How Will We Remember Gennady Golovkin’s Career?
By: Kirk Jackson
Fresh off his first official defeat of his professional career, questions surround the former middleweight champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin 38-1-1 (34 KO’s).
Questions regarding his next move, which direction his career carries into the future, questions pertaining to the very fabric and foundation for his career. This past fight for instance, why he was pushed back by the smaller man?
Succumbing to defeat via the hands of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 50-1-2 (34 KO’s) sets an astonishing precedent, but not for the fact Golovkin suffered defeat to an elite fighter. It’s the fashion of how defeat manifested.
The fact the smaller man originally beginning his career at junior welterweight (140lbs.), walked down and stalked the career long middleweight is a bold statement. Future Hall of Fame fighter and ESPN boxing analyst Andre Ward expands on this notion.
Leading up to the rematch, Golovkin and head trainer Abel Sanchez asked, begged, pleaded for Alvarez to stand and fight, to not utilize lateral movement in the rematch, to give the fans an action-packed show, thus providing Golovkin with greater opportunity to sink his powerful punches in hopes of bashing the Mexican star.
Team Golovkin trashed Alvarez leading up to the rematch. Some of their ire (rightfully so) drew from the failed drug tests from the banned substance clenbuterol and the other part of their frustration stemmed from the results and how the first fight transpired.
However, Golovkin and Sanchez got what they asked for, Canelo took the fight to Triple G, walking him down, pushing the bigger fight back, controlling the story of the fight, as Ward eloquently stated to Stephen A. Smith during their brief debate regarding the results of the rematch between Golovkin and Alvarez.
The wounds are still fresh, it’s natural for one to be a prisoner of the moment and to make declarations and assessments to what was just witnessed.
Ultimately as time passes, data continues to collect, the tea leaves assemble and we’ll be able to make a full assessment of the career of Gennady Golovkin.
His name will forever be linked with Alvarez and as it stands now, he is on the wrong side of history.
Looks like Golovkin's career will be a hard pill to swallow, never won the big fight against an a-side, never unified and struggled against the best in the division. Seems like his legacy might be his run against lesser opposition and sparring stories. #CaneloGGG2
— LukieBoxing (@LukieBoxing) September 16, 2018
The tweet from podcaster and editor @LukieBoxing is a fair statement about Golovkin’s career.
Digesting that statement, where is Golovkin’s signature victory against the A-side opponent? Which win was his signature win if he has one? Who is it against? Was his signature win against Daniel Jacobs, another close, disputed fight? Or is it against David Lemieux? Or perhaps his signature win was against the undefeated Kell Brook, the natural welterweight moving up two weight classes.
Addressing the issue of unification of the world titles, Golovkin spent his entire professional career at middleweight and entering the rematch with Alvarez was a world champion since 2010.
You would think somewhere throughout that long reign, unification of the division would have transpired right?
Sanctioning bodies play a role, same with promoters, promotional companies and networks. These components play part and such is the dynamic of boxing from the business perspective.
Even still, if going off the words and merits of Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez or promoter Tom Loefller, the past four years or so Golovkin has been the A-side – meaning headliner of boxing, thus other fighters should want to fight him due to his stature in boxing and earning potential.
But both Sanchez and Loefller were also quoted stating no one wants to fight Golovkin because they are afraid to get knocked out.
The statements contradict each other and its perplexing trying to determine the purpose and angle for how they addressed Golovkin’s lack of great opposition and failure to unify the division.
Even Golovkin doesn’t think fighters are necessarily afraid to fight him.
As far as the fear factor his handlers attempted to plant into the minds of the public, sometimes it went as far as exposing gym wars and sparring stories – even at the expense of others. Golovkin’s sparring with Sergey Kovalev is part of the legend.
In an interview with HustleBoss, Abel Sanchez said, “He [Kovalev] was one of the sparring partners that we had. He was with me for about a year and a half.”
“Really Kovalev was afraid of Golovkin when he was in the ring. I couldn’t spar him too much because he showed too much respect for Golovkin. He just fell apart in there with Golovkin.”
For years Triple G was perceived by media and fans alike as some mythological boogeyman due to false narrative initiating with Triple G’s trainer and promoter, to be echoed by networks like HBO, ESPN and repeated by other writers and reporters throughout the media.
But for some reason, Golovkin never unified the division. The last great middleweight Golovkin is compared to actually unified the division during his reign at middleweight. That person is Bernard Hopkins.
Jermain Taylor acquired all the world titles at middleweight by virtue of defeating Hopkins.
By comparison, current WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford acquired all junior welterweight titles, unifying the division in two years’ time, while the current undisputed, unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, captured every world title in his division under less than five years’ time.
Boxing history shows, if a truly great champion cannot unify the division and this can be virtue by a variety of circumstances, that great champion moves up in weight class, seeking greater and often times more luxurious challenges.
Manny Pacquiao is a prime example. Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Sergio Martinez, Vasyl Lomachenko, etc.
The indication is if Golovkin experienced difficulty securing bouts against other elite fighters in his weight class, or experienced securing bouts against the champions holding the other titles, the logical move is forcing that belt holder to vacate or to move up in weight and seek other challenges.
But that wasn’t the path for Golovkin.
There is nothing wrong with his path, he has every right to handle his career, finances, whatever he wants how he sees fit. But when comparing him to other great all-time fighters or even his contemporaries and great fighters for this era, he falls short.
And now, the same people suggesting Golovkin is an all-time great, legendary, unstoppable fighter are the same ones dismissing his greatness in light of his recent defeat. Remember, HBO analyst Jim Lampley openly stated Golovkin’s career is a failure if he fails to defeat Alvarez. Lampley was the conductor on the Triple G train.
“He’s trying to make a statement [Saturday] night to say that he’s the greatest middleweight of all time,” Lampley said about Golovkin leading up to the rematch.
“But if he loses the fight, his entire career was a failure,” Lampley continues. “If he loses this fight, he’s not just losing to Canelo. He’s losing to the six years he spent in Europe at the beginning of his professional career, chasing a title held by Felix Sturm, for which he was never going to get a chance to compete [to win].”
“He’s losing to a decision he made about how to construct his career, that basically put him in limbo for six years and ultimately brought him to the United States as something of an underground legend. What would Triple-G be if he had come straight from his loss in Athens at the end of the Olympics in 2004 to the United States? Could’ve been an entirely different story. Could’ve been a much, much bigger star. Could’ve had a larger imprint on the history of boxing.”
For history to reserve a fonder memory of Golovkin he needs drastic wins against higher level opponents but at 36-years-old, sand falls faster in the hourglass and with it opportunities shrink.
There was a lapse of talent in the middleweight division for most of the decade, only recently experiencing a resurgence of talent with the emergence of Daniel Jacobs, Billie Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo, Saul Alvarez, Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Demetrius Andrade.
Can Golovkin beat Alvarez in a third fight? It’s possible, it’s not like he wasn’t competitive – it was a close fight. Same applies for Golovkin’s chances against Jacobs as he defeated in the past. How does Golovkin fare against the other fighters mentioned?
Will Golovkin challenge the other middleweights or will he emulate Hopkins, ascending to the higher weight divisions, facing new challenges as the previous middleweight king before him did?
Or is he on his way towards retirement, seeking another large payday or two, aiming for further financial security?
If the latter option is the answer, securing one or two more fights with Canelo is should be the objective for Triple G. Whether it comes to fruition is another story.
For Golovkin, the context of the comparisons will dictate how he’s remembered.
World class trainer and boxing analyst Teddy Atlas implies, was Golovkin overrated; a talented fighter with good skills but with glaring weaknesses never exposed in the ring because of favorable match-ups against weaker opposition and media hype.
Which begs the question, how will we remember Gennady Golovkin?
Mental Warfare Tactics Backfired for Gennady Golovkin
By: Kirk Jackson
If newly dethroned champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin 38-1-1 (34 KO’s) is looking for excuses for the results of defeat against Mexican rival Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 50-1-2 (34 KO’s), he may want to look towards his corner’s direction.
Golovkin and his trainer, Abel Sanchez, castigated Alvarez for “Running” and not fighting “Mexican style” during their first encounter last year. There is cultural appropriation and many of the HBO analysts along with other members of mass media perpetuate that ignorance, but that’s another story.
Post the initial fight and leading up to the rematch, Sanchez and company dismissed Alvarez and his elusive fight style, questioning his boxing character.
“What happened to Canelo’s body shots? You can’t punch someone when they’re running, and Canelo was running so it’s hard for Golovkin to throw his punches when Canelo is running,” Sanchez said in one of the interviews leading up to the rematch.
“Canelo knocked out Liam Smith with a body punch. That’s supposedly his favorite punch. Why didn’t he throw it against Golovkin to the body? He didn’t, you cannot punch a target that’s running.”
It appears Sanchez’s words ignited a fire matching Canelo’s hair color, because Alvarez didn’t move much in this exhilarating rematch and regularly brought the fight to the powerful Golovkin. Alvarez arguably walked down the bigger fighter for 9, 10 rounds of their 12 round championship fight.
HBO commentator Roy Jones suggested the comments from the Golovkin camp implied they would knock-out Alvarez if he’s willing to stand and trade.
This cast a narrative of the fight before it happened and when Alvarez took the fight to Golovkin in the rematch, he changed the “Story” of the fight in his favor. “Story” was a common term echoed throughout the course of their fight by HBO commentators.
To Sanchez’s credit, he gave respect towards his adversary after the fight, although not directly in the ring during the customary post-fight interviews.
“We had a great fight, the one we expected the first time around,” Sanchez said. “I had it close going into the 12th round. We had good judges, who saw it from different angles. I can’t complain about the decision, but it’s close enough to warrant a third fight. Canelo fought a great fight. Congratulations.”
Not only did the mental warfare tactics from Golovkin’s camp backfire, they cost Golovkin the fight and highlighted weaknesses from Golovkin in spite of his performance. It’s his version of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The good was the actual fight. Back and forth action, high-paced action, competitive, both combatants displaying iron chins and gigantic hearts, placing themselves within that realm of vulnerability that is the boxing ring on the grandest stage.
The bad were the tactical errors and blame that can be placed on Golovkin and Sanchez. Golovkin has over 300 amateur fights, is an Olympic Silver medalist, professional world champion for more than eight years and the bigger fighter. Why couldn’t he stop the smaller fighter who started at junior welterweight (140 lbs.) from walking him down?
Sanchez trained a few Hall of Fame fighters and many world champions, but was there some form of advice or tactical adjustment to push the smaller fighter back to gain control of the real estate in the ring and control of the “Story” in the fight?
During the fight, Sanchez realized the hole they were in because after round seven, viewers could hear Sanchez loudly whisper in Golovkin’s ear, “You’re losing the fight.” Most of the fight was Golovkin backing up, fighting off his back foot looking awkward, robotic and uncomfortable.
That’s not to suggest you can’t win a fight off your back foot because you can, it’s just an observation of how the tables have turned and points to what HBO commentator Roy Jones suggested about the story of the fight favoring Canelo.
The ugly is the defeat and how it was handled. It was a close competitive fight, one of those fights a draw or decision either way is not a bad result – similar to the fight most recently exhibited between Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia.
But with this defeat, Golovkin lacks a signature win against a high-quality opponent. Some may argue Daniel Jacobs, but some may also argue Jacobs won or that Golovkin barely squeezed that one out. Just like some may argue Golovkin won the rematch with Alvarez, or that he won both fights. It boils down to the judges and what’s officially ledged in the history book. That’s an L for Golovkin.
The ugly is also how Triple G handled defeat. Frustration after a close fight is part of the game, it’s understandable. However if Triple G is regarded as a professional, such a nice guy and represents the sport properly, then he is not above providing a post-fight interview after losing.
The lack of the post-fight ring interview may relate to his tenure with HBO ending as this was the last fight on their contract. Regardless if that’s true or not, it’s not a good look.
And where Golovkin goes from here is uncertain. Although he and his trainer more than likely would prefer a third fight with Alvarez opposed to facing anyone else.
“I think that in this business, in this boxing business, they have to look at all the possibilities for the future not only for Canelo, but also for Golovkin,” Sanchez told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Saturday night. “I think that, as a pair, they stand to do better than any fight that either one could ever have [against another opponent].”
