ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 18: Marco Rubio of Torreon, Mexico celebrates his win over Enrique Ornelas of La Habra, California during their WBC middleweight title eliminator bout at Boardwalk Hall on October 18, 2008 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)2008 Getty Images
Gennady Golovkin's promoter, Tom Loeffler, announced on Tuesday night that the Kazakh-born WBA middleweight champion will next defend his title against the Mexican fighter, Marco Antonio Rubio, at the outdoor StubHub Center in Carson, California, on Oct. 18.
The 32-year-old Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) is a powerful puncher who has had a hard time lining up bouts with the top fighters in the various middleweight classes – Miguel Cotto, Andre Ward and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. have all ducked him.
This will be the first time that Golovkin fights on the West Coast. His five previous U.S. fights were on the East Coast, including his American debut in September 2012.
"I'm very excited to fight in California," Golovkin, who lives in Germany but trains in nearby Big Bear Lake, was quoted by ESPN.com as saying. "I always enjoy attending fights at the StubHub Center and look forward to a Mexican-style fight against Marco Antonio Rubio."
Rubio – who is known by the nickname, "Veneno" ("Poison") – is a veteran boxer (59-6-1, 51 KOs) who has won 16 of his last 17 bouts, including a 10th round knockout of Domenico Spada in April that won him the interim WBC middleweight title.
Rubio trains in Oxnard, Calif., has lost only to Chavez since 2009, and he hasn't been knocked out since 2004.
There probably isn't a fighter better qualified to do that than Golovkin, however.
He has won 17 straight bouts by stoppage while moving atop the 160-pound division. He stopped Daniel Geale last month in the third round at Madison Square Garden for his 11th consecutive title defense.
Golovkin nearly inked a deal to fight Chavez at the Forum this summer, but Chavez and his camp balked late in the negotiations. Golovkin instead fought Geale and finished with a spectacular knockout.
Although Golovkin has never fought in California, he is already popular among the West Coast's savvy fight fans. He has been mobbed by autograph-seekers and well-wishers while attending fights at the outdoor ring or the nearby Forum in recent months.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.