NEW YORK (AP) — Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is already boxing’s rising star. Welterweight champ Kell Brook hopes that jumping two weight classes will let him prove he’s just as talented.
“I want to test myself with the best fighters out there and Triple G is the best fighter out there,” Brook said. “I believe I am good enough to beat this guy.”
Golovkin, a middleweight champion who’s perhaps the most feared active boxer because of his highlight knockouts, said Brook presents the biggest test of his career.
“He’s the best in his division, but now I’m very excited. I understand the situation,” Golovkin said.
Both fighters are undefeated — Golovkin is 35-0 while Brook is 36-0. The Sept. 10 fight in London’s O2 Arena has allures for both fighters — it’s Brook’s hometown, but a new stage for Golovkin, a 34-year-old from Kazakhstan who has become a draw in the United States while fighting out of Los Angeles.
“To be a great fighter, you have to do great things,” said Brook, who described himself as “an animal” who has “a leap and a step to this fight.”
Brook has been hunting for a major fight since winning the IBF title, while Golovkin has had trouble getting any fighters to challenge him. Golovkin’s last fight was a second-round knockout of Dominic Wade in April.
Lineal middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, titleholder Billy Joe Saunders, and middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. all chose not to go through with a fight with Golovkin, but Brook “jumped at” the opportunity when the most recent negotiations with Eubank fell through last week.
“When two fighters want to fight each other it isn’t hard to make a deal,” Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler said.
Eddie Hearn, Brook’s promoter, said the fight is “crazy” but is something Brook and his team had been waiting a really long time to make happen.
“We offered fighters, champions, so-called champions, millions of dollars to come fight Kell Brook and all we received really was silence and bluster,” Hearn said.
Kell said he has been “going through hell in training” and he wants the world to see how he is preparing and “how great” he really is.