Marcus McDaniels vs. Ali Akhmedov
Result: Ali Akhmedov Wins By TKO
Grades: Ali Akhmedov – B | Marcus McDaniels – D
Overview: While most fans paid attention to Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin, another fighter out of the central Asian country was on the bill. GGG Promotions next big thing, Ali Akhmedov, was in Madison Square Garden to take on New Orleans fighter, Marcus McDaniels. This fight had the result many expected, but it came in a somewhat unexpected fashion. Akhmedov was a heavy favorite, who was expected to use his power and speed to make McDaniels uncomfortable and lead to a knockout. While a knockout did come in the third round, the fight was often eerie and awkward. Throughout the fight, the undefeated New Orleans boxer complained about being hit behind the head. While there were a few questionable blows near the head area, McDaniels appeared to be delaying the inevitable. Coming off of a three-year layoff, the undefeated American super middleweight could not hide from the stronger and faster Akhmedov. A few thunderous body shots in the third round ultimately ended the fight. It’s unclear whether or not we can take much from this fight, but it’s clear that Akhmedov has the tools to take the next step in this division.
Gennady Golovkin vs. Steve Rolls
Result: Gennady Golovkin Wins By KO
Grades: Gennady Golovkin – B | Steve Rolls – C
Overview: Gennady Golovkin kicked off his six-fight deal with DAZN with a major statement. The former middleweight champion defeated Toronto’s Steve Rolls by fourth-round knockout. While Golovkin showcased that he still has power in each of his hands, he did show a few signs for concern. Earlier in the fight, Golovkin hit Rolls with clean shots that would’ve stopped most fighters in the past. Nevertheless, Rolls endured early power shots and moved forward with force. Moreover, Rolls also hit Golovkin with more than a few clean shots. In true Golovkin fashion, the former champion moved forward without hesitation. However, Rolls’ ability to hit the middleweight with clean shots raises some questions about what Demetrius Andrade and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez could accomplish against him. Going forward, Golovkin is still in a great position to land a rematch against Alvarez or a fight against Andrade. The main concern is whether or not father time is catching up to the middleweight legend. Only time will tell.