Fighting Alvarez guarantees more money, there is the revenge factor and oddly enough from a boxing tactical sense, it makes it’s the best move for Golovkin as Sanchez suggested.
Until the decision manifests, Team Golovkin can rest and ponder about the decisions pre-fight and during that cost them the fight.
HBO PPV Preview: Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin Rematch, Plus Full Undercard
By: William Holmes
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin PPV
HBO PPV: $84.95
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Start time: 8PM ET/ 5PM PT
TV Undercard: Jaime Munguia vs Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook
David Lemieux vs Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs Moises “Moi” Fuentes
On Saturday, September 15th the long awaited rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will finally occur for Golovkin’s WBA and WBC Middleweight Titles.
They were originally to fight on May 5th, but a positive test for clenbuterol scuttled those plans. Canelo claimed the trace levels detected were due to contaminated meat, which was met with some skepticism by Golovkin and his team.
Jaime Mungui and Brandon Cook will meet in the co-main event of the night for Munguia’s WBO Junior Middleweight World Title. David Lemieux and Gary O’Sullivan will also meet in a middleweight bout with possible future title implications.
Other boxers such as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Moises Fuentes, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Alexis Rocha, and Brian Ceballo will also be featured on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the three top fights for Saturday’s HBO PPV offering.
David Lemieux (39-4) vs. Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2); Middleweights
David Lemieux is only twenty nine years old, and will be five years older than Gary O’Sullivan come fight night, but in ring years he’s significantly older. He’s been in some tough fights with some tough competition and already has thirteen more professional fights than O’Sullivan.
They’re about the same size, O’Sullivan will have a slight ½ inch height advantage. They both have decent power. Lemieux has stopped thirty three of his opponents while O’Sullivan has stopped twenty. However, Lemieux only has one stoppage victory in his past five fights while O’Sullivan has five victories in a row by stoppage.
They also have both been stopped. Lemieux has two stoppage losses while O’Sullivan has one stoppage loss on his record.
They both have been fairly active. He fought once in 2018, three times in 2017, and twice in 2016. O’Sullivan fought once in 2018, four times in 2017, and once in 2016.
Lemieux does have an edge in amateur experience. He won the Canadian National Junior Championships in 2006 while O’Sullivan does not have any notable amateur accomplishments.
Lemieux’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin, and earlier in his career to Joachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubion. He has beaten the likes of Elvin Ayala, Hector Camacho Jr., Fernando Guerrero, Gabriel Rosado, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Glen Tapia, Curtis Stevens, and Karim Achour.
O’Sullivan’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. He has defeated the likes of Berlin Abreu, Antoine Douglas, Nick Quigley, Melvin Bentancourt, and Matthew Hall.
If this fight happened three years ago Lemieux would be considered the favorite. But he looked slow and old in his loss to Billy Joe Saunders and he is starting to show signs of ring wear. O’Sullivan on the other hand, has been riding a good win streak and looked sensational against a solid young prospect in Antoine Douglas.
This writer has to pick O’Sullivan in a minor upset.
Jaime Munguia (30-0) vs. Brandon Cook (20-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
Jaime Munguia is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ best young fighters and at the age of twenty one is already a legitimate world champion.
He has exceptional power. He has twenty five stoppage wins and has stopped six of his past seven opponents. He’s also eleven years younger than his opponent Brandon Cook, who only has thirteen stoppage wins, and already has one stoppage loss.
Munguia has been incredibly active. He already fought four times in 2018 and fought seven times in 2017. Cook has also been active and fought once in 2018 and three times in 2017.
Munguia has the better amateur pedigree. He was a Gold Medalist in the Mexican National Championships and turned pro at the age of 16.
Cook’s lone loss was to Kanat Islam by TKO in 2017. He doesn’t have any big victories of note, he has defeated the likes of Miguel Suarez, Steven Butler, and Hector Santana.
Munguia has defeated the likes of Liam Smith, Sadam Ali, Jose Paz, Paul Valenzuela Jr., and Johnny Navarrete.
On paper, it’s hard to find anything that Bradon Cook does better than Jaime Munguia. It’s likely we will see that in the ring too.
Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2); WBA/WBC Middleweight Title
Gennady Golovkin has to be considered one of, if not the best middleweight boxers in the 21st century. However, he doesn’t have that big signature win over an exceptional opponent on his resume.
Many thought he did enough to beat Canelo last year, but Canelo came on strong in the later rounds and was able to make the fight a draw.
Both boxers have good power. Golovkin has stopped thirty four of his opponents, though his power seems to be slipping recently. Canelo also has thirty four stoppage wins. Neither boxer has ever been stopped in their career.
Canelo will have a slight ½ inch reach advantage, but will also be giving up about two inches in height. Canelo will be eight years younger than Golovkin on Saturday, and Golovkin may be showing some signs of rust in his armor with his advancing age.
Golovkin has the better amateur career of the two. He was a silver medalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Canelo turned professional at a young age, but did win the 2005 Junior Mexican National Championships.
Golovkin has beaten the likes of Vanes Martirosyan, Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Gabriel Rosado. He has fought twice a year in 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Canelo has beaten the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, and Kermit Cintron. His lone loss was the Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he had a draw very early in his career to a Jorge Juarez.
Both boxers seem motivated and have a genuine dislike of each other since Canelo’s positive steroid test in the spring. In their last fight they appeared to be very respectful towards each other, almost too much.
Golovkin’s age is a big concern and his best days are likely behind him. Canelo also appeared to have figured out Golovkin by the end of the fight and was coming on strong. The fight fans in attendance will also likely be in favor of Canelo over Golovkin.
The intangibles favor Canelo,but it’s hard to pick against a man that has never lost and looked absolutely dominating at times.
This is basically an even fight, but this writer has to give the slightest of edges to Golovkin, only because it appeared that Golovkin should have received the decision last time.
Gennady Golovkin’s Fight For Legacy
By: Kirk Jackson
The path of Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin 38-0-1, (34 KO’s) is interesting. For years he was perceived by media and fans alike as some mythological boogeyman-esque fighter.
This perception is a testament to his style, commitment towards his craft and enthusiasm towards inflicting pain and despair upon opponents.
The label and distinction awarded to him as one of the most feared fighters is also and perhaps more so a testament to Tom Loeffler and his promotion of the Kazakhstan star.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
A great fighter will look outstanding against elite opposition because that great fighter is forced to show his/her character as a fighter when things aren’t easy.
Sugar Ray Leonard displayed greatness against Tommy Hearns because he was pitted against an equally great fighter and endured a situation unique and had never experienced prior.
Leonard had to adjust to the superior boxer; walking through the flames of Hearns’ extensive range and menacing punching power.
Leonard stopped the “Hitman” via technical knock-out, displaying special talent and great tenacity to adjust, strategically change the game plan and seize victory.
Showcasing the ability to overcome adversity isn’t the only metric to measure one’s greatness, as analyzing the manner how a fighter dominates competition can be used as criteria.
The dominance or consistency against elite competition for example is of most importance.
If a great fighter is fed average to below average opposition, the great fighter is going to win and look dominant.
It’s a classic case of big fish in a small pond.
But if that fish relocates to a larger pond, or if a smaller fingerling grows to become a legitimate threat, we have a true fight for survival.
If Golovkin wants to cement his legacy, validation in the form of elite opposition is what Golovkin needs.
Big names or elite level opposition is sorely absent on Triple G’s resume.
Kell Brook was a really good fighter two divisions below Golovkin at welterweight and Daniel Jacobs is a former champion and can very well be champion within the next few months. But Golovkin needs more.
By comparison, another fighter considered pound-for-pound is Mikey Garcia. Garcia has five world titles across four weight classes in seven championship fights.
Golovkin exceeds Garcia with championship bouts (over 21 bouts), but Garcia faced and defeated a higher number of world champion fighters. As of now, Garcia defeated 10 world champions, six by knockout.
Golovkin to this point is 5-0-1 (4 KO’s) against world champions and is six years older than Garcia.
Other pound-for-pound contemporaries Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko defeated six world champions each.
Golovkin’s opponent this Saturday Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is overall is 49-1-2 (34 KO’s) and 12-1-1 (4 KO’s) against world champion fighters.
Referring back to the discussion of dominance against opposition and greatness; the last great middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, was not awarded acknowledgement of his greatness until he dominated undefeated Felix Trinidad. Hopkins at the time was 36-years-old, like Golovkin.
Hopkins followed his quintessential performance with a win over Oscar De La Hoya at middleweight, topped off by moving up to the light heavyweight division, winning multiple world titles, becoming the oldest fighter to hold a world title and fighting the likes of pound-for-pound level opposition like Chad Dawson and Sergey Kovalev.
Golovkin needs Alvarez, because Alvarez has cache. The Mexican superstar brings money to the table along with the prestige Golovkin has long pursued.
Adding that feather to his cap and collecting the large money bag is what Triple G is chasing after all. His path and trajectory to this point states as such.
In the past Golovkin, along with head trainer Able Sanchez mentioned the goal of collecting all middleweight world titles and unifying the division.
12 years into his professional career and eight years as world title holder, Golovkin is yet to unify the middleweight division as desired.
Recent discussions and actions hint middleweight unification is no longer a goal for Team Golovkin.
Assuming Golovkin defeats Alvarez, it doesn’t appear he will face WBC middleweight mandatory Jermall Charlo 27-0 (21 KO’s).
Golovkin appears reluctant to rematch former challenger and potential IBF middleweight title holder Daniel Jacobs 34-2 (29 KO’s), just as he was reluctant to fight his IBF middleweight mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko 12-0 (10 KO’s), when the original proposed rematch with Alvarez fell through earlier this year.
Triple G opted to face inactive Vanes Martirosyan 36-4-1 (21 KO’s), a fighter moving up in weight, coming off a loss more than two years prior to facing Golovkin.
Other options at middleweight for Golovkin include the winner of Billy Joe Saunders 26-0 (12 KO’s) vs. Demetrius Andrade 25-0 (16 KO’s).
Maybe another rematch with Alvarez depending on the result and the funds secured from the event is what Team Golovkin wants.
Who could blame them?
Alvarez is the glamour name of the division, if Golovkin defeats Alvarez, he can retire wealthy and undefeated, ignoring the banter from critics.
For his part, Golovkin believes he already surpassed Hopkins as a middleweight great.
“I feel like a star, like a star because, just if you check Bernard’s opponents probably you understand that my record is much bigger, is much stronger, bigger,” Golovkin said. “This is a good situation for me and for my career and for my fans, of course. That’s it.”
Whether Golovkin follows the route of Hopkins as far as fighting and winning world titles in higher weight divisions remains to be determined.
Aside from the middleweight title defense streak, Golovkin would like to add something additional to his resume. Exact revenge against someone he genuinely dislikes.
Although unfair, if Golovkin loses no matter the circumstances, it may not bode well for him. Even with the suspicion of performance enhancing drug use from his opponent Alvarez.
He still lacks the signature win and signature moment. Unfair it may appear to apply this standard but for a fighter staking claim as one of the best middleweights to ever do it, the criteria may justify the means.
— Gennady Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) September 12, 2018
Golovkin must defeat Alvarez and erase any claim at challengers taking aim at the throne.
How does Golovkin want to be remembered?
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin Abel Sanchez and Tom Loeffler Media Conference Call Transcript
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
The MODERATOR: This is Fred Sternburg, and on behalf of GGG Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and all of our wonderful sponsors, welcome to Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin’s media conference call.
We are 11 days away from the Big Drama Show: The rematch everyone has been looking forward to. Gennady is in his last week of training camp at The Summit in Big Bear Lake, California, where he’s been working hard in preparation for his 21st and division record-breaking title defense.
Joining Gennady on the call today will be his trainer, Abel Sanchez and his promoter, Tom Loeffler.
One note before we start, we’d like to invite you to participate in tomorrow’s Pay-Per-View Undercard conference call featuring Jaime Munguia, Brandon, “Bad Boy” Cook, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Moises “Moi” Fuentes. That call will begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 10:00 a.m. Pacific, so you don’t want to miss that.
At this time, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Tom Loeffler.
TOM LOEFFLER: Thank you, Fred. You know, we are just excited. The fight’s almost here. It’s the last week of training camp. Abel is up there in Big Bear Lake with GGG. They are finishing up their sparring this week.
