Golovkin needs to not only score a knockout in this fight, but he also needs to look impressive doing so if he wants to get the bigger names like Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to fight him, because right now neither of those guys are inclined to do that.
All they really need is one bad performance by Golokvin to use it as an excuse to never fight him. That’s why it’s up to Golovkin to take care of the 34-year-old Rubio by not letting him hang around and spoil.
Rubio doesn’t have much pressure on him in this fight because he’s not expected to win the fight, so he can come out as the winner just by being able to make it the full 12 rounds. It would be a moral victory for Rubio if he can go 12 rounds in this fight and still end up losing. Some boxing fans will wonder why Golovkin couldn’t knock Rubio out when a guy like Kelly Pavlik could.
“You remember Mike Tyson, the kind of excitement he generated, that’s what Golovkin’s creating at the middleweight level,” Kellerman said to ESPN.com. “The top guys haven’t gotten in there with him yet, but he’s absolutely plowing through the next level. Golovkin’s a long ways away from becoming an all-time great, because he hasn’t had the opportunity to fight the top fighters in the world, which is a statement of how dangerous everyone sees Golovkin because he’s knocking out all those guys.”
Golovkin is definitely creating the kind of excitement that Mike Tyson created early in his career, but he’s not going to be able to create a ton of excitement until he gets the top fighters like Canelo and Cotto to fight him. Golovkin needs wins over Canelo, Cotto and Peter Quillin for him to get to the next level.
If he stubs his toe against Rubio on Saturday night by failing to look good in this fight then you can probably forget about Golovkin ever getting a fight against Cotto. That won’t happen. Cotto will likely retire without fighting Golovin.
Canelo is a different story. He’ll likely fight him at some point even if he fails to impress against Rubio, but I see Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions making Golovkin wait 2-3 years before they do agree to fight him. And if Golovkin has some additional less than impressive performances then I can see that time being extended well beyond the 3 year period.