Gennadiy Golovkin got compared to basketball legend Michael Jordan as the Kazakh puncher hurtles towards an away day fight.
“GGG,” who is 41-1-1 with 36 KOs, aims to add another title to his fantastic achievements as he takes on Ryota Murata in Japan.
One of boxing’s most dominant middleweight of his era takes his “Big Drama Show” across the Pacific Ocean to face two-time WBA middleweight champion Murata.
It’s a long-awaited world title unification fight after postponement forced both fighters to wait last year.
Golovkin trainer Johnathon Banks now says his champion will prove he can deal with the pressure of fighting in someone else’s backyard.
“A home game is a bonus for some fighters,” said Banks. “When working with Detroit-based fighters at Kronk, I’ve seen them do things in a local fight that shocked me, fighting way above their usual level.
“They get a charge from the hometown crowd. It’s as if power comes up from the ground under them and gives them an extra boost.
“And while that may benefit Murata, Gennadiy will not be intimidated by it. He’s been fighting on the road for most of his career.
“I remember seeing Michael Jordan drop 50-60 points at The Garden. Playing an away game didn’t seem to bother him. Gennadiy is the same way.
“He knows boxing is also a business, and some deals can only get done if they are conducted in someone else’s office.
“But Gennadiy never gets distracted. He is so focused on reunifying the middleweight title belts around his waist.
“Gennadiy is really looking forward to fighting before this sellout crowd on Saturday.”
On his opponent, Banks added: “Murata is a winner. He has proven that as an Olympian, winning the gold medal, and as a professional, winning the WBA title twice.
“We know we are in for a tough fight on Saturday. And while the boxing fans of Japan are some of the best in the world, they will be rooting for their national hero Ryōta Murata, as they should.”
Golovkin and Banks built a great foundation together since linking up. The trainer believes this is key to victory.
“This is our fourth fight together. We have been building on what Gennadiy has learned while incorporating what made him so special as an amateur, working on the basics –timing, rhythm, and speed.
“In boxing, you either evolve or die to remain at the elite level. He does not depend solely on power punching.
“I still remember sitting with Emanuel Steward at amateur tournaments and both of us marveling at Gennadiy’s all-around abilities inside the ring.
“He was an excellent power-punching boxer. He could do anything he wanted. But he will be forty and a day when he enters the ring on Saturday, and he still approaches training like he’s a young and hungry top-rated contender.
“Gennadiy is really enjoying himself in the gym, which shows in his work ethic and the results. Gennadiy’s an athlete’s athlete.”
A win for Golovkin sets up a third fight with Canelo Alvarez this September.
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