World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and challenger Dominic Wade took part in an international media conference call on Monday to publicise their bout at the Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles on Saturday night(Apr 23)
Below is what the two fighters and their respective teams had to say on Monday.
Q Gennady, you know everybody has watched you know the different things that you bring into the ring. What I wonder is, what’s the one thing that, when you go to training camp to prepare for, whether it’s against Dominic Wade or any other opponent that you face, what is the one thing that you believe that you need to work on that may not be as good as you would like it to be?
Gennady Golovkin: Yes, Dan. My preparation is very good. You know like every last couple times, I feel great. Right now I have just a couple days left, just one week before the fight. I feel great. I bring maybe new idea, like new strategy. I work with Abel. Thank you, Abel, my coach. He shows me new ideas.
Q: Abel, do you think that he has any flaws that you see as the coach that you want him to work on? And if so, Abel, what are they?
Abel Sanchez: Well, there’s flaws in everybody. When he goes away from camp he comes back, we have to re-work on the things that we’ve always were been working on. Every training camp, I try to implement a couple things that I think are going to be, not necessarily for this opponent, but that are going to be necessary for us to compete with the elite guys at the top in the future. So every training camp, we put in a couple new things, and in this training camp we did also. Obviously those are the things that we would keep close to the vest, but are things that are going to make him a better fighter and hopefully make him the greatest of all time that I think he could be when the time comes.
Q: I’m trying to figure out even like what one of those things could be. I’ve been watching him his whole career. You see an offensive fighter that has really no flaws as far as I can tell. I guess maybe a little bit defensively, is there anything, without giving away your trade secrets, is there one element of the game that you would really get on them about?
Abel Sanchez: Well, obviously, no it’s not only I. Max, his brother is insistent on him, and I’ve been saying this all along, he and I have talked about this on him moving his hands a little bit more in training. It’s so easy for him to do the things that he does that sometimes he just gets complacent in the gym, and anything can happen in the gym, a thumb, or an elbow, or anything. So we try to insist on him, for this training camp, because maybe Dominic is not in his mind so we’re trying to insist in this particular training camp to make sure that he was moving his shoulders, moving his head, and just giving me a little more action on the inside.
Q: Okay, and my other question, now Abel, you said just a moment ago that you believe that he can be what the greatest middleweight of all time or you mean fighter of all time? What were you talking about?
Abel Sanchez: One of the greatest middleweights. I think that when we’re all finished, maybe not in the near future, but in the future they give them the accolades that are due them. I think that eventually when, 20 years from now, when we all sit down and discuss, when people sit down to discuss the middleweights, Golovkin will be one of the middleweights that they talk about.
Q: Do you think it’s hard for him to get up for an opponent like Wade, not that he is not a good boxer, but he’s so unknown. Gennady’s already faced, maybe not the superstar lead opponents, but he’s already, he’s had a number of fights against former titleholders and certainly opponents with at least some bigger reputations and recognitions than Dominic Wade has had.
Abel Sanchez: Well, fortunately for Gennady, he is after the unification of all the belts. So that motivation alone it really doesn’t matter who’s on the other side to him right now because if he doesn’t fight this fight, he’s going to lose that middleweight belt, the IBF. That right there is the motivation. To him, Dominic Wade represents the IBF belt. So it is motivation enough for him.
Q: Triple G, is there anything for you that makes it more difficult to maybe get up for an opponent like Dominic Wade who is not the most known guy compared to some of the other fighters that you have faced?
Gennady Golovkin: No, I’m okay. I understand what to do. I understand it’s very important, every fight with an opponent. I understand my motivation is my goal for all the belts in the middleweight division. I have motivation. I feel good. I’m working hard every day. You know I just feel this is my time.
Q: Hello, everybody. Gennady, how do you see the boxing scene right now after the Mayweather leaves,Pacquiao leaves? Do you see new boxing stars right now?
Gennady Golovkin: No, I don’t feel it. Right now it’s not of interest for me who’s number one, number two. You know after Floyd or Manny; it doesn’t matter for me. I know my style. I know my division is very important. You know I think people understand more things. To fans, people understand my style. People love my style, and I just thank my fans.
Q: What about if you won this fight and Canelo won in May, and Canelo asked for another option, are you ready to give him another option or that’s the last one that you give in May?
