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Golovkin has date, location for next bout

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Gennady Golovkin has picked a date and a location for his next bout. The middleweight champion just hasn't figured out who he's fighting July 26 at Madison Square Garden.

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''It doesn't matter who I fight, but I'm always looking forward to the future,'' Golovkin said Saturday.

Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) is moving on after Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. turned down a lucrative offer to fight him in Southern California on pay-per-view on July 19.

Chavez is the latest elite fighter to back away from a bout with Golovkin, who was willing to move up to 168 pounds to make that bout happen. The hard-punching Kazakh is a rising star after racking up 15 consecutive stoppage victories, but has been unable to lure Chavez, Sergio Martinez or the rest of the world's biggest names into the ring despite HBO's financial backing.

The mandatory challenger for his WBA belt is unheralded Australian Jarrod Fletcher, but Golovkin is more interested in fighting former champion Daniel Geale in July in New York.

Golovkin is attempting to play by the sanctioning bodies' frequently absurd rules by applying for an exemption to bypass Fletcher in favor of Geale (30-2), another Australian with a much better chance of hanging in with Golovkin.

''We feel Geale would be the biggest name available, and that's why we've asked for an exemption,'' said Tom Loeffler, Golovkin's promoter. ''We're not ruling Chavez out, but it's definitely not going to happen in July, and Gennady can't wait.''

After several weeks away from training while mourning his father's death, Golovkin is ready to resume the aggressive pace of his career. He traveled from his home in Stuttgart, Germany, to Los Angeles this week to begin training camp in Big Bear, California, even before knowing who he'll fight.

''By the time this fight happens, I will be ready and better prepared,'' Golovkin said. ''What happened in my family, maybe this happened because I needed the time to get things together.''

Golovkin won four fights in 2013 and added a fifth victory in February 2014, stopping each opponent in impressive fashion.

Golovkin is interested in fighting the winner of Carl Froch's meeting with George Groves in London on May 31, and would be willing to fight in England. He also would entertain a bout with Denmark's Mikkel Kessler or England's Martin Murray.

And Golovkin is still hoping Martinez will meet him in a middleweight bout after his fight against Miguel Cotto in New York in June 7.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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