Gennady Golovkin made a successful first impression in his U.S. ring debut four months ago. The native of Kazakhstan already had built a eyebrow-raising reputation with dominant performances primarily in Europe but had not made a formal introduction to American fight audiences.
When Golovkin stopped highly respected Grzegorz Proska in five rounds on Sept. 1 in Verona, N.Y., he served notice that his win was just not another successful defense of his middleweight belt. Golovkin, who lives in Germany and fights primarily there, crossed the Atlantic to search for the high-profile fights.
Although his immediate fight docket does not feature middleweight kingpin Sergio Martinez, Golovkin, 30, looks to further enhance his name to U.S. fight fans, and at a bigger platform Saturday night.
Golovkin (24-0, 21 knockouts) will make the fifth defense of his World Boxing Association middleweight title against Gabriel Rosado at Madison Square Garden in New York. The bout will be part of HBO’s first telecast of the year.
For Golovkin, another overwhelming win, especially with the HBO and Madison Square Garden backdrop, could intensify talk of a match with Martinez perhaps later in the year. Martinez, the World Boxing Council titleholder after his win against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in September, will fight Martin Murray on April 27 in Martinez’s native Argentina.
Given the dramatic finish to Martinez’s fight against Chavez, in which Chavez trailed Martinez badly for 11 rounds but nearly knocked him out in the 12th, a rematch could happen before Golovkin could envision a coveted bout with Martinez.
As a result, Golovkin needs to keep his calendar busy, and Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs) might provide a tough task. Rosado, of Philadelphia, recovered from a second-round knockout loss against Alfredo Angulo four years ago with an impressive 2012. In his three fights last year, Rosado defeated Jesus Soto Karass, Sechew Powell and Fort Lauderdale resident Charles Whittaker.
The next Florida Boxing Hall of Fame induction class again will have several South Florida residents. The Hall of Fame announced its 2013 class Saturday night in Deerfield Beach.
The new class features James Warring, the second native Miamian to win a professional world title. When he retired as a fighter, Warring became a professional and amateur referee.
Other local members of the boxing community that are part of the new Hall of Fame class include trainers Dave Clark and Roberto Quesada and promoter Henry Rivalta.
“I am very honored with this recognition,” Quesada said in a statement. “This is the reward of many years of hard work. ... It only motivates us to continue the hard work.”
The induction ceremony will be June 21-23 in Tampa.
• Former middleweight and light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins turns 48 on Tuesday, but don’t expect him to retire just yet. In fact, Hopkins will pursue another light-heavyweight belt when he challenges International Boxing Federation title holder Tavoris Cloud on March 9 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs) has not fought since losing his WBC belt against Chad Dawson last April. A Tallahassee resident, Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs) also has had a lengthy ring absence; he is inactive since winning a controversial decision against Gabriel Campillo in February 2012.
Saturday (9 p.m., NBC Sports Network): Sergey Kovalev vs. Gabriel Campillo, 10, light-heavyweights.