By Jake Donovan

Anytime that Gennady Golovkin steps into the ring these days, the boxing world stands up and takes notice. Far too often in recent times, the only ones not fully embracing his fights are his middleweight peers, as it’s been a struggle to match the unbeaten knockout artist during his rise to fame.

His title defense versus Martin Murray – which airs live on HBO (Saturday, 5:45PM ET) and in over 100 countries from Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco – is a huge step in the right direction. The matchup restores some semblance of hope that there are top middleweights willing to run towards the sound of gunfire. 

At least one more middleweight will be taking meticulous notes during tonight’s action. Recently crowned titlist Andy Lee takes a brief break from training camp as he will be live at ringside for Golovkin’s first fight of 2015, with hopes of one day landing the winner. 

Even if he doesn’t, it’s still a hell of a fight for any fan – and who needs a reason to take a trip to the luxury resort location?

“I'll be ringside in Monte Carlo watching as both a fan and a fighter,” Lee notes. “It's a genuinely interesting fight – one I'd be interested in even if I wasn't at their weight – and it also carries relevance to me and my career.”

Lee is currently in training for an April 11 showdown with Peter Quillin in Brooklyn, New York. At stake is the title Quillin used to own before vacating, won by Lee in a thrilling come-from-behind knockout win over previously unbeaten Matt Korobov last December. 

The upcoming defense versus Quillin – which will air live on NBC in prime time – is no walk in the park. Still, a fighter is nothing if he’s short of confidence. Lee is locked in on the April fight, but of course cant’ help but look towards the future – one in which he envisions a showdown with Golovkin for middleweight supremacy.

“I think about a unification fight all the time. And, even though I'm now a world champion, Golovkin is still the man in the division,” Lee concedes. “He is rightly considered the number one middleweight in the world.

“Maybe this time next year we'll be fighting for all the marbles. Though I'm sure Martin Murray will have something to say about that.”

Providing he wins tonight, there is no fight in or around the middleweight division  that Golovkin and his team deem as off limits. 

“I like to pride myself as being one the easiest people in the sport to do business with,” notes Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions and the architect behind the Golovkin branding. “I think Andy Lee is a great fight for Golovkin. 

“Our goal is to unify all of the titles, whether it’s an Andy Lee, a Peter Quillin, Miguel Cotto – we want to collect as many middleweight titles as possible.” 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox