This week, undefeated World Middleweight Champion, boxing superhero and the new Cinco De Mayor GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN returns to HBO and a Southern California boxing ring for the first time in over two years! Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan and boxing’s longest-reigning world champion (since 2010) will attempt to add his name to the history books when he makes his 20th consecutive and record-tying title defense.
The man standing in his way will be two-time world title challenger VANES “THE NIGHTMARE ” MARTIROSYAN (36-3-1, 21 KOs), from Glendale, Calif. The 2004 Olympians collide Saturday, May 5, under the stars at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The Golovkin vs. Martirosyan middleweight title fight will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. The HBO telecast will open with the CECILIA BRAEKHUS vs. KALI REIS World Female Welterweight Championship rumble. It is the first time HBO has televised a women’s bout live.
VANES MARTIROSYAN: We are very blessed to have this opportunity. We can’t wait – this is what we dream about having a fight like this. I am just so excited and every day I have a big smile on my face. I will get to show the world where I belong in this sport. I finally get a guy that wants to fight and come forward. Other fights I have had with fighters running away not wanting to engage. It’s a perfect fight for Cinco de Mayo because it is going to be two guys — Mexican-Style fighters — going head to head. It will be a perfect show for the boxing fans. They are going to enjoy this fight on the night.
How has it been for you the last couple of weeks once you took the fight? Has the backlash given you motivation?
VANES MARTIROSYAN: We are in the gym every day, whether we are boxing or doing strength work with Jesse Forbes — we are there every day — so when fights kept falling out we were getting depressed, because we were happy training for fights, then fighters were pulling out. When we got information about this fight being GGG’s next fight, we’re excited and so happy to get to work. Nothing but happiness and everything in camp has been going great. We went to SNAC for a week with Victor Conte and we trained up there then we came back. Everything is good. I have no excuses. People talk about taking the fight on short notice but we are ready. You could wake me up in my sleep and I am ready to fight. I’ve been doing this since I was seven years old. We have been waiting for an opportunity like this and we are happy that Tom Loeffler and GGG that they accepted it and so did we and we are going to put on a great show on the 5th.
How did it help you staying in the gym? Many guys say they do but really don’t.
VANES MARTIROSYAN: We were supposed to fight in June and then it was March – March 17, I was supposed to fight Sulecki and he pulled out. Then they told me I was fighting March 29, then it was April 9 – guys just kept falling out and we just stayed in the gym. When we got the call for the fight they asked me if I could be 176 by Thursday or Friday and I weighed in that day at 174 or 175 that day. One week before the fight we came in at 167 so we are in shape and we are good to go. My trainer Edmund always tells me ‘fight or no fight, stay in the gym and stay sharp. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a fight.’ I know some fighters when they don’t have a fight they just stay home chillin’ till they get the call to go in the gym. When you’ve done it for such a long time you get tired of training. The good thing about my team is fight or no fight – go to the gym for 30 or 40 minutes even if you’re going to watch sparring – we are always in the gym and always around boxing. We were happy to get the call and ready to go on the 5th.
VANES MARTIROSYAN: When we signed for the fight I need to be 176 lbs. a couple days after but I was already there. It was the WBC 30-day weigh-in and I stepped on a scale and I was 176 and then last week I weighed in at 167, so the weight has been good.
TOM LOEFFLER: That we had the WBC 30-day weigh-in requirement of a maximum of 176 lbs. – it was actually less than 30-days the day Vanes had signed. Two days after he signed he got on the scale and was under the weight.
Was there a point where you thought you might not fight on May 5th?
TOM LOEFFLER: I would have to say there were at least four different occasions when we thought we couldn’t save the May 5 date. It was really because Gennady was insistent on fighting May 5. He felt that just because Canelo wasn’t available or was suspended there was no reason why he shouldn’t fight. Then there was a long litany of different things that happened, from the date of May 5 being released at a very late stage in Las Vegas, for us to request a new date moving from T-Mobile to MGM, then a couple days later MGM saying, ‘look, this is too late of a date to effectively promote a fight at the big arena,’ and we literally didn’t have a signed agreement with an opponent at that time. There were names that we went through, and I have to say I can’t compliment Vanes and his team enough for had he not signed the contract in two or three days HBO would have said ‘this is too late for us to effectively promote and market a fight on HBO.’ To be clear, Vanes is the No. 1 rated WBC and there is a reason – some people point to the fact he hasn’t fought for two years but he was ready, willing and able – there were three different fights that fell out, and Don King had chronicled that he was ready to fight the opponents. Vanes was ready and he was the leading available contender and he is local here in the Los Angeles area. He has huge support form the Armenian community here and was very effective in doing interviews. How many champions do you know that would go to the challenger’s gym? That’s how much respect GGG has for Vanes and his trainer Edmund that we went to Vanes’ gym to do the media day. There is a lot of respect on both sides and this event was really saved by HBO agreeing to show this fight. It is a historic moment for Cecilia Braekhus being the first female boxer on HBO and we just think it’s going to be a great Cinco De Mayo event all the way around for the fans both at StubHub and on HBO.
Are there concerns of GGG being frustrated?
TOM LOEFFLER: This is a very unique situation not only on the promotional side but also on the training side. Luckily Abel runs a very professional training camp. Gennady is real disciplined. It was really me working the late nights worrying and trying to figure out a solution on how we would save the date. Gennady just kept training and sparring and he’s focused but he was frustrated when Canelo first announced the positive test. He was extremely frustrated and disappointed when people were saying why this fight wasn’t happening in Las Vegas – Gennady was the person most affected by this because he had been training for the biggest fight in the sport of boxing then it was a big shock wave that came with the test. He is a professional and he wants to fight and if he is successful on Saturdayhe’ll tie the middleweight record that Bernard Hopkins set at 20 defenses and it is a very momentous occasion for his career. He is giving Vanes a huge opportunity – one of the biggest platforms that Vanes will be performing on HBO against arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. This is a huge opportunity for Vanes being extremely frustrated for not getting a fight for over two years now on the biggest stage in his hometown no less – it was the solution to save the Cinco de Mayo date for the fans.
If he does get the victory do you believe he will fight Canelo in September? Do you plan to fight Canelo next?
TOM LOEFFLER: That’s hard to project – everyone on our side is focusing on May 5. Whatever happens after that – I’ll tell you one thing, if GGG is not successful we won’t be talking about a Canelo rematch and Vanes is elevated instantaneously to the top of the sport of boxing. No one is overlooking this fight. This is a very dangerous fight. Vanes is from here and he is accomplished. GGG and Vanes know each other from the amateurs and in the Olympics in 2004. GGG tabbed Vanes as the best US representative on that team. Anyone that is familiar with Vanes’ career – he had a draw with Lara and a controversial loss to Charlo, he dropped Andrade in the first round – all world class fighters and this is a huge opportunity for someone that is as hungry and motivated as Vanes. This is a huge opportunity for him and that’s why no one can overlook this fight coming up on Saturday.
What kind of changes in training have you had to make to now prepare for GGG?
VANES MARTIROSYAN: Edmund is my head trainer and we have been training for fights so when we got the fight all I had to do – we went to SNAC – and that’s where Danny Jacobs was while he prepared for GGG – so we went there for about a week and a half training in the high altitude and we came back down here with Jesse Forbes – a great strength and conditioning coach, so we just got ready for Golovkin – we are fighters and styles do make fights and I think that GGG’s style and mine fit very well. I just want to see where I belong in the sport. I never had the opportunity to show. . I can honestly say, and I promise you guys that this is the first time of my life in camp that I have been so happy with my trainers, with my strength trainers – everybody’s working together and nobody is arguing about anything. The good thing about Edmund is he is like a friend, like a brother we are family. When you see how Gennady is with Abel and his team with Tom – they are a class act and for the first time in my life everyone is so classy – everybody is together, working together rather than people trying to take control over things. Right now I am in the gym sweating my butt off and that’s why I was a little bit late to this call, and I apologize for that, and I just want to say one thing about Golovkin and Tom and his camp – this is the first time in my life that I have seen gentlemen and everything has been so classy with everything – with the promotion and the press and everybody. There is no cursing trying to promote the fight – everybody knows how big this fight is for me and for GGG – he’s going for a record and I’m also going for a record – to beat the baddest man on the planet – just the thought of that alone is amazing.