We do have the Superfly 3 show this Saturday. It will be televised live HBO. Following the fights HBO will air a special edition of The Fight Game with Jim Lampley which will be all about the GGG – Canelo rematch, so everyone tune into HBO on September 8.
There’s been a lot of things said over the weekend which we can address that on this call, whether it’s the anthems or the gloves, we can touch on that briefly.
The GGG team had nothing to do with approving or disapproving Canelo’s gloves. That came directly from the Nevada Athletic State Athletic Commission.
And also, with the anthems; it was an agreement we had reached as part of the deal; that the anthems be played before the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast.
So there wasn’t any controversy, but controversy sells and we’d just like to address the issues as they come so with that, we can turn it over to start taking some questions.
Q. You must be anxious. How has camp been going and are you looking forward to next week?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Thank you very much. My training camp is great. I feel very good. My body, my speed, my power, everything is coming back, I feel like I am 25 years old. I needed the time, and now this is the last week [of training] for me.
Q. Gennady, are you afraid or worried that your fan base could turn on you, given some of the remarks you’ve made about Canelo building up to this fight, or are you just speaking your truth?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Well, first of all, I didn’t really say anything bad. I really said only one phrase and one sentence about that, and I never said anything personal, never offended him personally, and I don’t think that my fans will turn away from me because of what I said — what I had to say.
Q. You mentioned that you feel 25 years old, but I hate to tell you, you aren’t 25 years old. Do you train differently now that you’re ten years older, than you did when you were 25? Do you adapt any different techniques? And Abel, I’d like you to chime in on that, as well.
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: I feel great and I still train hard.
ABEL SANCHEZ: To answer that question, I do train everybody similarly. They work together in the strength and conditioning, but in the sparring, obviously we modify that as a fighter gets a little bit older, just so that we don’t leave things in the gym. But he still works as hard as he’s always worked. It’s just a matter of me making the schedule so that it’s best for him.
Q. I’ve been hearing and reading a lot of the comments from Abel, and from Canelo, where Abel has said Canelo ran in the fight and Canelo said, no, that was the game plan of how he wanted to fight.
Did you think that the way that he fought you last September constituted him running in the fight? What was your opinion of the style in which he fought against you?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: It was his fighting style earlier, not just in the September fight. Well, he was always — you know, he always has a way of running on the ring, but it was his style.
However, what happened on our last fight, he was really avoiding fighting close to me. I think that’s exactly what happened, but what he’s trying to say right now, it just proves that he’s not keeping his word. He’s trying to deceive people again, and being dishonest. But it doesn’t matter what he said. Let him say whatever he wants.
Q. This would be a record-breaking victory for you in terms of the middleweight title defense record. Could you express your perspective on what it would mean to you if you were to achieve the record of the most middleweight defenses in the history of boxing?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Absolutely. It’s very important for me to beat this record. Basically, it’s like two types of victory to beat Canelo and to beat the record. For me, it’s the most important goal at this point.
Q. Tom, if you could chime in on that, as far as your perspective as far as the possibility of seeing GGG take the record that he’s now tied with with Bernard Hopkins?
TOM LOEFFLER: I think when you put it in perspective, it would be a tremendous accomplishment if GGG is able to break Bernard’s record. Most people thought, you know, that was untouchable, 20 middleweight title defenses, and you know, as long as Gennady has been champion, he’s the longest-reigning champion right now in the sport of boxing [since 2010].
And regardless of what you say about both guys, this is the biggest event in the sport of boxing. They agreed to fight each other, and to be on this big of a stage, this platform, the biggest fight of boxing, and if he’s able to beat Canelo and break the record at the same time, as he said, this would be a huge accomplishment for him, all on the same night.
Q. Wondering if there’s any frustration or regret that this fight didn’t happen five years ago or six years ago when both fighters were a little bit younger. Can this still be the mega fight that everyone wants to see?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Quite possible. Quite possible. But not even five years ago, even two years ago, we couldn’t get them to fight us. They were avoiding the fight every way possible. If you remember, they even gave up one of the belts, the WBC belt, they gave it up, to avoid us.
ABEL SANCHEZ: As far as I’m concerned, no, there’s no regrets. I think that Canelo has grown in the last four or five years, a couple years ago when they gave up the belt, they knew they weren’t ready for this level of fight it’s happening now, and we look forward to this being one of the most memorable fights of the decade.
Q. Abel in your experience, in what age do a fighter’s skills typically decline? Are you still seeing growth and improve out of him?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I’m seeing slight growth, but I think it depends on the weight and the type of fights. You have a guy like Fernando Vargas, who was put in a lot of difficult fights early in his career, and by the time he was 26, he was finished.
And then you have guys like Bernard Hopkins fighting into his 40s and early 50s, so it depends on the kind of fight and how the fighter takes care of himself. Gennady, I haven’t seen anybody dominate him in the ring, not only in sparring but in the fights, and until then, then I can say I would judge a little age. But until that happens, it’s difficult to say he’s getting old.
Q. Where are you with the hand-stacking and the wrapping controversy, and where you guys might be with the Commission and Canelo’s side on that.
TOM LOEFFLER: We want to clarify everything ahead of time with the Nevada Commission so there are no fight week confrontations, especially no fight night confrontations, like we had last time.
We’ll say that the reason why Abel was so surprised by the wraps last time was that every other jurisdiction that GGG has fought in didn’t allow the stacking or the different layers of wrapping, and so that’s why Abel filed a protest, and it wasn’t received very well.
The inspector actually threatened to remove Abel from Canelo’s locker room because of that protest. But in the U.K., Canada and California, you know, all these different jurisdictions, and New York, where GGG’s fought, you know, they wouldn’t allow that.
So this time, we want to avoid any type of confrontations and want to get everything worked out between the GGG side, between the Canelo side and Golden Boy and Nevada Athletic Commission. Everything was amicable with the officials and we want to continue, whether it’s addressing the hand-wrapping, the gloves, any other pertinent information, weigh-in, anything like that. We just want the focus of this promotion to be on the fighters in the ring, not on any controversies outside the ring.
Q. Abel, you’re not going to change the way you wrap Gennady’s hand no matter what they say; right?
ABEL SANCHEZ: No, I don’t believe two wrongs make a right. If I take Gennady or any of my fighters to any jurisdiction where they don’t allow it, I don’t want them to have any kind of thoughts that they don’t have a cast on their hands in this particular jurisdiction, like they had in Nevada and they don’t feel as comfortable. So I want to keep it as much the same for every fight as possible.
Q. Does Gennady have an opinion or does it matter?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Well, as far as I’m concerned, I haven’t seen how his hands were wrapped. I was fighting him not knowing how he was wrapped. It’s not up to me. It’s not up to me to make a judgment on that.
Q. In the most recent 24/7, Chepo Reynoso said that Gennady is like a donkey, and he does the same thing over and over again. Abel, what is your response to that?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Chepo Reynoso has never had an Olympian. Chepo Reynoso has never had a Silver Medalist. Chepo Reynoso has never had 18 world champions like I have had. Chepo Reynoso talks from Canelo. So when he gets to that level, maybe he can speak in an intelligent manner. But if you look at Gennady’s record, he’s beaten a lot of the champions during his reign; a lot of champions that are champions now he beat in the amateurs. So to hear somebody talk like that is ridiculous.
Q. Gennady, what did you think of that?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: What I want to say is I don’t want to go so low at the level of statements like that. It just shows a lack of class. It shows low class. It just shows a lack of upbringing, lack of intelligence. It just shows, again, how they behave themselves. I’m never able to say anything so low about anybody. So I just don’t want to comment about this anymore.
Q. Canelo has promised he’ll be more aggressive in this fight and fight Gennady more. Do you feel that because he said it — do you believe the emotion going into this fight, that he’ll fight more?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Well, it doesn’t matter what they say. We’ll see what happens on September 15 because very often what they say doesn’t correspond to what they do. So let’s wait until September 15.
Q. Abel, can you comment, as well?
ABEL SANCHEZ: We’re preparing for September 15. How he talked the first time, how he boasted, how Bernard boasted about being so great that he’s going to knock out Golovkin in the tenth round of the last fight and now what he’s saying about this fight.
I just hope that he’s true to his words. The fans are expecting the Canelo that they have seen in the past, not the Canelo they saw last year. I think that if he’s true to his word, that we’ll get the classic fight we were expecting the first time, two guys that want to win, not one guy that wants to win and the other guy that is looking to survive.
Q. Can you talk about what makes Abel a good trainer?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: You should ask the commission which recognizes him as the best coach in the world.
Q. Compared to the fighter that you were before you started working with Abel, how have you evolved as a fighter in the years that you have spent working with him?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: I haven’t really changed. Most importantly, I haven’t become worse. I haven’t changed for the worse.
I am is really thankful that Abel is not bringing in any illegal and banned substances into my fighting career and hasn’t taught me something which was not — which was not allowed in boxing, so I’m really thankful for him of being such a great coach.
Q. The judging, such as it was, all three judges had Canelo winning the first two rounds, and the last three, I believe, but what do you plan to do to change that in this fight?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Well, we will continue to implement our winning strategy in this fight, as well. As far as judges, we can’t influence the judges. We can only hope that the judges will be more fair, more adequate and more competent than the last time.
Q. Would you like to see a faster start, so to speak?
ABEL SANCHEZ: You know, Gennady is a fighter that is undefeated right now and he’s got a stain [the draw against Canelo] on his record because of some bad judging, but he has a style that he has been very successful with.
That fight is a 12-round fight, not a two-round fight or a four-round fight. So what we do at the beginning of the fight will be dictated by what Gennady sees.
It’s not a matter of being able to predict what can happen; if Canelo starts of like he did in the middle of last fight, the same way in this fight, it will be difficult to chase him down and make an impact on the judges.
But like Gennady said, hopefully the judges will be as fair as possible. I think we have a great panel of judges this time. And the fight will develop. It’s a 12-round fight, not a four-round fight.
Q. The magnitude and the kind of eyeballs that are going to be on it, how much is this a showcase of what’s going on in the sport, other than what’s happening in the heavyweight division.
TOM LOEFFLER: Both GGG and Canelo, they have tremendous fan bases. This event, just like last September, when they get together, it really transcends boxing and a World Championship fight.
It really becomes an international sporting event, almost like a World Cup soccer match where you have flags and you have the fans chanting, just a similar emotion and energy in the arena, and we expect it to be at an even higher level now, with all the controversy that happened in the scoring in the first fight, and, you know, the delay, the cancellation of the Cinco de Mayo fight, I think it’s going to hit an even higher pitch with the rematch September 15.
So again, whatever controversy there is between the two sides, you have to give them credit that they are getting into the ring. A lot of people talk about fighting each other. This is the second time that GGG and Canelo fought each other in 12 months and that’s what makes it the biggest fight in the sport of boxing this year, because their fan bases, the international level, we have GGG fans coming in from all over the world for this fight.
And I think we’re going to break the level that was set last year for ticket sales, and the Pay-Per-View is also on track to be significantly higher than last year. So I think we’ll see an even bigger event this time in September.
Q. Abel, what’s it been like for you to see the growth in Gennady’s popularity from what it was five years ago or whatever, just to see how many fans he’s made throughout the world?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, from the beginning, when I first started working with him eight years ago, I sensed that there was something special about this young man, and he’s proven me right, at least to me, anyway.
It’s like one of my children doing well. All my fighters in my gym are like a family to all of us, to each other, so to see one of our kids succeed in the manner that he’s succeeding, and to have had the adulation of the fans, worldwide, and especially the Latin fans for his Mexican Style of fighting and his style of entertaining. It’s an honor to be included in the same ring and in the same sentence with Gennady Golovkin.
Q. The fan bases of the respective fighters, based on my research, I know for a fact that Canelo has lost a few fans from the first fight. From the way he ran around to the dirty tests to his reaction to the dirty tests. I’m wondering, in your opinion, more than ever, is Canelo’s reputation on the line in this second fight? In other words, if he goes in there and runs around and doesn’t fight Gennady more, is he destined to lose even more of his fans than he already has?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, I think he has a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of a lot of fans. Just because he’s losing fans, Gennady’s gaining them and other fighters are gaining them. but as long as fans continue to watch our sport and continue to support us, Gennady will do his part, Canelo will do his part what he needs to do, and if maybe in the future, Canelo will be an afterthought if he doesn’t redeem himself in the way that the fans want him to redeem himself.
