The 33-year-old improved his record to 34-0 without seriously breaking a sweat, as ‘GGG’ dominated the bout from start to finish. Golovkin put Lemieux down in the fifth round with a sweet body shot, although the writing was already on the French-Canadian wall.
Golovkin had previously put in the groundwork for his late stoppage victory as referee Steve Willis took closer order from the sixth round of what turned out to be a one-sided battering by one of the world’s most feared punchers.
Lemieux landed all of two power shots on Golokvin’s chin, which the pound-for-pound star took with ease, and came back with his own savage attacks until Willis finally saved now ex-IBF champion from further punishment in the eighth.
With the win, Golovkin could face Miguel Cotto v Canelo Alvarez’s winner, but only if the victor of that encounter decides to stay at the 160-pound limit.
On Saturday’s evidence, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Cotto or Canelo headed back down to 154 and avoided sharing the ring with Golovkin – who is already big at the weight and would hold a major advantage over either boxer.