By Rick Reeno
WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (29-0, 26KOs) is scheduled to return on July 26th at Madison Square Garden in New York City. HBO will televise.
The most likely opponent, according to Golovkin's promoter Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, is former IBF/WBA champion Daniel Geale (30-2, 16KOs).
Recently the WBA ordered Golovkin to make a mandatory defense against Jarrod Fletcher, who happens to be the highest ranked, available contender. Loeffler has a already submitted a request for an exemption to do the fight with Geale.
"The WBA ordered a mandatory defense against Fletcher, who is the number two rated fighter and we filed for a special permit to fight Daniel Geale, who is a much higher profile fighter. HBO would accept Geale, he's been on HBO before and he's a former world champion," Loeffler told BoxingScene.com.
This is not the first or the second time that Loeffler pursued a fight with Geale, but he believes this time around a deal will indeed get done. Their previous discussions fell apart after Geale was unable to place the fight on pay-per-view in Australia. The pay-per-view distributor cited a conflict, because the UFC had already reserved the date. The date of July 26 is wide open for Australian pay-per-view, which takes away the biggest hurdle in getting the deal done.
"It looks like this time it will work with Geale, because the date is open for pay-per-view in Australia. Based on my discussions with [Geale's promoter] Gary [Shaw], it seems that we can make that fight," Loeffler said.
If the WBA approves the request to fight Geale, and the deal gets done, Loeffler would like to stage the fight in MSG's big arena, which has a max capacity of over 20,000 for boxing. If they have to go with someone else who doesn't have as much of a profile as Geale, then Loffler will place it in MSG's Theater, which seats around 5,600.
Loeffler's original plan was to have Golovkin move up to 168-pounds to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on July 19th at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Because of an ongoing contract issue between Chavez and his promoter Top Rank, Loeffler and Golovkin were forced to move on.
"The Chavez fight would have been a great fight, but we're going to do the same thing that we've always done - we're going to get the best name in the ring that will actually get in the ring - so at this point it looks like it would be Daniel Geale if the WBA sanctions it. It would be July 26th at MSG and if it's Geale we would go to the big arena," Loeffler said.
If everything goes to plan in July, Loeffler says Golovkin will return once again in the fall.