• Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
    • 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism
    • ESPN.com boxing writer since 2005
    • Five years at USA Today

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NEW YORK -- Nobody knows just how well middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin will sell in his first foray on pay-per-view when he meets fellow action fighter and huge puncher David Lemieux in a world-title unification bout Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
But if the ticket sales for the fight are any indication -- and usually they are when it comes to measuring public interest -- then Golovkin appears headed for success.
K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler announced Thursday at the final undercard news conference that Madison Square Garden is sold out for Saturday's event (HBO PPV, 9 p.m. ET).
MSG officials confirmed that there are no tickets left at the box office, and none are available via Ticketmaster’s website (although tickets are available on the secondary market).
It’s a remarkable achievement considering there are no New York fighters in the featured bouts, Golovkin has only been fighting regularly in the United States for three years and only one of the eight featured fighters on the pay-per-view portion of the card is even American. Yet the fight sold out of more than 20,000 tickets, which co-promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy noted during his remarks.
“Only in the U.S. can you have a fighter from Canada [Lemieux], a fighter from Kazakhstan [Golovkin], a fighter from Nicaragua [Roman Gonzalez], a fighter from Hawaii [Brian Viloria] and a fighter from Cuba [Luis Ortiz] and sell out the Garden,” De La Hoya said. “What a beautiful country and the people who live in it. That’s what it’s all about. God bless the U-S-of-A.”