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Facing Golovkin

By Scoop Malinowski
Challengers and sparring partners discuss their memories and impressions of what it’s like to be in the ring with the unbeaten Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin…


Grzegorz Proksa:  “To struggle with such an athlete as Golovkin is a great honor. I sparred with many World champions and European champions but none had so much of that ring intelligence, skills of shortening the ring, great strength and combinations. Golovkin is a great great champion I think what he does  is unmatched in boxing today.”


Canelo Alvarez (interview with Fight Hype): Well, it [Golovkin vs. Lemieux fight] was really slow at the beginning, and just the jab alone of Golovkin finished Lemieux. Lemieux didn’t have anything that night. I did a lot of sparring with him in the past, and I was 20-years-old when I did it, but I know what I can do. He’s a strong fighter. He’s a strong fighter more than anything, but he also knows how to do various things. Yes, me and him could throw hard because in a lot of sparring you can’t throw hard with your full potential. Me and him were able to do it, and it was one world champion middleweight against a world champion super welterweight. You don’t always see that. It was very good. He’s a very strong fighter, but I think I am also. I didn’t feel him/the power like people say, and that’s probably because I’m a strong fighter also,”                           


Martin Murray:  “He was so strong, I just couldn’t keep him off. I felt his power, but it was more his pressure.”

Gabe Rosado:  “When he hit me in the first round I just felt straight solid wraps. It wasn’t like it was just an impact of a glove – it felt like a little butt hitting the top of my head. I do believe that his gloves are different than any other fighter that I ever fought before.  We both fought with Grant (gloves) but for whatever reason his Grants were missing a little  extra cushion on the knuckles. Triple G’s gloves – Grant definitely makes custom gloves for his guy – just kind of suspect about them gloves.”

(Note: Grant Boxing Gloves CEO & Founder Grant Phillips refuted Rosado’s bizarre allegations:”Some people can’t handle a loss, but to come back eight or nine months later and start pointing fingers…it’s pretty sad,” Phillips told “He had the opportunity to use the same gloves, to use Golovkin’s gloves. Abel Sanchez told them ‘if you think something is wrong, then take our gloves and we’ll use the backup gloves.’ [Rosado’s trainer] trainer was trying them and they said ‘no, no, no…we’ll use our gloves.’ So that’s why it’s really foolish what Rosado said, but karma is a bitch and it came back [to bite him in the Peter Quillin fight]. “I really hope that he’ll retract his statements because his comments were very disparaging and insulting to me and my company and to my integrity which people know is impeccable.”)


Shane Mosley:  “When I sparred with Triple G he wasn’t world champion yet. He just came to the U.S. He was working out hard and everything. We didn’t spar hard. He was very strong, physically strong, he’s heavy-handed. He does have good power.”

Daniel Geale:  “There was a good reason why nobody wanted to fight Gennady Golovkin, he’s not too bad. I felt like I had to go out there and have a go. There were moments when I probably let him come to me a ­little bit too much. There were parts where I had certain plans and I probably didn’t execute them too well. But you live and you learn and against a guy like that, it can be difficult. If we got a rematch with Golovkin I would definitely try and do things differently. But I’m still happy to fight any of the other champions as well. I’m up for everybody.  In boxing, nobody is unbeatable. I got caught and I got beat in a world title fight but that doesn’t mean that’s it. If anything, it’s made me more determined.”

Rubin Williams: “He hits like a ton of bricks. I sparred him and packed my bags and left. There’s a lot of weight behind his punches. You’d think he weighs 250 pounds.”

Curtis Stephens:  “Well, it was fun. Obviously he beat me but it was a great fight. For how long it lasted. I was surprised by his poise, how calm he was.”

Question: Which of your tactics were successful? Did you find any chinks in his armor?
“Just you gotta pressure him. Let your hands go.”
Q: A sparring partner said he hits like a heavyweight. Your comment?
“He has good power. But I wouldn’t say that much power.”
Q: Is GGG the hardest puncher you faced?
“No. Allan Green was.”
Q: How did you get along with GGG after the fight?
“It was cool. Everything (that happened before the fight)…gotta sell the fight.”
Q: Lasting memory or lasting impressions of GGG?
“Great fighter. Ain’t no last impression, we’re gonna meet again.”
Q: He’s regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing today. What makes him so great?
“I don’t know if he’s so great. He’s won his fights he’s only supposed to. Let him keep on winning.”
Q: Who do you think has the style to give GGG major problems?
“Andre Ward.”
Q: Why?
“They both got that poise.”  


Scoop Malinowski is the author of Facing Federer, Facing Nadal, Facing Hewitt, and Facing McEnroe.  Each of his books is available at amazon.

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