Former unified Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1 34 KOs) hosted a media workout at Churchhill Boxing Club in Santa Monica CA, ahead of his return to the ring against Steve Rolls (19-0-0 10 KOs) on June 8, 2019 at Madison Square Garden live on DAZN.
Golovkin will look to make a successful comeback to the squared circle amid a storm of changes and developments to his camp.
This will be his first bout since his controversial decision loss to Saul ”Canelo” Alvarez in September of 2018, which resulted in the loss of his undefeated record and WBA/WBC Middleweight world titles.
It will also be his first fight without longtime trainer Abel Sanchez in his corner (whom Golovkin cut ties with earlier this year), and first with new trainer Johnathan Banks, a former Cruiserweight and IBO titleholder, a disciple of the legendary Emanuel Steward and most notably trainer of retired unified Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko after Steward’s passing.
Banks is hoping to incorporate more rhythm, volume and defense into the Golovkin arsenal and revitalize his style. His ultimate goal is not to make Golovkin a different fighter but a more versatile one, with the ability to adjust to the style of any fighter in the ring with him.
“So far it’s working out great, I have no issues with anything,” said Banks. “I can adapt or adjust to anything, and he’s adapting and adjusting, so I think its awesome, it’s an awesome fit.”
Golovkin will also be making his debut on DAZN. Golovkin vs. Rolls will be the first of a six-fight deal with the streaming giant and it is expected that Golovkin will have a third meeting with Alvarez in the near future as part of that deal.
Fans are anxious to see what Golovkin will bring to the table with a new trainer and if he’ll still be looking to provide a “Big Drama Show.”
“I’ve always been the guy to win the fight by preparing to go all the rounds,” said Banks. “But we also work hard to get a knockout, so that’s what we’re working toward.”
If he is successful against Rolls, Golovkin has multiple options in working with the Matchroom Boxing stable of fighters including the final piece of the Middleweight crown (WBO) held by Demitrius Andrade (winning that title would make the trilogy match with Alvarez a clash for the undisputed Middleweight championship) or a lucrative jump to the Super Middleweight division to challenge WBA, Ring Magazine and WBSS champion Callum Smith in a sure sellout fight overseas.
Despite the looming challenges, the former champion remained clear and stern in addressing talk of the future by reminding all who asked that at the moment he is focusing on his current opponent, Rolls.
“Come on guys,” said Golovkin. “I’ve got six, minimum six fights you know I’ve got a lot of plans. This is just to show I feel healthy..[that] I’m still healthy.”
Golovkin also explained feeling at ease with a trainer who understands a fighter’s mindset.
“I feel great, very comfortable,” said Golovkin. “This guy he’s from boxing world, he knows everything.”
The two seemed very comfortable working through rounds on the mitts where Golovkin appeared lighter on his feet and a bit more mobile with more focus on combination punching and head movement drills.