With Felix Sturm and Daniel Geale set to meet on September 1 in Germany, another big middleweight fight is ready to go, as WBO titlist Dmitry Pirog will face Gennady Golovkin on August 25 on HBO. Steve Kim first reported that the fight was being "seriously discussed," and Dan Rafael seemed to confirm it as a done deal.
Pirog (20-0, 15 KO) has held the WBO title since his win over Danny Jacobs in July 2010, defending it three times against mediocre opposition in Javier Maciel, Gennady Martirosyan, and most recently, Nobuhiro Ishida. Golovkin (23-0, 20 KO) has made most of his name via press clippings, as his schedule hasn't lived up to his reputation, but he's also been repeatedly avoided by the likes of Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam and Felix Sturm.
HBO's original August middleweight idea was to match Pirog and Geale, but that fell through. This certainly isn't a bad alternative. Golovkin, 30, isn't as young as he seems, but he's still young in ring years and at his best, he's a highly exciting fighter. The 31-year-old Pirog is similarly in his peak years with little improvement likely, but also at his best can be a lot of fun to watch.
It's the sort of fight both should be involved in if they're going to be considered among the world's best at 160 pounds, and both are currently top five or so in the world by most independent rankings. It's also a fight that makes a lot of sense for HBO, since they're invested in the middleweight division via Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, and those guys need opponents that their viewers are familiar with if they're going to maximize the gain.