Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dan Rafael [Print without images]

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Golovkin still chasing Sturm

By Dan Rafael

Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin wants the major fight that he deserves and that he is mandatory for against Germany's Felix Sturm.

But I don't think Sturm, the WBA's so-called "super champion" to Golovkin's "regular champion" designation, wants any part of Golovkin, a wrecking machine from Kazakhstan who would be a dangerous opponent for any 160-pounder on the planet.

Golovkin, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist, knows Sturm from their days together when both were promoted by Germany's Universum. He has a theory on why Sturm hasn't shown any interest in facing him and has tried to avoid the mandatory for as long as possible.

"Sturm and I were both with Universum Box-Promotion. We knew each other pretty well," Golovkin said. "We used to see each other in the gym all the time. We trained together, but we never sparred together. I believe that the reason why Sturm does not want to fight me is because he knows me well and knows that he can't beat me. He knows me and I know him, and I want the fight."

On Saturday in Ukraine, Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs) retained his belt with a violent third-round destruction of Japan's overmatched Makoto Fuchigami (19-7, 10 KOs). With Fuchigami dismissed in bloody fashion, Golovkin now wants the fight with Sturm (37-2-2, 16 KOs), which is due by Sept. 30.

It remains to be seen whether Sturm will fight him, but Golovkin's camp plans to press for the bout as hard as it can.

"The deal we made with the WBA is that Sturm was allowed a voluntary defense, and if he wins, his next fight will be a mandatory defense," said K2 promoter Tom Loeffler, who promotes Golovkin as part of the Klitschko brothers' stable of fighters. "They have been ordered to make that fight by Sept. 30. At this point, Sturm is running out of options. Sturm, at this time, holds the record for being a champion the longest without having a mandatory defense. Two years ago, Gennady was the interim champion and Sturm was the WBA champion. Sturm then got elevated to super champion. For the last two years, Gennady has been trying to fight him."

Golovkin, who has traveled to New York to meet with American television network executives, hopes to fight in the United States -- but only after the fight with Sturm, if it happens.

"I want the fight with Felix Sturm," Golovkin said. "That is the only fight I really want at this time. I do think he will get in the ring with me by Sept. 30. If that doesn't work out, I can move to either 154 or 168 if I need to find another opponent. Whatever it is, I want the best fights against the best opponents. I will fight [Dmitry] Pirog or any of the other [middleweight] champions. Right now, it doesn't matter who my opponent is or what weight I fight at."