In a report first mentioned by Dan Rafael of ESPN, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is set to make his return to the ring on Saturday, June 8th at Madison Square Garden in New York City against Steve Rolls. The announcement was made Tuesday at which the 12 round bout will be at the catchweight of 164 pounds. This fight for Golovkin is the first in a six-fight deal he signed with DAZN back in March.
Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) the Kazakhstan native now residing in Santa Monica, California, will be fighting for the first time since losing a highly contested majority decision to Canelo Alvarez in their rematch last September. Before that loss, he had defended the middleweight title belts a record 21 consecutive times.
“I am very excited to be returning to the ring and bringing the ‘Big Drama Show’ back to Madison Square Garden,” Golovkin said. “The Garden’s fans are fantastic. I love boxing, and I promise to bring the best of me to everyone who will be watching me in an all-action fight with Steve Rolls.”
Rolls (19-0,10 KOs) is a 34-year-old boxer from Toronto who is unbeaten but has faced very limited competition. When looking up the caliber of opponents in Boxrec, the toughest fight he had was an 8 rounder against Demond Nicholson which he did win by split decision. The last fight he won was against journeyman KeAndrae Leatherwood by unanimous decision. last December.
“I want to sincerely thank DAZN and GGG himself for giving me the opportunity to challenge one of the best fighters in the world,” Rolls said. “But let me be clear: I’ve won national championships and represented my country, and Golovkin is just a man. I’m coming to win this fight and put my name among the best middleweights in the world.”
As to why the decision of Rolls in his first fight, managing director of GGG Promotions Tom Loeffler mentioned it would be a way to boost subscription sales.
“We went through a number of names, and for Gennady’s first fight on DAZN they liked that Steve Rolls is from Canada because they want to boost their subscriptions in the Canadian market. So that was one factor in Rolls getting the fight,” said Tom Loeffler, the managing director of GGG Promotions. “But they also liked that he is undefeated and that he is a hungry fighter.”
Many boxing fans and us here are waiting on the trilogy of Alvarez-Golovkin III to hopefully take shape. With both fighters signed to long term deals on the same DAZN streaming service, the plan is set for both fighters to meet up again in September.
In the meantime, A two-city press tour, featuring both Rolls and Golovkin, will take place next week, starting at Madison Square Garden on Monday, April 22, and concluding in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 23.