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Q&A: Tom Loeffler

"It will be Wladimir's tribute to his friend Emanuel Steward"

By Przemek Garczarczyk

“I suspect that the fight in Hamburg against the undefeated 6-6 Mariusz Wach will be a great tribute to his coach and friend Emanuel Steward and that all boxing fans worldwide will see in the ring a special statement from Wladimir Klitschko,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, in a Fightnews.com interview. Loeffler spoke about Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 50 KOs) preparations for his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO title defense against Mariusz Wach (27-0, 15 KOs), on November 10 in Hamburg, without his late friend and trainer Emanuel Steward plus what we can expect from Vitali Klitschko as a politician and what’s in the future from the newest K2 Promotions star Gennady Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs).

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the late Emanuel Steward for Wladimir Klitschko, so questions about Wlad’s readiness for a title defense and maybe even more the lack of Steward’s presence in his corner on November 10 in Hamburg in the title fight against Mariusz Wach must be asked.

Tom Loeffler: There’s no doubt that Wladimir and Emanuel, the whole team, were like family members for the last eight years. Nobody can replace Emanuel, but their closeness, the very detailed winning system they had developed when everybody knows their role helps a lot in this difficult situation. Johnathon Banks and James Ali Bashir were handpicked by Steward because they worked so well with him and Wladimir. They know exactly what to do to make Klitschko the best he can be. Wladimir, when he is defending his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO championship belts, does not need any bulletin material for extra motivation, but Wach camp delivered it nevertheless, not respecting champ situation when Steward was still ailing in the hospital. Make no mistake, Wladimir was angry and disappointed about it. I suspect that the fight in Hamburg against the undefeated 6-6 Mariusz Wach will be a great tribute to his coach and friend Emanuel Steward and that all boxing fans worldwide will see in the ring a special statement from Wladimir Klitschko.

His brother Vitali will be in his corner and we are still wondering if this is the reality of the situation for the foreseeable future – politics for Vitali, boxing for Wladimir. We all know Vitali Klitschko’s qualities as a boxer – how about being a politician?

TL: It will be the same man: dedicated, relentless to help people in Ukraine have better lives. Vitali would like to end widespread corruption, include Ukraine in European Union, and just do everything to make his country a better one. He has the means and skills to do it. He exactly – just like in boxing – knows what he wants and how to accomplish it.

The Klitschko brothers are the undisputed kings of heavyweight division, fighters without the need of introduction, but there’s a rising star on the K2 team: Gennady Golovkin. While less than a year ago he was best kept secret in boxing, he exploded in his first HBO fight and his potential fight against Andre Ward could bring more interest in 2013 than Pacquaio-Mayweather Jr. Is this a boxing blasphemy to say that?

TL: Absolutely not, I agree with that although as we know many things have to happen first before this will happen. Andre proved with all his fights that he is a true, fearless champion already – Gennady wants to do the same. When Golovkin is saying that he can fight the best from 154 to 168, he means it and he knows that K2 is behind his every decision. He don’t have to ask his promoter’s permission like Peter Quillin, who, when asked if he will fight Golovkin answered, that he will have to talk to his people. And no surprise also here – instead of fighting Gennady, Daniel Geale will go and fight Anthony Mundine in Australia. Even before the Grzegorz Proksa fight, nobody wanted to fight Golovkin. Now, after knocking out Proksa, a very good fighter with an unorthodox style who can beat a lot of people in the Top 10 of his division, it’s even harder to find brave men who want confront Gennady. But this is OK – now everybody knows how entertaining, no holds barred, and powerful his style is.

Some media reports indicated that Golovkin will be back in action in December, but rather in Europe than in the USA…

TL: It could possibly change because of the interest he just generated in his first fight in the U.S. I expect Genaddy to be big part of two HBO broadcasts in next six months, so fighting in December in Europe could be hard. In his last 11 fights, Golovkin knocked out 11 opponents; he destroys them not leaving anything to speculation or the judges’ hands. There’s no need in boxing for controversies like the one we had after the Bradley-Pacquiao fight. Gennady Golovkin had one of the best debuts on U.S. TV in recent memory – and this not only my opinion. His time is now.




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