Gennady Golovkin is Los Angeles Newspaper Group Fighter of the Year

Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin/Photo by Associated Press

 

Any time you’re picking a Fighter of the Year, you’d love it to be a no-brainer because there is no second-guessing. It was not that way in 2014, where there was no real obvious winner.
Some of those strongly considered here included flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and lightweight champion Terence Crawford. Among others given thought but perhaps not real strong consideration included welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and two-division champion Naoya Inoue of Japan.

It wasn’t any of them. It was middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, who is trained by West Covina native Abel Sanchez out of Big Bear.

Golovkin, of Kazakhstan, went 3-0 in 2014 – all three fights ending with Golovkin stopping his opponent inside the distance. Golovkin scored a seventh-round TKO over Osumanu Adama on Feb. 1, a very impressive third-round TKO over former champion Daniel Geale in July and a first-round knockout of interim champion Marco Antonio Rubio in October at StubHub Center in Carson.

Remember how Mike Tyson used to have opponents quaking in their shoes ahead of fights? Golovkin is beginning to take on a similar persona that is not yet to that extreme, but seemingly moving toward that.

The only loss by Rubio in the past five years had been to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Rubio went the 12-round distance with Chavez. Also keep in mind that Geale was 5-0 in world-title fights until losing his title to Darren Barker via split-decision in August 2013, so he was no slouch. Golovkin made him look like one, though.

Every time we think of Golovkin, it brings us back to an email Sanchez sent yours truly when he first started training Golovkin in 2010. Sanchez, not the type to go overboard in his assessment of his fighters, said Golovkin was a can’t-miss superstar on the horizon. Sanchez was right.

Let’s not forget, Golovkin won his second and third fights of the year – over Geale and Rubio – after his father died suddenly of a heart attack on Feb. 18 at the age of 68. For a fighter to have to pull himself together after that kind of tragedy has got to be the hardest thing.
Golovkin, 32, is 31-0 with 28 knockouts. That’s a knockout ratio of 90.3 percent.

Touching on a few of the others who did not get the nod here but had very good years, very impressive was what Gonzalez accomplished. He went 4-0 with all four victories by TKO. He won the flyweight world title with his third win of the year – a ninth-round TKO over Akira Yaegashi – and then defended that belt with a sixth-round TKO over Rocky Fuentes.
Interestingly, three of Gonzalez’s four fights were in Japan. Gonzalez, 27, is from Nicaragua.

Also substantial was what Kovalev did. He went 3-0 with two knockouts. He defended his title against Cedric Agnew (KO 7) and Blake Caparello (TKO 2) and won a very wide unanimous decision over ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins in a light heavyweight title-unification bout.
We also really liked what Crawford did in 2014. He ventured to Scotland to win the title with a unanimous decision over Ricky Burns, then defended it twice in his hometown of Omaha, Neb. First, he stopped Yuriorkis Gamboa in the ninth round, then he won a unanimous decision over Raymundo Beltran.

Good stuff by all of these fighters. They are to be commended.

(Trainer of the Year)
The aforementioned Sanchez is our Trainer of the Year. The reason whys are quite simple. Keeping in mind that we like what several other trainers did, Sanchez was charged with helping keep a heartbroken Golovkin in the proper frame of mind once he began training again after some personal time to heal.

And Sanchez was just the trainer to do that. Sanchez, who trained former junior middleweight champion “Terrible” Terry Norris, is that cool personality that fits perfectly with a caring and sensitive yet absolutely vicious fighter like Golovkin.

Also, Sanchez encourages Golovkin to be the most destructive fighter he can possible be; he knows that’s what the fans crave.

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Gennady Golovkin-Marco Antonio Rubio does very well on HBO

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Gennady Golovkin, right, stopped Marco Antonio Rubio in the second round Saturday/Photo by Associated Press

 

The Gennady Golovkin-Marco Antonio Rubio middleweight main event Saturday at StubHub Center drew an HBO viewing crowd of 1,304,000 viewers, making it the second-highest premium cable boxing event of 2014.

Golovkin, of Kazakhstan, stopped Mexico’s Rubio in the second round and is now 31-0 with 28 knockouts. It was his 18th knockout in succession.

Golovkin’s middleweight belt was not on the line because Rubio failed to make the 160-pound weight limit a day earlier, coming in at 161.8.

The event also drew 9,323 in live attendance, a sellout and  a record for boxing at the venue.

“This past Saturday night’s atmosphere at the StubHub Center truly captured the passion that Gennady’s fans have for him,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, which promotes Golovkin. “In two years, Gennady has become boxing’s biggest must-see attraction and we expect 2015 to catapult him to even greater heights.”

Golovkin first fought in the U.S. in September 2012.

The Golovkin-Rubio fight will be replayed tonight (Tuesday) on HBO at 10:05 p.m. (Pacific time).

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Marco Antonio Rubio doesn’t make weight, can’t fight for Golovkin’s belt

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Gennady Golovkin/Photo courtesy of Associated Press

 

Marco Antonio Rubio on Friday weighed in at 161.8 pounds for his fight Saturday against middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin at StubHub Center (on HBO). According to a publicist working the event, Rubio signed a new contract for 162 pounds just before the weigh-in because he knew he wasn’t going to make the 160-pound limit.

This means Rubio will not be able to challenge for Golovkin’s belt. It also means Rubio was stripped of an interim belt he held.

