Gennady Golovkin 29(26)-0 will make his much anticipated return on July 26th live on HBO. No opponent has yet been announced, but all signs point to Australian former middleweight champion, Daniel Geale 30(16)-2.
Earlier this week, in a bizarre move, the WBA announced that Golovkin’s mandatory challenger would be Jarrod Fletcher 18(10)-1. Fletcher, also Australian, is coming off a win against Max Bursak on the Golovkin-Adama undercard. All who watched the fight would say Bursak won, but costly point deductions against Bursak tilted the scores in Fletcher’s favor.For Golovkin, facing Fletcher would be a dramatic step-down in competition in the wake of the failed fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Geale is the most logical opponent for Golovkin. Geale is currently the #3 rated middleweight in the world (on any respectable list) and in 2012 went into Germany and took the IBF middleweight title from Felix Sturm. (Sturm has since regained his title.) Geale last appeared on HBO Boxing After Dark against Darren Barker in August of 2013 in a fight of the year contender. Golovkin’s promotional company, K2, have stated that they are working out a deal for… Geale.
Geale was previously scheduled to face Matthew Macklin 30(20)-5 on May 24th live on HBO, but an injury to Golovkin’s K2 stablemate Mike Perez forced a cancellation of the entire card.
Should Geale not be available for the contest, Golovkin has expressed a willingness to do battle with just about everyone. He stated in an interview with the media that he’s willing to go to 168 pounds for any major fight. The possible opponents include the winner of the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves, as well as Andre Ward should he square away his promotional quarrel.
All of the above opponents promise to be explosive fights, as well as big tests for a guy who’s best win is Matthew Macklin. If it’s Geale, Golovkin will face a guy who fights with a ton of heart and high workrate. Should it be Froch and Groves, the 2 have proven they’re both willing to go to the trenches to pull out a victory. And if it’s Ward, well… Ward is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. What more can you say?
Some may wonder about the possibility of a fight with Peter Quillin. Consider that one off the table as neither side, to this point, has taken a significant step toward making the contest happen.
Golovkin has been appearing on pound-for-pound lists for a year now and many have criticized his placement. Unless he’s forced to face his WBA mandatory, it’s safe to say that Golovkin’s next fight should make or break his case for pound-for-pound status.