Gennady Golovkin: It doesn’t matter for me, if Canelo win or Canelo lost. Canelo can talk, it doesn’t matter. My focus is only on Dominic Wade, right now.
Q Tom Loeffler, how difficult will it be to give Golovkin the opportunity to unify all the titles]. You know, not just Canelo? What about Danny Jacobs?
Tom Loeffler: Well, I’ll tell you it’s hard to unify when the other fighters, or the other champions, don’t want to fight Gennady. Like Gennady said, he and Abel, are focused 100% on Dominic Wade. It’s part of the obligation, being a champion with the IBF who named Dominic as the mandatory, but it’s my job to look forward and try to secure other opportunities. So, we have to give David Lemieux a lot of credit. He was the only champion so far willing to get in the ring with Gennady.
Canelo’s mandated if Gennady wins in April, and Canelo wins in May, he’s mandated to fight for the WBC, and Danny Jacobs, who you mentioned, he’s a great name as well. He had a big win over Peter Quillin, but again everyone’s focused right now on Dominic Wade. If he doesn’t win the fight April 23, all the names that I can line up in front of him are meaningless. So, everyone’s focused on Wade, and then after that, we’ll see who would actually get in the ring with him if he’s successful.
Q: Okay, thank you. Just one, Abel Sanchez.
Abel Sanchez: The question is, “How difficult is it to keep Gennady motivated when all the names that are mentioned are walking away or running away from him?” My answer was that it’s not hard to keep him motivated because he is a professional, a true professional, comes to the gym ready to work. Right now the goal is to gain or to win all the four belts, the major belts, so hopefully this year that goal will be accomplished, and then we can worry about how we keep him motivated next year for the other goals that we have set for ourselves.
Q: Tom, have you gotten any update from Golden Boy as to what their plans are after May 7th? Have you got any response at all about what their mindset is?
Tom Loeffler: No, I really haven’t discussed the topic of Canelo, or regarding Canelo, with Golden Boy. We had the meeting with the WBC when Canelo was obligated to fight Gennady by winning the WBC title, but since then, since we had the agreement that he could have one voluntary defense and then would have to fight the winner of Gennady, or Dominic Wade, since then we haven’t had any discussions. We figure we’d focus on April 23, they would focus on May 7 and then after those two fights we’d figure out the situation.
Q: You have any sense, though, at this point, what their plans are or is it just very open-ended?
Tom Loeffler: It’s pretty open-ended. You see interviews and things of that nature, but we have to go by the WBC mandate and the WBC rules. Again, that’s all a moot point if Gennady doesn’t win April 23, it doesn’t matter what agreement is in place, then Dominic Wade becomes the champion and mandatory contender for the WBC title. So we figure we’ll wait until after the fight, see how everything goes, and then at that point we can resume discussions after we get the IBF mandatory out of the way.
Q: Okay, one last thing, Tom. I know that Gilberto Ramirez has been mentioned as a possible backup plan for Gennady if Canelo doesn’t fight him. What was your impression of Gilberto, who just fought on Saturday, and won a title?
Tom Loeffler: I think Gilberto looked great. Whenever a young mandatory challeneger like that can dominate an established champion like Arthur Abraham, who’s been a champion for so long at 168, you have to give Ramirez a lot of credit, a lot of respect. That would certainly be a fight down the road that could make a lot of sense for Gennady. Bob had reached out to see if we’d have interest and we definitely responded that we would have interest in that fight. That would certainly be a fight down the road for Gennady if we can’t get the other middleweight champions to fight him.
Q: Would that be a possibility for this year, do you think, if the fight with Canelo doesn’t happen?
Tom Loeffler: It really depends. First priority is obviously Dominic Wade. The second priority is to get the mandatory against Canelo or Amir Khan. Third priority would be to try to unify with the WBO champion, Billy Joe Saunders. Certainly if those other opportunities don’t materialize, then Ramirez would be one of the biggest fights that Gennady could be in.
Q: This question is for Gennady. Gennady, a lot of your fans I think are curious about Kazakhstan, what the place is like, and what it’s like growing up there. Can you tell us maybe one of the country’s strengths or something that you love about the country and then one challenge or one of the struggles that’s facing the country right now?
Gennady Golovkin: Thank you, Andrew. Sure, I always love my country and am proud of being from Kazakhstan. Right now I live in California, the priority for my fights is here in the US, my team, my coworkers, everybody lives in California. Right now just my focus is in the United States.
