NEW YORK -- No Garden shocker: Triple G's left hand ensured that.
Gennady Golovkin's return to the ring was short and sweet as he knocked out Steve Rolls with 51 seconds remaining in the fourth round of their super middleweight fight Saturday night.
There were no titles on the line, and Triple G made sure there was no stunner like Andy Ruiz Jr.'s upset of Anthony Joshua for four heavyweight belts last weekend in the same Madison Square Garden ring. Golovkin looked slow and tentative, perhaps rusty from a layoff since September, until he began landing regularly in the fourth round.
That massive left decked Rolls, who struggled to get up and clearly was in no condition to continue. Golovkin (39-1-1, 37 knockouts) previously had Rolls in trouble in the round thanks to a series of strong and quick combinations that looked like vintage Triple G.
"I love knockouts," Golovkin said. "I love New York.
"It was a great night all around. I'm ready to come back in September and bring back the big drama show."
That, of course, could be a third go-round with Canelo Alvarez, who owns the victory and the draw on Golovkin's record. Both are under contract to DAZN, which streamed Saturday night's bout, Golovkin's first without a championship involved since 2009, a span of 22 fights.
Asked in the ring who he wanted to fight next, the Kazakh star smiled widely as the crowd of 12,357 cheered.
"We know who the fans want me to fight next," he said.
Rolls, a Canadian in his first bout at the Garden -- Golovkin is 6-0 here -- sustained his first defeat after 19 wins. He looked particularly adept in Round 2, when he was by far the busier and more accurate fighter. Still, two judges gave that round to Triple G.
No matter. Golovkin found the range with both hands in the third round, and it looked like vintage Triple G in the fourth.
So no historic upset in a building that has seen so many of them. Unlike Joshua, who appeared to be looking ahead in the buildup to Ruiz and then took his first loss last week, Golovkin was focused only on Rolls, who at 35 is only two years younger than Golovkin and was stepping way up in class.
Now, perhaps, he can look to Alvarez-Golovkin III, probably the biggest money fight out there in a sport that could be filled with them over the next year.
Golovkin weighed 163 pounds in his first fight with trainer Johnathan Banks, who liked what he saw -- particularly in the lopsided fourth round.
"It's always good to get a knockout," Banks said. "We're going in the right direction."