By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: K2 Promotions
Middleweight WBA and IBO champ Gennady Golovkin (24-0, 21 KO) just arrived to New York for his Saturday night Madison Square Garden and HBO After Dark showdown with Gabriel Rosado (21-5, 13 KO), when Fightnews.com had an opportunity to speak with “GGG”, his trainer Abel Sanchez and Golovkin promoter, K2 Promotions managing director, Tom Loeffler about not only the upcoming show, but all those great expectations attached to Golovkin’s exciting and devastating style of fighting.
Gennady, you want to fight as many as five times this year, but everything starts with Gabriel Rosado at the Garden…
Gennady Golovkin: It’s a great fight, a great fight for us both. Difficult because he’s bigger, stronger but I’m looking for tough, good fights.
You were sensational against Grzegorz Proksa, knocking him down three times before fight was stopped in the fifth round. Maybe you should look less frightening against Rosado, so the even bigger names will not run away?
GG: We had like ten names we went through with HBO. Either they just wanted too much money, meaning they did not want to fight or they just turned us down. So my plan is to take fights with people who actually want to fight me. With me winning in America, my popularity going up, the bigger names will have to fight me, step into the ring.
Versus the highly regarded Polish fighter, you were in a destruction mode from the first round. Against Rosado, who is a different fighter than Proksa, what can we expect on Saturday?
GG: I will show different skills because Rosado is a different style fighter. Proksa was underestimated in America, a European champion from the top of the division, but against Rosado my approach will be the same – show a very entertaining style of fighting. Something what my fans will like, bring excitement to my sport. My coach Abel Sanchez wants me to bring this excitement back. Something that’s missing since Mike Tyson is no longer fighting. Fans look for somebody who will knock out people in the early rounds.
Abel, I found you said in a recent interview that people want the bull to win the bullfight – but aren’t you afraid that Gennady could be perceived only as a bull, powerful but not an exceptionally skilled fighter?
Abel Sanchez: I said this, because all of us want the underdog to win, we want to see something exciting happen – whatever sport we’re watching. I’m not concerned how Gennady will be perceived – all I want is Golovkin giving people their money’s worth. We have to make this sport as popular as it used to be by showing fighters like Gennady.
Gennady brought to you a Russian, controlled and technical style of boxing; you added American and Latino ingredients to it.
AS: Gennady brought also a very extensive amateur background and he was and is a natural athlete. Whatever I wanted to modify, it was lot easier because of his physical abilities and how smart he is. He let me do whatever I wanted to do to make him a better fighter.
Gabriel Rosado, at least in his interviews, is convinced that he can brawl with Gennady. Do you believe it will actually happen?
AS: I think initially, at the begging of the fight, it will be exactly what he wants to do. It all changes when Gennady touches you, it’s a different story. But the bottom line is the same – you cannot leave ring, this 20×20 space, and Gennady is very good in working this space to his advantage. For three, maybe five rounds it will be a very entertaining fight. I hope Rosado will not back down.
Question for Tom Loeffler: there’s a lot of expectations, lot of pressure on Gennady, to make it big in the world of boxing. Not only from himself, but also from you and his trainer. Plans of fighting Sergio Martinez this year, maybe another super fight against Andre Ward in 2014…
Tom Loeffler: Yes, we have lot of expectations, but only because we know that Gennady is much better than anyone I’ve seen. Abel said the same thing to me – that Gennady is a truly exceptional individual, that he never trained anybody like him before. Every potential Gennady opponent I run by Abel, made sense to him; he never turned down any names. I never experienced anything like this before with any of the fighters I worked with. So it would be a lot of pressure on somebody who is not as talented as Golovkin, but when you really see how talented he is, then those expectations aren’t unrealistic. Starting with Saturday’s show in Madison Square Garden – he always wanted to fight here, they supported us all the way. We expect this to be first fight of many fights Gennady will have in this great place, in New York.