Listen in as Gennady “GGG” Golovkin talks about his September 16 showdown with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
The transcript is below the video.
TOM LOEFFLER: Thank you, Fred. We couldn’t be more excited about this fight coming up September 16. As Fred mentioned, it’s really the fight not only for the middleweight supremacy, but boxing supremacy. The winner of this fight, these two champions, world class fighters, the best middleweights in the world, I think the winner is really going to be considered the best fighter in the sport of boxing.
We had a tremendous kickoff media day on Monday at L.A. Live, where we had over 3,000 fans there, tons of media. The interest for this fight now is really reaching a fevered pitch. We’d like to thank HBO, who had a tremendous debut of 24/7 last Saturday after the Cotto fight. The Under the Lights show will be premiering this Saturday, and then the second episode, which everyone’s eagerly awaiting, will be after — September 9, when Chocolatito takes on Rungvisai in their rematch on the Super Fly show. So September 9 will be the second episode of 24/7.
It’s been a tremendous training camp. I know Abel is really pleased at how everything is going. I’ll just put on Abel to say a few words, and we can get straight into the questions for GGG, for Abel, or myself.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Thank you very much, Tom. Thank you very much to all the media that’s tuned in.
We’re having a great training camp as always. We’ve been at camp since July the 1st. Probably by fight time we’ll have two months and a couple weeks. We’re looking forward to a good fight, to a difficult fight, obviously, but that’s the way all these fights at this level should be. Thank you very much for tuning in. We’ll wait for some questions.
FRED STERNBURG: Gennady, before we open it up for questions, any comments? How’s camp going, and how do you feel with this fight finally coming up? We’re only 2 weeks away, 2 1/2 weeks.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Yeah, I feel great. Good morning, everybody. I’m very excited for this fight. I have, you’re right, like a couple weeks, like two weeks. My weight is good. I feel good. Everything is good. I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m ready.
Q. As the trainer for Gennady, I’d like to hear your perspective on just basically how Gennady has been as far as like his excitement level. Because I know how much he’s wanted this fight, and I think you’ve wanted this fight for a quite a while. Is there like an additional spring in his step as he gets ready for the fight that he’s really wanted compared to some of the other ones that were maybe not as anticipated as this? And could you describe what you see in him.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Absolutely, there’s been a sparkle in his eye. It’s not so much because of this fight. It could have been any big name fight that was out there. It just so happens that this is the one that was made, that was able to be made.
He’s just been a little frustrated the last couple years that he hasn’t had that marquee name to step up and want to fight him. The names go on. But happy that it is finally here. It’s 2 1/2 weeks away. Couldn’t be more excited, myself or him. I have to say he has a sparkle in his eye. He’s a little bit different than he has been, and that’s exciting for me because I know we’re going to get a great fight.
Q. When this fight is over and if Gennady is victorious, what do you think that will mean for the way he’s remembered in boxing? Because a lot of people see he has this great record, great knockout streak, but it lacks for star power in terms of the names on the record.
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think that Canelo fighting Mayweather a couple years ago, whenever that was, I think stamps him as a bona fide elite fighter, let me just say. If Golovkin — or when Golovkin does to him on the 16th what I think he’s going to do to him, it will stamp Golovkin as a superstar because I think he’s going to dominate him and do what Floyd couldn’t do.
The 16th is a pivotal period, a pivotal day in Gennady’s career, and I think how people are going to remember it, but we still have the 16th to go. Hopefully after the fight, I’m telling you the same things.
Q. Can you describe to me what you think a victory would mean for your legacy in boxing. Because you’ve got a lot of wins, a lot of knockouts. As I said, you have that great knockout streak, but for a variety of reasons, you have yet to get the opportunity to face one of the true superstars in boxing until this point. So what would that mean for the way you’re remembered?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Right now maybe I’m not (indiscernible). Seriously, right now, I want to start and I want to win this fight because maybe for me this win will be like a history fight, like Leonard vs. Hagler. Like middleweight division, I believe the boxing division will come back. And Canelo, he’s a very special guy.
Right now for us it’s huge. Especially for me, it’s huge.
Q. Can you just describe — as I asked Abel about you’ve had — you’ve prepared yourself and always been in great shape for your fights, but sometimes they were fights that everybody sort of expected you to win very easily. I think this fight is a fight that there’s a division, that people think you’re going to win and some people think that Canelo Alvarez is going to win. So just give me your perspective on finally being in a fight that there’s some doubt in, that people think, hey, maybe the other guy might win, and how excited you are for that kind of competition.
