Golovkin makes record 21st title defence

Kamil Szeremeta came into the fight unbeaten but was knocked down four times by Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan knocked down Poland’s Kamil Szeremeta four times en route to a record 21st defence of his IBF world middleweight title.

The 38-year-old dominated the fight to seal a seventh-round technical knockout to surpass Bernard Hopkins for the most successful defences at middleweight.

Golovkin is now open to a trilogy fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who faces Callum Smith on Saturday.

“I’m excited to see who wins,” said Golovkin. “I want these guys.”

The fight was held behind closed doors in Hollywood, Florida, and Szeremeta, 31, came into it unbeaten after 21 fights.

But the Pole was floored in the first, second, fourth and seventh rounds, before the referee stopped the fight at the end of the seventh as Golovkin improved to 41-1-1.

This was Golovkin’s first fight in 14 months and his third since suffering his only loss to Alvarez in September 2018.

The Mexican, 30, was awarded a controversial majority decision after the pair’s first encounter ended in a draw 12 months earlier.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Golovkin. “I told you I would come back after the Canelo fight.

“My performance was so good. I could have given more, I just needed more time to feel back. I’ve had a long break. But I am very proud of my team.

“This is a small step for my legacy. My next fight I want to show more.”

Eddie Hearn, who co-promotes Golovkin, added: “We must make a monster fight for Gennady Golovkin next. He’ll be watching tomorrow night very closely.”

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