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image011LOS ANGELES-In the middle of Hollywood’s version of a small village, middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin greeted the press on Tuesday.

IBO and WBA middleweight titleholder Golovkin fights Matt Macklin on Saturday June 29, in MGM Grand Foxwoods Resort and Casino. Before he embarks, he met with two dozen reporters at the Le Petite Greek restaurant in the Hancock Park area.

Critics have derided the Kazakhstani on his choice of opponents. Many claim that only easy and unrecognizable foes have been handpicked to fight Golovkin. His team doesn’t argue about the opposition. They’re as anxious as Golovkin to fight the best.

But first, it’s got to be worth it. Not for Golovkin, for the opponents, says promoter Tom Loeffler.

Not to be a yes man, but Loeffler is right.

How many middleweight contenders out there would fight Golovkin for less than $100,000? The elite middleweights or the fighters with a name are not willing to mix blows with the fighter from Kazakhstan. Not for that kind of money.

“It’s about the budget,” said Loeffler.

Fighters in the upper tier are not willing to tangle with the hardest hitter in the 160-pound weight division unless they are paid well.

“He has 13 consecutive knockouts,” Loeffler said. “He has the highest knockout percentage in boxing.”

HBO will be televising the Golovkin-Macklin fight and have told Team Golovkin that a win would lead him to the next pay scale. That means guys like Sergio Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Danny Geale are going to be more eager to sign a contract.

But, first things first.

Macklin is not a pushover. Yes he was stopped by Argentina’s Martinez, but not before knocking down “Maravilla” in round seven when they met. And then Macklin annihilated Joachim Alcine in one round. The Brit is no pushover.

“I respect him as a fighter,” said Golovkin. “He’s very good.”

Golovkin can’t overlook anybody in the boxing ring, not with the big money fights on the horizon just waiting for him to cross the bridge…the budget bridge.

Abel Sanchez, who trains Golovkin, is seemingly more eager than the fighter to show the boxing world just how good his fighter can fight.

“We want naysayers to see what he’s got,” said Sanchez.

In less than two weeks the streaking middleweight gets a crack to show the world.

“I am ready,” he said.

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