• Miguel Maravilla

Golovkin: This is not just any fight

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

IBF-IBO middleweight champion Kazakhstan's Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KO's) is back he will fight IBF mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KOs) of Poland this Friday December 18 at Hard Rock Live, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida, live on DAZN.

“As we approach this fight. I want to thank everyone Matchroom, DAZN, and my team. I’m really happy that this fight takes place. It’s an important fight because it’s a title defense and that fact that I’m setting a record,” Gennadiy Golovkin said via translator Tuesday in a virtual conference. "This is not just any fight. It is a fight with great meaning. I always have the greatest respect for all of my opponents,” Golovkin added.

This will be Golovkin’s 21st title defense. Not to be confused with 21st consecutive title defense. Golovkin has had a total of 20 title defenses throughout his career before and suffered his first defeat to Canelo Alvarez. Golovkin regained championship status winning the vacant IBF title in his last fight now will fight in his 21st title defense.

“The goal is to fight for a record 21 successful defense of the world title,” Golovkin said.

Golovkin was last in the ring over a year ago as he won a hard-fought decision over Sergey Derevyanchenko in a tough battle. Prior to that he blasted Steve Rolls with a fourth-round knockout as these two fights were under new trainer Jonathan Banks. The new trainer acquisition came following Golovkin’s decision loss to rival Saul “Canelo” Alvarez back in 2018. Leaving his trainer Abel Sanchez after an eight-year stint together. So far under new trainer Jonathan Banks the duo is 2-0.

“I’m ready to fight. I feel great,” Golovkin on returning to the ring.

Having spent 2 fight camps together along with this difficult year under the COVID-19 pandemic. Golovkin has made some changes to his training regimen as Golovkin and Banks trained in Big Bear, California in preparation for the number one contender.

“I tried to emphasize more on my power for this fight, but I feel I will be ready for this fight. During training when I sparred. I felt strong and powerful. I have a lot of stamina. There have been some changes made to my training,” Golovkin said about his training camp.

Being out of the ring for nearly a year due to this pandemic, Golovkin is ready to return to the ring.

“The pandemic has caused an inconvenience for me and many other fighters. I am not the only one. Hopefully, it gets better with time and I can fight more next year,” Golovkin on the pandemic. "I have really missed boxing and I wanted to fight more this year,” Golovkin said.

Originally scheduled to fight Szremeta early this year in February, the fight was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wish this fight would’ve take place earlier this year.” Golovkin said.

His Polish opponent Szremeta is the IBF number one rated contender as he has fought most of his fights in Poland. Relatively unknown, Szremeta most notable name on his resume is former world champion Kassim Ouma four years ago, who Golovkin stopped back in 2011. Szremeta stopped Oscar Cortes in two rounds in his last fight as he made his U.S. debut at Madison Square Garden on the Golovkin Derevyanchenko undercard.

“I treat every fight, very-serious. At this level there are no easy fights. Every opponent brings certain challenges,” Golovkin said.

The 38-year-old is focused on this weekend’s fight and has shutdown all mention of Canelo or any other potential future opponent. Golovkin had a stellar amateur career winning the silver in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Winning then unifying the middleweight titles and has become Kazakhstan’s biggest star. Golovkin still feels he needs to accomplish more in the sport. There are the WBC middleweight and undisputed super welterweight Charlo brothers out there, WBO middleweight champ Billy Joe Sanders, a third fight and unfinished business with Canelo who is scheduled to fight Saturday vs. Callum Smith. We shall see what develops.

“I have not achieved everything I have wanted. I have to win Friday to look into other opportunities,” Golovkin stated.

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