What was the reaction of your fan base when they heard about this fight?
VANES MARTIROSYAN: All of my fans in Glendale were so excited. But I do have to say that most of my fans are also GGG fans.
And your wife . . .
VANES MARTIROSYAN: Well I do have to clear that up. We were watching fights ago and I asked my wife – who do you like besides me? I didn’t even know I was getting the GGG fight this was 4 or 5 weeks ago. She said ‘you obviously, there is no one else.’ And I said ‘no, you have to pick someone.’ My wife is actually Asian and she said ‘the Korean guy’ and I didn’t know who she was talking about. She said Gennady the guy is so nice and I said, yes, I think GGG is part Asian also, if I’m not mistaken. She likes guys that are humble. I think people took it the wrong way.
The fan reaction of you fighting GGG?
VANES MARTIROSYAN: I get messages from my fans saying ‘we are GGG fans but we are supporting you for this fight.’ All of the Armenians are big fans of GGG – I’m also a fan of GGG – the guy is a killer, he’s a good fighter and people respect that. The part I respect about him most is that he’s a clean fighter and he does everything straight – he doesn’t try to dodge anything and he’s a gentleman. He goes in there and he does his job and he gets out of there. There’s no yelling or hollering ‘I’m the baddest man in the world.’ Actions speak louder than words and he has proven that.
How are ticket sales going?
TOM LOEFFLER: Ticket sales are going well. We have the bleachers set up and we added some $100 tickets, as a Fight Week Special, a category that had been sold out previously. GGG had set the ticket sales record at StubHub so we expect with the popularity of Vanes and his fan base here in Los Angeles that we are going to break that record and we are going to have a full house of May 5. The floor seats are mostly gone and the second price category. There is no bad seat in the StubHub Center – even the bleachers are close to the ring. We expect a great crowd and everyone will be celebrating on Cinco de Mayo. The Tecate Fan Fest goes from 3-7 pm – HBO starts at 8 pm PT / 11 pm ET. We have a tremendous undercard which will be announced shortly so it’s going to be and we are looking forward to a great weekend for the Southern California boxing fans.
Edmund, can you tell us why Vanes will beat GGG on Saturday?
EDMUND TARVERDYAN: Well I can’t really give away how we are going to beat GGG but I have worked with Vanes and guys like Vic Darchinyan. I took Ronda Rousey up to Abel’s gym and he was so nice to us for a couple of camps and I watched GGG spar. Inside information from a person that knows Gennady, I actually followed his career before he turned professional, and before he came to the United States and I told people like Dana White that there was a fighter you should keep your eye on and Dana White became a fan of his. We went up there for two camps and Abel gave us a key to the gym and I got to train with GGG and Ronda and I understand him very well and I know what it takes to beat him but it’s not an easy puzzle to solve – he’s a great fighter and Vanes is ready. Vanes has movement and speed – he is quicker than GGG and younger and hungrier and that night he is going to show his skill. Vanes moves very well and people that count him out shouldn’t be doing that because if you know boxing, you have Amir Khan who doesn’t have a chin fights somebody like Canelo and gives Canelo a hard time until he gets caught. Amir was ahead at the time on the cards then Canelo gives Gennady a good fight and GGG won with his jab, but Canelo gave Gennady a good fight. Now Amir started at lightweight and Vanes is a big 154-pounder and Gennady is a small 160-pounder. Two days ago he weighed 162 and Vanes is bigger than him. So I am very confident that Vanes and GGG are going to have a great fight.
