WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin came through a hard fight with challenger Kassim Ouma on Friday night at Arena Roberto Duran in Panama City, Panama.
Ouma started off strong from the first bell, moving in on the younger, stronger Golovkin and winging punches that seemed to come from all angles off of a southpaw stance.
Golovkin showed his solid amateur background with good fundamentals, finding the target in the form of Ouma's head whenever the Ugandan stood still for a moment.
Ouma continued to pressure Golovkin, who struck back with a sharp jab and a few hard right hands. The champion began to go to the body as Ouma's defense improved, rolling away from much of Golovkin's head shots.
In the middle rounds, Ouma began to find the target in earnest as Golovkin struggled to keep up with the surging challenger, who never stopped throwing and connected with hooks and uppercuts.
Golovkin regrouped however and began to put more power into his punches, catching Ouma with the harder shots as the two stood toe to toe. The challenger began to slow down and while he was still landing much of his offense, Ouma wasn't throwing enough and was taking too much punishment.
The ninth round was one-sided as Golovkin caught Ouma, who by now was badly swollen around the eyes, on the ropes repeatedly with hard crosses and uppercuts.
Ouma outboxed Golovkin in the center of the ring during the early part of the tenth but was walked onto the ropes where Golovkin began to land heavily again. When Ouma just dropped his arms in the corner, referee Guillermo Pineda jumped in to stop the contest at 1:57 of the frame.
Golovkin retains the WBA title, improving to 21-0 (18), while Ouma drops to 27-8-1 (17), having lost six of his last eight appearances.
In another title bout on the contest, WBA bantam champ Alselmo Moreno held onto his crown when challenger Lorenzo Parra failed to answer the bell for the ninth round.
The much taller Moreno, crouched down to the level of Parra, a former WBA flyweight titlist, and used his long southpaw jab and hard, winging shots to constantly pressure the challenger.
The quicker Parra had his moments when he would rattle off good combinations or nail the champion with a sharp counter but was just too small to deal with Moreno's bullying tactics.
Moreno now stands at 31-1-1 (11). Parra falls to 31-3-1 (18).