TOM LOEFFLER: Dan, I can jump in on that. This is definitely the closest odds of any fight that Gennady’s been involved in, and I think that’s what makes this so intriguing is that 50 percent of the people think that Canelo is going to win and 50 percent think that Gennady’s going to win. That’s where, I think, the outcome is definitely in doubt, and it makes that much bigger of an event. Gennady can add to that, if he wants.
Q. Tom, do you have an opinion for what it would mean for people as they look back — his career is not over, obviously — but his legacy? Everyone needs that one big, big victory to kind of stamp themselves as a true great.
TOM LOEFFLER: Well, 100 percent. As Gennady said, it’s a legacy fight for him. He’s had so many knockouts in his career. He holds the highest knockout percentage in the middleweight division. If there’s any criticism that people have of Gennady, it’s the level of competition, but they have to look at the opponents, not at Gennady. We’ve had a terrible time getting people in the ring with him. And that’s why we had respect for all the people that had gotten in the ring with him previously.
This is clearly — you know, Canelo is a proven pay-per-view star. The event is sold out in Vegas. Gennady brings his fan base. This just brings — you know, the sum of both fighters is much bigger than themselves individually, both from an international level and just a competition level. And I think a win September 16 definitely puts that stamp on Gennady’s career.
Look, if he beats Daniel Jacobs in March and beats Canelo Alvarez in September, I don’t know too many fighters that have a better year than that.
Q. Hi, Gennady. I just saw you on 24/7, in the first episode of that. I know you talked there about the first part of your career that you spent over in Europe and kind of being frustrated that your career wasn’t going the way you wanted, that you weren’t getting the fights that you wanted. When you came over to the United States and you kind of got like a second go at it, so to speak, how confident were you that it was going to lead to something like this?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Right now is a very important time for me. I feel right now very comfortable. My family, everybody support me.
TOM LOEFFLER: This is the fight that we’ve been working for. Every fight in Gennady’s career, really since he made his HBO debut September 12 — this is almost five years to the day — and every fight since then, this is really the fight that we’ve been working for. It would have been great if he’d had this type of fight earlier in his career, but as I mentioned, the other named opponents, or the champions even, weren’t willing to get in the ring with him.
Now that Canelo has agreed, this is really — all the knockouts, all the training, all the hard work, all the sacrifice that Gennady’s made has been built toward this exact fight in his career.
Q. Tom, one question for you. When Gennady comes to you, obviously, he’s not a 22-year-old, 23-year-old boxer. You’re dealing with kind of a limited amount of time. What was kind of in your blueprint, I guess, to get him to this point? Obviously, I know you’ve taken him back East to maybe try to expand his foothold out there. What was kind of the plan to get him to this point?
TOM LOEFFLER: The blueprint was, when we met with HBO, we said Gennady will fight anyone. They had a list of 20 fighters, 20 names of different fighters, anywhere from 154 to 168, and Abel and Gennady didn’t turn down any one of those. That was just — that blew HBO away. They’ve never been used to someone willing to fight everyone. They realized, if there wasn’t a fight that was able to be made, it wasn’t on the GGG side. I was very transparent with all the negotiations, everyone that we reached out to.
The first step was Madison Square Garden took a very strong interest in GGG, and he had two fights at the Theater. He sold out those fights. And then we moved to the big room in Madison Square Garden. So that was really the plan is to build him in New York City at Madison Square Garden, then when he came over here to the StubHub Center in L.A., he broke the attendance record. So that was the blueprint, not to build him in small casinos that were obscure that really didn’t bring the type of media attention because I knew with someone of Gennady’s talent and his pedigree and just his willingness to fight, that we needed to build him in the biggest markets.
A lot of people are surprised, after he’s fought in seven countries and 22 different cities, that this will be the first time he’s fighting in Las Vegas, but this is really that type of an event, that type of crown jewel event to make his debut in Las Vegas, and we see the fan reaction. All the fans coming in internationally to come see him fight, both supporting him and supporting Canelo.
We followed the blueprint. And actually, I had all these plans outside the ring and Abel had his plans, as far as the training, but if Gennady didn’t perform inside the ring, the best laid plans wouldn’t have happened. So Gennady had to perform in the ring. He always was an exciting fight. That led to his performances in the ring, and all the hard work outside the ring led to building this fight right now.
Q. I wanted to get Gennady’s reaction to Conor McGregor’s comments that he wasn’t very impressed with either Canelo or GGG. He called them a bit boring and flat-footed. So I wanted to get Gennady’s reaction to that.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: McGregor, he’s not a boxer. So his reaction is not surprising.
Q. Abel, do you have any reaction to that?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think you have to consider the source. You’re talking about a guy who never fought an amateur fight, never been in the ring with an elite fighter, commenting on something he knows nothing about. Continue reading