With a month to go before the fight, middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin is deep in training for his defense against former titleholder Daniel Geale on July 26 (HBO) at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Golovkin, from Kazakhstan, has been in training camp with Abel Sanchez in Big Bear Lake, California since late May in preparation for his 11th title defense, which will come against his most accomplished opponent in Australia's Geale (30-2, 16 KOs).
Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) had been due to fight in April, but due to the unexpected death of his father, a defense against Andy Lee was canceled. That means this has been a longer layoff than usual for Golovkin, who hoped to fight four times this year, yet hasn't fought since a seventh-round knockout of Osumanu Adama on Feb. 1.
"It feels great to be back with Abel and the team," Golovkin said. "Daniel Geale is a former world champion and this is the toughest fight of my career. It took me a couple days when I got to camp to get comfortable, but now camp is going well and I look forward to returning to Madison Square Garden."
Golovkin did take a trip down the mountain last weekend to attend the fight card headlined by the Robert Guerrero-Yoshihiro Kamegai welterweight slugfest at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. It was a nice, but quick, timeout from training for GGG.
"This [past] Saturday night was a nice break," Sanchez said. "Gennady is a boxing fan and wanted to take in the fights from ringside instead of watching from camp. The fans love him and he enjoys signing autographs and taking pictures with them."
But Sanchez said Golovkin would be ready for Geale.
"Geale boxes a little more [than other opponents]," he said. "We've been very confident of the past opponents running away, but we don't anticipate that from him. Hopefully, he will bring out the very best of Gennady. The better he is, the better it will be for Gennady to perform.
"Geale is more accomplished [than other opponents]. He has [won unified world titles] and he's the most experienced boxer at the top level that we've fought. He has got the most to gain and is on the cusp of being a world champion again."
Sanchez also broke down Golovkin's training routine: On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, they meet at the gym at 7 a.m. and run five miles. Then there is a gym session at 1 p.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they do sprints instead of the distance run.
Since Golovkin has no problem making 160 pounds, Sanchez said his fighter isn't on a strict diet.
"Not really a particular diet; no sugars, fats or sodas. Just a balanced diet," he said. "Gennady eats pretty much what he wants, but he's very smart about what he eats in camp. The great Emanuel Steward said it best: Keep it as simple as possible for the fighter. It should not be a dramatic change as they get to another level."