The next obstacle in Golovkin's way to becoming the undisputed king of the Middleweight division is Mexican veteran Marco Antonio Rubio (59-6-1, 51), himself a massive puncher and a full signatory to the "who needs him?" club.
Golovkin is a fighter who really has almost everything a fan can want to see in a fighter. He's technically very well schooled and his amateur pedigree speaks for it's self, he doesn't fight like an amateur however and instead of pot shotting looking for "scoring blows" he seeks and destroys with a technically astute aggressive style dependent on applying constant but calculated pressure. He combines his pressure with thunderous, lights out and soul destroying power to head and body and a very solid chin that has shots bouncing off it like a pistol to a tank.
That's not to say Golvokin is perfect. Defensively he has holes, as shown in his fight with Curtis Stevens, and in many fights he has started slowly giving away the opening round, as he almost did against Japanese fighter Makoto Fuchigami, Also he's not the quickest with his hands or feet, although he does make up for that with intelligent footwork that sees him cutting off the ring in an amazing fashion. It's that cutting off of the ring that makes Golovkin such a great fighter and although his power is his calling card it's the footwork that really impresses us as he immediately forces an opponent on to the ropes and into survival mode. It's genuinely amazing.
As for Rubio, the Mexican is a tough guy with solid power of his own and a lot of experience. He's also one of the Middleweight division's most under-rated fighters and unfortunately he's often been a fighter with more risk than reward. Had Rubio been given some of the chances he had earned there is every chance that he would have been the man to have beaten Sergio Martinez and he would currently hold the WBC world title. Things in boxing however don't often go as they should and instead he was still chasing a bout at the WBC title prior to agreeing to fight Golovkin.
Rubio is one of the division hard nosed challengers. In his 66 fights he has suffered just 3 stoppage losses with only one of those, a defeat to Kelly Pavlik, coming in the last decade. Although an avoided fighter he has battled against the likes of Pavlik, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Kofi Jantuah, Kassim Ouma, Zaurbek Baysangurov, Enrique Ornelas, David Lemieux and most recently Domenico Spada. With mixed results against those guys it's clear to say that Rubio is a qualified world level fighter, even if he's never actually held a true world title.
For this fight what we're expecting is what we expect every time Golovkin fights. His opponent will look confident though with in a round we're expecting Rubio to be on the back foot throwing shots which are more about trying to prevent Golovkin coming forward than actually winning the round. As with most fighters however Rubio will soon discover that that strategy doesn't work against Golovkin and mentally he'll crumble as Golvokin tags him with dynamite shots that appear moderately show but like a shot gun have real staying power.
Rubio is tough and won't be taken out by the first clean shot like some fighters have been but there is no doubting he will be Golvokin's 28th stoppage victim from just 31 fights. A win here should see Golovkin adding the WBC silver Middleweight title to his collection and taking a huge step towards a big money break out fight against Miguel Cotto, a win there and Golovkin will almost certainly go down as the divisions #1 fighter, at least until he decides to mount an assault on the Super Middleweight division which we suspect may come in the next 12-18 months.
(Image courtesy of http://wbcboxing.com)