By Jake Donovan
As if having ace Clayton Kershaw in its rotation wasn't enough, the Los Angeles Dodgers have added another powerhouse pitcher to its stable - unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin.
The rising boxing star will serve as the guest of honor at Chavez Ravine Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday, where he will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the start of the Dodgers' home game versus the San Diego Padres. Golovkin is due to throw the first pitch at 6:55PM local time Saturday evening, prior to the 7:10 p.m. start time for the game, the third of a four-game series between longtime in-state rivals.
Golovkin (29-0, 26KOs) is preparing for his July 26 HBO-televised showdown versus Daniel Geale at Madison Square Garden, but his team has worked tremendously on building up his mainstream appeal. The knockout artist from Kazakhstan has been hard at work with trainer Abel Sanchez at training camp in Big Bear, California.
However, such media sessions are always a welcomed break from the daily grind. With Kershaw fresh off of a three-hit gem that also saw his scoreless streak snapped at 41 consecutive innings and not due to pitch until after the All-Star break, who knows if Golovkin's presence will be required beyond a ceremonial pitch and photo-op.
“This is a terrific opportunity for Gennady, he’s been training up in Big Bear for his title defense against Daniel Geale in two weeks and his fastball has never looked sharper,” said Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions. “Although planned as an honorary first pitch by the Dodgers we’re confident that he can get through the first few innings unscathed.”
All jokes aside, Golovkin is looking forward to a little bit of fun time before hitting the tail end of camp.
“I’m honored to throw out the first pitch on Saturday night," said Golovkin. "I’ve been training in Big Bear for my fight against Geale but look forward to having a great time on Saturday night at the ballpark.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: