Gennady Golovkin Teleconference Transcript
BERNIE BAHRMASEL: Good afternoon and Good Morning to the
international media and thanks very much for joining us on
this Media Conference Call promoting the highly anticipated
World Middleweight Championship between Unified Middleweight
World Champion GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN, (36-0, 33 KO’s) and
WBA Middleweight World Champion and Mandatory Challenger
DANIEL “The Miracle Man” JACOBS, (32-1, 29 KO’s) set for
Saturday, March 18 from THE Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square
Garden in New York City.
The Championship Event presented by K2 Promotions will be
produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View starting at 9pm
ET, 6pm PT. Tickets for the live event which are moving
fast, may be purchased online through Ticketmaster and
Since bursting onto the boxing scene in America in September
2012 on HBO, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin has become the most
talked about and most exciting international boxing
superstar in the sport.
In addition to his world titles and distinction as the
Unified Middleweight World Champion, Gennady is also known
as the sports’ ‘Peoples Champion’. In his last three fights,
Gennady has sold over 55,000 tickets, drawing packed houses
to three of boxing’s most iconic venues, The O2 Arena in
London, England, The Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles,
California and The Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden
where he will fight for the fifth time on Saturday, March
With a record of 36-0 with 33 knockouts, Gennady has stopped
his last 23 opponents inside the distance over a period of
Joining Gennady on the call today is his longtime trainer,
the 2015 & 2016 Yahoo Sports Boxing Trainer of the Year,
Abel Sanchez—both are joining us from Big Bear Lake,
Also joining us on the call is the architect of Gennady’s
meteoric international rise in becoming one of boxing’s most
marketable fighters, Tom Loeffler, the Managing Director of
A couple programming notes before we get started;
“24/7 Golovkin/Jacobs” is available on the HBO On Demand®
service, HBO GO®, HBO NOW® and on HBO Boxing’s YouTube
“2 Days: Chocolatito Gonzalez premieres Saturday, March 11
at approximately 1:00 a.m. (ET/PT) or immediately following
the Live HBO BOXING AFTER DARK card on HBO.
TOM LOEFFLER: We are really excited now as we head into the
home stretch. Fight week is next week and all of the
fighters are flying in over the weekend. The main event
press conference will be Monday with Gennady, Danny and
Michael Buffer ringing the bell that morning for the New
York Stock Exchange. We are really excited about Golovkin
vs. Danny Jacobs at Madison Square Garden – there was a
tremendous response from the HBO 24/7 piece that aired last
Saturday. Everyone is excited and anticipating the two best
middleweights in the world along with the tremendous
undercard we have headlined by ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez vs.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras vs. David Carmona
along with Ryan Martin vs. ‘Pee Wee’ Cruz. It’s going to be
a full action packed show. Andy Lee is coming back to MSG on
the undercard – he is a favorite with the Irish and New York
City boxing fans.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Camp has been going great and I would like to
thank all of the people for coming to the fight. We are
looking to start the year off great with Gennady and
hopefully fight three or four times in the year. We have had
very good sparring – with David Benavidez and John Jackson.
We have had no issues and hopefully everything goes good and
we have a great fight on the March 18th.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I feel great and training camp has been
great. I’m ready for March 18th to fight Danny Jacobs, he’s
my biggest test.
I’ve watched the video of Gennady hitting the pad you were
holding. Can you describe the power of Gennady?
ABEL SANCHEZ: In forty years I have never had a fighter that
hits as hard as Gennady but I am fortunate that he doesn’t
hit me as hard as he can and as hard as he has hit someone
in a fight. I have seen him hit someone 100% with protection
on but I have never seen him hit someone 100% in a fight. He
hits very hard and I feel it at night when I go to bed. My
shoulder hurts but that is part of the job. On that
particular video that you saw – it was taken in Santa Monica
and I just had him hit the round pad and it was just a
couple of rounds. It does hurt and I feel for the guys that
catch it in the ring with small gloves and wraps - but
that’s part of his business. It is fortunate that I have a
guy that fights with dramatic endings and fights dramatic
rounds and I am glad to be part of it.
You have a streak of 23 consecutive knockouts…at what point
in your career did you realize that you have incredible
power compared to the other guys in the ring?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Of course I feel that I have power and it
is very important to me and I can feel the power in my
punches. I get that from hard work and practice.
Do you feel you have better punching power than all of your
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Yes, sometimes but it is not just power.
It has a lot to do with timing and distance. It is not all
in the punch.
Danny has him own streak going – he has 12 in a row. Do you
feel a knockout is inevitable?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I don’t know, this is boxing. He is a very
good fighter and maybe has a little bit more power than me.
He has big power and he is a very good boxer.
