Gennady Golovkin: Next fight his toughest yet?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Later this month, WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) will take his title, perfect record and sizzling 90 percent knockout-to-fights ratio to StubHub Center in Carson, California when he faces interim WBC World middleweight titleholder Marco Antonio Rubio (59-6-1, 51 KO).

Date: Oct. 18

Time: 10pm ET

Broadcast: HBO

Fans last saw the heavy-handed Golovkin on July 26 when he impressively and violently dispatched Daniel Geale (30-3, KOs) in the third round. The first and only fighter to stop Geale inside the distance, GGG earned his 17th consecutive stoppage in electrying style.

And while Geale, at the time, was considered Gennady's biggest test to date, the Australian doesn't possess the strength, power or experience of Golovkin's next opponent.

Marco Antonio Rubio burst into prominence in 2011 by orchestrating one of the biggest upsets of that year. An 8 to 1 underdog and the definitive 'B' side that evening, Rubio survived a massive offensive storm by the surging, knockout-happy David Lemieux (then 25-0, 24 KO) to eventually force the hometown favorite's corner to throw in the towel in Round 7.

"Even if he would have recovered, I didn't want Rubio teeing off on him," stated Russ Anber, Lemieux's trainer, afterwards.

Rubio has a whopping 51 knockouts in 59 wins and is not to be taken lightly as former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr learned in 2012.

Although Chavez was awarded a unanimous decision that night, many insisted the exciting brawl, which was fought in a proverbial phonebooth, was closer than two the three scorecards indicated (116-112, 118-110 and 115-113).

"I hope it was a very entertaining fight for the fans and I gave my best effort but it just wasn't enough according the judges. I felt that I did enough to win. I thought I hit him much more than he hit me," Marco stated afterwards.

The 34 year old Rubio is in his prime right now and will enter his bout with Golovkin boasting a 77 percent knockouts-to-fights ratio, having won 16 of his last 17 bouts with 13 knockouts along the way.

And unlike a handful of Golovkin's opponents the last several years, the 5'10" Rubio is a big middleweight and a very savvy veteran of the ring.  Moreover, like his countryman Orlando Salido (42-12-2, 29 KO), he's better, stronger and tougher than his (six-loss) record indidates.

In the last five and a half years, the ring-active Rubio has lost only once and is a very different fighter than the version of the Mexican who was stopped by Kelly Pavlik (then 34-1) in February 2009.

Rubio whacks Chavez Jr in 2012
Courtesy of HBO

Sans Sergio Martinez, Rubio is the best fighter Chavez Jr has faced to date.

And when they meet on the night of October 18, Rubio will be the best, most dangerous opponent Golovkin will have faced in the pro ranks thus far.

If Gennady Golovkin dominates and/or knocks out Rubio, he will have taken a major step towards establishing himself as boxing's next big thing... But don't be surprised if Rubio takes Golovkin into the trenches.


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