Abel Sanchez: Hi. Good morning, guys. We’re looking forward to—what is it ten days from now eleven days from now, putting on another fantastic show. We’re fortunate to have a young man in Willie Monroe who I know is going to come to fight and provide us with that exciting fight that we haven’t had. Well, actually last week was not as exciting as this one’s going to be, so hopefully Willie’s in great shape. I know that Tony’s getting him ready, so we’re looking forward to this Saturday night.
Tom Loeffler: And then I also want to introduce the WBA, the WBC Interim Champion, IBO Middleweight Champion, 32-0 with 29 knockouts, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
Gennady Golovkin: Good morning. A couple of weeks before the fight and I’m ready, I feel good. Hopefully, Willie will be ready to fight because we’ll have a strong fight and a good performance for the fans. I promise a big drama show. I hope he is ready also. Thank you to my team, the fans and media for all their support and to HBO.
Q. Hi, guys. Thanks for taking the time to do the call. My question is for Gennady. Your May 16th fight comes at an interesting time, right on the heels of Mayweather/Pacquiao, a fight in which a lot of people—I dare say most people said it didn’t feature enough action for their liking. Did you watch the fight? And, what did you think of Mayweather/Pacquiao?
Gennady Golovkin: Yes. Everybody wanted the fight for the last five years. I think Floyd’s too smart. This is Floyd’s style; he doesn’t take too many shots. Floyd’s too smart, he’s a great boxer, he’s number one in the world.
Q. And what about Pacquiao? What did you think of his performance?
Gennady Golovkin: Pacquiao, I think he loses control of the fight. He could not do anything against Floyd. Pacquiao is very good, but it was a very smart fight for Floyd.
Q. Listen, I’m not looking past Willie Monroe, that wouldn’t be wise. I expect you’re too talented for him, though. So, what about next fight, you against Floyd Mayweather at 154 pounds? I believe you, maybe, are the next logical opponent to test Floyd Mayweather.
Gennady Golovkin: Of course, it is my dream fight. Obviously, Floyd, he is a great champion, and a little bit different style. Floyd, he’s a smart guy. He does a lot of moving. For my style, a little bit different, I like drama show, I like real fight, like close fight. I want show, big show; big drama show!
Q. And you would bring that big drama show if you were to get a fight with Floyd Mayweather?
Gennady Golovkin: Absolutely.
Q. Excellent. Great answer. I appreciate it. Good luck.
Q. Question is for Abel. Abel, how do you deal with all these questions about who is next? We just had one—who is next for Gennady when he is to fight on May 16, the guy who is probably one of the fastest guys you have ever fought. How do you deal with this? And, how do you keep GGG concentrated on the task on hand? Not to talk about Canelo, and not to talk about Floyd and everything else, May 16th is first.
Abel Sanchez: Well, fortunately we have a real professional in Gennady Golovkin in the gym, so the questions about anybody else are only on these types of calls. In the gym, he’s solely focused on Willie Monroe. Willie Monroe’s going to be a tough challenge, and we’re not overlooking him by any means because if we take a stumble here, all those other names are mute.
So, Golovkin is concentrating on Willie Monroe, unless of course they ask questions like this in a media call, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll be ready for, mentally and physically, for May 16th.
Q. One more question, if I may. The combined records of the last five opponents for Gennady is 165 wins, only 15 losses. Where would you put Willie Monroe in-between those fighters? How would you rate him among the last five Gennady fought?
Abel Sanchez: I think as far as skills and as far as ability in the ring, he’s got to be in the top three, and maybe the top two. Experience, maybe not quite as experienced as the other guys, but Willie has proven in bigger fights, the Boxcino Tournament for instance, that he can handle himself in the ring, so he’s up there, like I said, one, two, or three. A very, very, very good fighter.
Q: Good morning, gentlemen. I just have two quick questions. Gennady, we know your reputation and your resume and your desire to fight, but you continue to get criticism for not taking proper fights without people really putting the blame on people who have to agree to fight you. How does that make you feel when people say that about you?
Gennady Golovkin: I feel great. I feel good now. This fight is really important for my career, and for everybody, for my people, for my team. Thank you very much for my people. It’s very important for me, this fight with Willie, right now my focus is on Willie Monroe because he’s a great champion, he’s a great challenger for me and he may be next champion. Every fight is important for me.
Q. With fighting against Willie Monroe, he’s a southpaw, and we’ve seen a lot said that you wanted to face that type of opponent, who is a southpaw. What do you hope that this performance will show to people watching you about your style, and the way you fight?
Gennady Golovkin: I want to fight a southpaw because I want to show everybody that I can beat any style, it doesn’t matter. Anybody, strong guy, tall guy, short guy, just anybody. I’m very anxious. This is a big test for me. I remember a lot of fighters, like Canelo, Cotto, and a lot of great champions have have problems with southpaws. So why not test myself.
Q. Abel, Gennady kind of answered the question I was about to ask, but what I guess from a trainer’s standpoint, what do you see Willie Monroe bringing to the table that Gennady hasn’t yet seen on his way up?
