StubHub Center, Carson, California– Gennady Golovkin (31-0, 28 KOs) did as expected in stopping limited blue collar fall guy Marco Antonio Rubio (59-7-1, 51 KOs) in front of an adoring Southern California crowd on HBO Saturday night.
From the moment it was signed, the only mystery in this middleweight title bout was regarding which round the well-traveled Mexican would fall. As things would turn out, the answer to that question was round no. 2, although it could have very easily been the first round.
After a feeling-out first round, Golovkin came out stronger in the second and dropped Rubio with a shot to the top of the head. Rubio went down and stayed down, although it appeared that he may have been able to get up before the 10 count.
Regardless, there was no point in going on. If Rubio had beaten the count, he clearly would’ve been overwhelmed and stopped whenever Golovkin had decided that the fans had gotten their money’s worth.
Rubio, who came in 1.8 rounds over the limit and was forced to sacrifice his WBC interim middleweight title as well as $100,000 for not making weight, left the ring with a smile on his face and $350,000 in his pocket. He also escaped the kind of beating that was expected.
With the victory, Golovkin retains his WBA middleweight title and claims the WBC interim belt, which makes him mandatory challenger to full WBC middleweight champ, Miguel Cotto.
In the co-feature, Nicholas Walters (25-0, 21 KOs) unified the splintered WBA featherweight title with a breakthrough sixth round KO of former pound-for-pound darling Nonito Donaire (33-3, 21 KOs).
Jamaica’s Walters came into this contest bursting with confidence and controlled much of the action with a jolting jab and heavy-handed long range shots from the outside.
Despite being seriously buzzed at the end of the second round, Walters would come back in the third to send Donaire to the canvas for the first time in the career of the “Filipino Flash.”
Bleeding over both eyes and down on the scorecards, Donaire was finished off at the end of the sixth round by a clubbing Walters shot to the side of his head. Donaire would not be able to beat the ten count.