How happy are you to have an opponent that has a chance of
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I am happy because I work hard every day
for the last two months to three months. Right now is my
last week and next week is the fight. Of course – this is my
first fight of the year and he is a tough guy and a great
fighter and I am very excited for this fight and this year.
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think that all of these fighters like
Kovalev and Andre and Gennady – they need a challenge. Not
just a physical challenge but also a mental challenge and he
presents that for us. He is the first guy in a while since
maybe Lemieux and Stevens that got Gennady fired up. Not
that he trains any harder because he trains hard for all of
his fights, but mentally motivated to have a guy across from
you that is going to be a great challenge that could outbox
him and we’ll see what happens. He has good power, so does
Gennady, and we’ll see who can impose their will on the
other guy. That’s what makes these fighters fight at their
best and the kinds of fights that people will remember for
What is your opinion of the strength of Daniel Jacobs’ chin?
ABEL SANCHEZ: When he fought Pirog and he went down he was
probably thinking to himself ‘dammit I got caught’ and he
was being held down. I didn’t think he was not able to
continue. Every fighter in history, except for Gennady so
far, every great fighter has gone down and gotten back up,
gone down and gotten back up to fight. Now when he fought
Quillin, he did to Quillin what people thought Quillin would
do to us, it was very impressive. That’s not our plan – his
chin or weakness is not what we are concerned with. We are
concerned with his punching power and his ability to move
and his ability to box. I don’t think that should be an
issue for him.
Where do you expect Jacobs to rank among the fighters you
have fought to this point?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: He is one of the most dangerous for me. He
is very good in the ring. He is a good boxer with good
technique. I respect him too, he is a very good man.
What lessons did you learn in the Kell Brook fight?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: The Kell Brook fight was a different
fight. I remember the first round and I remember the last
round. It was five rounds and it was a good five rounds and
When you are asked about Canelo you seem to be more critical
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Right now I am focused on Daniel. I don’t
know – my promoter, he talks with Golden Boy. It might be
this year it might be next year, but right now my focus is
on Daniel Jacobs, he is my next fight. Of course I would
like to fight Canelo but we will talk about that later.
There are reports you have a deal in place to fight June 10
in Kazakhstan against Billy Joe Saunders if he wins…
TOM LOEFFLER: There is no deal in place and everyone is
focused on the Danny Jacobs fight on the 18th. However, it
is my job, because it has been so difficult to get fights
for Gennady to look forward and it has always been his goal
to unify all the titles. If there is a possibility for
Saunders in the future and he’s ready, we would want the
fight, but right now were focused on March 18th. If
everything goes right on the 18th for Gennady then we will
see what the next highest profile fight will be and that is
the one title (WBO) that has eluded him so far.
Is the plan to fight Saunders?
TOM LOEFFLER: As I said the plan is, if Gennady is
successful on March 18, to fight the highest profile fight.
We will see who is willing to get in the ring with him. A
lot of people talk about fighting Gennady but very few
people actually sign the contract. We know everything that
happened last year with Canelo and Billy Joe Saunders with
Chris Eubank and finally, Kell Brook was the one to step up
and take the fight. We have a lot of respect for Kell Brook
and we have a lot of respect for Danny Jacobs – he actually
signed the contract to get in the ring and he was a
mandatory challenger; Gennady also fulfills all of his
mandatory obligations. This is the highest profile fight and
the most dangerous fight Gennady has had. There is no way
anyone could look past this fight but I am certainly in
discussions with many different promoters to see who would
actually be available and willing to fight him if he is
victorious in March.
Is there anything new with Golden Boy regarding Canelo?
TOM LOEFFLER: Same situation – we are having discussions but
there are two big ifs’ there. Gennady has got to win March
18 and Canelo has got to win May 6 and if those two things
don’t happen there is no fight. If Golden Boy is ready and
if Canelo is ready to make the deal then we would be open to
it but it is my job to look forward. If Gennady is not
successful next week then it doesn’t matter what plans I
make or Abel or the Hermann brothers make – that all goes
out the window. We have a lot of respect for Jacobs and he
is the biggest challenge for Gennady. He has great hand
speed and he is physically bigger than Gennady and will
present a tremendous match-up.
Have you game-planned for Jacobs’ size?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Other than Kell moving up to middleweight, I
think everyone that Gennady has fought has been bigger than
him. He has learned to adapt to the bigger guys because
that’s what he’s had to do his whole career. Danny’s size
has not been my concern but his punching power has been my
concern because he can crack so what we have in front of us
at the beginning we have to be able to deal with it. We have
some big guys in camp. David Benavidez is probably about
6’3” and John Jackson is about 6’ tall like Danny. We are
trying to emulate what we will see on March 18. Until we get
in the ring when Danny feels his power and Gennady feels
Danny’s power we won’t know if size is going to make a
It seems that Gennady at some point in the early parts of
the fight-- Gennady will take a punch to feel the other’s
power. Is this something you would caution him about against
ABEL SANCHEZ: No, I don’t caution him to do anything. We
have a game plan and we are going to follow the game plan.