Tom Loeffler: I can jump in on that is, he was actually named by the President of Kazakhstan as the Ambassador for the World Expo 2017, which is going to take place in Kazakhstan next year. So he’s very proud of his heritage being from Kazakhstan. He always fights with the Kazakh flag with him and represented Kazakhstan in the Olympics. So maybe just to elaborate on your answer, he’s focused his boxing career in the United States. He’s living in Los Angeles, but certainly always represents Kazakhstan. His mother and his brother, Max, still live in Kazakhstan.
Q: Gentlemen, this is both Abel and Gennady. You’ve got a long knockout streak running, and there must be pressure to keep that streak up. How do you work with this preparing for a fight, and in conjunction with that question, how do you decide whether or not to go for a quick knockout as you did against Marco Antonio Rubio versus going into some later rounds and getting some work in? What do you plan to do this fight?
Abel Sanchez: Go ahead, G.
Gennady Golovkin: Okay, this is my secret, it’s hard work every day. Thanks to my coach, thanks to my team. I know my power. I know my style.
Abel Sanchez: Okay, I don’t think there’s any pressure on us or at least we don’t put any pressure on us in the gym for the knockout even though the streak is going, the streak will happen by itself if it’s supposed to happen. Gennady trains for 12 rounds because we know that the opponent, whoever the opponent that we’re facing is, is just as motivated as we are to be where Gennady is and to stay where Gennady is. So, if we don’t prepare as if it’s going to be a 12 round fight, then we may be surprised. We’ve been fortunate that Gennady has landed the shot that he’s landed and we’ve ended short fights but we definitely prepare for 12 rounds and if it happens to be shorter, great, so be it. It’s a great show for the fans.
Q: Thanks very much. Gennady, I’ll start with you. Dominic Wade was speaking about you earlier on in the week, and he said not unbeatable, and you’re not going to go down as the greatest fighter in history. Is it possible that Dominic Wade can actually go the distance with you?
Gennady Golovkin: I can’t talk before fight, just after I beat him. I know he’s a good fighter. He’s undefeated, and probably will have a lot of time for a great performance. I think we’re bringing and giving fans a great show, a great event. I hope he is ready 100% to fight.
Q: Perfect. Abel, one question for you as well. You’ve become, it seems, increasingly vocal in recent months calling out other fighters on Gennady’s behalf and just seemingly being more active in the media. Is that because your kind of getting impatient in wanting Gennady to get a crack at what are these truly big names that are out there and seemingly avoiding him?
Abel Sanchez: No, I’ve been vocal only because when you call us out or when you say that Gennady is not fighting the elite, when guys come out and use his name for publicity, I think we have to respond. I think we have to respond because, as Tom alluded to in the past, guys always say I want to fight Golovkin, but just not next. So when these guys are saying that, we can’t just sit back and not say anything. We’ve made offers, and Tom’s made offers, to just about everybody, and we’ve been turned down. So that’s the reason that I’m vocal. If you don’t use our name, then obviously you’ve got nothing to talk about.
Q: All right, last question, then, for Tom. Because there isn’t a lineup of opponents, obviously you guys were put in an interesting scenario negotiating with Dominic Wade and having to deal with his team, Al Haymon, and the other side of the political divide. What were those dealings like? Was there any kind of awkwardness whatsoever?
Tom Loeffler: I’ll tell you, unlike the other champions in the middleweight division, there was no hesitation at all on Dominic Wade’s side. I’ve known Tom Brown for a long time and once Wade was named the mandatory challenger from the IBF, we made the deal in about a week. I have to give a lot of credit to Dominic and to his entire team, his manager Jerry Vines for putting the deal together. There was no hesitation. There was no fear in taking the fight, and they see this as a huge opportunity. Look, Dominic can turn the boxing world on its head. If he defeats Gennady Golovkin, all of a sudden he’s the top dog in the middleweight division and at the top of the sport. So, it’s a huge opportunity for him for this fight.
Q: Abel and Gennady, we know you’ve got another busy day of training. Can we get some final comments from you? Gennady, go ahead first please.
Gennady Golovkin: Yes, thank you very much, everybody. I’m very excited about the fight. Thanks to HBO for their support. Thanks of course to Dominic Wade’s team. I appreciate it because he’s really a true fighter. He’s real. He’s undefeated. He’s a big guy. I hope we’ll have a lot of time for a great performance and a great event, I promise an amazing show. Thank you very much.