He’s got a duty in this fight, not only to himself but to his people, to prove what he was telling all of us was true, and if he does, I think that he’ll be celebrated. Win, lose or draw, he’ll be celebrated because of his approach to this fight.
Q. The result for September 15, do you see any chance to fight the match with
Canelo Alvarez, because the opinion that you have right now from Canelo — guarantee a match with him —
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Well, what I’ve always really wanted to do, I want to punish him. I want to have a fight and punish him for all the bad things that he and his team have done, so basically to put them — to size him down and to put him and his team in their place.
Q. How important is this fight for the sport of boxing, and how important is it for Kazakhstan?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: It is very, very important for Kazakhstan and for Kazakhstan fans, because we are champions right now. We are on the right side. We are not dirty and we will defend our honor and defend our title.
Q. Just wondering, have you ever faced or fought anybody that you have disliked so much as you seem to dislike Canelo, and if so, how does that change your training in terms of controlling your anger at him?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: First of all, I have to say, that I always do my 100 percent, and very seriously approach any training processes, always do my best.
As far as Canelo’s team, you can see they continue to speak this nonsense and discredit themselves. So I have nothing to say about that anymore.
Q. Does it affect his training, the anger at all? Can you answer that, Abel? Do you notice a difference in his training because he’s angry at Canelo? He just said he wanted to punish him.
ABEL SANCHEZ: No, he’s not angry. He’s not angry. He’s got a purpose in the gym and he’s got a purpose for what he wants to do inside the ring.
Canelo has done some things that Gennady feels he needs to pay for and he’ll do that in the ring. In the gym, it’s just another day of training . He’s the same guy that he was before. He trains hard. Just his mentality to this fight seems to be very, very focused on trying to punish Canelo — as he was when he fought Curtis Stevens —
Q. This one just seems to have been going on and on and on, so it’s —
ABEL SANCHEZ: The reason it’s going on is because they keep accusing us of insulting them, and all we’re doing is telling the truth. All we’re doing is telling you what is happening as we see it, as it’s being reported, so he’s the one that tested positive, he’s the one that the consequences for what happened on May the 5th and who we had to fight and what was done, he’s the one that created that. It wasn’t us. And to continue to sweep it under the rug and to continue to not acknowledge the fact that you have screwed up is why this keeps going.
Q. Obviously Bernard Hopkins’ name has been mentioned because Gennady is going to try to break the record, but Bernard Hopkins played a lot of mind games with his opponent — made them fight a little crazy and maybe not to their benefit, most notably in the fight on September 29, 2001 against Felix Trinidad — could a little bit of it be something to get into their heads and maybe make them a little bit crazy, too, and so Canelo — the kind of fight that you guys want him to fight?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Really I don’t think right now about Bernard Hopkins. I’m thinking about my fight with Canelo, and as far as all the other association, we can talk about this after September 15.
Q. Abel, same thing. Could some of this be a strategy maybe to make the other side a little bit crazy? Apparently it’s a two-way thing, going back and forth.
ABEL SANCHEZ: You know, in this gym, and amongst us here, I think I can include Tom in this, we have a lot of respect for Bernard Hopkins, and we have a lot of respect for what he’s done and what he’s done in boxing and we have a lot of respect for breaking the record. But to break the record and use a page out of his own book would be something even better.
If it’s getting to Canelo, then I guess we’ve accomplished what everybody thinks we’re trying to do. We were not trying to do that. We were just talking about the facts.
Q. You know what’s on the line in terms of the title defense record, but what does this mean to you on a personal level, considering everything that has gone on with Canelo in the last year? What does this fight mean to you just on that personal level?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: For me personally, although this fight happened at a later stage of my career, this is a most interesting fight. This is a most interesting fight because we have an interesting opponent because we have an interesting situation, and it’s a most important fight in my life right now, and also it’s the most important fight for boxing sport right now.
Q. Considering all the harsh words that have been said up in the lead up, when it’s all said and done, however the fight goes, if one of you guys win by knockout, will you go over there and will you shake his hand?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Well, nobody knows how it’s going to end, what’s going to be the result. But nobody is going to congratulate anybody, that’s for sure.
Q. Do you feel this fight is for your legacy? The title defense record, it’s an amazing achievement, but do you feel that — take that aside. Do you feel come September 15, you’re going to be fighting — you’re going to be fighting for your legacy?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: Of course, everybody understands that. Everybody who is honest understands that’s a part of the legacy — of my legacy in boxing. Those honest people recognize it. Those who are dishonest, they try to forget about this.
Q. Abel, what improvements have you seen from Gennady leading into the fight last year and heading into the rematch next weekend?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, I think at this level, maturity and amount of fights; the improvements are minimal. The improvements are a lot of times more mental than they are physical, but how you approach a fight mentally, it’s just as important as the little improvements that we had.
I had a fighter back about 25 years ago, Orlin Norris fought Arthur Williams, first time he looked lackluster; and in the second bout, he knocked his opponent out in the fourth round, and the way he went into the second fight was much much better than the first one mentally.
I think when you get to this level and when you get to this stage in their careers, it’s hoping that everything goes right in the gym, hoping that there’s no controversy and hoping that everything is 100 percent in the training camp, and you go into a fight with a different mode. He goes into a fight that, as he said, he wants to punish Canelo and he has a thought in his mind what he want to do to him. We train hard and we prepare just like we did for the first one, but the mental aspect of it is the most important at this stage in my opinion.
Q. Tom, the first fight sold out rather quickly, and I was looking at the press release you sent out this morning and there’s tickets still on sale. Why do you feel the rematch hasn’t sold out yet, compared to how quickly it sold out the first time around?
TOM LOEFFLER: I think some of it had to do with a lot of fans being disappointed with the Cinco de Mayo fight being canceled. A lot of fans made flight reservations, hotel reservations, and then they were bitterly disappointed.
Naturally that wasn’t because it was Gennady’s fault, but you know, when you go through that expense, I think a lot are waiting until the final couple weeks to actually make the reservations.
As I mentioned before, this fight has a big international fan base coming in. Ultimately, we’re still on track to exceed the revenue that we did in the last fight.
You know, going back to that previous question that Abel had answered as far as Gennady’s legacy, you know, this is a huge fight for Gennady, the biggest fight in boxing this year, but there’s a lot of names in the past that we would have liked to have gotten in the ring who just simply, for whatever reason, chose not to fight Gennady, whether it was Felix Sturm, whether it was Sergio Martinez, whether it was Peter Quillin at the time; it was just the six-year anniversary of GGG’s HBO debut, September 1, 2012.
There was an article on ESPN that listed all these middleweight names, and it had Gennady having this big impact on HBO. Just look at his ratings on HBO. That’s where we’re at right now. He’s kind of have that blue-collar career: He’s willing to fight everywhere, New York, L.A., London, Monte Carlo, Panama, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and now, he’s at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against Canelo Alvarez in the biggest fight in boxing.
This is definitely a legacy fight for him, and you know, I think we’ll see the best fighting the best, and that’s really what the sport is all about, and that’s what Gennady’s always wanted. He’s wanted that challenge to fight the best in the division.
Q. Around how many tickets have been sold thus far?
TOM LOEFFLER: You know, I was going to go over that with Golden Boy today, to go over what is remaining. We’re just about ten days out from the fight, but there really aren’t that many that are remaining.
So between the commitments of sponsors and pre-ordered tickets, there are still some tickets available, but you know, after today, we’ll have a better answer for that, and especially going into fight week.
THE MODERATOR: With that, we’ll wrap up the call. Gennady has to get ready for his afternoon session. Thank you for joining us today.
Tom, any last comments?
TOM LOEFFLER: I think we’ve covered everything on this call. We’re all excited about the last week of training camp. GGG arrives into Las Vegas on Monday. We have the grand arrival on Tuesday at MGM Grand. We have the Superfly 3 show this Saturday at the Forum and Jim Lampley’s Fight Game special on HBO talking about GGG fighting Canelo. We’re all looking forward to September 15.
THE MODERATOR: Abel, any last comments from you?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Thank you for everybody’s participation. Thank you for the support. We’re looking forward to a great fight. We’ll see you guys on fight week, and make sure that we put on a great fight.
THE MODERATOR: Gennady, I know you’re getting ready for the Big Drama Show. Any last comments?
GENNADY ‘GGG’ GOLOVKIN: I just want to say thank you very much for everybody. I will see you September 15 in Las Vegas.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us. We’ll see you next week in Las Vegas.
GGG Trainer Abel Sanchez: “Emotions Never Get In The Way”
by: Sean Crose
“I don’t think it’s imperative,” Gennady Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said to me during a Wednesday conference call to promote his fighter’s September 15th rematch with Canelo Alvarez. I had just asked the noted corner man if he felt Golovkin needed to knock Canelo out in order to win fairly in Las Vegas, a town with a reputation, fair or not, for bias when it comes to boxing. “I think the onus and the microscope is on the judges,” Sanchez added. There’s no doubt the three judges: Dave Moretti, Glenn Feldman, and Steve Wisefield, will be in the spotlight. The first Golovkin-Canelo clash, which went down last year, ended in an insanely controversial draw (most felt Golovkin deserved the nod).
Since that time, matters have only gotten more controversial, as Canelo was suspended for testing positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol last winter. Canelo blamed the incident on tainted meat. No matter. The Golovkin rematch, which was supposed to happen in May, was pushed back to September, and Canelo’s reputation has subsequently taken a considerable hit. Also of note is the fact that the relationship between the two fighter’s camps, which was previously cordial and professional, has deteriorated considerably. “There have been no insults on our side,” said Sanchez. “Everything I said has been the truth…they’ve been the ones with the insults.”
When asked if he would apologize to Canelo, who team Golovkin has been publicly critical of since the clenbuterol revelation, Sanchez remained firm. “No, I wouldn’t apologize,” Sanchez said. “He (Canelo) tested positive. Why should I apologize?” Sanchez was also asked about a report that Canelo would not shake his hand in the ring. “I will make an effort (to shake Canelo’s hand),” said Sanchez. “That’s what adults do….if he doesn’t want to, that’s okay. That’s what children do.” It was clear on the call that there was a notable amount of bad blood between both camps. Canelo’s trainers, the father-son team Chepo and Eddie Reynoso, were quick to defend their fighter. “There’s nothing to show,” Reynoso said when asked if Canelo now had something to prove. “Canelo’s career has always been clear.”
Sanchez would beg to differ. “Of course I’m mad (about the failed test),” the trainer said. “These things did happen. We cannot sweep this under the rug.” Sanchez may be put off, but he stated he has no intention to bring his emotions into the T-Mobile arena come fight night. “Emotions,” he argued, “never get in the way…I’ve got a job to do.”
Canelo Alvarez Media Call Interview Transcript
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Hi there, everyone. Thank you very much for joining us and for participating in the Canelo Alvarez international media conference call.
September 15 couldn’t be close enough. We are exactly about one month away from one of the most anticipated high-class action rematches of the middleweight division between Lineal Middleweight Champion Saul Canelo Alvarez and GGG, who is a WBC, WBA, IBO Middleweight World Champion. This epic event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time, which will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/5:00 p.m. Pacific time.
For those of you who want to be present in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena, you can still get your tickets. There’s only a few tickets left, and you can access those tickets at www.T-Mobilearena.com or by calling 888-929-7849. The closed-circuit tickets went on sale today. Fight fans can watch live from the MGM Grand, the Mandalay Bay, the Mirage, and the Luxor, and tickets may be purchased at the MGM Resort International box office.
We would like to highlight a couple of upcoming events. Next week on Wednesday, August 22nd, the media will get an opportunity to talk to Chepo and Eddie Reynoso, who are the trainers of Canelo, and you’ll be able to talk to Abel Sanchez, the trainer for Gennady Golovkin. Again, the date is Wednesday, August 22nd, and that will be at 1:30 p.m. ET/ 10:30 a.m. PT
Additionally, we have — we’re hosting an open to the public and to the media workout live from the brand new arena in Downtown L.A. It’s L.A.’s newest soccer club, the LAFC, which is called the Banc of California Stadium, and that’s Sunday, August 26. Both fighters will be hosting an open to the media and to the public workout. We expect thousands and thousands of people to attend.
