Monday, July 29, 2013
Golovkin return in the works
By Dan Rafael
Gennady Golovkin, right, likely won't return as soon as expected but should stay busy through 2013.
Right after middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin put away Matthew Macklin on June 29 with a brutal third-round body shot to record his third knockout victory of a very busy first half of 2013, GGG and his team talked about fighting at least twice more this year.
K2 promoter Tom Loeffler said Golovkin could be back perhaps as soon as August or September, but at this point Golovkin won't return that quickly. Loeffler told ESPN.com recently, however, that the general plan for the rest of 2013 hasn't changed.
"GGG definitely wants to fight two more times before year's end," Loeffler said, adding that he is discussing a Nov. 2 date with HBO. Beyond that fight, Loeffler said they would try to work in one more title defense before year's end.
Loeffler said he is waiting for HBO to approve the date, and if Golovkin fights on that date the fight would take place at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. Loeffler is also discussing opponents, which is a harder issue to deal with than a date.
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"Opponents are up in the air, but we definitely want to try to get the best fights for him," Loeffler said.
One opponent Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs) has his eye on is England's Martin Murray, who lost a very close fight to champion Sergio Martinez on April 27 in Martinez's Argentina homecoming fight. In another venue, perhaps Murray would have gotten the nod. But don't count on Murray being GGG's next opponent.
"Unfortunately, it looks like Murray is not interested even if it is outside the U.S.," Loeffler said, noting that, because of a past criminal background, Murray hasn't been able to obtain a visa to enter the United States.
The other name on the short list is Curtis Stevens (24-3, 17 KOs), who makes a lot of sense for the fall in New York. First off, Stevens is from Brooklyn. Second, he has a fight set for Saturday, so the schedule lines up rather nicely with Golovkin's.
"I think the fighter is interested, but I think [Main Events chief executive] Kathy [Duva] is hesitant," Loeffler said. "But Stevens is very vocal about [wanting to fight] GGG now. I do know that Curtis Stevens has been calling out GGG. Just don't know if his promoter wants that fight."
Stevens has scored three knockouts in a row since losing at super middleweight and dropping down in weight. He will face Saul Roman (37-9, 31 KOs) at the Mohegan Sun resort in Uncasville, Conn., on Saturday night (NBC Sports Net).
On a conference call last week, Duva alluded to a possible fight with Golovkin.
"Curtis is fabulous because he will absolutely fight anyone at all," Duva said. "So our job as promoters is to build him to the point where, when that title opportunity comes, he will be well compensated for it."