Gennady Golovkin set to fight David Lemieux on Oct. 17 in New York

Gennady Golovkin demolished Willie Monroe Jr. en route to a sixth-round knockout in the middleweight title fight.

Gennady Golovkin demolished Willie Monroe Jr. en route to a sixth-round knockout in the middleweight title fight.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Unbeaten middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin will make his pay-per-view debut on HBO when he fights fellow middleweight title-holder David Lemieux of Canada on Oct. 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York, promoters announced Saturday.

While World Boxing Assn. champion Golovkin (33-0, 30 knockouts) gains the opportunity to add Lemieux’s International Boxing Federation belt in his push to unify the division, Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) gets a boost of U.S. exposure and a chance to upset a slugger considered by some to be boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighter.

“This is bombs away,” Lemieux promoter Oscar De La Hoya said. “We’re not taking this fight just to get recognition. We’re taking this fight because Lemieux strongly feels he can knock [Golovkin] out. He has better staying power, a tremendous jab. It’s a dangerous fight for ‘Triple G.’”


Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said HBO will televise the bout on pay-per-view because of his fighter’s growing popularity after eight bouts on HBO. Golovkin in May scored a sixth-round technical knockout of slick boxer Willie Monroe Jr. at the Forum.

“This is a winner-take-all fight -- two champions putting their belts on the line, the two biggest punchers in the division,” Loeffler said. “It takes a big heart and a big punch to make this fight, and that’s what it will take to win it, too.

“The good thing about Gennady with his training regimen and amateur background is he can adapt to any style. Gennady against a big banger … we think his defense is underrated, and you’ve seen what he’s done against other big punchers.”

Loeffler said Madison Square Garden proposed a sizable but undisclosed site fee to bring the bout to New York after Golovkin, 33, fought two of his last three opponents in Southern California and moved to Los Angeles last year. He is trained in Big Bear by Abel Sanchez.

Each fighter will earn his largest purse yet, said Loeffler, who declined to identify the figure or the purse split.

“I couldn’t be more excited for this fight,” Lemieux said. “This is the fight that all the fans and the world wants to see. I hope and expect this will be the best fight of the last five years.

“I am thrilled to be fighting at Madison Square Garden. It has so much history and is the mecca of the boxing world.”

Lemieux added that he’s ready for the challenge.

“I’ve said very honestly that I don’t care who I fight, so long as they are the best, and Golovkin is the best out there in the middleweight division,” he said. “And I consider myself fully of his caliber. I don’t want any easy fights. ‘GGG’ is the fight that people want to see. He wants me, then he’ll get me. On the 17th, it’s going to be fireworks. I want history. I want big, big things. And this is another big step.”

Against Monroe, Golovkin absorbed more punches than usual. De La Hoya said he and Montreal’s Lemieux took note.

“There are a lot of mistakes that Golovkin makes -- he’s like a piece of Swiss cheese, lots of holes -- and Lemieux has been watching ‘GGG’ for quite awhile and believes he can take advantage of those flaws,” De La Hoya said. “I’m a student of the game. I can see the mistakes ‘GGG’ makes. He showed me he gets hit a lot. So when you have someone in front of you like Lemieux, that’s dangerous.”

Lemieux, 26, took some punishment in his June 20 unanimous decision over Hassan N’Dam, who was knocked down four times in the bout.

“Lemieux was able to take some big bombs. He showed his heart, his courage, his great conditioning and his own punching power,” De La Hoya said. “He’s more than ready for this middleweight beast.”

De La Hoya’s strategy in pitting Lemieux against Golovkin is taking on a fighter some consider unbeatable on a pay-per-view show.

“You have to start somewhere in your pay-per-view debut and a fight like this between guys with tremendous punching power is a great place to start,” De La Hoya said.

Loeffler said it’s likely the co-main event will be a fight including Nicaraguan unbeaten flyweight world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (43-0).