By Sean Crose
It didn’t take long. Just weeks after his bruising victory over Daniel Geale, WBA middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin, better known to fight fans as GGG, has already lined up his next opponent. And not to worry, it’s a solid one.
Marco Antonio Rubio has been around the block a few times. With a 59-6 record, which seems like it would be more at home fifty years ago than today, Rubio has raked up a massive 51 knockouts for a KO ratio (according to the reliable BoxRec) of over 77%.
Rubio, in short, is a man who comes to fight. For the first time, the feared, exciting GGG will be facing a man with as hard hitting a reputation as he has. No wonder the fight is being billed as “Mexican Style.” Golovkin, after all, fancies himself a Mexican style boxer. Rubio, on the other hand, epitomizes what a Mexican boxer is.
“I always accept the biggest challenges,” Rubio says. “and without a doubt this will be the greatest of my career. I will show Golovkin a real Mexican style fight on October 18th.” The question is, can Rubio survive a Golovkin-style fight?
Golovkin, after all, is an absolute ring assassin. Even the slightest of his blows come across like knockout shots. Against Geale, he tossed off a knockout blow while actually getting hit clean. It was something to behold. Then again, Golovkin appears to be some kind of pugilist.
“I’m very excited to fight in California,” Golovkin says. “I always enjoy attending fights at the StubHub Center.” Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions, feels that both the fight (which will be aired on HBO) and the StubHub Center venue, are a perfect match for Golovkin at the moment.
“His (Golovkin’s) growing popularity across the country,” Loeffler says, “compels us to bring this highly anticipated fight to the StubHub Center, which has hosted so many exciting boxing events in recent years.”
The Geale bout didn’t prove to be the smashing ratings success HBO clearly hoped it would be. A fight with Rubio, however, may well draw in viewers. For Rubio is a man who likes to stand and fight. He’s also a man, however, who can get hit.
It may have happened ages ago, but Kelly Pavlik once beat Rubio into submission. Not that there’s any shame in knowing when to quit. It’s simply worth noting that Golovkin is a far deadlier puncher than Pavlik ever was.
Then again, Rubio can hit himself. Just ask David Toribio, who Rubio once cut down like a tree. Same with Dionisio Miranda. Same with David Lemieux. Those may not be names boxing fans are overly familiar with but boxing lovers know full well who Julio Caesar Chavez Junior is. And Rubio gave him a run.
Still, it’s admittedly hard to see Rubio being the first man to beat GGG. Sure, he has a great overhand right, but he stands upright and has shown he can be knocked out (by Kofi Jantuah and, earlier, by Saul Roman). How, one might ask, will Rubio possibly avoid Golovkin’s howitzers? When all people have seen is a stand up fighter, it’s tough to imagine the man morphing into Ray Leonard.
Still, this is boxing, and a great thing about boxing is that one never knows. Impressive as he seems, Golovkin isn’t impossible to hit. What’s more, he’s never been hit by a Marco Antionio Rubio shot. Those tend to put people on the canvas.
At the very least it’s good to see that Golovkin is keeping his schedule full – and that he’s fighting a talented, courageous, well-known foe. Few people may give Rubio a chance…but even fewer will give him no chance at all.