Q: Thank you, Gennady, appreciate you joining us today. Go ahead, Abel.
Abel Sanchez: I would like to thank all you members of the media that participated in this. Thank you for the support. Thank you for the coverage. HBO will be delighted with the show that Gennady puts on. Dominic, I know, is a tough opponent for us, but we’ll make it as short a night as possible or as long and exciting fight as possible. Thank you very much.
Q: Thank you, Abel. At this time, we’re going to turn the call over to Dominic Wade’s team. Jerry, the long-time manager of Dominic Wade, go ahead, Jerry.
Jerry Vines: Hi, how’s everybody doing? Thank you for having us on the call today. Yes, Dominic has been preparing hard. He’s actually at the gym right now as we speak and we stepped away to do this call but we’re preparing hard. We’d like to thank Tom Loeffler and K2 for this opportunity, and we take this opportunity really serious and have plans to help to upset the boxing world on April 23rd
Q Is Jay Stencil there with you as well, Jerry?
Jay Stencil: Yes, Dominic is training very hard. Dominic is focused and, like Jerry said, he’s been dedicated and he’s actually in the gym now working. So Dom is prepared for the moment. April 23rd, Dom is going to do great.
Q: Thank you, Jay. Finally we’ll go with the number two middleweight of the world, undefeated with a record of 18 and 0, with 12 knockouts, Dominic Wade.
Dominic Wade: Yes, how you doing, how you doing everybody. Man, I’m feeling good? Man, I’m ready for April 23rd, it’s going to be a beautiful situation. It’s going to be a beautiful night.
Q: Dominic, you’re a heavy underdog. What your best chance to win this fight against Gennady Golovkin?
Dominic Wade: I guess just that, the underdog so no one is expecting what I got, or what I can do. So I think everybody’s kind of underestimating what I can do and how I perform. That night I can show it.
Q: You were at one time trained by Barry Hunter, is that right?
Dominic Wade: Yes.
Q: Can you explain why you’re no longer with Barry Hunter and who you are trained by now so people understand?
Dominic Wade: Just personal issues, but everything worked out. Everything’s cool, so it’s really nothing going on.
Q: Okay. And what are your recollections of the 2014 Dashon Johnson fight Dominic. He nearly beat Jesse Hart in a Philly war last month.
Dominic Wade: Yes, I know. I came from there. I just trying to let everybody know that I actually defeated him. So I’m gonna go in there and just clean them out on the 23rd, after the first round, we see. I want the belts.
Q: Thanks, Dominic. Good luck against Gennady Golovkin.
Q I know obviously you’re fighting him next week, but it seems like there are many people who, when they talk about Golovkin, they want to talk more about, will Canelo Alvarez fight him? There was some conversation maybe that Top Rank had reached out to him to see if he’d be interested in fighting Gilberto Ramirez for the super middleweight title that he won last week. That they talk about every other big-name, but maybe forget that you’re going to be standing across the ring from him next week. Does that bother you, or does that motivate you? Or what are your thoughts about that everybody wants to talk about what’s next for Triple G before you get your chance at him?
Dominic Wade: Yes, it kind of motivates me a little bit due to everybody’s just looking past you already. Nobody really gave me the chance, so everybody’s kind of looking past trying to see the Triple G and Canelo fight, but you know you never know what happens in this fight. Maybe, I’ll be the one to shut it all down.
Q: Now you come into the fight with, relatively speaking, a pretty low profile as far as your exposure to the boxing public. You’ve only been on a couple of TV fights, haven’t really fought any big names. I guess the biggest name that you defeated or faced was Sam Soliman, who had a title a while back. Do you feel like you have adequately been prepared to fight somebody that most people have as one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world when you have not fought anybody even remotely close to that level?
Dominic Wade: Yes, definitely. I think as long as you’ve been prepared for the next level I think every fight is helping you climb the ladder and get you prepared for that next moment.
Q: What do you think, Dominic, so far, this is going to be the biggest fight you’ve had so far, but before this fight, what in your mind what’s the biggest fight you’ve had?
Dominic Wade: I’m going to have to say Sam Soliman. That was my last fight, so I’m happy to win. That was my next step. That’s what got me here.
Q: That seemed like, you won the fight, but I mean it was a really tough fight. It wasn’t like you just walked through the guy. He gave you some problems. Some people might’ve thought he won the fight.
