Golovkin not interested in Saunders or Andrade fights
By Tim Royner: Gennady Golovkin has no interest in fighting newly crowned WBO 168-pound champion Billy Joe Saunders or WBO middleweight belt holder Demetrius Andrade right now. Former middleweight champion GGG says those fighters need to get in line and wait if they want to fight him, because his focus is on his next opponent Steve Rolls.
After that, Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) wants to fight a third match against Saul Canelo Alvarez to avenge his loss to him last September in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Golovkin, 37, wants to use his new fighting style learned from his trainer Johnathon Banks to beat Canelo decisively. Banks thinks Golovkin can beat Canelo if he makes some changes in his fighting style by attacking more, and throwing a lot more punches. The theory is, Canelo won’t be able to keep up with the fast pace Golovkin sets.
“Let’s not talk about Saunders. Why talk about Saunders? If somebody wants to fight, we’ll consider it. They should all line up, form a line… Come on guys, he’s not serious,” said Golovkin on Tuesday. “If you want serious, just ask me a serious question. There’s a list. Anyone that’s interested, we’ll consider. There’s a number of people that can fight. They should all line up,” Golovkin said in shooting down talk of Saunders and Andrade being potential future options.
Golovkin has little to gain in fighting Saunders or Andrade
Saunders has never beaten anyone besides Andy Lee to raise his profile in the boxing world. During the three-year period as a world champion, Saunders squandered the chance to increase his popularity. He fought no names like Artur Akavov, Willie Monroe Jr. and David Lemieux. Saunders had the opportunity to face better fighters like GGG and Canelo, but he couldn’t make those fights happen. GGG wanted to fight him, but nothing ever came from the negotiations.
Now that Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs) no longer has the WBO middleweight title in his possession, he doesn’t have the belt to get the bigger names like Golovkin to want to fight him. The U.S boxing fans have largely never heard of the 29-yer-old Saunders, because he’s fought his entire pro career in the U.S. Further, Saunders’ fighting style is that of a pure defensive fighter, who spoils and tries to make his opponents look bad.
In Saunders’ victory over David Lemieux in 2017, he showboated almost the entire fight, and played to the audience. Saunders got the win, but he likely ruined his chances of ever getting a fight with GGG or Canelo by the way he fought. Those type of fighters don’t want to chase a runner/spoiler around the ring for 12 rounds, because it looks bad. The boxing public don’t like to watch cat and mouse type of fights. They want to see two guys that come to fight, and Saunders isn’t that type of fighter.
What further hurts Saunders’ chance of getting a fight against GGG or Canelo is he vacated his WBO middleweight title after testing for a banned substance last year. Before the positive test, Saunders was scheduled to defend against mandatory challenger Demetrius Andrade. Saunders was given a suspension. Andrade’s promoter Eddie Hearn gave the green light for him to face Saunders in his first defense of his WBO. Instead of taking that fight, Saunders moved up to super middleweight and fought obscure fighter Shefat Isufi for the vacant WBO 168-pound title. Saunders easily beat Isufi, and he’s now the new WBO champion.
Andrade an option for GGG down the road
Golovkin wants the Canelo fight to win back his IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight belts. Once he has those titles, Golovkin will go after Andrade to capture his WBO belt. That’ll be the last title not in Golovkin’s possession. Andrade is with DAZN, so it’ll be an easy fight for Golovkin to make when/if he defeats Steve Rolls on June 8 and then Canelo in their trilogy fight in September.
“I feel like a teenager. [I have a] new coach, a new teacher,” Golovkin said about his new trainer Johnathon Banks. “This is nice. 100% [different training than with previous coach Abel Sanchez]. We don’t have a lot of time, a month. I feel a big difference. I change my style. Of course, I’ll try [to knockout Rolls]. I trained for four weeks [with Banks]. If he doesn’t give me a chance, then I’ll go back to my street fighting. Not really,” GGG said when asked if he watched tape of Rolls’ past fights.
Banks is replacing Golovkin’s old trainer Abel Sanchez. It’s a good move for Golovkin to start over with Banks, as he needs some fresh ideas in how to train to beat Alvarez. Golovkin tried Sanchez’s methods, and they didn’t work well enough for him to conclusively beat the Golden Boy star. With Banks, Golovkin will be using a new approach to try and defeat the superstar Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs.
All eyes will be on GGG for his fight with Rolls
Golovkin wil have a lot of attention on him for his upcoming fight against unbeaten Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs) on June 8 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The boxing world wants to see if GGG still has it as a fighter, because he came up empty twice against Alvarez. Golovkin should be able to crush the inexperienced Canadian Steve Rolls in his debut on DAZN. This is the type of opponent that Golovkin has always done well against in the past. If GGG has gotten old like some boxing fans think he has, he could be in for a long night against Rolls.
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