RING No. 8-rated middleweight Gennady Golovkin will make the fourth defense of his WBA belt on May 12 against Japan’s Makoto Fuchigami at the Ice Palace Terminal in Brovari, Ukraine, Golovkin’s promoter, K2 Promotions, announced on Monday.
Golovkin, who turned 30 on April 8, will be looking to add another win to his 22-0 record against Fuchigami, a 28-year-old southpaw who is riding a nine-fight winning streak.
“We’re excited about Gennady’s fight against Fuchigami, and we have big plans for him in 2012 and beyond, particularly to make him more familiar with American boxing fans,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions.
“The key is exposure, he’s got a very exciting style with big punching power that endears him right away to those who have seen him fight. We truly believe that Gennady is the best middleweight in the world today and he is willing to prove that by fighting anyone that will get in the ring with him.”
Loeffler brought Golovkin (22-0, 19 knockouts) to New York’s Madison Square Garden last month, where he was in attendance for an 11th-round knockout victory by RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez over Matthew Macklin.
“Along with being a world champion at middleweight, Gennady had an extraordinary amateur career, traveling all over the world, beating [current IBF super middleweight titleholder] Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell and Andy Lee among many others,” said Loeffler.
“I don’t know of any other fighter that has Gennady’s willingness to move up or down in weight and travel anywhere in the world to challenge the other world champions.”
The WBA has ordered current titleholder Felix Sturm and Golovkin to fight by September, but Golovkin is willing to drop to junior middleweight or rise to super middleweight to take fights.
“I feel comfortable at 160, but I’m willing to go down to 154 or up to 168 to fight the best in the world,” said Golovkin, who was born in Karaganda, Kazakhstan but lives in Germany. “There are many big names in all three weight classes, and I’m willing to travel anywhere to fight these other champions.”
But first there is Fuchigami (19-6, 10 KOs), whose last loss was by split decision in April of 2009 to Tetsuya Suzuki. Fuchigami avenged that setback by stopping Suzuki in the sixth round of their return bout in October of 2010.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com