NEW YORK (April 22, 2019) — Boxing‘s pound-for-pound superstar attraction GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN and undefeated Top-10 world-rated contender STEVE ROLLS kicked off their coast-to-coast media tour with a New York press conference today at Madison Square Garden.
Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, formally announced to media that he is bringing his Big Drama Show back to the “Mecca of Boxing” on Saturday, June 8, in a 12-round rumble with Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs), who hails from Toronto. The fight will be contested at a maximum weight of 164 lbs. and marks GGG’s debut on DAZN, after signing a six-fight global partnership in March.
Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin
“I’m very happy. I’m happy go back to the sport, I’m happy to be back at Madison Square Garden. It’s a very interesting time for me. It’s an amazing time for the sport and an amazing time for boxing. Madison Square Garden, I feel like it’s my second home. [With Rolls,] it doesn’t matter who says what, it’s going to be me and you in the ring and may the strongest man win. I would like to wish him luck, and we’ll see what happens. I don’t have a lot of time left in my career, this is the time when we’ll be able to give our audience a good big show.”
Why 164? “I wanted to try it out, try this weight, but it wasn’t that big of a deal for me to do this weight. And for my opponent, this would be a little more comfortable since he usually fights at 168. I wouldn’t want him to be uncomfortable.”
On his predictions for Canelo vs. Jacobs: “I think it’s very hard to predict. It’s going to be a very important fight for the middleweight division and for boxing in general. It’s pretty even keel. Everyone has a chance. Everyone has a possibility to win. This is boxing, this is even stuff. It’s going to be an interesting fight no matter what.”
On Canelo’s recent comments on only fighting GGG again if he has a belt: “I think Canelo is not correct to say that. We have to see what’s going to happen. I’m hoping to fight him, title or not.”
On his thoughts re: Jarrell Miller: “Doping does exist in boxing. It’s a very unfortunate thing. I don’t have anything to say. Hopefully boxing will go on without the doping.”
“GGG has sold out the big arena at MSG two times. For the fans, they just want to see him in the ring. With this fight here against Steve Rolls, who’s undefeated and a hungry fighter from Canada. For this fight, we kick off the DAZN multi-fight deal, and Steve Rolls makes all the sense in the world. It always takes two to tango. We’ve always given his opponent a level playing field, a fair shake, whatever it is. We always want the person standing across the ring to feel like he’s really in this fight.”
“There are only a few fighters that can sell out Madison Square Garden. Canelo fought here, in December, and he sold out MSG. Anthony Joshua is coming here June 1. And we’re expecting to sell out June 8. One thing that all three of these boxers have in common is that they all signed with DAZN here in the United States.”
On a potential trilogy match against Canelo: “It’s why Gennady signed with DAZN, it’s the clearest path to that. I don’t think the titles are going to make a difference. Both GGG and Canelo are above needing a title at this point in their career. Canelo fought here in December, he sold out MSG, Gennady has fought here and he built his fight here in MSG. I think the third fight will come down to economics. And location will be a part of the negotiations, because now, he’s not obligated to fight in Vegas.”
“I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and there are a couple things I keep coming across – ‘Who is this guy?’ and ‘This is going to be a tune-up fight.’ I’m the underdog that’s been hungry for this position. Make no mistake this isn’t a tune-up. I’m coming to fight. And with everybody, who doesn’t know me now, after June 8, you won’t forget me. I’ve got much respect for Gennady Golovkin, but I’m coming to shock the world.”
“[Golovkin] has been a dominant middleweight, probably the best for the last few decades. I’m not overlooking anything and I’m going in there preparing for the best Golovkin. It’s going to be hell. It’s going to be a grueling fight. But given it’s going to be at such a disadvantage, if there’s anyone who can do it, that’s me.”
“If [Golovkin] thinks this is going to be a walkover, then this is going to be a long f—ing night. I don’t think it’s going to be an easy night for GGG. Rolls has been doing this a long time. I’m not bringing a victim to MSG. I’m not. I don’t believe he’s a stepping stone for anybody. The future of his family changes in one night with a good night. I’m not talking win, loss, or draw, but a good night from Steve Rolls changes his life. It justifies the half of his life that he’s spent doing this. So I’m happy he got here, I think he deserves to be here. I hope that GGG is the best GGG because Steve Rolls is a professional fighter, a good fighter who can knock him off his course.”
“Personally, I’d rather see a guy who steps up to the opportunity of a lifetime and has never tasted defeat. It’s better off seeing someone new, fresh, hungry than someone recycled again. Rolls is a professional winner, not a professional loser. He’s done everything that he was supposed to do and he’s worked as hard as he can work for a long time, and I know he’s going to justify this opportunity. He’s a balanced measured professional fighter and he’s going to go in there and prove that to the world.”
“We know on June 8, Steve Rolls is getting the opportunity to fight someone special. This is for him the lottery here. He’s wanted a big fight, and he’s got the biggest. It’s his Super Bowl. He’s not going to roll over for anyone – excuse the bad pun – and he’s not going to roll over for Gennady Golovkin. He’s been waiting a long time for a chance, his moment, his shot.”