Let me just take this opportunity to thank the sponsors. Obviously, the official beer of boxing, that’s Tecate, Hennessey, never stop, never settle, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Venom, and Fathom Events. Thank you very much for your continued support to the sport of boxing.
Now I would like to introduce to you. He is the world champion going against Gennady Golovkin for the second time. He has made an incredible career in such a short period of time, Saul Canelo Alvarez.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Greetings to everybody. We’re happy to be here with you again on this teleconference call. More than everything, we are ready. There’s only one month left. We’re very happy. We’re very focused in training. And we’re happy that we’re just days away from this fight.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Beautiful. Now we will open it up to the media for questions. Thank you.
Q. Hi there, my question for Canelo, this fight will represent what will be, if he wins, the 21st consecutive title defense for Gennady Golovkin, which would break the record that he currently shares with Bernard Hopkins, who, of course, is a partner in Golden Boy. I wonder, from Canelo’s perspective, how significant would it be for him — I know to win would be big, but how significant would it be to prevent his rival from breaking such a hallowed record?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Well, you know, Gennady Golovkin has his goals. He has his wishes, just like me. Mine is to win on September 15. I mean, whatever he wants, that’s his record, his desires. That’s why he’s training. That’s why he’s training to win.
All I know is that I’m prepared to win on the 15th of September, to give a great fight and make it absolutely clear that I’m the best middle weight in the world.
Q. Another question for Canelo. This will be Canelo’s first rematch of his career. Most top fighters at one point or another do have a rematch, but I’m just wondering if he has just any general thoughts on engaging in what will be his first rematch.
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’m very happy to have this tiebreaker. I’m very happy for this opportunity to make clear who is better. This is the opportunity to show who is better. So I’m happy, and I’m content, and I’m relaxed. I’m training 100% because, obviously, I know what I have in front of me. I know Golovkin is not an easy opponent, and I know what I have to add to my strategy. So, again, I’m happy to have the tiebreaker to make it clear who is the better fighter in the first fight.
Q. The first question is why do you think this rematch will be different? What will you do differently? What will be different to tip the balances in this fight in your favor?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The first fight gave me the guidelines to know what to do in the second fight, to know what to do differently. In the first fight, I realized a lot of things. I learned that I can knock him out. I learned that I can hurt him. There are a lot of things I learned in that fight, but also in that first fight, it was my first fight officially at 160 pounds, at the 160 pound limit, so I had to adapt. But now I’m more sure and more confident about what I can do in this rematch.
Q. How do you feel about the accusations from the other side, from Abel Sanchez, from team Golovkin, and how have you been able to deal personally with dealing with people like that?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yeah, you know, I’m very bothered, and I’m angry at their accusations, but I will utilize it in my favor because I have experience in this. I know that, if I get angry and closed minded, that I might make some mistakes, and it will be wrong. So I’m going to use this in my favor to train harder to give that extra push, and I’m going to use that anger intelligently in my favor on September 15.
Q. Hello, everybody. Oscar, I have a question, and then I have one for Canelo, if I may. Oscar, you had two guys, notable guys, Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas, test positive after they fought you, and I know some of us reporters — and I don’t know about the fans, but I’m assuming some of them too, kind of never looked at those guys the same way after that because we were wondering, right? So in your mind, how concerned are you that, even if Canelo didn’t do this on purpose, that his legacy has become tainted by the dirty test?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: I’m not concerned one bit because this is totally different. Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas tested positive for steroids performance-enhancing drugs, and this is totally different. This was Clenbuterol that was in meat, in tainted meat. So, look, everybody in Mexico knows about the big problem they have with Clenbuterol in their meat, and in Mexico he’s a bigger star than ever.
So I don’t think his career will be tainted whatsoever. I think once he beats Golovkin in a spectacular fashion, then people will forget about it here in the states.
Q. Oscar, let me ask you one more thing, and I just have one for Canelo. The pay-per-view numbers were very good the first time. Is it safe to say, because of this controversy, that they could be even way better this time because everybody loves controversy?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Absolutely. This pay-per-view the second time around will be much bigger than the first time around.
Q. And Canelo, the same kind of question I asked Oscar, the first one. Is he concerned that people are going to look at him differently now with the test with the Clenbuterol?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, the people who have always supported me have been there and will always be there. They know what it is. I’ve made all the tests. So they will always be there, my supporters.
Q. This is for Canelo. GGG is known for his knockout power. He has an 87 percent KO rating. Having felt this power, how does it stack up against previous opponents, and is he the hardest hitter you’ve ever fought?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Obviously, he’s a very strong fighter. He has a very strong hit in his punches. That’s his biggest virtue as a fighter, that he has that power, but obviously, I’ve fought other strong fighters as well. And despite him being a 160-pounder with respectable power, it’s nothing out of this world. I showed him the first fight that I can take his punches, and simply that, he’s a respectable puncher with respectable power, but nothing out of this world.
Q. You and GGG haven’t fought for a year. How hard is it to shake off the rust after a year of inactivity?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I feel well, and I don’t think the year off will affect me at all. I like to train. I like to stay active. So I feel good. The most I’ve lasted usually from September to May, which is about nine months. So I think three additional months is nothing. I stay training, and I stay active, and it’s not going to affect me for this fight on September 15.
Q. Obviously, with the Clenbuterol, it may have hurt your image, but you deserve credit for being clean throughout your entire career and a very decorated career. But despite all of that, do you feel there’s added pressure to show because you’ll be under the microscope more for this fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, I don’t feel any pressure at all. I have nothing to show in that respect. All I have to show is I’m the best. In the first fight, it wasn’t demonstrated because, obviously, it ended in a draw. But that’s the only thing I need to show, that I’m the better fighter than him on September 15.
Q. What is the lesson that you have learned from these months and from being a year off? You’re 28 years old. Obviously, you’ve had good things, but this is obviously that moment. What have you learned from this experience?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I learned a lot. I learned who was really there for me. But I also learned — I got a lot of experience so that it doesn’t happen. The only error that I made is I didn’t educate myself properly on the situation with meat in Mexico, and I have to learn from that so it doesn’t happen again.
Q. I started out with my questioning of Canelo asking about the prospect of stopping GGG from breaking the record that he shares now with middle weight defenses with Bernard Hopkins. I wanted your perspective on that. I know he’s your partner. I know you guys have a long relationship with each other. But how satisfying would it be for you to see Canelo stop him from breaking his record?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Bernard Hopkins wouldn’t be any happier if Canelo — when Canelo stops him from breaking his record. Obviously, that’s a huge seat in his career. Even 21 defenses is huge. Bernard Hopkins, the fighters he’s faced, the opposition he’s faced, and then being able to defend his title 22 times is incredible.
So September 15, I’m pretty sure Bernard Hopkins is going to be rooting for Canelo even more so because his record’s on the line.
Q. I also wonder from you, Oscar, when you’ve talked to Canelo about the fight, is there anything that you saw in the first fight, as an experienced fighter yourself, that you saw that you gave him a tip about or something that maybe you saw in the way that Golovkin fought that you think that he can exploit or do better in the rematch with? And if so, what was that?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yeah, there’s always — you can always do better. That’s the beauty about boxing, and he knows what he has to do. I believe he fought a great fight. He fought his own fight, and I had him up two points. So, obviously, the second time around — and that’s the beauty with a rematch is that you can change up your style. You can adjust to your opponent’s style, and that’s the beauty with Canelo is that he knows how to adjust, unlike GGG that only fights one way, and that’s coming forward.
Q. Obviously, after this first fight, how many times have you seen this first fight on tape? And the real question is what did you see that you liked? What did you see that you’ve been able to work on that you’ll be able to utilize for this rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve seen that fight about ten times, and what I think I needed or if there was an error, it was that I defended punches and I didn’t take advantage to counter that. I have to add that to this game plan. Every chance I get to hit him, I have to hit it. Every time I slip or dodge a punch, I have to come back. That’s what I needed in this fight, and that’s what I’m going to do on September 15.
Q. After this rematch against Golovkin, do you think that this will close the story or end the story between you two, or do you think there will be a third fight between Canelo and GGG?
CANELO ALVAREZ: As with the first fight, we have to see how this fight is going to take place and how it’s going to pass. After the first one, we needed the second one because it was a draw and because the fans wanted it. Personally for me, I want it to end here. I want it to define very clearly who’s the best in this rematch.
Q. First question is for Canelo. GGG had said that he had lost a lot of respect for you after what happened in February. Do you still have respect for him? And if you don’t, will you have respect for him regardless of what happens after September 15?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, in the same way actually, it’s going to be worse. The respect that we had was lost. He crossed the line with his statements, with what he said, with the excuses, with all the crying from his team. So the respect, it was completely lost, and that’s how it will continue. In fact, this loss of respect and their statements and what they all said, this will help me to give 100 percent and give that extra push to leave it clear that I’m the better fighter.
Q. Based off of that, a lot of people have taken what he said, and they’ve taken it to heart. Do you feel you’re fighting for your reputation coming up on September 15, I’ll go in with a cold and calm mentality.
Q. Oscar, back when you fought Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum started a Mexicans for Pacquiao campaign and was quoted as saying, you have to understand that Manny is more of a Mexican style fighter than Oscar De La Hoya will ever be. Does it bother you that ten years later we’re still using this Mexican style gimmick? And what advice did you give Canelo, having gone through this yourself?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, it’s obviously all a gimmick. It’s a gimmick to win fans over. I did it with fighting hard and beating the best out there and fighting the best out there. Canelo did it the same way. He’s a Mexican national, and the Mexican Nationals love him. So all this gimmick stuff about Mexicans for Golovkin and Mexicans for Pacquiao, that’s all it is. It’s a gimmick.
It’s sad to know there are a few fans that fall for it, but it’s really nice to know that Canelo has Mexican fans that love him and support him 1,000 percent.
Q. In the first fight with Golovkin, what was the thing that most surprised you and most disappointed you in that first fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I knew that he was strong, and I knew that he could take punches, and I knew that he could assimilate well. Nothing surprised me. I knew who he was. I knew he’s strong. And he’s going to be strong in this fight. I know he’s going to be strong in this fight, and that’s why I’m training.
But more than that, the first fight showed me what I can add to my game plan to beat him on September 15.
Q. A lot of people think this fight’s not going to end by knockout, that it’s going to go the distance. Do you agree with that assessment, or are you going to go out there and look for the knockout?
CANELO ALVAREZ: From the beginning, I will work him to look for that KO. That’s what I’ll be doing from the very first round, and that’s why I’m training and I’m mentally prepared to do that. Obviously, you know, that’s the way I want this fight to end by knockout, and for them to raise my hand after that knockout victory.
Q. Obviously, you talked some about some political concerns before. As the biggest star, what do you think about the new president in Mexico?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve always reserved myself to speak about political issues. The thing with Trump, well, I had to speak out against what he said about Mexicans. My opinion is what I have, that we’re not all the same. So I never really get into political issues. Hopefully, this president is good and that he makes well on his promises and that he can represent us very well.
Q. You haven’t fought in about a year. What has been the hardest thing about that year off? Especially since you’ve said that you love training and that you love fighting. What’s been the hardest thing?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yeah, it’s been a year off. That’s the hardest thing. I’m more anxious than ever to get in the ring and throw punches, especially with all that has taken place surrounding this fight. But I always stay training, and I always stay active. I like training even if I don’t fight, and I stay active.
Q. Has he taken more tests, anti-doping tests after what has happened?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve always had tests. I’ve always participated in these tests since 2012. I’ve been in tests and voluntary tests for each training camp, and they keep doing it whether or not what took place — whether or not I tested positive. They can come every week, and they can come at any time, and they don’t let you know, and it’s all voluntary — not obligatory. I voluntarily do these tests. And they have done it 15 or 20 times since that day in February, and they keep doing it. And any time they come here, I’m ready to take those tests.
