Golovkin looks to continue rising

Kazakhstan’s knockout machine Gennady “GGG” Golovkin will have another opportunity to continue his ascent in the boxing world, and on American shores.

Golovkin (26-0, 23 KOs) faces arguably the stiffest test of his career when he defends his WBA and IBO middleweight belts against Irishman Matthew Macklin on Saturday night in Mashantucket, Conn. (HBO, 9:45 p.m. ET).

Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) has issued tough tests to top fighters like Felix Sturm and Sergio Martinez. And while Golovkin would like to eventually fight Martinez, he must not look past the skilled Macklin.

“I know he lost a very close fight [to Martinez],” Golovkin says. “He is a very good athlete, strong, a good fighter. It is a big fight, a special fight. Now he’s much stronger and I think it’s a great fight for us. I know it’s not an easy fight.”

Golovkin’s knockouts have often been YouTube-worthy. His last one, a third-round bomb which knocked opponent Nobuhirio Ishida unconscious, represented the first time the Japanese fighter had ever been KO’d in 35 fights.

Some fighters say they just fight and if the knockout comes, it comes. Not Golovkin, who says he aims to finish fights on his terms.

“For me, I want a knockout,” Golovkin said. “I feel great, I feel my power is there. I’m looking forward to putting on another good show."

Another win, especially one by knockout, continues Golovkin on the path to becoming one of the sport’s next big stars. There are good fights out there at not only middleweight, but junior middleweight and super middleweight, two divisions in which Golovkin says he has no problem fighting.

However, Golovkin does not want to talk about what the next move will be until after Saturday’s fight.

"My only focus is on Matthew Macklin on Saturday, June 29, nothing else," Golovkin said.

That said, when the names of some of the sport’s best are mentioned in conjunction with his, Golovkin insists he will back down from no one.

“I know that (Julio Cesar) Chavez Jr., (Daniel) Geale and Sturm have fights coming up,” Golovkin said. “I will fight any of them. I want to fight the best and challenge myself always."

This weekend, the challenge will be to add knockout number 24 to the ledger and continue to back up claims that he is the most feared man in boxing.