Gennady Golovkin: "Sturm is avoiding me. For two years we have been trying to make a fight with him. I don’t think he will ever fight me"

gennady golovkinExclusive interview by James Slater - K2 boss Tom Loeffler says his middleweight, Gennady Golovkin, is one of the hardest punchers he’s even seen in boxing. Fans who have access to BoxNation will most likely agree with Loeffler. Last seen taking out the capable Makoto Fuchigama in the 3rd-round and before that the previously unstopped Lajuan Simon in the 1st, Golovkin thrilled BoxNation viewers.

The unbeaten 30-year-old is now 23-0(20) as a pro, and the Kazakhstan warrior holds the “regular” WBA title. Craving the big fights, the former amateur standout gets his chance next when, on August 25th, he will meet fellow danger-man/avoided fighter Dmitry Pirog. Loeffler sees this fight as Golovkin’s “coming out party,” and if the German-based banger wins, the bigger fights are expected to roll in.

“This fight with Pirog is definitely the toughest fight yet of my entire career, amateur or pro,” Golovkin says, as translated by Loeffler.

“Pirog is unbeaten and he is a [WBO] world champion. I’d say that, before this fight, my toughest, most difficult fight was my [4th-round KO] win over Lucian Bute (at the 2003 World Amateur Championships, held in Bangkok)..

The KO of Bute earned Golovkin much praise and the man from Kazakhstan has displayed real power as a pro also. Yet Gennady does not predict a KO win over Pirog.

“I never, ever predict a KO win,” he says.

“But at the sane time, I cannot see Pirog being able to take my punching power for a full 12-rounds. But I never underestimate any fighter. Everyone is tough in their own way.”

The son of a miner who now has a three-year-old son of his own, says working with his new team - of Loeffler and Mexican trainer Abel Sanchez - has helped him immensely.

“Working with Tom at K2 is a great thing. This cooperation has led to the Pirog fight, which is a significant step - a bout on HBO! Also, the Klitschko brothers support me. Vitali took the time to visit me during my last fight, in Ukraine. Working with [trainer] Abel has also been great. I’ve been with him for two years now, and working with him at his gym in Big Bear is a beautiful thing. I’ve learnt so much from him. He is teaching me to fight the Mexican way, with even more aggression, and I love to punch anyway! We understood each other from the first day. He’s taught me technique, tactics and mental preparation.”

A natural athlete (“I enjoy playing soccer, tennis, basketball and ice hockey”), Golovkin was initially disappointed with the silver medal he won at the 2004 Olympics.

“I was unhappy to have won the silver. I wanted so much to win the gold (he lost in the final to Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov of Russia). But later, I was proud to have represented my country. Now I want to win world titles at pro level. I want the big fights. I will fight anyone.”

So far, Golovkin has been frustrated by his inability to land a fight with WBA “super” champion Felix Sturm.

“I think Sturm is avoiding me, yes. For two years we have been trying to make a fight with him. The WBA even ruled that we must meet by September of 2012, yet he has now signed to fight [Daniel] Geale. Personally, I don’t think he will ever fight me.”

Another top name Golovkin has his eye on is the superb Sergio Martinez. Gennady was at Martinez’ recent win over Matthew Macklin.

“I wanted to be at that fight. I knew Martinez would win, as he is on a different level to Macklin. But Macklin did better than I thought he would; I expected Martinez to stop him quicker than he did. I would love to fight Martinez; ideally at Madison Square Garden, which is where every fighter wants to fight.”

Right now though, Golovkin has the formidable Pirog to take care of. He has been working hard at Big Bear for the August showdown.

“I have been sparring hard. I’ve worked with Canelo [Alvarez] Julio Chavez Junior and also Shane Mosley. I will be ready for this, the biggest fight so far in my career. After this I want to continue facing the very best. I will fight anywhere - in the U.K, in Canada, anywhere.”

Article posted on 12.06.2012

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