Q. Hello, Canelo, from San Diego. We’re happy to have you here, as always. You are by far not only the most familiar, famous fighter in Mexico, but you’re also a role model for all the young fighters that Oscar has there at Golden Boy. How do you feel about the responsibility knowing they’re all looking up to you as a role model? How do you proceed with that, and how do you manage that knowing that they are all looking to you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I feel well, and I manage it well. I do it by being calm, by being disciplined, and those two attributes maintain me as an example. I keep training hard, and I keep giving good fights, and I’ll keep doing that so that I continue being a role model for these young fighters.
Q. Oscar, I’d like you to weigh in on that question because you watch him interacting with your younger fighters. What do you see in their interaction together?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that’s exactly what it’s all about is looking up to fighters that you want to be like when you grow up yourself. That’s what every sport has. Every sport has a hero. Every sport has an athlete that they look up to. Saul is the one on top right now. He’s the one who is look upon. He’s the hero. And so everybody — every young fighter looks up to him and wants to be like him. So that’s the beauty about boxing is that, when you have fighters like Saul who can come up and be those role models, it only makes boxing better, and it gives these kids an opportunity for them to realize their own dreams.
Q. Out of all the statements and the craziness that occurred with the positive testing, obviously, the other team is using it to get you out of focus. Do you think that you will use it in your favor so that Golovkin’s side is the one who will be out of focus for this rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I don’t know what they intend. I don’t know what they’re intending to do or what their intentions are. All I know is that I want to get in the ring and defeat him, and any error that he makes, I’m going to take advantage of on this fight and in this rematch.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Okay. Thank you very much, Saul. Thank you very much, everyone. All the media, just want to let you know that August 26nd we want to make this the biggest workout event live from the Banc of California Stadium. LAFC plays there. We want to make sure that everyone goes, all the media, and spread the word to the public.
Obviously, September 15 can’t come any faster. Thank you very much. Gracias.
By Hook or By Crook They Cannot Make GGG Go Away
By: Ken Hissner
This fighter they call “GGG” came to the US from Kazakhstan after winning a Silver Olympic Medal in 2004. He was 350-5 in the amateurs losing to a Russian amateur in the finals who pitty pattered up points and knew as a professional he would never succeed as he did as an amateur. On the other hand his opponent Gennady Golovkin had a professional style and chased him.
Golovkin turned professional in May of 2006 in Germany and won his first 23 fights, 20 by knockout, when he debuted in the US. He was defending his WBA and IBO titles against the European champion Poland’s Grzegorz Proska, 28-1, having reversed his lost in gaining his title. It was held at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY. Proska found himself on the canvas in rounds one, four and five before the referee had seen enough and halted the mismatch. It was September of 2012.
The Proska fight was when the fans of the US were given their first view of Golovkin now living in L.A. under the watchful eye of trainer Abel Sanchez. His manager is Tom Loeffler, the architect that would guide his career. The people in attendance and those viewing him on the cable were star struck with this warrior who could box as well as fight and was very humble with a smile that was deceiving compared to the way he broke down his opponents.
This writer interviewed his next opponent “King” Gabe Rosado in a Philadelphia gym. Rosado had become the top super welterweight contender and warranted a title fight that he had a good chance of winning. When asked why jump up a division when a title in your weight class was at hand? He replied “if I beat “GGG” I too will be a super star,” said Rosado. This writer thought to himself “there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening!” I had spoken to Golovkin while in training for this bout on the phone thanks to US sparring partner Philly’s Dhafir Smith who told me “he hits like a heavyweight”. I asked how is Farah (Ennis) doing? I heard Farah who was the other Philly sparring partner yell out ”he’s kicking the shit out of me!”
I asked for Golovkin to come to the phone. I asked being from KAZ are you a Muslim? He replied, “no, I am Orthodox with my father from Russia and my mother from Korea.” I traveled for the first time to NY to the MSG Theater to watch this match. Philly Boxing History editor John DiSantos who had been there during the interview in Philly was pulling for Rosado as I was pulling for Golovkin. Except for half a round it was a “blood bath” with Rosado’s blood being spilled on the canvas and ropes! Rosado brought in his 21-5 record with a 7 fight winning streak. The referee finally stopped the one sided event at 2:46 of the 7th round with Golovkin ahead 60-54 twice and 59-55 once.
Rosado despite being declared the loser went to the corner and jumped up on the ropes with hands held high not in victory but in able to “survive” without going down into the 7th round against the best P4P fighter in the world, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. When the ring was cleared it took two attendants about ten minutes to get as much of the blood off the canvas and the ropes as possible. A star was born in his previous US appearance but how it did shine that night at MSG.
It was the twelfth straight stoppage by Golovkin. It was the fifth WBA defense and Monte Carlo in two months he would defend against Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida, 24-8-2 who had gone the distance in his two previous fights against interim WBO Super welterweight champion southpaw Paul “The Punisher” Williams, 40-2 and Russia’s Dmitry Pirog, 19-0, over 12 rounds each. But on this night he faced someone he had never encountered before, GGG! In the third round he found himself knocked out cold!
Next up for Golovkin would be European champion Matt “Mack the Knife” Macklin, 29-4, in June of 2013 at the MGM Grand, in CT, where in the second round Golovkin ripped open a cut over the left eye of Macklin with a right hand that hit like a razor blade! In the following round Macklin was counted out on his back!
Next would be NABF Middleweight champ Curtis Stevens, 25-3, looking to “expose” Golovkin. He found himself on the canvas in the second round and survived until the end of the eighth when he was not able to come out for the ninth round.
In February of 2014 Ghana’s Osumanu Adama, 22-3, out of Chicago, IL, was brought in proclaiming a knockout win. He was dropped in the first, sixth and seventh before the referee put a stop to the slaughter in Monte Carlo. Former IBF World middleweight champ James “Real Deal” Geale, 30-2, came to challenge Golovkin, at MSG, and lasted only into the third round.
In October of 2014 Golovkin would travel west to the Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA, among many Mexican supporters of his opponent Marco Antonio “El Veneno” Rubio, 59-6-1, with 51 knockouts, the interim WBC champ who didn’t make weight by several pounds. Rubio was knocked cold in the second round. The Mexican’s had a new hero who fought like a Mexican warrior named “GGG”!
In February of 2015 Golovkin found himself once again in Monte Carlo to face the UK’s Martin Murray, 29-1, the WBC Silver champion. Murray was knocked in the fourth and tenth rounds and finally stopped 0:50 into the eleventh round so far behind on points only a knockout would win for him.
In May Golovkin was back in CA, at the Inglewood Forum, facing southpaw Willie “Mongoose” Monroe, Jr., 19-1, who was down in the second and sixth rounds when halted in the sixth. The newly crowned IBF World Middleweight champion from Canada David Lemieux was brought in with the title belt wrapped around his shoulder into the MSG ring. He wouldn’t leave with it as he was down in the fifth and stopped in the eighth round.
In April of 2016 Golovkin face unbeaten Dominic Wade, 18-0, at the Inglewood Forum, dropping him once in the first and twice in the second where he was counted out on his back. In September the winner would travel to the UK to face their Kell Brook, 35-0, IBF World welterweight champion who came in at the same 159 as “GGG”. In the fifth round Brook had his right eye socket fractured halting the fight.
Back to MSG on St. Patty’s Day Golovkin would face a full-fledged middleweight in New York’s own Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 32-1, with 29 knockouts. After the day before weigh-in both fighters tipped the scales at 160. Jacobs pulled a “fast one” refusing to come to the day of the fight weigh-in as Golovkin scaled in at 170. By that night he would fight an overweight light heavyweight in Jacobs at what looked like 185. Jacobs would surprisingly fight the entire fight southpaw and give Golovkin a close but obvious win. Jacobs was down in round four which helped Golovkin win by scores of 115-112 twice and 114-113. This writer had Golovkin ahead 115-112. It would be eight months before Jacobs entered the ring again and it wasn’t against Golovkin.
Six months later on September 15th after the Jacobs fight Golovkin whose knockout streak of 23 straight was broken would face Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-1, with 34 knockouts only losing a majority decision to Floyd “Money” Mayweather, at 154. For five rounds they battled before Alvarez couldn’t handle the “heat” of Golovkin’s punches and kept moving away from the champion for the next seven rounds. When the decision was announced it was quite obvious a PPV payday for the promoters was influencing the judges. Byrd’s 118-110 for Alvarez had “fix or incompetent” written all over it. Was she blind? Moretti’s 115-113 for Golovkin was followed by Trella’s 114-114 draw! This writer had Golovkin a wide winner taking the second half of the fight as Alvarez was on the move. The look on Golovkin’s face told it all. He knew he had be had! In the meantime Alvarez was “celebrating” a draw! A PPV deal was probably set before the decision was announced.
Alvarez tested positive for two drug tests after this bout. Why the draw decision wasn’t changed to a No Contest or No Decision could be a first. Alvarez decided not to enroll into the WBC’s clean boxing program and therefore was removed from their rankings. He was put on a 6 month suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission in April prior to a May 5th rematch.
Filling in for Alvarez was 2004 USA Olympian Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan, 36-3-1 (21), having never been stopped and an Armenian from Glendale, CA. Though it had been two years since he had his last fight which was a losing one he was still ranked among the super middleweights. The bout was held at the Stub Hub Center, in Carson, CA. Martirosyan was dropped in the second and stopped at 1:53 of the round.
The IBF has informed Golovkin he’s been stripped of his title due to not fighting his No. 1 contender Russia’s Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko, 12-0 (10), living in Brooklyn, NY, he will be stripped of his title. The Russian and former WBA Middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs may be fighting for the vacant title. Jacobs is No. 3 in the IBF with No. 2 vacant. He is No. 1 in the WBO where the champion Billy Joe “Superb” Saunders hasn’t fought since December of 2017 and No. 1 in the WBA and No. 2 in the WBC.
Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (21), of Houston, TX, is the interim WBC Middleweight champion. Japan’s Ryota Murata, 14-1 (11), holds the WBA World Middleweight title. UK southpaw Billy Joe “Superb” Saunders, 26-0 (12) holds the WBO World Middleweight title. It had been rumored Golovkin was looking at meeting Saunders prior to the Alvarez to be his next opponent.
There is so much bad blood between the fighters at this point that there will not be a press conference or a press tour and the fighters won’t meet face to face until fight week. There will be a split screen press event on Facebook next week.
“Canelo can walk to the ring last. He can walk to the ring first. The important thing is who leaves the ring last,” said Golovkin. “I will demonstrate who is the best when I defeat Golovkin soundly on September 15th on (Mexican) Independence Day week-end,” said Alvarez. For some reason Alvarez with no belts again gets the larger percentage of the money. It will be the twenty-first title defense for Golovkin.
GGG-Canelo: Did Golovkin Have the Better Poker Face?
By: Charles Jay
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are set for their rematch on September 15 in Las Vegas, which is a year minus a day from the first meeting, although that wasn’t the plan, as you know. The numbers from sportsbooks around the world have GGG favored, but in a very competitive fight; the odds most prevalent on him are -175 (a little higher some other places), while Alvarez fetches anywhere from +140 to +160.
Ah, sports betting – that’s one pastime very popular on the Vegas strip.
Another pastime is poker, and that looks just like what these guys have been playing – through their representatives – in the negotiations leading up to the final agreement.
Both went all-in. So who got the better of the pot?
Well, Alvarez’s hand seemed to have weakened; he has been through the wringer as far as flak for his failing two drug tests, and no one seems to be buying the excuse that he ate some contaminated meat, although in Mexico that would seem to be altogether possible. Canelo’s manager is Chapo Reynoso, a former butcher.
Should he have known? Oh, the drama.
When this rematch was originally planned, GGG was going to get 35% of the pie, which was five percent more than he got for the previous fight. Of course, that’s before all the trouble started.
So the way this went is that, as the fight was rescheduled, Golovkin now wanted a 50% cut, since he was the champion.
Ultimately GGG settled for 45%, which was not a big concession on his part, and a big gain after getting no better than a draw, but then Alvarez’s side, presumably for the purpose of calling his bluff, wanted to cut him down to 42.5%, and set a deadline for him to take it and like it. Golovkin wasn’t coming off his figure. So we’re right there at the 55%-45% split. According to GGG’s promoter Tom Loeffler, “It was all about the principle and respect for him as the champion.”
Was it? Maybe, but not all the way.
If it was all about the principle, he may never have budged from 50%, especially as he insisted later that Canelo didn’t deserve to have 5% or 7.5% conceded back to him.
