LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Gennady Golovkin, tired of talking about a third Canelo Alvarez bout that hasn’t materialised, is focussed instead on launching a new middleweight world title run when he takes on Sergiy Derevyanchenko on October 5.
The vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) belts will be on the line at Madison Square Garden, where 37-year-old Golovkin is 6-0.
“I know him for a long time. He’s a very good fighter,” Golovkin said of Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko, the IBF’s top-rated contender who owns a record of 13-1 with 10 knockouts.
Alvarez, who ended Golovkin’s unbeaten reign as unified middleweight champion with a majority decision victory in their second fight in September 2018, was stripped of the IBF belt when he failed to meet Derevyanchenko.
Golovkin, speaking to a small group of reporters on Monday in Los Angeles – a quick trip from his training base in the Southern California mountain retreat of Big Bear Lake – said that fact carries no special significance for him.
“I don’t really care who it was taken from,” he said of the titles on the line. “I want to box. I’m a fighter, I want to have huge fights.”
Alvarez will make a two-division jump in weight classes to take on Russia’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2 in Las Vegas.
While Alvarez promoter Oscar de la Hoya has been bullish on the likelihood of a Golovkin-Alvarez rubber match in 2020, Alvarez himself has been less interested.
Golovkin, for his part, is ready to move on.
“I don’t think about those guys,” he said. “I don’t really want to discuss this. We had a contract, we were supposed to have a fight on September 14 and he just ran away.”
Golovkin is more interested in talking about what he’s accomplishing in his second camp with trainer Johnathon Banks, a disciple of legendary trainer Emanuel Steward.
The two had limited time to work together before Golovkin’s last fight, a fourth-round knockout of Steve Rolls at Madison Square Garden in June that took Golovkin’s record to 39-1-1 with 35 knockouts.
Their latest camp has given Golovkin more time to absorb the teaching of Banks, who believes there’s more to Golovkin than fearsome punching power.
“What I want to implement is just a rhythm, a movement more so of a strategy, not just going there and if all else fails we’ve got this bag of power right here,” Banks said.
“I want to see him develop his skill. He’s a very skilled fighter.”
Golovkin, who said he’s also benefitting from a new strength training and nutritional regimen, is excited about the changes.
“I feel much better. I feel more young, I feel more interested,” he said. “Before Johnathon I started losing interest in developing as a boxer, started getting a little bored.
“Now with Johnathon, things he taught me, he showed me, I’m more excited. I want to move forward.”