By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: K2 Promotions
“There’s big media interest and fans want this fight. This is the first event in the US when K2 Promotions controls a Golovkin fight. Of course, we are doing this with great cooperation from our good friends, Main Events and with help from HBO, but this is a major step for Gennady,” said K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler after the kickoff press conference in New York before Golovkin (27-0, 24 KO) defend his WBA and IBO middleweight belts against another knockout artist, Brooklyn’s own Curtis Stevens (25-3, 18 KO). Golovkin-Stevens will happen at the Madison Square Theater on November 2 and will be televised live on HBO.
30 minutes after Gennady’s destruction of Matthew Macklin at Foxwoods, you said that Curtis Stevens would be the next best option for GGG. Did you believe it would actually happen?
Yes, because I knew that Curtis is a proud New Yorker, a proud man from Brooklyn. He was one of not many – maybe even the only one – that said from the beginning that he wants Golovkin. And he actually meant it; he said that a long time before this event could be made. Knowing Kathy (Duva) for a long time, having a very good relationship with Main Events, I also knew that the only problem will be convincing HBO, that Golovkin-Stevens was the best thing for the network and get enough money to make it happen. We knew it would be a great event for New York. I always said this, but I will say it again – this is our favorite place to fight. Especially – if we can fight at Madison Square Garden. There’s no better place to see the boxing game in the world. And when you add a man from Brooklyn, like Stevens to the mix, it’s easy to understand why this fight already beat a record Madison Square Garden for 24 hours pre-sale.
There’s no doubt a lot of respect between Gennady and Curtis, but both are dead serious and convincing when saying that they will knock the other guy out. Curtis said that Gennady is slow, Gennady only smiled.
Curtis Stevens, after his sensational knockout in the last fight, has every right to be confident. Same with Golovkin. Knowing that, I will be surprised if we see five rounds of boxing on November 2 at MSG. It will be a new experience for Gennady fighting a middleweight that is smaller than him, but he loves all the possible challenges.
Continuing this line of thought – for the last couple of years you’re saying that Golovkin is just coming into his prime. What new could we possibly see against Stevens?
I honestly don’t know. Gennady is experienced as an amateur and professional, so he always finds the way to surprise us. When he needs to, he looks to hit the other guy’s head; when you cover the head, he can knock you out, with both hands, with a single body shot. He has so many options; he’s such a smart fighter. He adapts. Before Gennady fought Grzegorz Proksa, he was supposed to fight Dmitry Pirog, a completely different fighter than Proksa. It was a very important fight for us, the first one on HBO. Gennady had only a couple of weeks for a fighter with a vastly different style, different movement. In the end, it didn’t make any difference.
Contrary to many top fighters, Golovkin has no problem of fighting in all corners of the world. Or this is just a K2 strategy?
It’s 100 percent Gennady. He loves to fight in the new places, truly enjoys a new atmosphere, different countries. He started to travel as an amateur, and then the same happens when he became a professional. This is one of the reasons that it’s so easy to work with him – aside from his great, smiling and humble personality, Gennady is also open for fights anywhere. We already know that you don’t have to be from Kazakhstan to be his fan. His popularity grows every month and fighting a man like Curtis practically at his home, proves that he can fight everywhere against everybody.