Vanes, can you tell us why you will win on Saturday night . . .
VANES MARTIROSYAN: The hunger, you know, and being out of the ring for so long. I love boxing with all my heart and all we do every day is just wake up every morning, go online and read boxing news. I’ve just been hoping and waiting for this opportunity and I can honestly say this will be the best version of me. A lot of people see me as my nickname “Nightmare” and they don’t really know how I got that name. I didn’t pick that name – that name was given to me when I fought Timothy Bradley. I’m the last guy he lost to before he turned professional. I beat Austin Trout three times, I beat Andre Berto and the fans gave that name to me. They were like ‘I don’t know who this kid is but he’s like a nightmare.’ At one of my fights someone yelled ‘the Armenian Nightmare’ through the crowd and that’s how that name stuck with me. This fight is going to be a nightmare. We are trying to beak our record, he’s trying to break a record and the StubHub is going to break a record. I’m trying to break a record by becoming the middleweight champion of the world. For the Armenian’s and for all fans it’s going to be a great fight.
TOM LOEFFLER: There will be no running on Cinco de Mayo. Both of these guys are going to give the fans a great show. There will be fireworks in the ring. I know Edmund doesn’t train Vanes to be defensive or to run around the ring like you’ve seen from some of GGG’s past opponents. I think both guys are going to put on a tremendous show for the fans.
VANES MARTIROSYAN: Most of GGG’s opponents – when they got into the ring they already lost. They already thought about the power before they got in the ring and they fought defensive. Gennady is a monster and the he hits really hard. So they got in the ring scared and I don’t get in the ring scared. I am going to do my thing, just go in there and have fun to see where I belong in this sport and to see what this man is about. I never turn down fights. If you look at my last five fights – Andrade, Ishe Smith, Charlo, Lara and Alberto Lorenzo – those are just my last five fights. I don’t back down from anyone. I take all fights and this is another one and you are going to see the best of me.
Do you consider it an advantage that you will be the bigger guy in the ring?
VANES MARTIROSYAN: I always fought better at higher weight classes. Whenever there was a catch-weight in my career I always did better. I think it’s going to be good because I don’t have to kill myself to make 154. I remember when I fought Lara they day before the weigh-in I was 162 and I had to cut eight pound to make 154 – 24 hours before the weigh-in. At times I had trouble making 154 but I always made it – the struggle is like that for all fighters. For a short camp like this it is perfect. The weight is good and everything is good and I can’t wait to rock and roll. I’m strong at 160. I might be bigger and I think 160 is a great weight class for me and I’m going to be there for awhile I think.
In Closing . . .
EDMUND TARVERDYAN: I want to thank Tom and Abel and Gennady for this opportunity and also Don King, Vanes’ promoter and thanks to everyone doing the interviews.
VANES MARTIROSYAN: Thanks to everyone for doing these interviews and Tom and Gennady and HBO and Don King thank you and remember there is not a bad seat in the house. I have been there to see Bradley fight Provodnikov and Rios – Alvarado and they are always good shows. It’s good for boxing and there is not a bad seat in the house. Big drama show!
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I feel very comfortable. I kept saying ‘Tom, Tom, get me a fight on May 5th.” Cinco de Mayo day.
What would it mean to you to tie the middleweight defense record held by Bernard Hopkins?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: It will mean a lot but compared to Bernard Hopkins my record is much bigger. – Stronger and bigger. This is a good situation for me and for my fans and that’s it.
What does tying the record mean to you?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: It is numbers. Only numbers.
Do you have plans to break the record after the fight whether it be against Canelo or someone else?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: That would be a new story. You know, maybe. Why not?
