Golovkin: 'It's going to be a big fight'

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Based upon what he has been able to do inside the ring during his explosive invasion of America over the past 22 months, there hasn't been much of anything negative to say about unbeaten middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin as a fighter.

But the one prevailing criticism about the heavy-hitting native of Kazakhstan has been his inability to draw top middleweights into the ring against him in order to prove whether or not his meteoric rise as one of boxing's most exciting attractions is, in fact, all it has appeared.

 

Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs), 32, will get that chance Saturday when he defends his belt against former 160-pound titlist Daniel Geale (30-2, 16 KOs) of Australia at New York's Madison Square Garden (HBO, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT).

The 2004 Olympic silver medalist recently took time away from training camp to talk with ESPN.com about his preparations for Saturday's fight:

How does it feel to be focused on boxing once again after a long layoff following the death of your father?
I'm so happy to be back and I feel much, much better to get back to training and I'm so happy to get back into the ring [on Saturday] and I feel a lot better. And I feel like everything is going the way I want it to be in my training.

What is it specifically about your opponent Daniel Geale's skill set that makes him such a dangerous opponent?
I respect Daniel Geale a lot because he is an ex-champion. At this time and for this fight, he is very motivated. I expect him to be much more prepared for this fight than he was for his previous fight [against Darren Barker] because he has a big motivation. He knows his situation, and he knows me as a fighter. So his motivation is the main thing that he has right now.

So many are calling Geale the toughest fight of your career, but which opponent has been the most difficult so far in your career?
I can't tell you exactly which one was the hardest one, because all of the fighters were different. I hope that my hardest fight will happen in the future but at this time I can't tell you. All of them were good in difficult ways. I can't answer this question right now.

Why is fighting in the big arena at Madison Square Garden so important to you?
First of all, it's very important because it's such a historic place and is a big arena, so I am so happy about that. That's the main thing. And the second thing is that it's kind of a big test for me because my opponent is from Australia, and this fight will show how many people will be there. It's kind of a test for my rating. So we will see how it will be shown on the TV and how many people will come to the arena. So it's kind of like a test. It's going to be a very big fight.

You are always quick to give credit to your trainer, Abel Sanchez, for a great deal of your success. In what ways has his guidance helped you grow as a fighter in recent years?
I want to tell you only one thing: I respect him so much, not only as a trainer, but his personality. That's what I want to say.

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