If it gets to a point where Gennady has no respect, that is
something he feels in the ring himself and it has never been
planned. But when he feels the punch that is not at the
level where it may hurt him, he will do what he feels he
needs to do not only to please his fans but also to make a
fight of it. He wants to make a dramatic fight. He wants to
make a fight where the other guy needs to come forward to
make it a fight where he is not leery of his punching power
but that is up to him.
How does being challenged mentally and physically translate
into his training?
ABEL SANCHEZ: He trains the same, he is one of those guys I
am fortunate to have in the gym because the other guys see
him train hard for every fight whether it is Kell Brook or
Lemieux or Curtis Stevens – we are going to prepare him for
the best that he can be. The best that Golovkin can be and
whoever is in there is going to have to deal with that.
Nothing changes according to the opponent. We train to be
the best that we can be and if that doesn’t work then we
have more work to do.
What do you think about Danny and what he has overcome with
cancer and what he has done for boxing?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Daniel was sick but right now he is a
great boxer. I have watched a couple of his fights and he
looks good. He looks strong and he looks very focused. I
think he is the best that I have been up against in my
How is it that you can go into a fight and not have any
personal feeling of anger or hate against an opponent? Why
don’t you need that to get up for a fight?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: This is my job and that’s the way I look
at it and that’s it.
What are your thoughts on coming back to the Garden to fight
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I am very happy and very excited about it.
Madison Square Garden is my second home. It is a great
atmosphere. It is the best place in the world for me. I am
very excited for next week.
There was about 16,000 at Barclay’s the other night – is
boxing on an upswing?
TOM LOEFFLER: I think when you have the right match-ups in
boxing the fans respond. We are expecting – we sold out the
last time with Lemieux but we are expecting a larger crowd
this time because we added floor seats so there will be more
people there than any other ‘GGG’ fight we have had at the
Garden. It was a great night of boxing at Barclays – you’ve
got the Wembley Stadium fight coming up at the end of April
with Klitschko vs. Joshua with 90,000 tickets sold. When you
have big fight match-ups the fans will respond and they are
definitely responding right now to Gennady fighting Daniel
Jacobs. The best two middleweights in the world fighting
each other, both in their primes, both having over a 90%
knockout ratio. You add Chocolatito and all of the other
great boxers on the show, it is going to be a tremendous
night and we expect a sold out Madison Square Garden next
Is defense more of a priority in this fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Defense is a priority from the first day I met
Gennady. Defense is always a priority in our gym, but it is
boxing and guys are going to get hit. If you look at the
punch stats you would see that Gennady is one of the top 5
guys in the world of not getting hit compared to him hitting
his opponent. For a boxer to land the types of shots he
wants to land the way Golovkin fights, he is going to have
to expose himself to put himself in a position where he
could throw a punch. It’s always a concern and it’s always
something we work on and it’s part of his game. If he was so
defensive that he bored people to death, we wouldn’t be
talking right now and we wouldn’t have him on this stage. He
is the kind of fighter that by his choice and by the work
that we do in the gym the type of fighter that the fans want
It seems Gennady has been very quiet for this promotion…
ABEL SANCHEZ: We have a guy in front of us that Gennady
respects 100%. A guy in front of us that poses a threat. He
poses a chance of us losing a fight. We are trying to do as
much as we can with Tom and Bernie to give as much
accessibility as we can but there are times where I won’t
allow it because we have a very difficult fight in front of
us on the 18th. We are sorry if we haven’t been as
accessible but we promise to put on a great night of boxing
Gennady has always had the Garden crowd behind him but
Jacobs is from Brooklyn – how much of the crowd do you think
will be behind him?
TOM LOEFFLER: That’s a good question and a lot of people
have asked me that. Gennady has sold out the Garden before
and this will be his fifth time fighting there, but Danny
being a native New Yorker from Brooklyn and having huge fan
support as well, it will be an interesting dynamic on fight
night. I still think because it is at The Garden you will
see it leaning towards Gennady but you never know until the
fans show up and certainly not the same as we had for the
Lemieux where Gennady was clearly the hometown favorite. We
are expecting a great atmosphere from both sides.
Did you ever discuss the moment that Gennady would get hit
and go down and how you would handle that?
