One of the most exciting rising stars in boxing Gennady Golovkin, will make his 11th world title defence against Daniel Geale on July 26, and the middleweight has stated that his dream fight would be against Floyd Mayweather – obviously.
Golovkin is a knockout machine and is considered to be a very dangerous opponent for anyone unfortunate enough to share a ring with the 2004 Olympian, rarely breaking from character when the bell sounds and his time to shine arrives.
The 32-year-old has stopped his last 16 opponents and carries a knockout percentage of 89.66 – the highest ever in the history of the middleweight division.
However, Golovkin will face perhaps his toughest test of his career when he takes on Geale at Madison Square Garden on HBO to defend his WBA and IBO middleweight titles.
Geale, a 33-year-old former two-time middleweight champion from Australia, has himself never been stopped, which should generate an extra level of intrigue to see whether Golovkin can be his customary dominant self against a higher-calibre fighter.
The winner of their match-up could possibly meet Miguel Cotto, who became the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world championships in four weight divisions last Saturday, stopping Sergio Martinez in their WBC world middleweight title fight.
Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions which handles Golovkin, believes his fighter is fully focused on Geale, though, and will be at his best come July 26, despite the recent life-changing event of his dad's passing, which Golovkin has admitted to affecting his focus.
“It was clearly a challenging time for Gennady,” Loeffler told Boxing Scene. “There’s really nothing that would have him cancel a fight outside of a situation like that where what he went through with his father.
“Now he’s focused on continuing his boxing career and continuing to focus on providing for himself and his family.”
Golovkin had been ordered to face mandatory challenger Jarrod Fletcher, an unknown fighter from Australia.
However, Golovkin requested an exception to face Geale, who is also from Australia and it was granted on Tuesday, avoiding the giant headache of K2 Promotions having to make the fight with Fletcher, which HBO said it would not televise and would have necessitated a change of venue.
Eventually, Golovkin got the opponent he and HBO wanted.
"I'm happy to be fighting at Madison Square Garden once again. Fighting in front of the great fans in New York City for the third time is an honour for me and I will train hard to defend my titles in style by giving the fans an exciting show," Golovkin said.
"Daniel Geale has a lot of world championship experience, is a big international name and I look forward to this challenge."
Golovkin had been scheduled to defend his title against Andy Lee on April 26 at the MSG Theater, but when his father died unexpectedly, he withdrew.
The fighter from Kazakhstan has an unblemished record of 29 wins from 29 bouts, with an astonishing 26 of those ending by way of knockout. His next opponent, Geale, has won 30 (16 KO’s), but has been defeated twice.
Golovkin has maintained that his dream scrap would be against Mayweather and it is clear that it is not about the money for the fighter, but about testing himself against the best.
Loeffler doubts Mayweather would ever face his man, however, because of the physical and financial risks involved – the Kazakh fighter isn't a proven star at the box office just yet, although that can quickly change.
“I think Floyd is everyone’s dream fight,” Loeffler said. “Even Amir Khan - you can ask him. It goes back to where Gennady is not calling out Floyd. By saying it’s his dream fight that’s actually a complement to Floyd because of everything he’s accomplished in the ring.
“That’s a fight that when people ask us, would Gennady fight him at 154, we say yes. It would take a longer training camp but he would lose the six pounds and fight him at 154.
“Now that’s no disrespect to Floyd by saying that Gennady would come down by any means. That’s literally the biggest fight out there for Gennady’s side and he would fight Floyd. Whether or not that fight happens, we have a lot of reservations for that. I just don’t think that Floyd would take the risk to fight Gennady.”
Golovkin smiled when asked if he thinks Mayweather would ever grant him a shot at his titles. “I hope,” he said. "I hope he would."
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU