INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin delivered yet another big drama show.
Golovkin scored three knockdowns and stopped Willie Monroe Jr. in the sixth round to retain his world title as he continued his reign of terror across the 160-pound division on Saturday night at the Forum.
Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs), who has the highest knockout percentage in middleweight title history, registered his 20th stoppage in a row as the wild crowd of 12,372 chanted and cheered his every move.
In retaining his title for the 14th time in a row, Golovkin tied Hall of Famer Carlos Monzon for second place in middleweight history; Bernard Hopkins holds the division record with 20.
"Willie is a good fighter, a tough fighter. I feel great. My performance was special for you guys," Golovkin told the adoring crowd. "This was a very good drama show. This was for you."
Monroe was the rare fighter who asked for a shot at Golovkin when no top fighters would accept a fight against him. He hoped for the upset, the way his great uncle, 1970s middleweight contender Willie "The Worm" Monroe, had once upset the great Marvin Hagler. But although Monroe, the winner of the 2014 eight-man, single-elimination ESPN Boxcino middleweight tournament, showed enormous heart, he was outclassed by Golovkin, the most feared fighter in boxing.
Wearing Los Angeles Lakers-colored gloves and trunks, Golovkin, who recently moved to Los Angeles from Germany with his wife and son, came out strong in the first round, landing some hard right hands, backing Monroe up and cutting the ring off on him so he had no escape. Without seemingly even getting much steam on his shots, he was physically moving Monroe with his punches.
Golovkin cranked up the offense in the second round and Monroe (19-2, 6 KOs) didn't seem to know what hit him as he got knocked down twice -- hard.
First it was a left hook that badly hurt Monroe, 28, of Rochester, New York, and deposited him on the mat as the crowd chanted "Triple G! Triple G!" Monroe was woozy and wobbly when he got to his feet, and moments later he was down again from a big overhand right.
"We were both in motion and he hit me with a good shot," Monroe said. "He is strong. Golovkin did a good job. He was easy to hit but he takes a good shot."
Golovkin was on the attack for the rest of the second round, staggering Monroe, whose right eye was swelling, with a left hook.
But Monroe, showing immense heart, not only survived but mounted a bit of a rally in the fourth and fifth rounds. He caught Golovkin with some solid punches, but Golovkin took them well.
In the fourth round, Monroe, whose southpaw style did not remotely trouble Golovkin, even managed to outland GGG, 33-30, according to CompuBox punch statistics.
"First of all, I showed him, No. 1, who is the real champ," Golovkin said. "Second step, I give him a chance and stay here and say, 'Come on bring it on, let's do it.'
"I knew I did not lose control. This is my big present for you. Saturday night, this is not five minutes. I wanted to show my people. Just show them."
Golovkin wanted to extend the fight and give the fans a good show, which he did.
"Gennady had him out in the second round but it looked like he let him get back in the fight. He said he wanted the fans to get more of their money's worth and then he broke him down," said Tom Loeffler, managing director of Golovkin promoter K2 Promotions.
Whatever brief success Monroe had was short-lived. In the sixth round, Golovkin smashed Monroe with a right hand during a flurry to drop him for the third time. He made it to his feet, but was in bad shape.
Golovkin, 33, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist from Kazakhstan, was on the attack again as Monroe went into the ropes and took a barrage of left hands to the head, finally going down to all fours. He made it to his feet again, but leaned against the ropes and told referee Jack Reiss, "I'm done," so Reiss waved it off 45 seconds into the round.
For the fight, Golovkin connected on 133 of 297 punches (45 percent), according to CompuBox, and Monroe landed 87 of 305 (29 percent), and there was no doubt that GGG was the much heavier puncher.
"I stay here. I am the real champion," Golovkin said. "I want unification. Let's go, let's do it guys. Who is No. 1 right now? Bring it on. I will show you."
Golovkin has not been able to get a top fighter in the ring with him but desperately wants one to fight him. In particular, Golovkin wants to face champion Miguel Cotto, junior middleweight star Canelo Alvarez and eventually super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Cotto defends his title against Daniel Geale on June 6 and then is likely to face Alvarez in the fall. Ward returns from a 19-month layoff on June 20 to fight Paul Smith in a non-title bout.
Without one of the big names willing to fight him next, Golovkin and his team are planning a busy schedule. He has already fought twice this year -- he also knocked out top contender Martin Murray in the 11th round in Monte Carlo in February -- and Loeffler said he would return in September, possibly in Mexico, England or Germany, with a fourth fight back in the United States in December.
"We will keep doing what we are doing while we try to get a big one," Loeffler said. "People love to come out and come to see him fight regardless of who he fights. People just want to see him in the ring because he is so exciting.
"It's not realistic to fight Canelo until at least next year. [Alvarez promoter Golden Boy says] the fight needs to be built, but the way Canelo sold 31,000 tickets last week and the way Gennady sells here in L.A., I don't know how much more it needs to be built."
In the meantime, Golovkin continued to beat the drums for a big-time pay-per-view fight, one he wants and one fans are clamoring for.
"I respect Miguel Cotto. Miguel is a great champion," said Golovkin, who also owns an interim title that makes him Cotto's mandatory challenger. "After this fight, I don't know who wins, but I stay here and wait for my big fight."
There's Alvarez, who knocked out James Kirkland in the third round last week before a crowd of more than 31,000 at Minute Maid Park in Houston in a spectacular performance. Cotto would also be a huge fight.
"Canelo? Not the future -- right now I am ready for the big fights," Golovkin said. "Miguel and Canelo. Right now. Not in the future. I am ready for the big fights right now. The next show."
As for Ward down the road?
"I respect Andre," Golovkin said. "Maybe right now he is not ready. Right now Canelo and Cotto, then Ward."
Canelo. Cotto. Ward. All really big drama shows.