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Gennady Golovkin Looking For Bigger Challenges After K.O. Win

CARSON, Calif. – Gennady Golovkin gave the overflow sell-out crowd of 9,323 frenzied fans at the StubHub Center on Saturday exactly what they wanted to see when he knocked out Marco Antonio Rubio just 79 seconds into the second round of their middleweight title fight.

It was Golovkin’s 18th consecutive win by knockout and his 28th in 31 pro fights, furthering the legend as he morphs into a superstar. The one-sided victory added the interim WBC belt to the WBA title he previously held and furthered the impression that he’s the man to beat in the division.

It was yet another impressive performance for a fighter who has become the talk of the sport. He has an engaging smile and a friendly nature, which is the polar opposite of his fierce countenance in the ring.

The crowd was on its feet from the moment Golovkin appeared in the tunnel on the long walk to the ring, chanting “Triple G! Triple G! Triple G!”

Rubio took a little of the shine from Golovkin by putting forth a horrid effort. He missed the 160-pound middleweight limit at Friday’s weigh-in and though he had two hours, he didn’t try to make it. Then, he ballooned up to 181 pounds after rehydrating and seemed to move in slow motion during the fight.

Golovkin is so gifted that he’d probably have gotten Rubio out early even if Rubio had been at his best – the Kazakhstan native connected on 45 of the 99 punches he threw, nearly all of which were thrown with mean intentions. He blistered Rubio with an uppercut that badly hurt Rubio before finishing him off with a powerful right that landed on the forehead.

Rubio tried to complain it was an illegal blow, but referee Jack Reiss had none of it and counted him out at 1:19 of the second.

Great fighters are judged by the way they perform against other elite fighters, and Golovkin has yet to face anyone who could reasonably be called elite. But he’s giving every indication he’s one of those once-in-a-generation types of talents.

He said he wants to fight the winner of the still-being-negotiated WBC title fight between Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez, but he’ll likely have one fight before those two get it on. Cotto and Alvarez are expected to fight in May 2015.

That’s way too long for a guy who loves to fight as much as Golovkin to wait, so he’ll make another appearance in Europe between now and the Cotto-Alvarez bout.

One of the secrets to Golovkin’s success, in addition to pulverizing power, tremendous conditioning and great punching accuracy, is the fact that he stays busy, fighting every three months or so. He fought four times in 2013 and three this year, though he would have had one more if his father hadn’t passed away.

Promoter Tom Loeffler said Golovkin will probably fight in Europe in February, likely against Martin Murray in a bout he said will be on HBO. Earlier this year, a mix-up led to Golovkin’s fight against Osumanu Adama not being on U.S. television, outraging his growing fan base.

Assuming Golovkin defeats Murray, which is not a huge leap of faith, he’ll move on to face the Cotto-Canelo winner, either of which would make for a massive event.

There is even the possibility of a pay-per-view bout with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in February if Chavez decides he wants it. Don’t hold your breath waiting for him to accept.

Gennady Golovkin hits Marco Antonio Rubio with a right en route to winning in the second round. (AP)

“If Chavez wants to do that fight, we’ll scrap the whole Europe thing and go in that direction,” Loeffler said.

But Chavez, who has shown little interest in fighting anyone, probably won’t jump at the chance to fight Golovkin if he watched Saturday’s broadcast on HBO.

Saturday’s fight was Golovkin’s first on the West Coast and was designed to help him build fans among the boxing-crazy Hispanics who support the sport so passionately.

It was typical Golovkin once the bell rang, as he stalked relentlessly and hit Rubio with hard, perfectly placed shots.

Rubio called Golovkin “a great champion,” but said “it’s not the hardest I’ve been hit.”

But Golovkin was happy with the way the fight went.

“This is exactly the fight I wanted,” Golovkin said. “Rubio came forward and fought like a true Mexican. I felt good when I hit with the left hand. The uppercut, I wanted to use and I’m glad it was the defining punch of the fight.”

Golovkin hasn’t thrown many uppercuts during his career, but it’s only because he hasn’t needed to mix things up a lot.

He’s not only talented, but he’s also studious and spent 10 months last year in Big Bear Lake, Calif., drilling with trainer Abel Sanchez on the little details that make the difference between good and great.

“After the [first] round, I told him to see if the uppercut would work,” Sanchez said. “It’s something that we worked on in the gym. The uppercut is a small part of his arsenal that nobody has seen yet.”

The great thing about Golovkin is that he seems to show something else every time out. He’s about to move into the meat of his career, and plenty of great moments are ahead.

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