Unbeaten WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin will battle former beltholder Daniel Geale on July 26 at New York's Madison Square Garden on HBO, K2 Promotions, Gary Shaw Productions and Grange Old School Boxing announced on Tuesday.
The press release confirms an earlier report by RingTV.com. Golovkin (29-0, 26 knockouts) will be after his 17th consecutive stoppage victory against Geale (30-2, 16 KOs), with each planning to be ringside for Saturday's bout between RING and WBC 160-pound champion Sergio Martinez and three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden.
"Since his HBO debut less than two years ago, Gennady has become the hottest international star in boxing," Tom Loeffler, managing director K2 Promotions, stated in Tuesday's press release. "We're thrilled to promote his return to Madison Square Garden, the premier venue for boxing. This will be Gennady’s first fight in the main arena at Madison Square Garden, where only a select few could headline today."
Ranked No. 2 by THE RING at 160 pounds, Geale is coming off February's sixth-round stoppage of Garth Wood, which followed a split-decision loss to Darren Barker in August. Geale unified the WBA and IBF titles with a victory over Felix Sturm in 2012, but elected to avenge what was his lone defeat at the time — against Anthony Mundine — and gave up the WBA belt rather than face Golovkin (his mandatory challenger at the time). He lost the IBF title to Barker. ,
"Daniel Geale is a throwback fighter who has never backed down from a tough challenge, and his mindset is no different going into the Golovkin fight. GGG is considered the top dog in the middleweight division by those in the business," said Shaw, Geale's promoter, stated in the press release. "But I believe Geale is the best. We will see how Golovkin fares against someone on his level. I have confidence Geale will come out on top."
Golovkin fought four times in 2013, stopping Matthew Macklin, Gabriel Rosado, Nobuhiro Ishida and Curtis Stevens. In February, Golovkin scored a seventh-round stoppage of Osumanu Adama, who was knocked out for the first time in his career. Adama represented the 16th straight stoppage victory for Golovkin.
"I’m happy to be fighting at Madison Square Garden once again," said Golovkin, 32, who knocked out Rosado in the seventh round in the Garden's Theatre in January 2013, and Stevens in the eighth in the Theatre in November.
"Fighting in front of the great fans in New York City for the third time is an honor for me, and I will train hard to defend my titles in style by giving the fans an exciting show. Daniel Geale has a lot of world championship experience, is a big international name, and I look forward to this challenge."
Golovkin had been mandated by the WBA to face Jarrod Fletcher (18-1, 10 KOs), but Fletcher was not approved by HBO, whereas Geale had been.
"I’m pleased to be making my way back to HBO against Gennady Golovkin, a fighter who everyone thinks is invincible. A victory will get me back to where I want to be," said Geale. "The people of Australia believe in me, and that's what drives me is my countrymen. I want to show them they have a great champion. On July 26, the world will see me back on top."
BERNARD HOPKINS TO 'EVALUATE' RIFT BETWEEN RICHARD SCHAEFER, OSCAR DE LA HOYA
IBF/WBA light heavyweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins said that he will "evaluate" the results of the rift between Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya and former CEO Richard Schaefer, who announced his resignation from Golden Boy on Monday.
"I'm not under contract to Golden Boy. No one has asked me to come here or to stay there. I got my own team, a separate team," said Hopkins, a partner in the company, during a Tuesday interview with FightHype.com.
"When all is said and done, I'm going to evaluate everything and decide to do what's best for Bernard Hopkins. I'm going to try to be fair to everybody, but I got to look out for me first. It's crucial for me to make the right move, whether it's with Richard or with Oscar. I worked too hard to get here to do anything else."
THURSDAY'S FOX SPORTS 1 CARD TO BENEFIT FALLEN FIREMEN'S CHARITY
Proceeds from Thursday night's Golden Boy Live! event from the House of Blues in Boston on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes, to be headlined by a junior lightweight bout between Emmanuel Gonzalez (14-0, 7 KOs) and Tevin Farmer (15-4-1, 3 KOs), will benefit a memorial fund for Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, who were killed while battling a blaze on Wednesday.