TOM LOEFFLER: I think it’s bigger for everyone on the team like Abel Sanchez and myself we understand the historic perspective of what Gennady has accomplished in his career and could potentially accomplish on Saturday and be successful in another title defense. He just wanted to fight. He told me he didn’t care who and he didn’t care where just ‘I want to fight on Cinco de Mayo,’ and that was my job. He’s just focused on his training and winning on Saturday and anything else that comes after that is what he feels the fans and the media want to see.
Abel, how do you feel about tying the record?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think it’s great for his history and for boxing history. If you look at his record he hasn’t had any rematches in there. Everybody he fought has been a new opponent. The great Bernard Hopkins fought twice against Echols and three times against Robert Allen. We are fighting new guys every time. By tying it and if he decides to stay at middleweight and break the record in the future is great for boxing history and good for historians to look back upon.
Have you noticed any difference in the way he has approached his training since he is not fighting Canelo?
ABEL SANCHEZ: The disappointment was only for a couple of hours then he got right back in the gym and continued to work. You have to understand this opponent (Vanes) here was training – he was training for a fight against Sulecki, who just fought Daniel Jacobs and gave Daniel Jacobs a very difficult fight – those two guys were set to fight each other in the near future and Sulecki decided to fight Jacobs and Vanes is fighting us. These are two very good fighters. Vanes is rated No. 1 by the WBC and for a couple years nobody wanted to fight him because he’s too much of a threat. Sulecki fought Jacobs and gave him all he could handle. I think we are fighting a guy that is not only rated highly but has only three losses against elite fighters at 154 but if Vanes gives us the kind of fight that Sulecki gave Danny Jacobs we are all going to be treated to a great night.
Do you plan to defend the IBF belt?
TOM LOEFFLER: The IBF did grant our request for an exception and we are in the process of clarifying some of those conditions because there was some uncertainty on those. We are dealing with that on our side and Gennady and Abel are completely focused on getting in the ring on Saturday.
Vanes has never been stopped and you have gone 12 rounds in your last couple of fights – are you going for a KO?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: This is boxing. Nobody knows. If he gives me a chance to stop him, I will stop him. If not, then I don’t. This is boxing. If we exchange punches and I hurt him, then it can happen.
How soon do you plan to fight if you are successful on Saturday night?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: After this fight we will look at the situation – the situation in the middleweight division. I know my second step will be what’s better for boxing and better for us.
How important was it for you to keep Gennady active on this date?
ABEL SANCHEZ: We had already been in the gym for about a month when we got the news about Canelo. I didn’t want to waste that month and when Tom sat down with Gennady and me, he promised us he was going to try and keep the May 5 date together and get us a fight and he promised it would be a right-hander so we could continue to work like we were fighting Canelo. We knew it was going to be an elite fighter – we knew it was going to be someone at the top, so this guy’s a little taller than Canelo but he is still an elite fighter. We stayed focused and tried not to lose that concentration while training to be prepared for the 5th.
ABEL SANCHEZ: The fans have been asking for his activity like it used to be. It used to be we fight three or four times a year and the fans got to see him whether it was at StubHub or overseas and the questions I get from a lot of fans is why isn’t he fighting often like he was before. We wanted to make sure we didn’t have two fights per year like we have been having and Gennady made sure that Tom understood that he wants to keep a more active schedule. Obviously we are concentrating on the 5thbut hopefully we fight again in September and then December. That way the fans get to see him more. He just turned 36 on April 8th and we may not have him for that many more years so let’s enjoy as many fights as we can for as long as we can.
How difficult was it to move from HBO Pay-Per-View to HBO?
