Re-energised Golovkin eyes return to middleweight supremacy

NEW YORK (AFP) – Gennady Golovkin takes on Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the vacant International Boxing Federation middleweight title tomorrow, aiming to launch a second reign at the age of 37.

Golovkin’s trainer, Jonathon Banks, is confident the hard-hitting Kazakh has plenty of ring life left.

“I would consider his age a factor if this were 1995 through 1998,” said Banks, who was in Golovkin’s corner for the first time for his fourth-round stoppage of Steve Rolls on June 8.

“But with the medicine and technology, it’s different. I really think he could fight until he was 75 if he wanted to, and I’m serious.

“He lives really clean. His 37 is not the average 37.”

Golovkin, who brings a record of 39-1-1 with 35 knockouts to the bout at Madison Square Garden, said he has been re-energised by the tutelage of Banks as he seeks to regain a belt he first won in 2015.

Gennady Golovkin (L) and Sergiy Derevyanchenko pose for photos after a news conference at New York’s Madison Square Garden. PHOTO: AP

Golovkin defended the title with wins against Dominic Wade, Kell Brook and Daniel Jacobs and with a draw against Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez.

Golovkin was stripped of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title last year when he failed to make a mandatory defense against Ukraine’s Derevyanchenko, opting instead for a rematch with Alvarez – who handed Golovkin the first defeat of his career.

Derevyanchenko said he believes he can upset Golovkin to seize the belt.

“I don’t care that I’m the underdog,” said Derevyanchenko, who owns a record of 13-1 with 10 knockouts. “When I’m in the ring, it’s just me and GGG.

“That’s it. No matter if it’s an underdog or no. It’s just between these guys.”

But the shadow of Alvarez has loomed large over the bout, even as the Mexican star prepares to make a two-division jump in weight to take on Russia’s World Boxing Organisation (WBO) light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on November 2 in Las Vegas.

Golovkin, who contends that Alvarez “ran away” from a rematch, was clearly wearied by repeated questions about Alvarez in the build up to the bout.

“We have a lot of different things to talk about, we have a lot of interesting subjects, topics,” he said.