KIEV, UKRAINE - Gennady Golovkin, 160 vs. Makoto Fuchigami, 159 - WBA and IBO Middleweight World Title -- Saturday, May 12, 2012 -- Ice Palace "Terminal" Brovari, Ukraine -- TV/BoxNationTV
WBA Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin and his noted trainer Abel Sanchez are in Kiev, Ukraine where Golovkin will defend his WBA & IBO titles on Saturday, May 12th against Japanese champion Makoto Fuchigami at the 5,000 seat Ice Palace “Terminal.” At the time of this call, there were a couple hundred tickets remaining.
Known for his devastating knockouts and fan friendly style, the undefeated Golovkin sports a record of 22-0-0 with nineteen stoppages while the southpaw Fuchigami is 19-6-0 with 10 KO’s and enters with a nine bout-winning streak, eight by knockout.
ABELL SANCHEZ: We had a great training camp in Big Bear. We got here about 2 weeks ago. Things are going well, we had great sparring. The weight is good. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for D-day and I hope everyone enjoys it..
How long have you had to prepare for this fight since it seems short notice?
TOM LOEFFLER: Gennady has been training for some time since there was talk about him fighting on a few different shows to put him on. There was some discussions about putting him on the Bute-Froch fight in England, so Able had him in training camp for 8 weeks in Big Bear then the last two weeks here. When it didn’t work out on the Bute show we added him on to the card here in Kiev.
How long until you can force a showdown with Felix Sturm?
TOM LOEFFLER: That is a good question. The deal we made with the WBA is that Sturm was allowed a voluntary defense and if he wins, his next fight will be a mandatory defense of the winner of Gennady – Fuchigami. They have been ordered to make that fight by September 30. At this point, Sturm is running out of options. Sturm at this time holds the record for being a champion the longest without having a mandatory defense. 2 years ago Gennady was the interim champion and Sturm was the WBA Champion. Sturm then got elevated to Super Champion. For the last two years Gennady has been trying to fight him.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: Sturm and I were both with Universum Box Promotions. We knew each other pretty well. We used to see each other in the gym all the time. We trained together but we never sparred together. I believe that the reason why Sturm does not want to fight me is because he knows me well and knows that he can’t beat me. He knows me and I know him and I want the fight.
Are there other options?
TOM LOEFFLER: The option at this time is to clarify who the WBA Champion is. We have discussed with the TV networks when we were in New York that we would go down to 154 or up to 168 if there is an attractive fight at either of those weight classes. But that would only be after the Sturm fight took place.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I want the fight with Felix Sturm. That is the only fight I really want at this time. I do think he will get in the ring with me by September 30. If that doesn’t work out, and right now I feel really good, I feel great. I can move to either 154 or 168 if I need to find another opponent. Whatever it is, I want the best fights against the best opponents. I will fight Pirov or any of the other champions. Right now it doesn’t matter who my opponent is or what weight I fight at.
TOM LOEFFLER: We have had discussions with Gennady and Abel and they just want the best fights, whether it’s Pirog or others. We brought him to New York for the Martinez fight and that would be a big fight as well. But we know that Sergio probably wouldn’t take that fight right now. Not until Gennady is better known in the states, and that is our goal right now, to take care of this fight then bring him over to the states after we see what happens with Sturm, and get him on American TV.
Have any of the networks – HBO, Showtime or EPIX - shown interest in broadcasting a Golovkin fight?
TOM LOEFFLER: Actually all three have shown interest in Gennady. I think the problem right now is getting someone in the ring with him, then they would broadcast it. EPIX actually has committed to show this fight on a delayed basis. They are actually planning on putting him on the same card as we are planning with Vladimir Klitschko on July 7 against Thompson, which is the fight we announced this week. They are also very interested if the Sturm fight happens, to show it, because it will probably take place in Germany. HBO has also showed an interest if Gennady fights in the States. Klitschko may be fighting in the States in October – it has not been finalized – and if he does there is interest in him as a co-feature. Showtime has also shown interest if the right opponent can b secured. Gennady is the type of fighter that will fight anyone / anywhere. He has been training in Big Bear with Abel, his English has been getting better and his goal is to fight in and be come well known in the USA. Living in Germany he knows that everything that happens in the US is bigger and knows that to become and dominant champion he has to become known in the US.
