• By Miguel Maravilla Photo by Tom Hogan Hogan

Gennady Golovkin; I Hope He is There to Fight on September 15


WBC, WBA, and newly crowned Ring Magazine middleweight world champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs), of Kazakhstan held court with media Monday afternoon at the Palm Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles as he was awarded and crowned the Ring Magazine title by Ring Magazine's Doug Fischer. Interestingly that title was previously held by Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs). The champ also talked about his unfinished business he has to settle with Canelo.

"I am very happy and excited for this gift. I always felt that this fight was possible. Everybody wants it. I wanted this fight," Gennady "GGG" Golovkin told Southern California Boxing.com.

“This is a media lunch to recognize Gennady as the Ring Magazine middleweight champion. It just happens to be that last week we made the deal to fight Canelo Alvarez," Golovkin's promoter Tom Loeffler said in opening up the press conference. "We are having clenbuterol-free, VADA-approved steaks for this press conference," Loeffler added.

Fighting to a split decision draw last year September 16, Golovkin and Alvarez fought a very competitive fight however what followed was a questionable scorecard by judge Adalaide Byrd. Scoring the bout a lopsided 118-110 in favor of Canelo, judges Dave Moretti scored the bout 115-113 in favor of Golovkin and Ton Trella scored the bout even 114-114 a draw, while most ringside media scored the bout much close in favor of Golovkin. Nevertheless the one scorecard overshadowed the fight and events success which prior to the fight was considered the most anticipated fight in boxing. This fight did not disappoint however that 118-110 score by judge Byrd caused an uproar in the boxing community. Despite all that Golovkin remained calm and collective knowing that the rematch was imminent.

"I'm not pressured by any factors. I don't care what the judges did, that does not concern me at all anymore," Golovkin on the judges.

The rematch was announced early this year and set for Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) as Golovkin and his team led by trainer Abel Sanchez began the preparation process gearing up to settle the score with Alvarez. Unfortunately those plans were derailed in February as Canelo tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, leaving the rematch in jeopardy.

"This was bad for everybody and for boxing," Golovkin said. "I don’t think he can look me in the eyes," Golovkin added.

Golovkin's trainer Abel Sanchez had some interesting comments to add. "This will be more of grudge on our part. It’s like that bride that got stood up at the altar. We were looking forward to that and we look forward to destroying him this time. It's not hate, it's bad blood for what he put us through,"”

"He was in my camp 6 years ago. He was a different person and more humble. His riches have made him a different person but he's an exceptional fighter," Sanchez added.

Two months later Canelo would withdraw from the rematch making an official announcement alongside with his promoter Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya and President Eric Gomez. In wake of the events Canelo was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for six months which he began serving February 17. Making him eligible to return in September. As for Golovkin and his team all "GGG" wanted to do was save the date and fight for the fans. After speculation of replacement opponents Jaime Munguia, Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan, Sergey Drevechenko were being mentioned, it was Vanes Martirosyan that got the opportunity to take on Golovkin.

"The Cinco de Mayo match was cancelled because of Canelo. So we had to scramble for an opponent and Vanes Martirosyan was able to fill that void," Loeffler said.

It took Golovkin two rounds to dispose of the 2004 U.S.Olympian Martirosyan from Glendale in front of a sold out Stub Hub Center as bleachers were added due to the high demand of tickets.

"I just wanted to fight either way," Golovkin said about his last fight.

"You don't waste five to six months of camp. He wanted to put on a fight for his fans," Abel Sanchez said.

All indications pointed to the September 15 rematch with Canelo as Golovkin made it clear following his knockout win. Golovkin however was looking for other options as there was already a mutual agreement with WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Sanders to fight in August at the Forum.

"We were gonna go with Billy Joe Sanders if the Canelo fight wouldn’t happen," Golovkin said.

Canelo's promoter Oscar De La Hoya gave Golovkin and his team a June 13 noon deadline to strike a deal. Golovkin originally asked for a 50/50 purse split however Canelo and his team were not on the same page. Last Wednesday the clock struck 12 noon as both sides were not able to come to an agreement. It wasn't over yet as one hour later Golovkin decided to go with a 55/45 split as both sides were able to come to an agreement.

"It wasn’t about me being sure or unsure. I have my proposition, take it or leave it," Golovkin explained. "My original demand was 50/50 but then I went to 45 percent. There is a lot of money at stake they know they would have a good deal," Golovkin added.

"We couldn't come up with a deal. We already had Billy Joe Sanders set for August at the Forum," Loeffler on the negotiations. "There wasnt much of a deal changer. For Canelo's ego and negotiations he gave the 5 percent to Canelo. Were happy we were able to make a deal,"

The deal was agreed to while Golovkin was in Russia attending the opening ceremonies for the 2018 World Cup as he was invited by one of his sponsors Hublot, which serves as the official time keeper sponsor of the 2018 World Cup.

"I was in Russia when they called me. All I said is that I will agree to the 45 percent and that's it," Golovkin said. "It was amazing being there, a lot of people, it was fun,"

"Gennady embodies what the true meaning of this sport is. Gennady is a world ambassador. He was at the opening of the World Cup Ceremonies. His brand is at the highest level, that's one thing that the fights with Canelo have elevated his brand. He has a great support from a Mexican fan base and its like that world wide,"

With that said the rematch will take place Saturday September 15 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas live on HBO Pay Per View.

“He is a completely different guy. Everything I have said about him has been proven. I am the champion he is the one that has to prove himself," Golovkin said. "I'm not really concerned about him. I hope he is there to fight on September 15," Golovkin added.

"This is considered the best fight in boxing. This is the fight everyone wants to see. We are projecting more numbers for this fight.” Loeffler on the rematch. "The last time these two guys fought there was a mutual respect for one another and now because of the circumstances. I say the gloves are off this time,"

Gennady will begin his training camp in two weeks with his longtime veteran trainer Abel Sanchez as the duo will prepare for Canelo at Sanchez's gym, the Summit in the high altitude mountains if Big Bear, California.

“We are going to begin preparing at the beginning of next month. Mark my word he is going to be dedicated for this one," Sanchez promised.

"I’m ready and excited. I’m hungry, really hungry," Golovkin concluded.

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