Undefeated middleweight standout Gennady Golovkin defended his WBA "regular" title with a brutal 10th-round TKO of Kassim Ouma in Panama City, Panama, on Friday.
There were no CompuBox stats to go along with the grueling display of phone-booth warfare but the numbers would have almost been as impressive as the fighters' efforts if there had been. Both Golovkin (21-0, 18 knockouts) and Ouma (27-8-1, 17 KOs) worked non-stop, throwing hard punches for three minutes of every round.
The first half of the bout was competitive as Ouma, a former junior middleweight titleholder from Uganda, was the busier of the two middleweights. The 32-year-old veteran did not have a hard time landing multiple shots to Golovkin's face. However, Golovkin found Ouma to be an easy target, and the 29-year-old beltholder from Kazakhstan landed much harder punches to the naturally smaller man's body and head.
Neither fighter bothered to establish their jab, electing to do most of their work in close. Ouma gave ground to Golovkin but fought effectively while backing up, sneaking uppercuts and right hooks through and around the bigger man's guard. However, Golovkin's accurate head shots and punishing body attack began to take a toll on Ouma in the middle and late rounds of the bout.
Golovkin was blatantly imposing himself on Ouma by the eighth round, as he backed the game veteran to the ropes and repeatedly snapped his back. Ouma's freakish toughness and incredible will kept him upright and in the fight but he was clearly outgunned. Referee Guillermo Perez Pineda took a close look at Ouma as Golovkin pounded him with compact straight rights, uppercuts and hooks to the body in the ninth round.
The fight was becoming sadistic target practice for Golovkin when Pineda finally saw enough and halted the bout in the 10th round.
It was only the second time Ouma had been stopped in his 37-bout career. Ouma suffered a first-round TKO to journeyman Agustin Silva in November of 1999. He would go unbeaten in his next 14 bouts, winning the IBF 154-pound title from Verno Phillips in 2004 before losing the belt in an upset decision loss to Roman Karmazin in '05. Ouma lost five of his next 11 bouts after the Karmazin fight but he gamely went the 12-round distance with then-middleweight champ Jermain Taylor in '06 and gave undefeated junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan hell in a 10-round decision loss last January.
Golovkin, who beat the most recognizable name of his career on Friday, got in some quality rounds with a card-carrying tough guy and remained busy while he waits for his disputed contract with former promoter Universum to expire in November.
Golovkin hopes to fight in America and on a U.S. network sometime next year.