NEW YORK -- Gennady Golovkin retained his WBA middleweight championship Saturday night, stopping Daniel Geale at 2:47 of the third round at Madison Square Garden.
After two victories at the smaller Theater, Golovkin didn't disappoint many of his fans waving Kazakhstan flags as he dominated Geale and seemingly had him in the corners for most of the short fight.
Golovkin improved to 30-0 with his 17th straight knockout and 27th overall, giving him a knockout rate of 90 per cent -- the highest in middleweight history.
The end came with a series of shots in the corner late in the third. After taking a shot from Geale, Golovkin struck with a right hand to the nose and followed with a left hand. That sent Geale to the canvas and referee Michael Ortega stopped the fight.
By the time Golovkin finished off his 11th title defence, Geale had already been bloodied in the right eye. That came about midway through the second round.
Golovkin also nearly won the fight early in the second round. Less than 30 seconds into the round, Golovkin used a combination along the ropes that caused Geale to fall down. That came after Beale slipped with 18 seconds remaining in the opening round and that round inadvertently went four minutes.
Geale, a former unified middleweight titleholder lost for the second time in three fights. He also lost to England's Darren Barker last August in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In the co-featured bout, Bryant Jennings (19-0) won a controversial split decision over Mike Perez (20-1-1) in a WBC eliminator heavyweight fight. Jennings became the mandatory challenger for the WBC heavyweight championship vacated by longtime champion Vitali Klitschko in December and his next fight will be either Bermane Stiverne or Deontay Wilder.
Judges Glenn Feldman and Joe Pasquale had Jennings winning by scores of 114-113 and 115-112, respectively. Tom Schreck had Perez winning by a 114-113 margin.
Perez wound losing a point with about a minute and a half remaining in the 12th after withstanding an early flurry by Jennings. He punched Jennings over the break in the ropes and referee Harvey Dock deducted a point.