Steve Rolls: “I’m The Best Investment This Side Of Wall Street”
By: Sean Crose
Gennady Golovkin will be returning to the ring this Saturday night after a nine month hiatus. It is supposed to be the beginning of a new era for the Kazakh warrior, who was last seen losing a controversial decision to Canelo Alvarez last September. For starters, the former middleweight titlist will be making his debut on the DAZN streaming service. He will also be fighting for the first time under the tutelage of trainer Jonathan Banks, after having broken with long time corner man Able Sanchez. In the leadup to GGGs return, however, one piece of the puzzle has been largely overlooked – Golovkin’s opponent, Steve Rolls.
“You can look at me as an underdog,” says the undefeated 19-0 fighter “but in my mind, I’m the best investment this side of Wall Street…GGG is going to face boxing’s version of Kawhi Leonard on June 8.” Undoubtedly most fans and analysts haven’t given the Toronto native much of a chance. Golovkin is seen as merely taking a tuneup this Saturday on his way to a potential third match with Canelo. Since last weekend’s stunning heavyweight title bout between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz, however, the boxing world has been reminded that anything can happen in the ring.
Should Rolls upset Golovkin as Ruiz upset Joshua, the future will be blindingly bright for the virtually unknown Rolls. Although he has yet to defeat anyone truly of note, the fighter can put punches together fluidly, and knows how to work the body well. His low hanging left hand may prove problematic against someone who hits with the power Golovkin does, but if Rolls shoulder roll defense is up to par, it might not be an issue. Rolls also has an ability to work on the inside well, something which may prove to be beneficial come this weekend.
The hurdle Rolls most overcome however, is not only Golovkin’s power, but the fighter’s skill. Far more than just a puncher, Golovkin has masterful balance and footwork. He’s also hard to frustrate (something which couldn’t be said for Joshua last weekend), and has a dedication to the craft which is almost frightening. “Boxing is no game,” he says. “I want a war. I have trained for a war. That’s why boxing fans enjoy the Big Drama Show. I come to fight.” Golovkin will probably be entering the ring looking to make a statement on Saturday. As Ruiz proved against Joshua, however, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that the statement is made by the fighter everyone has already written off.
GGG And Steve Rolls Set for June 8th At Madison Square Garden
By: Hans Themistode
It’s official. Former unified Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (GGG) will make his return to the ring on June 8th, at Madison Square Garden. Steve Rolls will be given the task of spoiling his return.
Not much is known of Rolls, he sports an undefeated record at 19-0 to go along with 10 knockouts but he hasn’t fought anyone of note. For Rolls, stepping up his level of competition so drastically will be a difficult one, but he feels as though he is up to the task.
“Honestly, I wanted to face someone in the top 15 or even the top 20 before facing a guy like GGG but I could not pass up on this opportunity.” Said Rolls during a media day scrum in New York City.
Rolls is in a difficult position. Opportunities such as these don’t come everyday. He has been quietly building up his resume against lesser opposition but will now be thrown into the deep end.
Outside of Rolls and his team, you wont find anyone who gives him any chance against the future hall of famer. The naysayers don’t mean anything to him. Sure GGG will be a difficult fight but Rolls has shared the ring with plenty of great fighters and former champions as well.
“I’ve sparred against the likes of Adonis Stevenson and Billy Joe Saunders and they have told me on numerous occasions that I held my own. People that have watched those sparring sessions have said that it looked as though I was a champion myself. I know that sparring and an actual fight is completely different but I believe that those moments have prepared me for June 8th.”
As for GGG, he will be looking to right a wrong. Many felt that he won both of fights against Canelo Alvarez. Unfortunately he was forced to settle for a draw in the first contest and a loss in the second. What exactly does he want to do now? He is now signed to DAZN and has the opportunity to regain his championship status as every Middleweight belt holder is signed to the streaming platform. It seems as though the belts are not as important to him as they once were.
“I’ve been a champion for a longtime. I am now in a point in my career, where I am wiser. I have learned from my previous fights. I would like to fight good fights, whether these fights are going to be championship fights or not is not as important as the quality of the fighting.” Said GGG.
Having shared the ring with Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez, GGG would be the ideal person to ask his opinion on how their May 4th, showdown will play out. However, GGG could not provide an answer in terms of who he believed will be victorious.
“I think it’s very hard to predict. It’s going to be a very important fight for the middleweight division and for boxing in general. It’s pretty even keel. Everyone has a chance. Everyone has a possibility to win. This is boxing, this is even stuff. It’s going to be an interesting fight no matter what.”
The prevailing thought in boxing circles is that if GGG is the victor on June 8th, and Canelo also gets the job done against Jacobs, that a third fight between these two would be made for September. The only problem with that thought is that Canelo has said on numerous occasions that he will only fight GGG if he has a belt. GGG, isn’t buying that notion.
“I think Canelo is not correct to say that. We have to see what’s going to happen. I’m hoping to fight him, title or not.”
GGG undoubtedly has his eyes set on a third showdown with Canelo. Steve Rolls, will get the chance to play spoiler. As we have seen time and time again in boxing, not everything always go according to plan.