Dominic Wade: Yes, yes, right. He’s a very awkward guy. I think he’d give anybody a couple problems but you as a person, you’ve got to be strong mentally to get through that fight, or he is going to get you every time. I think that was all what’s in the mind, the strength of your mind, if you can keep your composure.
Q: So you feel like the victory against Soliman was enough to get you prepared for a fighter of the caliber of Triple G?
Dominic Wade: Definitely, even though they’re not the same fighters, I had to keep my composure, I was in an awkward situation that caught me off guard that I had adjust to.
Q: Have you given the thought to this, if you win the fight next Saturday, among the belts that you’ll obtain will be the WBC’s interim title. It will make you the mandatory to fight the Canelo Alvarez/Amir Khan winner.
Dominic Wade: Right.
Q: What will that fight mean to you?
Dominic Wade: It’s going to mean everything because I’m up here with the sharp fellows and everybody’s overlooking me now.
Q: Good morning, gentlemen. Dominic, have you watched previous fights of Gennady’s via video, and if so, what have you learned from his previous opponents’ mistakes that you’ll be taking advantage of?
Dominic Wade: I can’t really go off another fighter and the style and how they fight him. I think everybody try to fight him their own style, so I can’t really say. I have watched a couple of his tapes.
Q: Have you identified some weaknesses that you think you can take advantage of?
Dominic Wade: I’ve seen a few, but then again, like I said, you can’t really go off another fighter. You know the same mistake you made with that person, you probably won’t make with this person.
Q: What would you want fans, as Dan Rafael said, not a lot of the public is super familiar with you, what would you like fans, perhaps seeing you for the first time, to know about you and your style?
Dominic Wade: Me, I’m the type of person, I’m not going to go with the flow but I’m going to try to set the pace and try to throw it off a little bit. I’m going to bust. I do a little bit of everything.
Q: Good, good luck to you, Dominic.
Dominic Wade: Thank you.
Jerry Vines: Alright, I want to thank everybody for the time that they put in today and thank Team Golovkin again. We’ll see you guys April 23rd. Dominic will definitely be ready for this big opportunity, and hopefully we can shake up the boxing world.
Q: Thanks very much, Jerry. Jay, can you go ahead as well with some closing comments about Dominic’s training and his preparation?
Jay Stencil: Well, again, like I said, Dom has been prepared, and we’re close to about ready for April 23rd. We just want to thank the Golovkin team for the opportunity. So, April 23rd, we’ll be there and Dom will be prepared and we’re looking to shock the world. Excited and ready to go.
Q: Thanks very much, Jay, thanks very much. Dominic, do you have any final comments for the fans who will be watching this fight as you try to become the middleweight champ of the world next Saturday night?
Dominic Wade: I want to thank the media. I want to think HBO. I want to thank Al Haymon. I want to thank my team for pushing me, for getting this fight for me. I want to thank Gennady for giving me the opportunity. April 23rd should be a great night for everybody so I want everybody to come out and watch. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a good fight.
Q: Thanks very much, Dominic. We will see you soon. We’ll take some final comments here from Tom Loeffler from K2 Promotions. Go ahead, Tom.
Tom Loeffler: Thanks, Bernie. I just wanted to follow up on the question that Dan Rafael had asked about beating Sam Soliman. Sam actually got the chance that Gennady never got. Sam Soliman beat Felix Sturm twice in Germany. So accomplishing that feat, and then Dominic being able to beat a champion like that, I think puts him right there in the position that he’s at now for the mandatory challenger.
So you can never underestimate someone, especially that’s young and hungry and undefeated, like Dominic is. I think the fans have responded to that. Everyone’s looking forward to Gennady coming back to Los Angeles, Chocolatito and Arroyo as the co-feature. It’ll be a fantastic night of boxing. We have the Terrace open starting the tailgate party at 3 o’clock and then the doors open at 4:30. So, make sure the fans get their tickets early and get to the Forum early as well. We appreciate all the media on the call today.
Bernie Bahrmasel: Thanks again, Tom, again and to the media around the world for joining us. This is truly an international event. We’ve had over 350 media credential applications for this event for next Saturday night. We will be distributing tomorrow a full fight week media schedule. Thank you again very much for joining us. We look forward to see seeing you and having you watch the event next Saturday night. Have a great day
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April 19, 2016