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MMA Boxing

Gennady Golovkin’s 8 Most Intriguing Possible Opponents

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Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin
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The undefeated and emerging knockout king Gennady Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) is building himself a brand on HBO, but needs to start consistently fighting names worthy of his talents. The middleweight (160 pounds) Kazakhstani has the luxury of finding top-notch opponents by going down to junior middleweight, up to super middleweight, or just sticking right at 160. Here are eight potential opponents listed in order of probability.

8. Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather
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8. Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather
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This matchup would be beyond awesome for fight fans but has no chance of ever happening. Yes, Floyd has two belts at 154 pounds, but he is technically a 147-pound welterweight, not to mention the ongoing feud between Mayweather's network Showtime and Golovkin's HBO. Instead, Mayweather will continue to torture his mismatched opponents for the duration of his six-fight Showtime deal.

7. Erislandy Lara

Erislandy Lara
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7. Erislandy Lara

Erislandy Lara
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The oft-overlooked Cuban is a southpaw to be reckoned with in the light middleweight division. The problem is that he too fights exclusively on Showtime and looks to be penciled in at 154, whereas Golovkin is going up in weight.

6. Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez
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Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez
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Emerging faster than the fastest jab, Canelo Alvarez is already the biggest pay-per-view draw outside of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. But once again, Alvarez is with Golden Boy and Golden Boy equals Showtime ... and Showtime does not equal Gennady Golovkin. Maybe someday the networks can stop their bickering and do all of the boxing world a favor by putting in two of the best knockout artists in the ring together.

5. Miguel Cotto

Miguel Cotto
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5. Miguel Cotto

Miguel Cotto
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Okay, now we are getting to fights that actually can happen (Hint: HBO fighters from here on out). Miguel Cotto bounced back after two straight defeats to handily beat Delvin Rodriguez by way of a third-round left to the Dominican's face. Now Cotto has moved up to middleweight to face Sergio Martinez, and if he can pull off some Madison Square Garden magic on June 7, he will be able command another big name and possibly another pay-per-view.

4. Carl Froch

Carl Froch
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4. Carl Froch

Carl Froch
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Carl Froch has been playing second fiddle to another 168-pounder on this list for years upon years, but it is quite possible that the "Cobra" by way of Nottingham could touch gloves with Golovkin later this year. It first depends if he can get past countryman George Groves on May 31 in one of 2014's most anticipated rematches.

3. Andre Ward

Andre Ward
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3. Andre Ward

Andre Ward
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Since wiping the canvas clean of super middleweight opponents in 2011's "Super Six," Andre Ward has been chasing a challenger worthy of his skill. This would be quite the matchup for the technical Ward, who is second on the overwhelming majority of pound-for-pound lists. If this fight cannot happen, Ward will have to go up to light heavyweight.

2. Sergio Martinez

Sergio Martinez
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2. Sergio Martinez

Sergio Martinez
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For the last year, it has seemed like the boxing world has been calling for a showdown between Sergio Martinez and Golovkin. The problem was that Martinez re-injured his right knee in a narrow homecoming victory over Martin Murray last April. He was projected to get a warm-up fight or two before testing his 39-year old frame against the 31-year old Golovkin. A win over Miguel Cotto, and you can bet fans will be calling for Martinez-Golovkin.

1. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
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1. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
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ESPN.com reported last Friday that a bout between the Mexican and Golovkin "looks good" to take place in July at 168 pounds and on HBO pay-per-view. If this fight does indeed happen, it's an instant contender for fight of the year, pitting two very solid punchers. The only doubt would be if Chavez Jr. cannot stay clean or make weight, two dilemmas that have plagued the prodigy in the past.