Abel Sanchez: A lot of movement and slickness and if Gennady fights a southpaw in the future were better prepared for the style.
Willie is a proven and good fighter in, like I said in the Boxcino Tournament, so it’s not like we’re fighting a guy that’s on—that has never been in a situation like this. The difference is he’s going to go in against Golovkin and Golovkin seems to bring these guys down to the level that they’re not much for him, but if Willie brings his A game, I think we’re looking at five or six tough rounds, and then the stretch will be who’s got more in the tank.
Q. Gennady, I know you can’t force the other middleweights to get in the ring with you; all you can do is just entertain. Do you feel kind of obligated though to carry the middleweight division right now? Like, you’re the guy that everyone’s going to look to as the one middleweight that will fight everyone.
Gennady Golovkin: Yes. I want to fight to unify the titles. For me, it’s very important who’s number one; who’s best in the world in the middleweight division.
Q. Yes. This is a question for Tom. You said in your intro that you thought fans were yearning for some excitement after what had happened Saturday. As a promoter, is there any fear of a backlash in the business? And what I guess would serve as a follow-up as Gennady is poised to be maybe the next face of boxing, maybe he can capture some of the crossover fans. Will that be harder to do now?
Tom Loeffler: I don’t think there’ll be a backlash. I think it’ll make fans appreciate Gennady’s style more when they see what he actually brings into the ring with him. He always tries to—Abel trains him in a style to provide excitement, to provide value for the fans, and I think the fans will appreciate instead of having to buy this fight on pay-per-view, they’ll get to see it on HBO, and they’ll see an entertaining show with Chocolatito as the co-feature, with Gennady, and Willie Monroe Jr. in the main event. I think it’s a great matchup of styles, and I think it’ll be a challenge to see if Gennady keeps his knockout streak alive and that’s what fans have really come to appreciate.
They know every time they come to see Gennady fight live, every time he’s fought, whether it’s Danny Geale, or whether it’s Marco Antonio Rubio at the StubHub Center last year. I mean, they’ve seen an exciting fight, and I think you’ll see the same type of fight, and interesting matchup coming this Saturday on May 16th at The Forum.
Q. Alright. Abel, same question?
Abel Sanchez: I think that we owe it to the fans to provide entertainment. I’ve said from the beginning that I wanted Gennady to be the kind of guy that you look forward to leaving home/work early on Saturday night to be able to watch all the pre-stuff in the fight to see more about Gennady. I wanted him to be that kind of individual inside the ring, not so much outside the ring, but I think that we’re getting to that point now.
Willie presents the next test. Hopefully, after Willie, if everything goes well on the 16th, and Willie cooperates, we can have a bigger name, but right now it’s Willie in front of us, and we’re going to put on that show, or Gennady’s going to put on that show to make sure that the fans go away with a smile on their face and hoping to find out when he fights again.
Q. Andy Lee against Kid Chocolate turned into a draw. You’ve got Miguel Cotto, who’s just kind of out there looking for that big fight. Do you want to stay at middleweight because you’ve said that you would drop down, and obviously the big fight that I think if we could all snap our fingers and make it happen is you and Mayweather? Would you move down a little bit at a catch weight or will we see you moving up, perhaps, to go for the super middleweight title?
Gennady Golovkin: Yes. Right now, my focus is on 160. My goal is to hold all the belts. Absolutely, I hope for a big fight with Miguel because he has the WBC title, I have the WBC interim belt, and of course I want a unification fight with Andy Lee. I think he’s ready and, of course, my dream fight is against Floyd.
Q. Good morning on the West Coast, everybody. Tom, this question is for you, and it’s a bit of a follow-up about the promoter’s job in the wake of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. With casual fans, perhaps, grumbling about the lack of action, do you think that was a net-win or a net-plus overall for the sport of boxing with the enormous attention on that fight? And, does that change your approach two weeks in the wake of this enormous media onslaught and attention to boxing?
Tom Loeffler: I think the exposure to boxing was a net-win for it. I think fans might have been disappointed that paid a lot of money to actually see it live, or maybe on the pay-per-view; that’s where you really saw the disappointment of the fans. But, I think, again, when you see somebody that’s exposed to the sport of boxing and then they follow-up two weeks later or even one week later. You’ve got Canelo coming up this weekend, also on HBO, and then two weeks later you have Gennady coming back to the ring, it just creates more of an appreciation for those fans that are exposed to the sport for having an exciting fight in the ring.
Q. And on the follow-up, how do you exploit, for lack of a better word, that attention and make sure they’re still around two weeks later to see what we on the call all know would be a very different and highly entertaining contest?
Tom Loeffler: Well, we just try to put on the best shows. When Gennady fought last year at the StubHub, we had Nonito Donaire, and Nicholas Walters as the co-feature, and with this fight we have “Chocolatito” Gonzales against Edgar Sosa, also as a co-feature, so we just try to provide value for the fans. They’ve responded by buying tickets and Gennady had the biggest selling fight ever at the StubHub Center, and there have been many champions who have fought there before, and his ratings continue to reflect that.
