Gennady Golovkin eagerly dips a spoon into the bowl of blood-red borscht before him, going to work on the soup with gusto while friends and fellow fighters chat all around him in a lively Russian restaurant.
The Kazakh boxer who lives in Germany and trains in California knows how to enjoy a little taste of home wherever he can get it. The WBA middleweight champion is comfortable on three continents - and the way his career is going, the rest of the boxing world should know his name very soon.
Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs) makes his American debut Saturday night, fighting Poland's Grzegorz Proksa at a casino in upstate New York. Already a world citizen, Golovkin is determined to conquer the U.S. - and he's got the might of the Klitschko brothers' promotional company behind him.
''This is my dream, my first fight in America,'' Golovkin said in his ever-improving English - his fourth language, by the way. ''Maybe the next fight is in New York, in Vegas, but now, I'm very happy.''