If the fight between Gennady Golovkin and Curtis Stevens is anything like the war of words between the camps, it's going to be a fantastic fight.
"I'm hungry, and I want blood," Stevens said during a conference call earlier this month. "I want to decapitate him."
From Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez: "I think it will be a short night. Nothing impresses me about Stevens. He's a 'B' fighter who talked his way into a title fight."
Golovkin will defend his WBA and IBO middleweight titles against Stevens on Nov. 2 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in a bout televised by HBO. Both men are terrific punchers. Golovkin is 27-0 with 24 knockouts and Stevens is 25-3 with 18 knockouts. Stevens, who is from Brownsville, ended a 14-month layoff in 2012 and has won four straight, including three by first-round knockout.
And while the fight is in Stevens' backyard, Golovkin created quite a buzz when he fought in New York in January. His exposure on HBO has quickly made the middleweight from Kazakhstan one of boxing's must-see attractions.
"I like New York very much," said Golovkin, who won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics. "I like the atmosphere. It's always special to fight in Madison Square Garden."
Stevens, who won a Golden Gloves title at the Garden, has a long history of fighting at the venue. But he understands that the Theater may be a house divided when they meet.
"I know the fight is in my hometown, but I know that people are coming to see him fight too," Stevens said. "I have to approach this like any other fighter. Whether I am fighting in Las Vegas or Connecticut or New York, I have a job to do. I understand people want to see him. I'm just wondering what people are going to think once I knock him out."
Sanchez believes he trains the best middleweight that the boxing world has seen in quite some time.
"This kid has had 350 amateur fights," Sanchez said. "He's been all over the world. There is nothing that's going to distract him or rattle him on Nov. 2. People underestimate him. This will be one of the best middleweights to lace up the gloves since Sugar Ray Robinson."
The middleweight division is peaking at the moment. In addition to Golovkin, the division's other two champions -- Sergio Martinez and Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin -- are stars who would both make for a compelling unification fight.
"We are just hoping the best fights get made," Sanchez said. "Unfortunately there is squabbling between networks and promoters. We'll fight anyone from 154 pounds to 168. [Don] King and [Bob] Arum were bitter enemies but things still got worked out. We are hopeful. Quillin says he wants to fight Gennady, but he's still an undercard fighter. He's fighting on someone's undercard. Every fight is important. I won't look past Stevens. But I want a unification bout."
Quillin, who is from Brooklyn, defends his WBO middleweight title on Oct. 26 against Gabe Rosado (a Golovkin knockout victim earlier this year) in Atlantic City. The main event will see IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins defend against Karo Murat.