Golovkin-Geale conference call transcript
TOM LOEFFLER: We are definitely excited about this event. I would like to thank some of the partners that we have for this event. Gary Shaw was very instrumental as Daniel Geale’s promoter for which we have a great-co-feature for this card at Madison Square Garden, the World’s Most Famous Arena, the Mecca of Boxing. We are very excited to be going into the big room for this fight. Without HBO and their financial support, we wouldn’t be able to put an event like this together. This is clearly the biggest test, the biggest name and the most experienced person that has been willing to get in the ring with Gennady, so far in his career. Geale is a two-time world champion – he won two world championship titles over in Germany, which is not the easiest thing to do. He beat two great fighters in Sturm and Stieglitz and the credentials he brings to the ring are impressive. We want to thank Gary and Team Geale for accepting the challenge. Gennady has been labeled as the fastest rising star in boxing and brings excitement every time he gets into the ring.
GARY SHAW: I would like to thank Tom and K2 who have been wonderful partners. As everyone know we had a cancelled fight in May due to an injury to Mike Perez, but everything has been rescheduled at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden and it doesn’t get any bigger than that. I also want to thank HBO on behalf of Team Geale. Graham Shaw, Geale’s trainer is a man of few words and has been with Daniel for about 5 years and has two world title wins in Germany. He’s a great trainer but a lot of people in the United States don’t know him because most of his work is in Australia but I can tell you he is up there with the best of them. As far as Abel Sanchez, I know him personally and have the world of respect for him. He’s a great trainer, does a great job in Big Bear, and Gennady is lucky to have him. As far as Gennady goes, we respect him and his power – he is a great champion and a great person out of the ring, as is Daniel Geale and that’s what makes this fight so great. We have two great fighters willing to fight one another. Daniel Geale has always told me he has wanted to fight Gennady, we never ducked Gennady, but due to the pay-per-view in Australia we were unable to schedule until now. Now the fight is on and it’s a wonderful double-header with Bryant Jennings and Mike Perez as the opening fight and rarely do you get an opening fight with two heavyweights who are undefeated and a final eliminator for the WBC to fight the winner of Stiverne and Wilder. Daniel Geale has wanted this fight, he is very confident in his own abilities and his ability to win this fight.
DANIEL GEALE: Thanks Gary, that was nice. I would like to say that I am really excited to be fighting on such a big show at Madison Square Garden. It is going to be a perfect step for me, fighting a guy like Gennady, who is one of the hottest names in boxing today. I’ve been saying for years in Australia – I will fight the best fighters and this is the only way to do it. To do it like this, in Madison Square Garden, with my team and Gary Shaw, I couldn’t be happier.
TOM LOEFFLER: I would like to touch on the co-feature we have, the eliminator for the WBC heavyweight title, really could stand on it’s own as a main event. That’s why we are excited about this being a great HBO double-header. Bryant Jennings is from Philadelphia, is very marketable and will bring a lot of fans with him. This will be Perez’ third time on HBO and he is also undefeated. It’s only a main event like this that we can make that fight a co-feature.
ABEL SANCHEZ: We are extremely happy that we are in the last week of training. Gennady can’t wait to get in the ring. I’m sure Danny will be well prepared working with Graham – I think he’s a great coach. This will be the first time that Gennady has had so much time off between fights but he is chomping to get in the ring. We are looking forward to going to Madison Square Garden and putting on a great show.
TOM LOEFFLER: Now I would like to introduce the WBA & IBO Middleweight Champion. He has the highest knockout ratio of any world champion today. This will be his third time at Madison Square Garden and his 5th time appearing on HBO, and we are excited to bring Gennady back to the USA for his fans.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Thanks Tom, It is very important for me. I respect Daniel Geale very much. I have been watching his fights and I know it is not going to be an easy fight. This is going to be a great show. The heavyweights – that is a great fight. I am looking forward to coming back to Madison Square Garden on July 26.
What is it that you see in Gennady Golovkin, who is 29-0 with 26 KOs, that makes you want to fight him so bad?
