After years of staying the course in patient pursuit of the marquee superfight that could forever alter his life and career, unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin isn't letting anything rob him of his moment.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), following a two-year courtship of boxing's biggest star in the post-Floyd Mayweather era, finally landed the big one against Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) on Sept. 16 in Las Vegas.
So the fact that Mayweather announced his return from a two-year retirement to accept a more carnival fight with UFC champion Conor McGregor -- just three weeks before Golovkin faces Alvarez -- doesn't have GGG worried about being overshadowed or cutting into his pay-per-view buy potential.
"No, no because this is big difference," Golovkin told CBS Sports. "If you want to watch a comedy show or a business show, then please watch Mayweather and McGregor. Everybody understands that my fight with Canelo is a true fight, it is a boxing fight and is about respect and sport.
"This is not a show, this is not a show at all. This is a true fight. There's a big difference. I know people know this … [Sept. 16] is the more important time and more important date."
At 35, it's unknown how much longer Golovkin's prime will last, which has made it extra frustrating for boxing fans to see Alvarez and promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy continually show verbal interest in the bout only to steadily push back the prospective date.
Golovkin, a national celebrity in his native Kazakhstan, wasn't put off by the time it took for Alvarez to make the fight, saying, "it's just business." But he did admit to a sense of relief when the fight was finally announced in May, moments afterin Las Vegas, when GGG entered the ring to face off with Canelo to hype the fight.
There's an "aww shucks" charm to Golovkin's public image that has been a big part of his marketing success. With a huge smile and endearing ability to bungle the English language ever so slightly, Golovkin has a way of presenting himself as accessible and charming -- like the little brother you never had. In a way, it's the perfect dichotomy to the savage and calculated killer he turns into upon entering the ring.
The reality is, Golovkin is just savvy a businessman as he is a technical boxer, which surfaced when talking about his. Golovkin claimed a tight unanimous decision in the first fight of his 11-year pro career that went the full 12-round distance.
Not only did the victory snap Golovkin's almost mythical knockout streak at 23 fights, but many believed GGG finally looked human inside the ring for the first time thanks to Jacobs' size, power and athleticism. Golovkin, however, had a far different response to the fight's impact.
"This is business, Brian. If I look very good [against Jacobs], I don't have a deal with Golden Boy," Golovkin said. "You know, this is my experience. I need a decision fight. I need my first fight going 12 rounds. I needed it.
"One-hundred percent, [I needed] the experience of 12 rounds. Right now, I feel more comfortable. I know, Daniel is a different guy and a different style and a different man. He is not Canelo. Right now, I have a fight with Canelo and [the Jacobs fight] gave me a big chance for the Canelo fight."
It's currently not a bad time to be Golovkin in terms of the GGG brand, either. Having enjoyed sponsorship deals in recent years with Apple, Nike's Jordan Brand and Hublot (a watch company which produces its own GGG line), Golovkin announced in July a multi-fight deal Chivas Regal, makers of luxury whisky, for their Chivas Regal Fight Club campaign.
"I saw Gennady's potential inside the ring -- in fact we all saw it -- but I also saw his potential in terms of marketability outside of it due to his character and his personality," said Golovkin promoter, Tom Loeffler, of K2. "That's the reason why I think global brands such as Chivas believe in Gennady and really trust him to represent their brand."
While Golovkin has never been overly flashy or a fighter willing to talk trash and cross the line of decency, it's a quality that has only seemed to help him from a marketing standpoint. In the case of Chivas, and their "Win the right way" slogan, Loeffler believes Golovkin's similar belief system was a major factor in acquiring the deal.
"The partnership is a perfect connection as far as the belief, the practices and really the fundamentals of each of our brands which matched him nicely," said Lauren Nodzak of Chivas parent company Pernod Ricard USA.
But despite his success of late outside the ring, Golovkin knows he will need a victory over Alvarez inside of it for him to maximize his great potential -- both critically and commercially -- that was first launched upon American fans during his U.S. cable debut in 2012.
"This is the biggest fight for me, 100 percent," Golovkin said. "Maybe, right now, I don't even understand how big it is but it's huge for me. First of all, from a pound-for-pound standpoint but also who is No. 1 in the world in the middleweight division.
"Right now, for me, this just feels bigger. Canelo, the last couple years, he is like a national hero. Maybe it was my situation in Kazakhstan the same. It's very interesting, like two heroes, I don't know, maybe like Superman versus someone. It's very interesting. There's a lot of interest."
Golovkin's reputation as a huge premium cable draw on HBO hasn't quite carried with him onto the PPV level. That's why it's crucial his fight with Alvarez, despite the interference run by Mayweather three weeks earlier, sells up to the level of its expectations as boxing's most important fight of 2017.
"It's like 50/50 to me [in terms of importance]," Golovkin said. "First, of course I want to win because this is a huge step and a huge fight. And of course [as far as PPV sales], why not? Money is money and business is business."