TOM LOEFFLER: HBO has a packed schedule of premium programming and everyone was planning on an HBO Pay-Per-View fight. There was not boxing slated on the HBO network for May 5 and going off the pay-per-view platform, then we had to create a slot on the HBO network. We give a lot of thanks to Peter Nelson for supporting GGG and his desire to continue to fight on that date. The easiest thing for HBO to say would have been let’s postpone it for a month and put him on in June but that totally messes up Gennady’s schedule as Abel said, both from a training standpoint and having turned 36 he wants to get in the ring as soon as possible and as often as possible. He is a unified champion and has a lot of responsibilities and has been one of the most active champions in boxing. When you get bogged down with a Danny Jacobs fight, which took four months to negotiate, and everything got pushed back from a December date to a March date, then you have negotiations with Canelo. If it were up to Gennady he would fight three or four times a year. He knows one punch can change a career, and you don’t know. So fight as much as possible. He is the most entertaining boxer today and he trains to put on a good show even if that means taking some punches to throw more back. He’s sold out the last eight arenas he has fought in. It’s a huge opportunity for the HBO subscribers to see him. Most fighters, once they make the successful transition to HBO Pay-Per-View, they don’t go back. Having sold over one million pay-per-view buys against Canelo – having this fight at StubHub Center is a Cinco de Mayo present for the boxing fans, and to see Cecilia Braekhus in the first female bout on HBO along with the rest of the undercard fights.
How important is activity to the success of Gennady’s career?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think the activity is more for fan appreciation than it is for his career. We’ve gotten to the point now where he is an established star. The chance to see him in a place like StubHub in an arena where every seat is a great seat and then to be on regular HBO I think it is a present, like Tom said. Hopefully we can do a Cinco de Mayo fight next year, and September and that way the fans can continue to watch this star for another couple three years.
You have a very close relationship. How do you keep that separate from preparing for fights?
ABEL SANCHEZ: The great thing about working with an athlete that has an amateur pedigree coming from the Kazak system – it is easy to separate the gym, the fight and our personal life. We have to be very professional when we are preparing him and professional when we are taking him into the ring. When we start allowing emotions to get in the way, that’s when we start to make mistakes, not just for the coaches but for the fighters too. We have to make sure we treat this as a sport and make sure we treat this in a manner that we have to prepare to be the best that we can be on that night. The emotion is after and the emotion is when we are not in training camp. Yes, we have bonded very well but it is my job to make sure that I look after his best interests and that means not being an emotional coach.
Do you think having Cecilia Braekhus on HBO will pave the way for more women?
TOM LOEFFLER: This is a huge opportunity not only for Cecilia but also for women’s boxing. Originally it was going to be Chocolatito as the co-feature, which was one of the great combinations in boxing – he is such an exciting dramatic fighter and a pioneer for the flyweight and super flyweight divisions and responsible for opening a door and creating the super flyweight series that we’ve done with HBO. Unfortunately, due to the political unrest in Nicaragua, Chocolatito was unable to get his Visa in time to be here for fight week. That scenario opened the door for Cecilia. She was originally set to be on the pay-per-view. She sells out 10,000 seat arenas in Norway and does big television ratings, which is a big part of the pay-per-view international telecast. She is the only undisputed in the sport of boxing. She is the only boxer that has one more belt than GGG has. It’s ironic that Edmund is training Vanes because the UFC had told Edmund, who trains Ronda, that there would never be a women’s bout in the UFC and she eventually became the UFC’s biggest star. I think that Cecilia has that personality to be a star and she’s fighting a tough customer, Kali Reis, a former middleweight champion and she’s coming down to challenge Cecilia for all the belts.
Can you tell me some strengths and weaknesses of Vanes?
ABEL SANCHEZ: In looking at some of the tapes, I have followed him since I have other fighters at 154. The strange thing about Gennady is that everybody that fights Gennady has to adapt to what Gennady does. So no matter what Vanes has done in the past against other fighters, he won’t be able to do that against Gennady, he’s got to adapt to what Gennady is going to bring into the ring. He will never be the same after this fight. None of the fighters that Gennady has fought were ever the same. Jacobs looked terrible in his last fight. Why? Because he went twelve rounds with Golovkin. I always prepare my guys to be the best they can be and the other guy is going to have to adapt to them. Obviously we know that he has a very good right hand. He’s taller than Gennady. He’s probably going to be a little faster at the beginning because he is a junior middleweight. He has decent punching power. If I try to formulate what he is going to bring to the table, it would change after he gets hit with the first shot. We are looking for the elite fighter that Vanes is but we are going to take it to him and if he comes forward the fans are going to be treated to a great fight. It’s not a matter of giving away the game plan it is a matter of what Vanes is willing to expose and what he is willing to put himself through in a fight.
Have you been surprised by the negative backlash, because he is a pretty good fighter?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I am very surprised because Vanes was supposed to fight the guy that just fought Jacobs and he gave Jacobs all he could handle. Jacobs is probably one of the top three middleweights in the world and Sulecki was hitting him with shots maybe he shouldn’t have hit him with. When people are badmouthing Vanes you have to realize these two guys were supposed to fight each other prior to Sulecki choosing to fight Jacobs and Vanes deciding to fight Gennady. Vanes is rated No. 1 in the WBC and his losses are to the guys that are also in line to fight Golovkin. Andrade put his hat in the ring when Canelo fell out. Lara has been asking for Golovkin for how long? One of the Charlo’s has been asking for Golovkin. For this guy to want to step up and make this fight in two and a half weeks, you have to give him credit, one, that he took the fight, and two, that he thinks he can win. It’s an opportunity to make history.
Gennady, what do you know about Vanes?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: He is a good fighter. I remember him in 2004 in a couple of fights and he was good. He has a very strong chin and he is a little taller and has a longer reach and me. He has a lot of good experience. He has fought a lot of good boxers. I know my style and it matches up good with his but my style is much more interesting.
Abel, does Vanes height propose a problem?
ABEL SANCHEZ: No, Gennady likes to chop down trees.
Would you try to unify against Saunders or a Canelo rematch?
TOM LOEFFLER: It all depends on what happens May 5. I always try to look forward but these days everything is so convoluted with Canelo’s suspension – he said he is ready to fight September 15; Gennady does have responsibilities for mandatories; it’s been his dream to unify the division. We have tried to make a fight with Billy Joe Saunders a couple of times and that’s how the whole Kell brook fight came to be because we wanted to fight Saunders in the UK and they couldn’t do it then it went to Eubank then wound up with Brook. It’s always been Gennady’s dream to be undisputed.
Do you think GGG will go to the body more against Vanes? It didn’t happen much versus Canelo . . .
ABEL SANCHEZ: We make an attempt to but it takes two to tango. If the guy is running away like Canelo was it is difficult to land those body shots. He hit Canelo with a body shot in the fourth or fifth round and Kenny Bayless admonished him for hitting him in the back – Canelo turned his back while he was running away and got hit with a shot. But Canelo is also known as a body puncher and he didn’t throw any body punches. The styles have to mesh together and the two guys have to be willing to make a fight of it and in that instance, unfortunately, Canelo fought completely different than he fought the forty times before.
Have you noticed a difference in Jacobs in his two fights since he fought Gennady?
ABEL SANCHEZ: It’s not only Jacobs. If you go back to Lemieux, to Stevens, to Wade, to Willie Monroe, they are never the same. Murray also. They are never the same after they go rounds with Gennady. Jacobs was supposed to demolish Arias and he had a difficult time with him, which was his first fight after Gennady and now the fight with Sulecki he looked terrible. He gets hit with everything in the book and the reason being, in my opinion, is once you go twelve rounds with Golovkin you are never going to be the same.
TOM LOEFFLER: We are happy to have these two men on. Gennady is making a record-tying consecutive middleweight title defense, and Vanes, who is young, hungry and has one of the biggest opportunities in the sport of boxing – to collect multiple titles in one fight. We have the best male boxer in the sport, the best female boxer in the sport, all on the same HBO show. That’s a lot of championship hardware in one place!
Promoted by GGG Promotions, in association with Don King Productions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, and sponsored by Tecate, Chivas Regal, Jordan and Hublot, remaining tickets to the Golovkin vs. Martirosyan world championship event are priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100, and $50 from axs.com