And looking at the other side, we have been hearing this theme lately about how Canelo’s image needs to be “rehabilitated,” but did he take such a hit that it was with 10 to 15 points of damage in terms of negotiating leverage?
Oscar De La Hoya, who holds the promotional paper on Alvarez, didn’t think so. He’s been maintaining that “Canelo is bigger and more popular than ever.” He probably won’t be far out of the ballpark when all is said and done.
Sure, there are probably a lot of Mexicans who were disappointed in him last September; not so much for the result but for the performance. It was not necessarily “blood and guts” and Alvarez did more than his fair share of retreating. But of all the boxers active today, Canelo is among the top two or three when it comes to bringing a built-in audience to the table, and it’s doubtful that his countrymen will want to see this fight any less. The media isn’t likely to give it less coverage either; in fact, the angle of the failed drug tests adds an element that might actually create more interest. It’s important to point out that this time around, the fight (which drew 1.3 million paid subscribers) does not come on the heels of a Mayweather-McGregor bout, which was a very expensive event for the more mainstream audience they’ll be trying to snag here. The point is, will revenues take a hit because of Canelo’s “image problem,” or will they instead experience a spike because of that and other factors?
Let’s push our point across even further. The business of Pay Per View (PPV) in boxing may not seem fair when the champion is taking less than the challenger, but it’s actually quite democratic, in the sense that the guy who can produce more fans and followers will pull in more revenue. Is there any question about Alvarez being that guy? If you ever watch those documentaries with wrestlers of years gone by, you’ll notice they always talk about the concept of “drawing money.” Well, same principle at work here. The guy who can do more of that should have more leverage.
And the fact is, Golovkin couldn’t carry a PPV on his own. He just couldn’t drive the big guarantees as the A-side of a matchup. Impatient after Alvarez got suspended, he fought a relatively known quantity in Vanes Martirosyan, who was handpicked not just because he was the right kind of opponent but because he had better “name” value than other alternatives. And GGG made a grand total of $1 million.
Loeffler was talking about a backup plan for Golovkin, whereby he’d fight Billy Joe Saunders in Los Angeles on August 25, and would be more than happy to do that if Canelo wouldn’t come to terms. But even though there are some provisional odds at online sportsbooks that have Golovkin priced at -450, it’s still the kind of fight that may have given him more trouble than expected. And from the standpoint of money, what would that have really produced?
When you go beyond that, who else is there for him to make a bundle of money with? The Charlo brothers? Maybe, if he fought them on the same night. Other than that, pickings are slim.
So you wonder whether Alvarez’s people (Eric Gomez with Golden Boy in particular) could have stood firm, even at 35% or 40%, and still landed Golovkin’s name on a deal. That may well have been the case. But despite De La Hoya’s assertions, they may have valued the whole “rehabilitation” angle about as much as many of the media people do.
Who knows – maybe Alvarez is the guy who’s really fighting with principle on his mind, and was willing to pay for it.
And if he got bluffed, he wound up second best.
Gennady Golovkin Treats His Fans to a Show while HBO Gives Viewers Boxing at a Bargain
By Vishare Mooney
Vegas’s loss ended up SoCal’s gain, as the Canelo-GGG pay-per-view cancellation yielded a bargain for boxing fans watching around the world, and in attendance, at the gorgeous and affordable outdoor boxing venue that is the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA. Despite the circumstances, GGG Promotions and HBO together produced a collection of solid bouts, including the first ever live telecast of a women’s fight and leading to the ultimate showcase of their featured fighters, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1 34KO) against Vanes Martirosyan (36-4-1 21KO). According to Nielsen Media Research, the HBO telecast peaked at 1,361,000 viewers, making it cable tv’s number one rated boxing telecast in 2018. Saturday’s show also broke StubHub’s record for highest grossing boxing event.
Triple G merchandise were worn by fans throughout the entire venue that evening and even the night before during Golden Boy Promotions Garcia vs. Velez bout. GGG merchandise were sold then too and fans were seen wearing GGG hats alongside young girls wearing Ryan Garcia “The Flash” tees. Such is the power of a champion – your merch is worn on fight nights when you’re not fighting.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions
But enough shop talk. Let’s talk about the fight.
This fight seemed an unexpected pit stop for the Big Drama Show 2 that was teased last September seconds after the controversial draw that extended the Canelo-Golovkin saga – two fighters vying for the prefix “undisputed.” After the controversial draw came the controversial “tainted meat” followed by the controversial choice of replacement fighter. (Max Kellerman actually suggested Golovkin went from a fighter who was avoided to one who was avoiding top challengers. Oy.) Let’s not forget the posturing on social media from an angry Canelo and attention needy Billy Joe Saunders. There was all this drama but not the good kind, the junk kind, like a bag of Cheetos, easily consumed yet unsatisfying.
Golovkin wanted a fight. He didn’t want to waste a camp. Having fought two or three times per year throughout his entire pro career, wanted to stay active. He wanted to give his fans a show on Cinco De Mayo and then finally move on to the next, and more lucrative card his fame deserved. And maybe, as viewers saw, in the two rounds his opponent remained standing, he also needed to remind people just what his job was in the ring: seek, destroy, defend the belts.
It’s difficult for promoters and for media, to hype up a fight when the champion is a soft spoken Kazakh, whose English is limited, who smiles easily, avoids trash talk and can actually be mistaken for an IT guy on a date when he wears Bijan. I am sure it’s not easy to get ‘likes” when your fighter isn’t a charming 19-year-old, predicting a fourth round knockout with a left hook while simultaneously holding promotions on Instagram. And so, Golovkin, the old school fighter, has to make up for all of these shortcomings the only way he has ever known – on fight night.
On May 5th, under the stars and klieg lights, as the now familiar thudding beat of his fight song began and fans roared in anticipation, GGG walked out of the tunnel, in his hooded blue and gold Kazakh fight robe, looking like a royal grim reaper, his left arm on trainer Abel Sanchez’s shoulder and Jack White’s “Seven Nation Army” doing some trash talking for him.
I’m gonna fight ‘em all/A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back/They’re gonna rip it off/Taking their time right behind my back.
GGG spent round one surveying Martirosyan, finding his range, his opponents vulnerabilities. He threw a couple of tentative punches and got caught with a right and follow up left from Martirosyan. The crowd cheered in surprise and support for the challenger who had promised that he would not “run away” from GGG in the ring, as was the effective strategy of Golovkin’s last two opponents. Martirosyan, in his 36 bouts had never been downed. After the bell, Sanchez told his fighter he seemed tight, fight announcer Jim Lampley mused “It does look that way. As if Golovkin had a lot of pressure to deal with. A lot of outside the ring stuff.”
Golovkin had taken a few solid shots from Martirosyan and it seemed, at the start of the second round that it would be a longer night than anticipated. After all, the last time Golovkin fought at StubHub it was 2014 against veteran Marco Rubio and that fight only lasted two rounds before the KO…But we all know what happened. Deja Vu.
12 seconds into Round 2, when Golovkin threw a vicious uppercut to Martirosyan’s chin, that would have brought Martirosyan down had he not literally hung onto Golovkin to avoid a knock down call, the crowd sensed danger. At 1:26 left in the round, Golovkin throws Martirosyan a hard left hook that ultimately puts Martirosyan against the ropes to a barrage of nine, yes nine, punches to his head: a powerful overhead right cross, jab, jab, jab, right cross, right, big left hook, right, big left hook. And down.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions
From my seat I saw Martirosyan’s back against the ropes, his head violently bobbing right and left as Golovkin’s fists met their target. As his opponent collapsed to the floor, Golovkin backed away and looked grimly on as the referee counted.
“Boxing is not easy,” said Golovkin, before the fight. “Boxing is not a game. It’s serious business.”
Golovkin knows his fans. He gave them what they wanted. No hype. A show of pure boxing. Let’s hope Golovkin, in the rarefied world of high stakes fights, finds his way back to StubHub in the not too distant future and that HBO finds a way, and not by accident, to provide amazing non pay per view fights for the masses – for true boxing fans.
HBO Boxing Preview: Braekhus vs. Reis, Golovkin vs. Martirosyan
By: William Holmes
Gennady Golovkin was supposed to face Canelo Alvarez in a highly anticipated rematch this Saturday in Las Vegas, but a positive drug test for Clenbuterol skirted those plans and have placed the legacy of Canelo in doubt, even though the claim is that the positive test was caused by tainted meat.
Instead Golovkin will get a new opponent in a new venue on Saturday night and the fight will no longer be on Pay Per View. Vanes Martirosyan has offered to set up to the plate to face Golvokin on short notice. The co-feature of the night will be a woman’s bout between Cecilia Braekhus and Kali Reis for Braekhus WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Welterweight Titles.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions
Boxers such as Ryan Martin, Bredis Prescott, Nam Pham, Ruslan Madiyev, and Brian Ceballo will be competing on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the two planned televised fights.
Cecilia Braekhus (32-0) vs. Kali Reis (13-6-1); WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Women’s Welterweight Titles
Cecilia Braekhus is one of the best women boxers that is currently competing. She’s undefeated, has held a major world title since 2009 (WBC and WBA Titles) and is considered a legend in the sport of women’s boxing.
However, she is thirty six years old and is nearing the end of her athletic prime. Her opponent is five years younger and will have a slight half an inch height advantage, but Reis has never defeated an opponent near the caliber of Braekhus.
As an amateur, Braekhus is a former World Silver Medalist. Reis does not have any notable amateur accomplishments to discuss.
Braekhus is 12-0 against former world champions. She has defeated the likes of Makela Lauren, Eva Bajic, Anne Sophie Mathis, Mia St. John, Oxandia Castillo, Myriam Lamare, Ivana Habazin, Jennifer Retzke, Chris Namus, and Erica Anabella Farias,
Reis is a former middleweight world champion, but none of her past three opponents had a winning record. Two of them had a losing record and one had an equal number of wins and losses.
Neither boxer is known for their power. Braekhus has nine stoppage victories while Reis only has four stoppage victories. Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. Reis fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Braekhus fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016.
Braekhus will make history as the first woman to compete on an HBO televised female boxing match. This will only be her second fight in the United States, but she does not have an opponent in front of her that should present a major challenge.
Age will catch up to Braekhus soon, but she should have a good showing on Saturday night in her American debut.
Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1) vs. Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1); WBA/WBC Middleweight Titles
Gennady Golovkin was hoping to rematch Canelo Alvarez and get a definitive win, but instead he has to face the determine but heavy underdog Vanes Martirosyan.
Golovkin is thirty six years old and will be four years older than Martirosyan on Saturday night. Golovkin is already showing signs of slowing down. He has thirty three knockout wins on his resume, but his opponents in his past two fights were able to go the distance. Martirosyan will also have a slight one inch height advantage. Their reach is the same. Martirosyan is not really known for his power, he only has twenty one knockouts as a professional.
Golovkin was a 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist for Kazakhstan and Martirosyan competed for the United States in 2004 in the Olympics but failed to medal.
Golovkin has been fighting what is now considered a normal schedule for a top tier fighter. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016. Martirosyan has not been very active and it should be a concern for his camp. He’s fighting arguably the best middleweight in the 21st century and he only fought once in 2016 and did not fight at all in 2017. In fact it will be nearly two years since he has stepped in the ring.
Golovkin has defeated the likes Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, Gabriel Rosado, and Kassim Ouma.
Martirosyan has defeated the likes of Ishe Smith, Willie Nelson, Saul Roman, and Kassim Ouma. His losses were to Erislandy Lara, Jermell Charlo, and Demetrius Andrade.
Martirosyan has been known to do better than expected in big fights, but fighting a current top five pound for pound boxer after not competing for two years will be a tall task to overcome.
However, if Martirosyan makes it to the final bell, the bigger question will be how much longer does Golovkin has left as one of the world’s best?
