed Curtis Stevens in October.
  • David Lemieux, who is in talks to face N'dam later this year.

The politics here are frustrating.

Cotto -- who is badly undersized for 160 pounds -- already failed to successfully negotiate a far more lucrative and less risky bout with "Canelo" Alvarez earlier this year. If Lee beats Quillin, the Irishman certainly has the brass ones to face the Kazakh, but Quillin is managed by the notoriously risk-averse Al Haymon, who convinced "Kid Chocolate" to vacate his title and a career-high payday rather than fight Matt Korobov.

The latter two of the five would both be interesting. N'dam is a very crafty boxer with great recovery, but did get dropped five times by Quillin. If he manages to stay on his feet against Lemieux, it would be an excellent feather in his cap.

Lemieux -- who has been proposed as a "GGG" opponent before --- also presents a fascinating challenge because he's arguably the only man in the division with comparable firepower. He has 31 knockouts in 33 wins, but is leagues behind Golovkin in technique. Still, he has the biggest "puncher's chance" at 160 and, if he shows some added wrinkles against N'dam, could be a stern test.

"GGG" has been criticized for being hittable before.

As far as Murray, this loss is unlikely to dent the English fanbase's love for him. He's likely still a draw in his home country, making a fight with one of the four losers of the aforementioned sweepstakes a potentially lucrative one. For now, though, he should just focus on recovering and maybe getting a corner that's less willing to let him get killed.

No matter what happens, we at will keep you posted.

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