Gennady Golovkin/Photo courtesy of K2 Promotions
Considering Saul “Canelo” Alvarez took so much heat for defending his middleweight title against a welterweight – Amir Khan – in May, it was surprising to hear Friday morning that middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will now do the same.
Golovkin will defend his three belts against Kell Brook, who holds one of the welterweight titles, on Sept. 10 at O2 Arena in Brook’s native England (on HBO).
Golvokin is trained by West Covina native Abel Sanchez. He was asked via telephone why Golovkin will be fighting a welterweight.
“Well, if you recall, the first welterweight in our time that did that was Ray Leonard and he beat the middleweight (Marvin Hagler), so he (Brook) is willing to do what others are not,” Sanchez said. “He’s undefeated, he’s been doing great lately, he’s having a hard time getting fights, also; people don’t want to face him. So it will be the best welterweight in the world against the best middleweight in the world.”
Some consider Keith “One Time” Thurman the best welterweight champion among the four, but OK.
Anyway, it was believed that middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. would be Golovkin’s next opponent. Eubank had been doing a lot of talking about how he wanted Golovkin. But the deal did not come to fruition. According to Sanchez, Eubank did what many others have done in the past when it comes to a possible fight with the heavy-hitting Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs).
“We go back to all these guys who say they want to fight Golovkin, but when it comes down to it, for some reason it’s not as important to them when it comes down to signing the contract,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez believes that at the end of the day, the Eubank team didn’t really want to tangle with Golovkin. Keep in mind Eubank and Brook are both promoted by Eddie Hearn.
“For Chris, I think that the father, or the Eubank team, just made it so impossible for Eddie that it was a way of saying, ‘We don’t want the fight,’ ” Sanchez said. “Maybe that fight will be in the future. But Kell was offered the same world-class deal that Eubank was being offered, identical, so now Kell Brook takes it and Eubank doesn’t. I dont get that. It was good enough for Kell, but not good enough for Chris.”
Eubank’s father is former middleweight/super middleweight champion Chris Eubank.
Golovkin, commenting in a statement, seems to like this fight.
“I’m very excited to be fighting in front of the great British boxing fans and promise another ‘Big Drama Show’ against undefeated Kell Brook,” he said. “I give him much respect for taking this fight.”
That’s the key here, is that Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) took the fight.
“We have a great deal of respect for Kell Brook for stepping up and facing Gennady when so many have been reluctant to do so,” said Tom Loeffler, of K2 Promotions, which promotes Golovkin. “We’ve tried to come to the UK before for fights with Carl Froch, Billy Jo Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr., but Kell Brook is the first to accept the challenge.”
Brook put a good spin on a fight that is likely to face scrutiny similar to that Alvarez experienced for taking on the smaller Khan, who was viciously knocked out in the sixth round.
“When this fight got offered to me, I accepted within minutes and I can’t wait,” Brook said. “Everyone knows I’m a huge welterweight and I know I will carry my speed and accuracy and even more power through the weights. … You have seen some huge names run from (Golovkin), but I’m running to him.”