LOS ANGELES-In the middle of historic Olvera Street, where the first family of Los Angeles built their adobe home and where millions of people of Mexican origin call home, the press conference to announce middleweight champions Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Marco Antonio Rubio was held on Wednesday.
It was the most attended presser in the El Paseo Inn that I’ve ever seen and the restaurant has had plenty. The match pits Golovkin (30-0, 27 Kos) against Rubio (59-6-1, 51 Kos) on Oct. 18, at the StubHub Center in Carson. HBO will televise the event promoted by K2 Promotions.
The theme of the event had to be called “Mexican Style,” especially after Golovkin told the media in his last fight that he was not a boxer but a fighter, a Mexican style fighter. Now he’s meeting another Mexican style fighter in Mr. Rubio.
“He has more knockouts that Gennady has fights,” said Tom Loeffler, the whiz promoter who brought Golovkin from obscurity to the forefront of boxing.
HBO’s Tony Walker said Golovkin’s rise to the top has not only the network clamoring, but television viewers too.
“Just think, he’s moved from Kazakhstan as a little known fighter to the top of the world,” said Walker, adding that Golovkin has fought six times on HBO. “He’s just risen up the needle and it’s also a chance for Marco Antonio Rubio.”
Mexico’s Rubio has the WBC middleweight interim title and could have kept fighting mediocre challenges but opted to fight the most feared middleweight in the world.
“You’re not really the champion unless you fight and beat the best,” said Rubio. “He (Golovkin) is the best.”
Rubio will be training with Robert Garcia in Oxnard for this fight and has a long history of fighting in the Southern California area. His last major fight was against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a match that went the distance two years ago despite Chavez out-weighing him by more than 10 pounds. Rubio has knocked out several undefeated fighters, including a knockout win over Canada’s then highly touted Daniel Lemieux in 2011 in Quebec.
“There are a lot of fighters in Southern California. I know Mexican style,” said Golovkin, who seeks out knockouts like a heat-seeking missile. “I will fight in California because it has many boxing fans.”
Ironically, though he trains and lives in Southern California with most fans recognizing him wherever he turns up, he’s never fought in the boxing crazy state.
This is Golovkin’s gift to those fans.
The venue for the meeting between knockout kings will be held in the StubHub, a spot which has a reputation for great fights despite the lukewarm event that took place a few weeks ago. With both GGG and Rubio packing mega power, it should be a short night.
“Let’s do this Mexican style,” said Rubio’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz.