Gennady Golovkin announces his new name…and bags himself a trainer

Ringside 04/05/2019


Gennady is no longer. It’s now GENNADIY Golovkin for the former middleweight king who has switched to the name on his birth certificate.

Boxing’s pound-for-pound superstar attraction, along with the change, has announced he has selected Johnathon Banks to be his new trainer.

Banks is no stranger to the pressure of working on boxing’s biggest stages. He has worked the corners of unified heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko. Also undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, just to name a few.

The announcement was made at a press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Golovkin also added the ‘i’ to his already famous name. The alteration may take some getting used to.

Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) is from Karaganda, Kazakhstan. He will be bringing his Big Drama Show back to the “Mecca of Boxing” — Madison Square Garden — on Saturday, June 8.

He will be taking on undefeated top-10 contender Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs), of Toronto. It’s a 12-round rumble that will be contested at a maximum weight of 164 lbs.

The fight will be streamed live on DAZN. Golovkin vs. Rolls kicks off the exclusive six-fight, three-year global partnership between GGG Promotions and DAZN. The world’s fastest-growing sports streaming platform.


Banks is a former IBO cruiserweight champion and a heavyweight contender. And is a disciple of the legendary Emanuel Steward.

Upon Steward’s death in 2012, Banks, who was 30, was personally selected by heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko to be his new trainer. This was despite Banks being six years his junior.

It was a boxing Baptism of fire but a challenge Banks was prepared for. That’s thanks to the many years he studied under Steward’s tutelage at the Kronk Gym. First as a fighter and then as an assistant trainer.

Banks and Klitschko traveled the world together. They successfully defending the heavyweight world titles six times. Five of those defenses against undefeated contenders. Banks has steadily built on his success with Klitschko, earning a reputation as trainer with great insight who instills confidence and success into the fighters he teaches.

Another star pupil of Banks is undisputed world welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus. She is long considered the best pound for pound female fighter. The undefeated Braekhus is in the 10th year of her world championship reign.

Boasting a resume that includes a record 20 consecutive middleweight title defenses (18 by way of knockout), Golovkin has consistently drawn packed houses to the five previous events he has headlined at The Garden, dating back to 2013.

Rolls has stopped four of his last seven opponents. He has vowed to ice the middleweight legend with his version of a Canadian cold front.


Promoted by GGG Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment. Remaining tickets to The Big Apple battle between Golovkin and Rolls are priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100, and $50, not including fees.

Tickets may be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office. All Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008). Online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.msg.com.