Golovkin weighed in at 159 pounds.

 

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Even more seats added for Golovkin-Rubio, will go on sale Tuesday

Gennady Golovkin/Photo by Associated Press

 

The middleweight title fight between champion Gennady Golovkin and Marco Antonio Rubio set for Saturday at StubHub Center (on HBO) has proven to be quite the hot ticket. K2 Promotions, which promotes Golovkin, already put an extra 300 seats on sale and they sold out. Now, 284 more bleacher seats will go on sale Tuesday at noon.

Those tickets are priced at $53, which does not include service fees. They can be purchased by calling 888-929-7849, as well as by visiting the StubHub Center box office Monday through Friday until 6 p.m.

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More than 300 bleacher seats added for Golovkin-Rubio at StubHub

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Gennady Golovkin/Photo courtesy of Associated Press

 

More than 300 bleacher seats have been added for the Oct. 18 middleweight title fight between champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan and Marco Antonio of Mexico at StubHub Center in Carson (on HBO).

“After meeting with StubHub Center this week we were able to add an additional 324 bleacher seats on the concourse level,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, which promotes Golovkin. “With the balance of the venue virtually sold out, we’re attempting to accommodate as many fans as many fans as possible for this event.”

Those tickets are priced at $53 and can be purchased by calling (888) 929-7849 or through the StubHub Center box office.

 

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Standing-room only tickets on sale for Golovkin-Rubio at StubHub

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Gennady Golovkin/Photo by Associated Press

 

K2 Promotions on Friday announced standing-room only tickets for the Oct. 18 middleweight title fight between champion Gennady Golovkin and Marco Antonio Rubio at StubHub Center (on HBO) would go on sale immediately.

They are $27 and they can be purchased through the StubHub Center box office as well as by calling (888) 929-7849.

“The response to this event has been unprecedented for boxing at StubHub Center as (with) four weeks to go we’re virtually sold out of tickets,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions. “Therefore, we’re putting a limited number of standing-room only tickets on sale to meet demand.”

 

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Daniel Geale will be on dangerous ground with Gennady Golovkin and … loving it

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Daniel Geale, celebrating win with trainer Graham Shaw, goes against the undefeated Gennady Golovkin on Saturday night.

Daniel Geale and his promoter Gary Shaw (right)/Photo by Associated Press

 

You really have to like a guy who has the attitude of Daniel Geale as he prepares to challenge the very dangerous Gennady Golovkin for his middleweight championship Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City (on HBO).

Geale was asked during a recent conference call to explain what it is about Golovkin that makes him want to fight him so badly. His response was classic.

“To be honest, Gennady has got titles and I want titles,” said Geale, a former world champion. “That’s my main goal here. I want to fight the best fighters and I want to win some titles and there is only one way to do that, whether he has a great record or not.  You have to get in there and test yourself against the best fighters in the world.”

Exactly what you want to hear from a world-class fighter heading into the lion’s den that is the heavy-handed Golovkin, who is 29-0 with 26 knockouts.

Geale is 30-2 with 16 knockouts. He lost his title to Darren Barker via split-decision in August 2013. He has fought once since and stopped Garth Wood after six rounds in February in his native Australia.

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Gennady Golovkin staying the course of his training regimen

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Gennady Golovkin/photo by Associated Press

Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is currently in Big Bear training for his July 26 title defense against Daniel Geale at Madison Square Garden in New York City (on HBO).

With a record of 29-0 and 26 knockouts, Golovkin has become one of the most feared champions, and one of the most talk about. But his meteoric rise doesn’t mean he’s going to start changing things. Certainly, not his diet. His trainer, Abel Sanchez of West Covina, said as much this week from Big Bear.

“Not really a particular diet, no sugars, fats or sodas,” said Sanchez, who was talking about Golovkin’s overall training regimen, which partially consists of running five miles three times a week and sprints twice a week. “Just a balanced diet. Gennady eats pretty much what he wants, but he’s very smart about what he eats in camp.
“The great (late) Emanuel Steward said it best. Keep it as simple as possible for the fighter. It should not be a dramatic change as they get to another level.”
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HBO takes its April 26 date off the table after Gennady Golovkin pulls out

A proposed bout between middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Andy Lee at Madison Square Garden in New York City was recently called off because of the unexpected death of Golovkin’s father.

That bout was to be televised by HBO, which said Wednesday it will no longer televise any card on that date.

“… With Gennady unavailable to us, HBO is moving off the date. We will move on to our other boxing programming initiatives for the spring and early summer,” an HBO spokesman wrote in a statement.

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Golovkin will mourn father, will not defend title against Andy Lee on April 26

Trainer Abel Sanchez told us just last week that middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin would likely be announcing his next title defense – April 26 against Andy Lee – this week. But over the weekend Golovkin decided to stay in his native Kazakhstan to observe a 40-day mourning period for the sudden loss of his father, Gennady Ivanovich Golovkin.

The elder Golovkin was just 68 when he died of a  heart attack on Feb. 18.

“Everything in regard to Gennady’s boxing career is currently on hold,” said Tom Loeffler, an executive with K2-Promotions, which promotes Golovkin. “His priority is to spend time with his family and at the appropriate time he will advise us when he is ready to continue his boxing career.”

Golovkin is trained by West Covina’s Sanchez out of his gym in Big Bear.

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