Gennadiy Golovkin became a two-time middleweight world champion with a victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko at the Garden.
But it came at a price.
GGG was given the nod by all three judges with the scores reading 114-113, 115-112 (twice). It was far from being a clinical performance.
Derevyanchenko was floored in the opening round but unfortunately, that was as good as it got for newly-crowned IBF and IBO champion Golovkin.
The Ukrainian looked the much busier fighter in the ring and landed a lot of shots to the body, including in the fourth and tenth round. This saw Golovkin in severe discomfort.
Overall, Golovkin was hurt several times in the bout. He took a lot of punishment against an opponent five years his junior.
Derevyanchenko can feel hard done by after being on the receiving end of yet another points defeat.
The first being against Daniel ‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs last year. While the fight was an entertaining affair, there will be plenty worried for Golovkin as he heads into 2020.
The question is, how much does GGG have left in the tank?
Golovkin has another four fights of a six-fight deal remaining with streaming service DAZN. Should he respect his contract, boxing fans can expect to see GGG in action until 2021 at the ripe age of 39.
After signing a lucrative deal with DAZN earlier this year, the future Hall of Famer decided to shake things up by hiring Jonathon Banks as trainer. He has since teamed up with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing to co-promote him alongside GGG Promotions.
After forking out a deal with DAZN’s John Skipper, he made it clear about wanting to blood through some of Kazakhstan’s most exciting prospects.
Two fighters under the banner in Ali Akhmedov and Israil Madrimov continued to show promise. Both won in convincing style on the Golovkin-Derevyanchenko undercard.
The clear goal when signing a deal with DAZN was to secure the trilogy with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The third fight was set to be in September this year, only for Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions to pull the plug.
Contrary to what Oscar De La Hoya has recently said, Alvarez doesn’t have much interest in fighting Golovkin again due to the animosity between the pair since the former tested positive for clenbuterol.
Alvarez has refused to rule it out completely. But should he come through an ageing Sergey Kovalev and become a four-weight ruler, the Mexican is more than likely set to campaign at 168-lb in his next fight.
Names being touted around for the famous Cinco de Mayo date include IBF king Caleb Plant and WBC titlist David Benavidez.
After being involved in absolute war with a compact Derevyanchenko, where does GGG go next? Does he take the rematch?
During a post-fight interview with Chris Mannix, Golovkin welcomed that idea.
Demetrius Andrade and Billy Joe Saunders would be the front-runners to face the 37-year-old next. That’s if the rematch with Derevyanchenko fails to materialize.
If a trilogy is to happen with Alvarez, then Mexican Independence weekend is the preferred option. A third fight would see GGG earn around $30 million, a fee double the purse he received on the weekend, which could potentially take place at the newly-built NFL stadium in Las Vegas.
But based on this performance, he should stay clear of one of the most lethal body shot hitters in world boxing.
Maybe Golovkin should contemplate his future and consider hanging the gloves up whilst his health is intact. With over 400 amateur fights and 42 professional contests, which has seen him as world champion in every year of this decade, he simply has nothing left to prove.
The two Canelo fights, followed by a 12-month hiatus, has taken a lot out of Golovkin.
In his seventh appearance at MSG, no longer did he look invincible or have the aura he once possessed.
It’s hard to disagree with the likelihood of Alvarez stopping Golovkin if the pair had shared the ring on the weekend or do so in the non-distant future.