On Saturday, September 1, from the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, HBO's Boxing After Dark will present the United States debut of undefeated WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, 23(20)-0, of Kazakhstan, as he defends against 28(21)-1 European middleweight champion Grzegorz Proksa of Poland.
For some hardcore boxing fans, this debut has taken on the aspect of the Beatles flying into New York to do Ed Sullivan back in 1964. Golovkin is a fighter members of the hardcore American boxing scene have been anxious to get a better look at.
Exclusive training camp reports like the one Doug Fischer filed on Ringtv.com last week have intensified the mystique. Fischer describes a technically solid, one-man wrecking crew, chewing up larger, experienced sparring partners one after another.
Golovkin's resume isn't exactly star-studded. But there hasn't necessarily been a long line of fellow contenders anxious to test themselves against him.
Last December he KO'd Lajuan Simon in the first round, with a single, short lead hook. Simon is a boxer who managed to last 12 rounds each with middleweight world champions Sebastian Sylvester and Arthur Abraham.
In May he made very easy work of Makoto Fuchigami, TKOing him in three.
Golovkin is a pressure fighter who employs excellent footwork to continually stalk his opponent. He is a very accurate puncher who attacks relentlessly but intelligently.
There are no wild swarms, just a systematic attack while waiting for opportunities.
In Proksa, Golovkin should find his toughest test to date.
Last October Proksa made former world champion Sebastian Sylvester look positively old, using superior speed and an aggressive, multi-angled attack to stop the German inside of three rounds.
In his first defense of the European belt, Proksa ran into an extremely game and determined Kerry Hope. Proksa suffered a deep cut from an accidental head butt at the end of Round 2 and then had to fight the rest of the way from beneath a crimson mask.
He dropped a majority decision, and his new belt. I personally had him winning 115-112, but his conditioning did look suspect and Hope's far more active work rate allowed the Welshman to take a number of rounds on the judges' cards where Proksa landed the much harder, cleaner punches.
Proksa stopped Hope in eight just last month, on July 7, in the rematch. But when WBO champ Dmitriy Pirog injured his back last June and had to step aside against Golovkin, Proksa agreed to step up and make sure the event continued as a clash of fellow top-10 middleweights.
It will make two title fights in three months for Proksa, but an opportunity that was too good to pass on. With the big Julio Cesar Chavez-Sergio Martinez showdown scheduled for two weeks later, the fight on the first could very well be a battle for the next spot in line against the Chavez-Martinez winner.
The middleweight division and the sport of boxing as a whole are set to heat up with drama in September. And it all gets started on the first with Golovkin and Proksa at the Turning Stone.
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