DANIEL GEALE: To be honest, Gennady has got titles and I want titles. That’s my main goal here. I want to fight the best fighters and I want to win some titles and there is only one way to do that, whether he has a great record or not. You have to get in there and test yourself against the best fighters in the world.
What fights have you watched and what makes you think this is not going to be an easy fight?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Daniel is a great fighter. I have watched his tapes, and the last fight in particular, makes me realize this is not going to be an easy fight.
You fought Gennady in the amateurs?
DANIEL GEALE: Yes, the fight was in 2001. I don’t remember a lot about the fight but I kind of believe I got put down in that fight, but that was a long time ago and now we both believe we are better fighters these days and that’s why it’s going to be a good fight now.
The other two middleweight champions have boxed with Daniel and have predicted he will beat Gennady if he sticks to the right fight plan. What is the right fight plan?
GRAHAM SHAW: Well, without giving too much away, if Daniel fights his absolute best, and that is how he’s looked in the gym – the best he has ever looked. If he fights his best, he beats Gennady’s best. But we’ll see on the night.
You have said you rank Gennady behind Sugar Ray Robinson and Bernard Hopkins as far as middleweights go. What kind of a statement do you think Gennady needs to make in this fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Ranking him behind the two people that you just mentioned, we hope to get the kind of fights that would showcase him to prove that statement that I made. He definitely needs to fight Daniel in the same manner as some of the past opponents. But Danny possesses the ability to go 12 rounds and I think that is going to be the big issue – to see if he can control a man and dominate a man that is used to going 12 rounds. For Daniel to go to Germany to win those two world titles says a lot about Daniel and we’ve got a fight on our hands to propel him to that level that I told you about.
What glimpses of greatness did you see in the Curtis Stevens fight?
ABEL SANCHEZ: What I saw in the Curtis Stevens fight was somewhat of a Hagler composure. Curtis upset him because of some of the antics he was doing on social media and Gennady was able to keep his composure and be patient and punish Curtis because of some of the things he had been saying. All of those pluses that he has in comparing him to Hagler and Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson, they will all be seen in time as he fights great fighters like he is fighting on the 26th.
What fights do you see for Gennady assuming he gets past this fight?
TOM LOEFFLER: It’s my job as Gennady’s promoter to look forward and to plan ahead. No one on our team is underestimating what Daniel Geale brings to the table. He is clearly Gennady’s biggest challenge to date. That being said, if everything goes the right way on July 26 for Gennady, it is still my job to strategize ahead of time. Certainly with Cotto and his big win against Sergio Martinez to win the WBC title, certainly moves him to the top of our list. There were talks about a Chavez fight before and that didn’t come to fruition. Gennady is up for fighting anybody – any of the big names. If it is a compelling fight or if it is a PPV, Gennady would move up or down. If he beats Daniel on the 26th, then the priority would be to unify the middleweight titles, but no one is underestimating Daniel by any stretch of the imagination.
GARY SHAW: I wouldn’t look past July 26 if I were you.
What qualities will Gennady bring out of you?
DANIEL GEALE: To be honest, Gennady is the type of guy, he’s got a powerful punch and everyone knows about his skills to back that up. You can’t be one-dimensional in any way because he will find a hole. To me, that is good because I have to improve and I have to step up and fight at my best. Normally when I do fight great fighters, I step up and fight better as well. In this case I am going to make that happen.
Where does Gennady feel that he gets his power from?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: It comes from hard work every day on my speed and my timing coming all-together for the power. The timing is very important. I am not a body builder – it is natural power, it’s original.
Do you feel the big fights you have been in will help you?
DANIEL GEALE: Yes it definitely, I have been in big fights before. On big occasions and have had a big crowd against me in those situations as well. Those experiences will serve me well in this fight. Being the underdog as well is something that I am used to.
Do you believe Daniel Geale poses your most difficult fight to date?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Yes absolutely because he has a specific style. He has proved that in his fights and it will be difficult to solve.