Does he feel he needs to fight more than the twice a year he has fought in the past two years?
TOM LOEFFLER: part of the reason was the contract problems he was having with Universum.
ABEL SANCHEZ: He is in Big Bear almost year round so I would like to see him fight at least three times a year. In order to get the recognition of being the best middleweight in the world, which we think he is, he needs to be seen. Right now we just can’t seem to get anyone in the ring with him. The WBA, or whoever it is, is trying to order the fights and being very successful. Felix has dodged him for two years and continues to dodge him. Even a credible opponent, 1 thru 9, when we started this training came, would not fight him. This is a high-risk, low-reward fight and hopefully that will change in 2012.
Who does Gennady feel the best middleweight is, Gennady?
TOM LOEFFLER: We were at the Martinez fight and Gennady has a lot of respect for him. That is a fight that he would take immediately – on Saturday night if he had the choice. They probably would not want to put him in with Gennady at this time. There is no fighter that he wouldn’t get in the ring with. He considers himself the best middleweight. He just wants the opportunity to prove it to all the fans out there.
TOM LOEFFLER: Our goal is to Market Gennady in the same way we did with Vladimir. We had Vladimir fight at the Garden where we had marketed him to the Russian community. The Garden has shown interest and would like to have him fight there two times a year. Just like Sergio fought at the Theater, we think that would be the perfect venue. He went to a Rangers game and met everyone there and they would like to have him fight there on a regular basis. Right now it is a matter of getting someone to broadcast the show to get the money to pay a big opponent.
GENNADY GOLOVKIN: I think Sergio is a good fighter and I would like to box against him and that fight would prove who is the best in the middleweight division. Chavez Jr. is a good boxer but to me Sergio is much better – he is on a different level. I would love to fight either one and hopefully a fight with Martinez will happen next year. Then maybe a fight with Chavez could happen after that.
How much time does he spend in Big Bear?
ABEL SANCHEZ: He spends about 9 months out of the year in Big Bear. He goes home for two weeks at a time. We spend all of our time training an hoping a big fight will come along. As Tom said, it is a matter of money trying to get another big name in the ring.
TOM LOEFFLER: We have to give Fuchigami a lot of credit. He comes in at #9 with a string of seven knockouts in his last nine fights. He is probably the best boxer coming out of Japan. He is a big puncher and a tough opponent. He would be a more impressive win than a win against Ishida would be.
More fight info...
A native of Kazakhstan and living in Stuttgart, Germany, Golovkin returns to action following a brutal first round knockout of Philadelphia based contender Lajuan Simon on December 9th in Dusseldorf, Germany. Simon had not been previously stopped over his eight-year career, including a twelve round war with then world champion Arthur Abraham and going the distance with Sebastian Sylvester, both in 2009.
Fuchigami, ranked #9 by the WBA, is coming off a tenth round stoppage of Kyung –Suk Kwak on April 9th in Tokyo. Prior to that he won the OPBF Middleweight Title on December 12, 2011 with a ninth round knockout of Koji Sato in Tokyo, his career best victory. He is the highest rated middleweight from Japan.
While focused on the heavy handed Fuchigami, Golovkin also has his sights set on any of the world title holders from junior middleweight to super middleweight. “I feel comfortable at 160 but I’m willing to go down to 154 or up to 168 to fight the best in the world. There are many big names in all three weight classes and I’m willing to travel anywhere to fight these other champions.”
The World Boxing Association has ordered that current “Super Champion” Felix Sturm and Golovkin must fight by September 30, 2012.
Golovkin won the WBA World Middleweight Title on December 16, 2010 with a third round stoppage of Nilson Julio Tapia in Astana, Kazakhstan. His first defense came in Panama City, Panama against former world champion Kassim Ouma on June 17, 2011 with a tenth round technical knockout.
Also featured on the Saturday, May 12th event is a WBO Junior Middleweight Title bout between Zaurbek Baysangurov and Michel Soro
Article posted on 11.05.2012