Abel Sanchez Looking To Prolong GGG’s Legendary Career
By Vishare Mooney
Is age becoming an issue for Gennady Golovkin, the 37-0-1, 33KO machine who, with a body seemingly made of iron, a mind like a chess champion, who has never been downed, never been hurt and boasts the highest knockout ratio in middleweight history? Will age be a factor as he enters the storied StubHub Center in his 20th consecutive title defense against Glendale, California’s Vanes Martirosyan 36-3-1. 21KO, also known as, given the unexpected circumstance, the fighter who is not Canelo? If trainer Abel Sanchez has done his job, the answer is probably not, and frankly, probably never. As GGG gets older, it is Sanchez’s desire to prolong his legendary fighter’s career in the ring with a mix of tactics outside the ring. I spoke with him on a recent media workout as he explained how.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/GGG Promotions
When asked if we can expect to see Golovkin’s hard hitting, aggressive approach in the ring change as he becomes a more mature fighter, Sanchez replied with an emphatic no. “I don’t look at his age in terms of what he can or can’t do. His style will remain basically the same. I’m trying to prolong his career as much as possible without interfering with his actual fighting style,” said Sanchez.
Which is good news and bad news for future contenders to the throne. Good news is GGG won’t suddenly be adding a frustrating Mayweather type defense or Lomachencko’s blustery footwork. The bad news is Golovkin will continue to outthink you, force you in a corner, and knock you out.
If there are any changes to Golovkin’s boxing, Sanchez says, it is in the gym. “I try to keep things as constant as possible. I have been tweaking things in the gym for the last 7 or 8 fights. It’s not that I see anything deteriorating in the gym. I have reduced amount of rounds, I reduced a lot of the things we do so that I can conserve as much as I can for the fight.”
How much does nutrition play in keeping Golovkin’s body in top shape throughout his career? Sanchez disclosed he is not a fan of supplements and vitamins and prefers to keep nutrition in his camp basic, old school, but nonetheless clean.
“I want him to eat what he eats..Obviously we don’t have sodas, we don’t have liquor and the breads and the sugars, we stay away from. I think basic nutrition is something that we can’t overlook.”
Sanchez added, “ All these new supplements, (Golovkin) takes no vitamins. I have another fighter in the gym who is also a feared fighter like him, who takes no vitamins either and yet they are the two of the strongest guys in their divisions.”
”I think you have to feed yourself, you have to eat. Gennady loves mexican food, he loves ribs he loves shrimp quesadillas.”
Sanchez ended the interview and joked that Golovkin bleeds hot salsa. Que viva el alcalde de Cinco de Mayo, GGG!
Vanes Martirosyan’s Goal: “To Beat The Baddest Man On The Planet”
By: Sean Crose
“Ronda’s going to come to the event on Saturday,” promoter Tom Loeffler said during a Monday conference call promoting this weekend’s Cinco De Mayo bout between middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin and ring vet (and Ronda Rousey pal) Vanes Martirosyan. Loeffler also added that “Chris Cyborg,” another MMA star, “is supposed to come.” Whether such well known fans will add buzz to a fight that is essentially a quick replacement for a failed megabout between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez remains to be seen. This Saturday’s match was supposed to be a rematch between Golovkin and Canelo of their 2017 bout, which ended in a controversial draw. Canelo, however, famously tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance, back in February, causing the high profile event to be cancelled.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/GGG Promotions
“He was very frustrated when the positive test first was announced,” said Loeffler. “Gennady really is the party that’s the most affected by this (the Canelo situation).” Loeffler also made it clear that Golovkin is not only eager to move on, but is taking his replacement opponent, Martirosyan, very seriously. “This is a very unique situation,” said Loeffler, who added that “Gennady just kept training” throughout the Alvarez scandal. Likewise, Martirosyan is said to be well prepared. “We just got ready for Golovkin,” the California fighter said when I asked what tweaks were made to his training in preparation for the feared Kazakh.
“Styles do make fights,” he added. “GGG’s style and mine fit very well.” Martirosyan has complained that some of his more notable opponents have avoided him in the ring. Unlike slicksters such as Erislandy Lara, however, Martirosyan feels Golovkin will show up on Saturday to fight. “It’s a perfect fight for Cinco de Mayo because it’s going to be two guys going head to head,” Martirosyan said. Martirosyan also claimed that “this is what we dream about. I’ve always wanted these fights.” He’s only been set to face Golovkin for a few weeks, but Martirosyan is exuding complete confidence.
“We’re ready,” he said. “You can wake me up in my sleep and I’d be ready to fight.” With just days to go before the fight, Martirosyan let the media know that he’s still prepping. “I’m in the gym right now,” he said. “I just go done sweating my butt off.” Although he’s eager to engage in an action fight, Martirosyan comes across as a pleasant individual who’s not afraid to engage in humor. As he said good naturedly during the call: “Most of my fans are also GGG fans.” Not that they won’t support Martirosyan during the fight.
As the clock ticks ever closer to the weekend, Martirosyan, who is a huge underdog, has a singular goal in mind:
“To beat the baddest man on the planet.”
Quotes from Gennady Golovkin and Vanes Martirosyan
Fellow 2004 Olympians and soon-to-be opponents GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN and VANES “THE NIGHTMARE” MARTIROSYAN met with the media — and each other — on Monday at Martirosyan’s gym, the Glendale Fighting Club. It was the first time the fighters addressed the media, and each other, since announcing their Cinco De Mayo world championship rumble. Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, boxing’s longest-reigning world champion (since 2010), will be defending his World Middleweight Championship crown for the 20th consecutive and record-tying time, against former two-time world title challenger and current No. 1 contender Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), from Glendale, Calif. They collide on Saturday, May 5, under the stars at StubHub Center. The fight will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Promoted by GGG promotions, in association with Don King Productions, and sponsored by Tecate, Chivas Regal, Jordan and Hublot, remaining tickets to the Golovkin vs. Martirosyan world championship event are priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100 (sold out) and $50 (sold out), and may be purchased online at https://www.axs.com/events/353331/golovkin-vs-martirosyan-tickets?ref=edp_twpost, by phone at (888) 9AXS-TIX, or by visiting the StubHub Center box office.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/GGG Promotions
Here is what the fighters had to say:
“I am glad to be back in the ring and giving a fight to my fans. I am happy that Cinco De Mayo will still have boxing. It is good for the sport. I want to stay active. I would like to fight four or five times every year. Cinco De Mayo is a big night for a fight and for a Mexican-Style fighter like me. It is very important to me to be fighting again, to be fighting on Cinco De Mayo. I didn’t want to disappoint the fans who wanted a fight on a Mexican holiday. I am grateful to the Mexican fans who support me and who supported me after the fight with Canelo and during the past two months.
“When my fight with Canelo was canceled I never stopped training. I wanted a fight on Cinco De Mayo. I stayed in Big Bear working hard with Abel hoping I would still be able to have a fight.
“Canelo? Right now he is over. Do I want to have the rematch in September? We’ll see. It’s a different deal. The boxing business is crazy. I’ll fight Canelo again. Ask him if he wants to fight me.
“I no longer think about Canelo. I am only focused on this fight. I just want to fight Vanes. I remember him from the 2004 Olympics. I know he is not easy. Vanes is a strong and active fighter in the ring. He is a good fighter . Vanes is a real guy. A real fighter. He is tall and strong. In 2004, I thought Vanes was the best boxer on the U.S. Olympic team.
“I have watched some tapes of Vanes’ fights. His fights with Lara. The minute the fight was signed Abel brought new ideas to the gym workouts. And no, I am not going to tell you those new ideas. The fans at StubHub Center will be watching two Mexican-style fighters from the area.
“I am still comfortable at 160 pounds. There are no big money fights at 168 pounds and besides, I am small at 160.
“I only ask for fights. I want more big fights. Huge fights. Title unification fights. I want to stay champion. It should be a clean sport. That is important to me.
“This fight is very important for boxing. Fans should not have to miss having a fight on Cinco De Mayo. This is my gift to the sport. Thank you to everyone for watching me and supporting me.”
“This fight is the biggest test for me. It will show where I belong in this sport. I was able to take advantage of this opportunity because I never left the gym, even when previously scheduled fights kept falling through. I would take a week off and then return to the gym. It was hard but I never lost faith. A good fighter stays ready, stays in shape. How many times have we heard that about an opponent falling out and a replacement getting that golden ticket to fight for a world title?
“Regarding Canelo, you have to ask, ‘Why did he flunk two drug tests. Why did he withdraw from VADA? I don’t believe him. I don’t buy his excuse about tainted meat. If, God forbid, I had tested positive because of accidentally eating something, I would have myself tested every day to prove I was clean. No one wants to see someone cheat his way into a fight.
“That’s why fans love Triple G. Because he is so good in the ring and because he is clean. He has always been tested. He wants boxing to be a clean sport as do I.
“I have been counted out before and I have shined. This is my time. Fate has reached out to me and I am ready to seize the moment. You can never plan for something like this, but you can be prepared, and that’s why I never left the gym.
“I am excited to show everyone how good I can be. I feel so fresh and strong. Fans and Gennady will be amazed . We may not be Mexican but I guarantee you it’s going to feel like two Mexicans are going to war on Cinco De Mayo.
“I’m not afraid of Gennady. I’m psyched to fight him. This is why I became a fighter. I’m not the only one taking this fight on short notice. Everyone has a soft spot. I’ll find his. I have no fear. We are going to war — Mexican Style. Two trains colliding. We both love the Mexican Style of fighting. We’re both hard headed and heavy handed. To me, it’s not a REAL fight without a lot of Mexican fans. I’m not fighting to survive. I’ll be fighting to win!
“I don’t run like the guy who pretended to eat a bad steak. Let’s see how Gennady reacts to a fighter who doesn’t move away after being hit. Gennady’s chin hasn’t been tested the way I’d like to test it.
“Canelo is an easier fight than Gennady. Gennady has a fan-friendly style. Canelo ran from my mandatory challenge. That says a lot about him. That tells you everything about him.
“When I got the call from Don King, I was laying in bed with the kids. ‘Hey, man, there’s this guy they call Triple G or something like that, you want to fight?” I said, ‘Of course.’ That’s how I found out I got the fight.
“Before I knew I had this fight, I asked my wife who her favorite fighter was, besides me. She told me Gennady Golovkin. So now I have to beat his ass for that (laughing).”
Martiosyan On Golovkin: “Everyone Is Beatable”
By: Sean Crose
“Everyone is beatable,” says middleweight title challenger Vanes Martirosyan. “Everybody.”
The 37-3-1 Californian, known for his friendship with former UFC star Ronda Rousey, is scheduled for what is unquestionably the biggest fight in his career when he faces 37-0-1 multi-titlist Gennady Golovkin on May 5th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Golovkin was expected to rematch superstar Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas that evening in a pay per view spectacular, but Canelo got popped for having Clenbuterol in his system and subsequently dropped out of the match before receiving a six month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
“Every time I talked to my promoter Don King,” says Martirosya, “I would tell him my passion. I would tell him ‘give me a fight, let me show you what I can do.’ I knew he had been working hard to get me a fight then he got me this fight.” Martirosya makes it clear he was quick to answer the call from team Golovkin, which was looking for a May 5th replacement for Canelo. “When they asked me if I wanted it I said ‘of course.’ They asked me if I could be 176 by Friday and I said I am 176 right now. Thank God we were training and in such good shape. King got me the biggest fight and now it’s time to go.”
Martirosya is also eager to face down talk that he’s an unworthy opponent for the fighter known as GGG. “The fights that I didn’t look good in are against the people that ran from me,” he says, “like Lara and Andrade. They just try to run and outbox. I couldn’t make them fight. But GGG is coming to fight and that’s what I’ve been looking for – to show the boxing world what I can do.”
The veteran fighter exudes nothing but confidence in the lead up to the title match. ““Everybody has a chance to tell their story,” he says. “This is my story in boxing and it’s going to start May 5th.” Martirosya also admits that, aside from himself, Golovkin is his wife’s favorite fighter. “So, you know,” he says kiddingly, “I gotta kick his ass.” On a more serious note, Martirosya understands that Golovkin is one of the most feared men in boxing.
“I feel like people are scared of him because of his power,” he says. “We’re gonna go to war. It’s not going to be Mexican style fighting there but it will feel like it.” As for jumping up in weight to battle Golovkin: “The weight is not an issue,” says Martirosyan, whose most recently fought as a super welterweight. “I think it’s a benefit for me. I get to eat a little bit.”
And how surprised is he to be facing GGG on the night the titlist was supposed to be facing Canelo?
“I didn’t even think I would get the call,” Martirosyan says.