You lost two close fights in the US – do you feel a need to win more convincingly to get the decision to go in your favor?
DANIEL GEALE: It’s always tricky in close fights. You want to be as convincing as possible for decisions to go your way and sometimes they don’t. That makes you who you are. Those close losses, although they were disappointing, they did push me on to train harder and want to achieve more. I didn’t feel as if I was beaten in either of those two fights, so it just motivated me to train harder. There is always going to be bad decisions in boxing – you can’t let that affect you in any way. You just have to go out and do your job to the best of your ability.
What about your style will give Gennady trouble?
DANIEL GEALE: I would like to say that my defense is usually pretty good so I am going to be making the most of that – not giving him an easy target to aim at.
Has Gennady’s training evolved over the years?
ABEL SANCHEZ: His style and his progression has evolved, as I outlined to him when we started working together. I asked him for some time and dedication and discipline and I promised him I would make him into what he is today.
Does he still have the hunger since he has trouble getting big fights?
ABEL SANCHEZ: As far as his dedication and wanting to fight…I think the fact that when he goes home, and when he does, he forgets about boxing when he’s with his family. Then when there is a fight scheduled eight or nine weeks out he comes up to Big Bear and completely submerges himself in the training in preparation for a fight that is going to keep him hungry. As long as he separates those two I think he is going to be tough to deal with because he is going to be so committed to what he is doing that the skills and the power and a tough fight like Daniel will be fresh for him.
Daniel, last time you were on American TV, you dropped Barker but lost the decision. How do you recover from that?
DANIEL GEALE: Firstly, the Barker fight was frustrating – knocking him down in the 6th and not getting the decision, but you have to take it on the chin and come back from that. I didn’t dwell on it too long. I got back in the gym and now I am on a huge show again fighting for a world title. I am coming over to the US trying to turn it around to get on the winning side of things. This next fight with Gennady is at a huge venue, Madison Square Garden and it is for titles, couldn’t be any more than I want.
How are ticket sales and what do you consider a success for this fight?
TOM LOEFFLER: Tickets are tracking very well. The Garden is happy with the sales. It has gotten a great response ever since we announced it. Having a fight like this with Gennady defending the titles and Daniel, who has been on HBO before and brings credibility and the co-feature gives this event a life of it’s own. Right now it is scaled to the lower bowl, so including the suites it is about 11,000 total, which is a big jump up from Gennady’s last time at the Theater against Curtis Stevens and we are expecting a great turnout.
Do you feel any added pressure fighting in the big room?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I’m so happy to be back at Madison Square Garden and to be in the big arena this time. I am excited about the fight as well as fighting Daniel and the whole thing is just amazing.
TOM LOEFFLER: I might add that this may be the first time that a headliner for a Garden boxing event will also appear in a Broadway play in the same week – Gennady will be appearing at Rocky.
Do you feel if the fight goes long you will have an advantage?
DANIEL GEALE: Gennady’s fitness…I’m sure he is training very hard for this fight. If it does go the distance or even to the later rounds, we are not thinking it is going to be much easier in that respect. I am going out there expecting the best fighter that he can be and I am just going to go out there and do my thing. I have been the distance with plenty of great fighters in world title fights so I have that experience. If it’s an advantage I am definitely going to make the most of it but we are expecting Golovkin to be strong later in the fight.
ABEL SANCHEZ: Every fight that we have fought for titles could have gone the distance. We prepare for 12 in every fight. Our game plan has to be a little modified so as to not let Daniel get comfortable in the early rounds because Daniel is a volume puncher. Of course we are aware of the fact that Daniel is used to going 12-rounds and is used to throwing a lot of punches in every round. We know his conditioning is going to be great.
How do you feel about opponents avoiding you?
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I don’t think much about this, but I heard my team was planning this upcoming fight and I knew it was difficult to get fighters, but that is basically all I heard and I don’t think much about it.
