By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
K2 Promotions held a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the View Restaurant at the Manhattan Beach Marriott in Manhattan Beach, California. WBA/IBO middleweight champion Kazakhstan’s Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (28-0, 25 KOs) and unbeaten Cuban heavyweight contender Mike “The Rebel” Perez (20-0, 12KOs), were on hand to speak with media on their upcoming bouts. The press conference began as K2 Promotions Managing Director Tom Loeffler welcomed media and discussed the matchup.
“I will like to welcome you all to today’s media luncheon for Gennady’s upcoming bout with Osumanu Adama in Monte Carlo. He made such a splash in Monte Carlo last year in his fight with Ishada they wanted him back,” Loeffler said. “The purpose of this fight is stay active. Adama is a very credible challenger. He is number three in the world by the IBO. We are looking capitalize on what Gennady did last year. He really had a breakout year in 2013. With the help of HBO, we are looking to build on what he accomplished in 2013 and move forward to 2014.”
Adama and his team were not able to make the press conference as a severe snow storm in Chicago forced his flight to be cancelled.
In attendance was HBO’s Tony Walker to talk about the start of the 2014 HBO boxing season which will feature light heavyweights Jean Pascal vs. Lucian Bute and heavyweights Mike Perez vs. Carlos Takam next Saturday from the Bell Centre in Montreal. Walker also spoke on the possibility of Golovkin vs. Adama being televised on HBO.
“January 18 we kick off world championship boxing for the year. We are really excited to have a guy like Mike Perez on the undercard of Pascal and Bute. We will continue to work with Tom and K2 to showcase these guys throughout the year as much as possible. They are good for boxing,” Walker said. “Gennady is our partner. We’re working with K2 to try to get the February fight on, not done yet but we are working on it. We’ll let you know. We hope to get him on HBO.”
Respected trainer Abel Sanchez followed as he spoke about his two fighters Golovkin and Perez.
“Both of these fighters are a project that is rewarding as a coach. They are always in condition looking like fighters,” Sanchez told media. “If we keep doing with Mike like we are doing with Gennady, they will have a hard time.”
Tom Loeffler introduced heavyweight Mike Perez and presented him with a special gift.
“I will like to introduce you all to Mike Perez. Most of you saw his breakout fight in America in Madison Square Garden on HBO between two undefeated fighters it,”Loeffler said in introducing Perez. “One thing Mike always asked me since the fight where is my belt?” (drawing laughs)
Perez received his WBC USNBC title and talked about his upcoming bout against Carlos Takam (29-1, 23KOs) of France. Perez vs. Takam takes place next week, Saturday January 18 at the Belle Centre in Montreal, Canada live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
“I want to wish a fast recuperation to Magomed. I dedicate this fight to him he is a great fighter a warrior,” Perez said in his opening statement.
The Cuban is coming off a brutal ten round unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten Magomed Abdusalamov last October in winnning the WBC USNBC heavyweight title. Shortly after the fight with Abdusalamov, Magomed was in a medically induced coma as he fought a tough fight against Perez. Abdusalamov is out of his coma and is recovering as Perez is ready to put it all behind him and focus on Takam.
“When I was told what happened it was hard but now I am going forward. I rested then I came back to do what I want to do and be a champion,” Perez said.
Perez then talked about his upcoming fight with Takam.
“Training camp is going good in Big Bear I am looking forward to the fight. I will do my best,” Perez on training camp. “I don’t know nothing about Takam, I leave it to my coach. I don’t see any point in studying my opponent.”
Perez vs. Takam will be a ten round heavyweight bout. Perez a product of the Cuban amateur program looks to neutralize the hard hitting Frenchman Takam in what should be an interesting matchup between the heavyweights as Perez looks to get off to a good start in 2014 in his second fight on HBO. Perez will have Magomed Abdusalamov’s in his thoughts as he will put Abdusalamov’s name on his trunks the night of the fight and dedicate the fight to him.
“I am ready to fight anyone, is anyone ready to fight me? They have to worry about me,” said Perez. “I come to fight to do my best come January 18 you will see,” Perez concluded.
Golovkin followed as he talked about his February 1 showdown against middleweight contender Osumanu Adama, 22-3-0 (16KOs) of Accra, Ghana at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo, “GGG” was all smiles with a grin.
“Monte Carlo is nice and it’s a very important fight for me. I am ready. This a great fight. February 1 it’s a new year. I am ready for a new year. I think it’s the same as last year, a great year. I am ready,” Golovkin said.
“I am working hard every day for February 1 for Adama. He is a good fighter, a strong guy, not an easy fight. Every fighter is different. This is boxing. This is serious. I think it’s a good fight for us,” Golovkin added.
Golovkin vs. Adama will be a scheduled twelve round championship fight for Golovkin’s WBA/IBO middleweight titles. Adama is coming off a seventh round technical decision over Doel Carrasquillo and in his previous fight won a split decision over Contender series champion Grady Brewer as he opened up 2013 with a decision loss to Daniel Geale for Geale’s IBF title. Golovkin coming off an impressive 2013 scored knockout’s in all four of his fights beginning with seventh round TKO of Gabriel Rosado, two months later a spectacular third round knockout of Nobuhiro Ishida, followed by a crunching third round knockout of Matthew Macklin in June, and wrapped up 2013 with an eighth round stoppage in breaking down Curtis Stevens.
“First I will train for February 1 but I am ready for the big names. I will fight everyone,” Golovkin concluded Tuesday’s press conference.
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