NEW YORK • Former unified middleweight title holder Gennady "GGG" Golovkin called for a third fight with nemesis Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, after turning back the clock on Saturday night with a signature knockout of Steve Rolls in their fight at Madison Square Garden.
The Kazakh hit his Canadian opponent with a short left that sent him crumpling face first to the canvas with one minute to go in the fourth round in front of a crowd of 12,357 in New York.
Golovkin, who was fighting for the first time in nine months and coming off the first loss of his career, had picked heavy underdog Rolls as he jockeys for a trilogy against super middleweight champion Canelo.
Some had wondered whether the ring rust would get to the 37-year-old after last week's shocking heavyweight upset that saw unheralded Andy Ruiz Jr, a doughy Mexican-American fighter, steal three titles by stopping previously undefeated British champion Anthony Joshua at the same venue.
However, Golovkin (39 wins, one loss, one draw and 35 knockouts) made sure there was no repeat of that, using the first three rounds to figure out how to break down and end Rolls' unbeaten record (19-1, 10 KOs).
After taking apart the 35-year-old, the 2004 Athens Games silver medallist insisted he felt "like a new baby". Golovkin said: "I feel great... It is my style to knock people out. I told my coach, 'OK I see it now, I see, I just need a little bit of time'."
Asked who he wanted to fight next, Golovkin did not hesitate, challenging the only opponent to have beaten him.
He added: "Everybody knows. I am ready for Canelo. Just bring him, ask him. If you want a big drama show, tell him."
Their first fight ended in a controversial draw, while the second was marred by a pair of failed drug tests by the Mexican, who emerged as the majority decision winner.
But Golovkin, who split with long-time trainer Abel Sanchez and signed a lucrative six-fight deal with American streaming company Dazn in the lead-up to the bout with Rolls, believes he will have the final word against Canelo.
In his first fight with new trainer Johnathon Banks, he had a warning for the 28-year-old, claiming he had now "come back to my knockout (ways)".