Gennady Golovkin, the middleweight world champion and knockout artist who trains in Big Bear, will fight in Southern California for the first time on Oct. 18 when he meets Mexico’s Marco Antonio Rubio at StubHub Center in Carson.
World Boxing Assn. champion Golovkin (30-0, 27 knockouts) of Kazakhstan has fought on the East Coast and in Monaco during his last seven bouts, defeating former middleweight champion Daniel Geale by third-round technical knockout last month at Madison Square Garden.
Rubio, 34, lost a unanimous decision to then-middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in February 2012, in San Antonio. He’s responded with six consecutive victories against far lesser competition.
Golovkin-Rubio will be televised by HBO.
Rubio (59-6-1, 51 KOs) has suffered two knockout defeats, but the most recent was 10 years ago, in 2004.
“We felt Rubio was the perfect opponent for Gennady’s first fight in Los Angeles, being the highest-rated middleweight from Mexico, and interim World Boxing Council champion,” Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said.
For Golovkin, the bout continues a strategy of keeping busy as bouts of greater magnitude are pursued against a field that includes Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Carl Froch and Chavez.
“What we’ve said all along is Gennady wants to stay busy, HBO has a commitment to show his fights and we’ll continue to get the biggest fights for him,” Loeffler said. “We give Rubio credit for taking this fight. He’s a very durable Mexican warrior who is 16-1 in his last 17 fights. He always fights at a high level.
“We’ve had a lot of demand to bring Gennady to the West Coast, and Rubio is a perfect opponent. We tried to contact Cotto, but they weren’t interested in the fight at this time.
“We feel with every fight -- and knockout -- Gennady’s popularity continues to expand, both in the U.S. and internationally.”
Before fighting Geale, Golovkin had orally agreed to fight Chavez in July at the Forum in Inglewood, but Chavez failed to agree to financial terms with his promoter.
Rubio, who will train in Oxnard for the bout, said he accepted the Golovkin fight because "boxing is my life. I've always wanted to fight the best out there. Golovkin right now is considered the best."
Rubio said he believes his chin will keep him in the fight.
"I've fought big punchers like Chavez, [Kelly Pavlik] ... they've hit me solid and I've stood up. I don't think Golovkin's power will faze me.
"You've got to go in with a lot of heart and courage. All the guys that fight him have gone in scared. I'm confident I'm not going to be scared. Golovkin can be hit. I'm going to hit him."
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