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Golovkin-Fuchigami set for May 12

4/30/2012 - Boxing

Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin's aim is to fight in the United States later in the year, but first he will make his fourth defense in Ukraine on May 12.

Golovkin, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist for Kazakhstan, will defend against Makoto Fuchigami of Japan with an eye on the future.

"Were excited about Gennady's fight against Fuchigami and we have big plans for him in 2012 and beyond, particularly to make him more familiar with American boxing fans," Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions said Monday. "The key is exposure. He's got a very exciting style with big punching power that endears him right away to those who have seen him fight. We truly believe that Gennady is the best middleweight in the world today and he is willing to prove that by fighting anyone that will get in the ring with him."

Loeffler brought Golovkin (22-0, 19 KOs), 30, who lives in Germany, to New York earlier this year to meet with television executives at HBO, Showtime and Epix and Madison Square Garden to let them know he is willing to fight anybody they want him to.

"I feel comfortable at 160 but I'm willing to go down to 154 or up to 168 to fight the best in the world," Golovkin said. "There are many big names in all three weight classes and I'm willing to travel anywhere to fight these other champions."

Said Loeffler, "Along with being a world champion at middleweight, Gennady had an extraordinary amateur career traveling all over the world beating Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell and Andy Lee, among many others. I don't know of any other fighter that has Gennady's willingness to move up or down in weight and travel anywhere in the world to challenge the other world champions."

Golovkin is coming off a highlight-reel first-round knockout of Lajuan Simon of Philadelphia in Germany in December. It was the first time Simon had been stopped.

Fuchigami (19-6, 10 KOs), a 28-year-old southpaw, is riding a nine-fight winning streak and will be fighting outside of Japan for the first time. He is ranked as Japan's No. 1 middleweight.

One other fight Golovkin may have this year is against titleholder Felix Sturm, who holds the WBA's "super" title. The WBA has ordered that they fight the mandatory bout by Sept. 30.

Also on the May 12 card, junior middleweight titlist Zaurbek Baysangurov (26-1, 20 KOs) of Russia makes his first defense against Michel Soro (18-0, 11 KOs) of France.