How has sparring with George Groves gone with Gennady?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Sparring went very well with George. George is a high-caliber fighter. He gave us some great work but he was just one of five sparring partners we had in this camp. George fought three or four days with Gennady and four rounds each day so he helped us and we appreciated it very much.
How do you mentally prepare for a boxer such as Gennady who has so much power?
DANIEL GEALE: That’s a good question. Mentally I have been preparing for the toughest fight of my life. It’s going to be a tough fight against a very tough fighter. I put in a very difficult training camp. I feel since the Macklin fight fell through – things were looking great then, and now they have stepped up again. I have been confident throughout and I have been wanting to fight Gennady for a while. I believe that things happen for a reason and we are very excited about that.
TOM LOEFFLER: Not only will this fight be broadcast on HBO but it will be televised live in over 100 countries. I know it is on PPV in Australia for Danny so it brings a lot of interest worldwide. The four fighters are all in the prime of their careers – that’s what makes these match-ups so compelling.
GARY SHAW: I think it’s great for boxing that two great fighters are willing to fight each other and in the co-feature, two great heavyweights willing to fight each other. It’s going to be a fans’ fight and it’s great to be a part of it. July 26 is going to be a great night and Daniel Geale will be victorious
Boxing’s fastest rising star, WBA/IBO Middleweight World Champion
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN will defend his titles against two-time world champion DANIEL “The Real Deale” GEALE on Saturday, July 26 at Madison Square Garden and LIVE on HBO World Championship Boxing ® beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
GOLOVKIN VS. GEALE is presented by K2 Promotions, GGG Promotions in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Grange Old School Boxing.
JENNINGS VS. PEREZ is presented by K2 Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions in association with Antonio Leonard Promotions.
“Road to Golovkin/Geale” replays on HBO include: July 20 (11:45 a.m.), 22 (12:00 p.m. & 2:55 a.m.), 25 (5:30 p.m. & 1:00 a.m.), and 26 (8:45 a.m.). All times are ET/PT.
With the highest knockout ratio (89%) among all active champions, in addition to his extraordinary growth in viewership on HBO, Golovkin has become a must-see attraction in the international sporting world.
In 2013, Golovkin, 29-0-0 (26KO’s) scored four knockouts, three of which were telecast on HBO to outstanding viewership earning him plaudits for both Fighter of the Year and Knockout of the Year among many media members.
Previously holder of the (‘IBF’) International Boxing Federation Middleweight Title and WBA “Super” Middleweight Title, Geale brings a distinguished record of
30-2-0 (16KO’s) into the world title challenge with Golovkin. Geale is currently ranked # 3 by the World Boxing Association.
Co-featured on “G4” is the WBC World Heavyweight Title Eliminator between undefeated and top rated heavyweights BRYANT “By By” JENNINGS, 18-0-0 (10KO’s), of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and MIKE “The Rebel” PEREZ, 20-0-1 (12KO’s) of Cork, Ireland.
The winner of JENNINGS VS. PEREZ will become the mandatory challenger to WBC Heavyweight Champion BERMANE STIVERNE.
Advance tickets priced at $500, $300, $200, $100, $50 and $25 are available at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.thegarden.com
For fight updates on GOLOVKIN VS. GEALE via Social Media, follow HBO Boxing on Twitter at @HBOBoxing and Facebook at /HBOBoxing, in addition to on Twitter at Gennady Golovkin/@GGGBoxing, Daniel Geale/@RealDealGeale, Tom Loeffler – K2 Promotions/ @TomLoeffler1 and Gary Shaw Productions/@GaryShawBoxing. Use the hashtag #GolovkinGeale to join the conversation on Twitter.
For fight updates on JENNINGS VS. PEREZ via Social Media, follow HBO Boxing on Twitter at @HBOBoxing and Facebook at /HBOBoxing, Bryant Jennings on Twitter at @BYJennings, Tom Loeffler/K2 Promotions at @TomLoeffler1 and Gary Shaw Productions at @GaryShawBoxing. Use the hashtag #JenningsPerez to join the conversation on Twitter.