After the world’s grandest amateur tournament is over—the Olympics—professional championship boxing returns with a bang Labor Day Weekend. Turning Stone Resort Casino in upstate Verona, New York will host a live HBO Boxing After Dark telecast Saturday, September 1. The main event features undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs) defending his title against highly regarded Grzegorz Proksa (28-1, 21 KOs).
WBA Middleweight Champion Golovkin of Kazakhstan won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympics. He makes his United States debut in the September 1 main event. Golovkin captured the title in October 2010 and most recently defended it in a May 12 knockout of Makoto Fuchigami (19-7, 10 KOs).
“I’m very excited to face Grzegorz Proksa on September 1st,” said Golovkin. Proksa has never been in the ring with a puncher like me and I’m here to show the world what I’m made of. I’ve wanted to fight in the United States for a long time and look forward to fighting the best middleweights in the world in the near future.”
Proksa, of Poland, exploded onto the world scene when he stopped former International Boxing Federation Middleweight Champion Sebastian Sylvester (34-5-1, 16 KOs) in three rounds:
However, in his next bout, Proksa lost a controversial majority decision to Kerry Hope (17-4, 1 KO):
Proksa emphatically avenged that defeat to Hope in his last bout, stopping him in the eighth round on July 7:
“I have no doubt in my mind that I have the ability to knockout Golovkin,” said Proksa. “My opportunity to showcase my talents to the world has arrived and I’m not going to let it slip away. This will be a difficult fight but I believe in myself to come out victorious and I’m going to bring an aggressive game plan for the fans. I’m coming to the U.S. to impress and take home the title.”
The 12-round co-feature showcases former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Junior Middleweight (154 pounds) champion Sergiy “Razor” Dzinziruk (37-1, 23 KOs) of Kiev, Ukraine versus undefeated Puerto Rican contender Jonathan Gonzalez (15-0, 13 KOs), the current North American Boxing Organization and WBA FEDELATIN Junior Middleweight champion.
Dzinziruk has never lost a bout at 154 pounds. At Junior Middleweight, Dzinziruk has defended his WBO world title seven times. A boxer-puncher, he will look to end the hype on Gonzalez, and regain his claim as one of the best 154-pound fighters in boxing.
“It’s a fact, that I am unbeatable at Junior Middleweight, Dzinziruk said. “Gonzalez is a big puncher, but he’s never been in the ring with a superior boxer like me. I will end his unbeaten record and move toward another world title. I will be champion once again real soon.”
Hard-punching knockout artist, Puerto Rican sensation, Gonzalez, brings a crowd-pleasing style into the ring. He was a Puerto Rican Olympian, amassing 147 wins as an amateur with only 18 defeats.
“I always bring excitement to the ring and it won’t be any different when I face Dzinziruk. My goal is to become champion, ” said Gonzalez.
This marks HBO’s first boxing event broadcast live from Turning Stone Resort Casino, an Oneida Indian Nation Enterprise. Turning Stone has previously hosted fight cards nationally telecast by ESPN. Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said, “We are pleased to have some of the very best boxers in the world coming to Central New York to showcase their talent on HBO. Boxing fans from around the world will be turning their attention to our region for this incredible championship fight."
Although there won’t be any medals awarded, you can bet the championship belts on the line are worth all the gold in the world for these fighters.
Tickets for the September 1 HBO Boxing After Dark event are on sale now and range from $25 to $75 each. To purchase and for more information, call 315-361-7469 or visit Ticketmaster.com. The undercard begins at 8 p.m. with the HBO live broadcast starting at 9:45 p.m. For more information, visit Hbo.com/boxing.