ABEL SANCHEZ: No, we have never discussed that because I
don’t believe in discussing negative things in training camp
and I believe that as a human you are going to do what your
natural instincts tell you to do. If you are really hurt,
you are going to stay down then get up. If you are halfway
hurt then hopefully…he as always been told that if he knocks
his opponent down he goes to the neutral corner and wait for
instructions on what to do. Hopefully he would look at us
and in the spur of the moment we will decide what we want to
say to him and motion to him. But like I said every great
fighter gets knocked down. I had a fighter Terry Norris back
in the 80’s and he got knocked out in two rounds but this
man is in the Hall of Fame. He had a great career even
thought he had three or four losses. It’s part of the game
and part of this business but I don’t discuss anything
negative with my fighters at all, ever. Until it happens we
don’t discuss it.
And for you Gennady has it ever crossed your mind?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: No, I have no idea. Really.
What kind of plan do you expect from Jacobs in the beginning
of the fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think that Danny will be aggressive and
that’s what we are planning on. If not, then that’s okay but
I think Danny will come out and try to draw a line and say
you are not going to cross this. If he doesn’t I think he’s
got very smart people around him, with the addition of
Virgil I think they know they are going to have to get
Gennady’s respect. But I think that’s going to make for a
great fight. I think he will test the waters then use his
skills. He’s got great legs and very good distance and the
fact that he knocked Peter Quillin out shows that he’s got
great power. Maybe the first round is a crazy round and I
think 2, 3, 4, 5 are more tactical then the fight starts in
the middle of the twelve rounds. I expect him to come out
and see what Gennady’s got.
What do you think about the Lemieux-Stevens fight that is on
ABEL SANCHEZ: Other than Gennady, with everyone in the gym
that has been a topic of conversation. I think it’s a 50/50
fight – I think that David’s got a little more power and
Curtis is a very good boxer with one-punch knockout power.
It’s either going to be one of those great fights that we
are going to remember or it’s going to be boring fight
because they have so much respect for each other. If one of
the two guys lands a good shot I think it’s a war. They are
going to bomb and someone is going to go out.
Do you see yourself moving up to 168?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I don’t know; I feel very comfortable at
160. Right now I am at 165 and next week I will be at 164 or
163. I don’t know about going up.
Is Jermall Charlo in Gennady’s future?
TOM LOEFFLER: Any of the top middleweights are in his
future. It was nice to see Charlo move up to 160 and it adds
another great fighter into the mix. If successful March 18th
we will look at the best fights possible.
Mayweather over the weekend spoke of GGG’s deficiencies. Do
you get frustrated that you can’t get a fight with him?
ABEL SANCHEZ: No we don’t get frustrated. It just shows me
that he thinks more about Golovkin by talking about him and
his deficiencies than talking about the mutt he wants to
fight. I think Floyd having GGG’s name in his head is a
thorn in his side that keeps him from being loved and will
keep him from being loved as along as Golovkin is at the top
of his game. If he is so flatfooted and if he is so beatable
then he needs to call Tom Loeffler and sign a contract and
make a date. We have three more dates that Tom wants to
schedule this year.
Andre Rozier said Jacobs has one-punch power whereas
Golovkin wears opponents down before stopping them…
ABEL SANCHEZ: I agree with him 100%. The difference is the
quality of opposition. He has never faced a Golovkin so when
he has somebody throwing back at him maybe it will be
different. I agree with Andre. Jacobs has one punch power
and has knocked out more guys in the second round but I
don’t think the fighters that he has fought are on the level
that Golovkin fought but we’ll see on March 18. But I am
glad that Andre is talking that way and hopefully Danny is
doing the same thing. Hopefully Danny comes to fight so we
don’t have a bore fest like we had last week.
How has moving the fight from December to March helped the
TOM LOEFFLER: I would have liked to have had it in December
but moving it to March fits better with the pay-per-view
platform and also having Chocolatito on because he had just
fought in September. It adds to the event as well as it
being St. Patrick’s Day weekend – there is going to be a lot
of people in New York City, plus you have the boxing
writers’ dinner and Top Rank has Michael Conlan fighting on
Friday and then the two best middleweights fighting on
Do you feel Jacobs is a bigger threat than Canelo?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think that, as Andre has alluded to in the
past, he has got one punch power. There is the chance he
will knock you out – he is a big dude. Canelo is more of a
combination puncher but they are both very good fighters.
Both Canelo and Jacobs have fights coming up and Canelo has
the bigger guy on May 6 and we will be able to tell then who
is the bigger ands stronger guy.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Every fighter is different. Of course
Jacobs is a big guy and right now all of my focus is on him.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Thank you very much for your support and
attention. I am really looking forward to putting on a great
show and I am very excited.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Thanks everyone for joining us. We are at the
point where we have done all the talking and its time to get
in the ring and show why March 18 will be the beginning of a
great year for us.
TOM LOEFFLER: Everything has been said and we are looking
forward to the two best middleweights fighting. The doors
open at 7:00 pm ET and it will be a full night of boxing
with the pay per view beginning at 9:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm PT.