(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.)
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Gennady Golovkin realizes not many top boxers are eager to step into a ring with him.
The Kazakh middleweight hopes to make himself impossible to ignore this year, starting with Saturday’s fight against Gabriel Rosado at Madison Square Garden.
Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs) is a WBA champion with the potential to fight in three weight divisions, but his two-handed knockout power and relatively small U.S. name recognition make him an extremely undesirable matchup for champions from 154 to 168 pounds.
But Golovkin’s showmanship and charisma have earned him a devoted fan following that’s growing virally with each performance. Backed by the Klitschko brothers’ promotional company, he hopes to fight five times in 2013.
If he keeps improving, Golovkin believes he’ll land the big fights he craves.