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Golovkin stops Wade in 2nd round for 22nd straight KO win

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Gennady Golovkin defended his middleweight titles in devastating fashion again Saturday night, stopping Dominic Wade in the second round for his 22nd straight knockout victory.

Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) knocked down Wade three times in the short fight, brutalizing the previously undefeated challenger before ending the bout on a right to the chin with 23 seconds left in the second.

A sold-out Forum roared for its adopted champion in his 16th consecutive title defense.

“This is a big present for my fans,” Golovkin said. “I’m here now and I’m here to stay. I’m not going anywhere.”

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez also defended his WBC 112-pound title with a unanimous decision over McWilliams Arroyo.

Golovkin and Gonzalez combined to pack the famous arena south of downtown Los Angeles for the second time in a year, attracting 16,353 savvy boxing fans who understand the sublime brutality of the Kazakh 160-pound champion and the Nicaraguan flyweight.

Wearing blue-and-gold trunks to celebrate the Los Angeles Rams’ NFL return to a future stadium across the street from the Forum, Golovkin opened his bout in his new hometown with the crowd repeatedly chanting “Triple G!”

And Golovkin was relentless from the bell, knocking down Wade (18-1) with a punch to the ear in the final seconds of the opening round. After absorbing a few punches from Wade with negligible impact, Golovkin landed a dynamite combination in the second round, flooring Wade with a left uppercut and a right to the body.

Golovkin finished his woozy opponent with a right hand that left Wade face-down on his knees. Golovkin, who idolizes the same Mexican boxers beloved in Los Angeles, got another enormous cheer when he greeted the fans with “Muchas gracias!”

Golovkin was an enormous favorite to beat Wade, his mandatory challenger for one of his belts. Although Golovkin has dominated the middleweight division, he still covets a superfight with Canelo Alvarez, who holds the WBC version of the 160-pound belt after beating Miguel Cotto at a 155-pound catch weight last year.

Alvarez has said he is willing to fight Golovkin, but Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, appears less interested. When asked if he had a message for Alvarez, Golovkin said: “Give me my belt!”

Gonzalez (45-0) is widely considered the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, and the 112-pound dynamo put on another virtuoso display in his fourth straight title defense.

Yet the Nicaraguan champion’s streak of 10 consecutive stoppages victories was ended by Arroyo (16-3), whose gritty effort on a damaged shoe earned him respect from a crowd supporting Gonzalez.

Nobody had gone the distance with Gonzalez since Juan Francisco Estrada in November 2012. Two judges scored the bout 119-109 for Gonzalez, and a third gave every round to the champion, 120-108. The Associated Press scored it 119-109 for Gonzalez.

“This shows that I can win either by knockout or by going the distance,” Gonzalez said through a translator. “It was a very difficult fight, but McWilliams moves very well, and he knows how to avoid the punches.”

Boxer LaMotta, immortalized in ‘Raging Bull,’ dies at 95

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MIAMI (AP) Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life was depicted in the film “Raging Bull,” has died at the age of 95.

His fiancee, Denise Baker, says LaMotta died Tuesday at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia.

The Bronx Bull, as he was known in his fighting days, compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts.

LaMotta fought Sugar Ray Robinson six times, handing Robinson his first defeat. He lost the middleweight title to him in what became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

In his previous fight, LaMotta saved the championship in movie-script fashion against Laurent Dauthuille. Trailing badly, LaMotta knocked out the challenger with 13 seconds left.

LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before a U.S. Senate committee. He said he was promised a shot at a title.

On June 16, 1949, he became middleweight champion when Marcel Cerdan couldn’t continue after the 10th round.

The 1980 film “Raging Bull” was based on LaMotta’s memoir. Actor Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award for it.

Canelo and Golovkin fight to controversial draw

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Gennady Golovkin retained his middleweight titles Saturday night, fighting to a draw with Canelo Alvarez in a brutal battle that ended with both fighters with their hands aloft in victory.

The middleweight showdown lived up to its hype as the two fighters traded huge punches and went after each other for 12 rounds. Neither fighter was down and neither appeared seriously hurt but both landed some huge punches to the head that had the crowd screaming in excitement.

Golovkin was the aggressor throughout and landed punches that had put other fighters to the canvas. But he couldn’t put Alvarez down, and the Mexican star more than stood his own in exchanges with Triple G, from Kazakhstan. The two were still brawling as the final seconds ticked down and the fight went to the scorecards.

One judge had Alvarez winning 118-110, a second had it 115-113 in Golovkin’s favor while the third had it 114-114. The Associated Press scored it 114-114.

Golovkin, who has never lost in 38 fights, retained his middleweight titles with the draw. But Alvarez showed that he could not only take Golovkin’s punches but land telling punches of his own.

A frenzied crowd of 22,358 at the T-Mobile Arena roared throughout the fight as the two middleweights put on the kind of show that boxing purists had anticipated. They brawled, used sharp jabs and counter-punched at times, with neither one willing to give the other much ground.

“Congratulations all my friends from Mexico,” Golovkin said. “I want a true fight. I want a big drama show.”

There was plenty of drama late in the fight as Alvarez seemed to rally and rocked Golovkin with uppercuts and big right hands. But just as soon as he landed he often took one back from the slugger so feared that most other fighter avoided him.

“I won seven-eight rounds easily,” Alvarez said.

It was a battle from the opening bell as Golovkin tried to walk Alvarez down but often found himself getting hit from sharp counter punches.

“Today, people give me draw. I focus on boxing,” Golovkin said. “Look my belts, I’m still champion. I’ve not lost.”

Golovkin predicted before the fight that the late rounds would resemble a street fight, and in a way they did. Both fighters were willing to trade, and both had no problems landing hard shots to the head.

Golovkin had chased Alvarez for nearly two years, trying to get the signature fight that would pay him millions and make him a pay-per-view draw on his own. Alvarez finally agreed after Golovkin looked vulnerable earlier this year against Daniel Jacobs in a decision win that stopped his knockout streak at 23 fights.