So it’s just packaging value for the fans, and it’s just the more people that appreciate the sport of boxing that are exposed to it and then they all have a better sense of when you have an exciting fighter that gets into the ring, and at some point they’ll choose whether they buy a ticket or tune in to different styles.
And I think Gennady’s proven that he provides excitement and every time somebody tunes in or buys a ticket to his fight, they always come away with a sense of excitement, and he brings a lot of fans to the sport, new fans that have never actually been to a boxing match before that came to StubHub, or when he fought in New York in Madison Square Garden. They came specifically to see Gennady and that’s a breath of fresh air for the boxing fans.
Q. Okay. Quick question for you, Abel, first. Gennady has one of the best knockout percentage ratios in the boxing game right now. My question for you is sometimes he doesn’t get credit for his excellent footwork. Is there anything else, specifically, that you’ve found, or that you’ve kind of sharpened in fight camp with him these last few weeks prior to the fight with Willie Monroe?
Abel Sanchez: Well, every training camp that we go into we set aside a couple things that we’re going to concentrate on for the particular fight we have coming up. For Willie, we have a couple things that we’re working on to combat some of his, not only movement, but also the way he tries to be slick.
So, hopefully the reason for that is hopefully in ten, twelve fights, we covered a lot of the areas that need to be covered to improve his game. Gennady’s a student of the game. Gennady loves learning new things, Gennady’s always paying attention, so it’s easy to show him something and to ask for him to do something and he repeats it. Max and I, his brother Max and I will talk about what it is that we want him to do and then Gennady executes it the way we want it.
Fortunately, for this camp we had two very good sparring partners in Julius Jackson and Raymond Gatica that provided us that canvas for Gennady to practice some of the things that we’re trying to improve on for this fight.
Q. Was anything different now fighting a southpaw that you felt like you had to kind of enhance or work on a little more?
Abel Sanchez: Oh, absolutely. Willie Monroe’s not a standard southpaw. He’s very slick. He has very good wheels, so it’s going to be a process of trying to cut him off and practicing that in the gym to be able to cut him off and react to the situations, so he’s done it very well. He’s adapted very well to what we wanted for this particular fight, in addition to the things that we were doing in the past. So we’re looking forward to a great night.
Q. Okay. My question to you is, is it a little frustrating for you sometimes, I know you fight four times a year, more or less, give or take, you try to stay active. Is it frustrating for you sometimes when you start to see some of these guys like Miguel Cotto, he’s able—and you want to try to get to fight some of these really good guys, and sometimes it’s difficult for you? How do you stay focused knowing that you want to fight some of these really great champions, and it’s a little difficult for you?
I know that you say sometimes you’re into the Mexican fighters, and so I’m assuming that you want to emulate their greatness.
Gennady Golovkin: I kind of just see my situation now as just I’m ready. You know you’re right, absolutely, that’s not my focus. My focus is on who is number one in the middleweight division. It doesn’t matter how many fights per year, five, six, I remember, like Chavez Sr., a lot of great champions, every second month he had a big fight. For me, right now I’m ready for big fight, I’m ready. I know I have just maybe couple years, maybe three years, maybe four years, I’m ready for six fights per year. I’m ready for anybody.
Q. Is Chavez your favorite Mexican fighter?
Gennady Golovkin: Yes. Chavez, Sr. is. I love great champions from Mexico. I like Chavez Sr.’s style, like moving, and the strategy, I like this. I like the style because he will fight anybody and anytime. It may only be five, six, seven times per year. Same for me, I’m ready.
Q. So, is that why you try to fight as often as you do?
Gennady Golovkin: Absolutely, yes.
Bernie Bahrmasel: We’re going to wrap up Gennady Golovkin’s side. Tom, if you want to make some closing comments, and tell the media where their readers can get tickets?
Tom Loeffler: Absolutely. Again we’re all excited about Gennady coming back to Southern California May 16th against Willie Monroe Jr. It’ll be at The “Fabulous” Forum. It’s a great building that’s event better since it was renovated. It has such a great history of legendary fights being held there and now with this fight card coming to the L.A. area, I think we’ll see a great turnout. We priced the tickets for the fans starting at the $30 and they are available at TheForum.com, and also at TicketMaster.com. Gennady’s last fight in LA sold out, so we advise the fans to buy their tickets early so they don’t run into the same problem last time when there was no tickets available.
Bernie Bahrmasel: Abel, do you want to give the media some closing comments before we get back to training?
Abel Sanchez: Absolutely. I’d like to thank them for their support and their calls and their questions. Make sure that you tune in and see another great fight from Gennady on his way to superstardom.
Bernie Bahrmasel: Thanks very much, Abel. Gennady, any more comments before you go back to training today?
Gennady Golovkin: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you very much for support. Thank you very much for attention. It is really important for my team, for my career, and I promise great show, great events, just welcome to my Big Drama Show. Thank you.
Bernie Bahrmasel: Thanks very much, Gennady. Thanks very much, Abel. At this time for the media, it is my pleasure to introduce Artie Pelullo from Banner Promotions, who will introduce Team Monroe. Go ahead, Artie.