<
>

Off to the races: GGG excited to meet Dale Jr.

Boxing fan Dale Earnhardt Jr. invited Gennady Golovkin to be his guest Sunday at the NASCAR Auto Club 400 race in Fontana, California. Jon Durr/Getty Images

Unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin is in camp at trainer Abel Sanchez's compound in Big Bear Lake, California, getting ready for his mandatory defense against Dominic Wade on April 23 (HBO) at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

But even GGG gets Sundays off, and this week, he plans to take a ride down the mountain and have a little fun.

Golovkin is taking his son to the NASCAR Auto Club 400 on Sunday afternoon at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Golovkin didn't just buy a ticket. He was invited to the race by one of his biggest fans, star driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., a big boxing fan who was also a huge fan and friend of the late Arturo Gatti, whom he traveled with to Atlantic City, New Jersey, to watch fights.

Golovkin and Earnhardt, titans of their sports, have admired each other from afar via social media but this will be their first meeting in person. According to Golovkin's camp, Earnhardt has arranged for Golovkin to meet many of the other drivers and be introduced to the media at a pre-race press availability that Earnhardt will host.

"I'm excited to see my first NASCAR race this weekend," Golovkin told ESPN.com. "It will be great to meet Dale Jr. Getting the invitation from a racing legend like him is like a dream come true."