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Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Golovkin ready to go again

By Dan Rafael

Gennady Golovkin, right, is ready to take his next star turn in front of an American TV audience.
Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin was so impressive in his American debut on Sept. 1 -- a three-knockdown, fifth-round knockout tour de force against legit contender Grzegorz Proksa -- that much of the postfight discussion centered on how quickly could he get back into the ring to electrify boxing fans once again.

Golovkin, trainer Abel Sanchez and K2 promoter Tom Loeffler hoped HBO would bring him right back. Obviously the network, which is heavily invested in the middleweight and super middleweight divisions as the TV home for Andre Ward, Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., said it hoped to have Golovkin back soon.

The problem is that HBO already has a good-looking schedule that is virtually set for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any room for the man called GGG.

"Although I told HBO that GGG wanted to fight before the end of the year if he looked as good as we all said he would, they seem to have filled their schedule with other fighters," Loeffler said Tuesday.

But that doesn't mean Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs), a 2004 Olympic silver medalist from Kazakhstan who now trains in the United States, is going to sit around and wait for the HBO check. He plans to get back to work with or without the network's backing.

"We are planning a date in Europe for him in December, and HBO has planned a March date for him, but details are not all finalized yet for either fight," Loeffler said.

Unified titlist Daniel Geale (28-1, 15 KOs) of Australia, another quality middleweight whom HBO is interested in, has a mandatory against Golovkin that is coming due by the end of the year -- one he inherited after beating Felix Sturm to unify belts on Sept. 1 in Germany. But there has been no movement on the Geale-Golovkin match. It's a terrific fight on paper, but it doesn't make a lot of economic sense at the moment, even though hard-core fans would eat it up.

Still, one thing you can probably count on is that, due or not, we aren't going to see a Geale-Golovkin fight before the end of the year -- or even early next year.

Loeffler said the Golovkin side would like the fight, but it's doubtful that it will happen right away unless HBO makes a crazy offer. I don't see that happening.

"It seems Geale will not fight him, similar to Sturm, so we will continue to put pressure on the WBA to strip him if he decides to take another fight," Loeffler said. "The WBA resolution is clear that the winner of Sturm-Geale [has to] fight him by Dec. 31."

Naturally, I'd like to see Geale-Golovkin. But I'm also a realist. At this point, I just want to see Golovkin back in the ring ASAP against a good opponent on whatever American network will have him for his next fight. He's must-see TV.