Gennady Golovkin is doing all he can do to lift his name to greater heights.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Miguel Cotto … he'll fight any of you. Just name the date and site.
He started with Chavez, but whether it was deeper analysis of Golovkin's skill and knockout power or an actual dispute with a promoter, the Mexican balked at a meeting with Golovkin at the Forum in Inglewood this month.
That left World Boxing Assn. middleweight champion Golovkin (29-0, 26 knockouts) to take on former middleweight champion Daniel Geale (30-2, 16 KOs) Saturday night on HBO at Madison Square Garden.
A crowd of near 10,000 is expected for the bout after Golovkin has fought twice previously at the arena's smaller theater venue.
"We decided a while ago that Gennady is going to get better, more skilled, the more he gets pushed by higher competition," Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said of the 32-year-old fighter from Kazakhstan who trains in Big Bear.
"Geale's never been stopped before. He has only two losses, one he's avenged, the other a close decision. We believe Gennady is the best middleweight in the world, and if everything goes right Saturday, we'll continue to plan his future by pushing the pace."
While Chavez has to sort out his differences with promoter Bob Arum, super-welterweight Alvarez's promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, mentioned Golovkin as a possible future foe earlier this month after a split-decision win by Alvarez over Erislandy Lara.
Alvarez seems poised to move up a weight class, and sources close to De La Hoya have said he's had informal talks with HBO.
"Doesn't seem like there's many hurdles from our side," Loeffler said. "We've traditionally made concessions to get significant fighters in the ring — we made a lot of concessions with Chavez. Gennady is happy to do that to move his career along as quickly as possible.
"If the opportunity for a Canelo fight came up, we would do everything within our power to make it. It'd be a great pay-per-view fight, and something we'd definitely welcome."
Cotto beat Sergio Martinez for a middleweight belt in June, but he more likely is angling for his next super-fight to be in May 2015 against either Alvarez or Floyd Mayweather Jr.
While some have questioned Golovkin's ability to break through as a boxing star given his limited English-speaking skills and frustration in landing a major bout, Loeffler argues that his fighter's willingness to challenge anyone within 10 pounds of his weight class is the best marketing tool possible.
"No one has taken off like Gennady since his HBO debut," Loeffler said. "He's fighting in the world's most famous arena. Whether he's not there with English, his fourth language, he's popular among all boxing demographics."