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Golovkin now trained by Johnathon Banks

Gennady Golovkin DAZN Golovkin vs. Rolls Johnathon Banks Steve Rolls


By Mark Eisner: Gennady Golovkin has chosen Johnathan Banks as his new trainer to try and turn his career around following a defeat at the hands of Saul Canelo Alvarez in his last fight in September of last year. Banks, 37, takes over the helm from the recently departed Abel Sanchez, who had been with Gennady for the last nine years.

With his game not improving with Sanchez, GGG felt that it was time to make a change, and he went with Banks, who trained former heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko at the tail-end of his career after his trainer Emanuel Steward passed away in October 2012. Banks is the same age as the 37-year-old Golovkin. As long as the Kazakh fighter is willing to listen and follow Banks’ instruction, the two should work together well as a team. Unfortunately, Klitschko looked like he wasn’t following Banks’ instructions in his losses to Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. Banks wanted Wladimir to attack, but he was on cruise control in both of those fights, boxing and didn’t work out well for him. For GGG to get anything out of having Banks as his trainer, he MUST follow what he’s saying, and not just do what he wants to do inside the ring.


Banks will be working Golovkin’s corner when he returns to the ring on June 8 against unbeaten Steve Rolls on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York. Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs) is a tune-up opponent for Triple G, and not someone that is considered as a threat to beating him. Golovkin has the kind of talent that makes this fight an easy one for him even if he was training himself.

“You know, Banks is a young but very experienced coach, I’m happy with this decision,” said Golovkin during Saturday’s news conference. “Banks is a good coach and they also know that I like the old school, he has it too.”

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Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) has been out of the ring for the last eight months since his loss to Saul Canelo Alvarez on September 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Triple G would have been back in action a long time ago if not for HBO choosing to stop broadcasting boxing events. GGG was under contract with HBO since 2012, and he enjoyed his time with them. Once Golovkin’s contract with HBO was done, he looked around for another broadcast partner to team up with, and that took many months before he decided to go with DAZN.

Golovkin signed a six-fight, nine-figure deal with DAZN, and they apparently on board with him choosing the 35-year-old Canadian Rolls as his first opponent as part of that deal. It’s questionable whether HBO would have agreed to let Golovkin fight fringe contender like Rolls on their network. At this point, they might have vetoed that fight, and suggested that Golovkin’s management find a better opponent. This is GGG’s first fight with DAZN. If future fights continue to be lower level opposition in the same mold as Rolls, then you have to wonder whether DAZN got a good deal in signing Golovkin. But if he’s going to step back up to world class opposition like Canelo, Demetrius Andrade, Daniel Jacobs and Jermall Charlo, then DAZN should do well with him.

“I learned a lot from Abel, I have nothing to say, he taught me a lot, he has an outstanding experience,” Golovkin . ”It’s your part, I have nothing to say.”

Banks was trained by Emanuel Steward for many years in Detroit, which is why Wladimir decided to go with him as his trainer after Emanuel passed away.

”I know only my contract. I’m not thinking about Canelo’s contract, how many, how much. I’m very happy. I have a big deal, probably the biggest deal for my career. I’m very happy,” Golovkin said earlier Saturday at his news conference to announce his new trainer Banks, when asked how he felt about the judges costing him potentially $200 million+ with the way they scored his two fights against Saul Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Instead of Golovkin getting upset in being reminded of his two fights with Canelo, which both had questionable decisions that cost him the victories, he took the questions well by saying that he’s “happy” with the deal that he got with DAZN. Canelo was recently given a big $365 million, 5-year, 11-fight deal with DAZN. Golovkin’s deal is rumored to be less than that. How much different Golovkin’s deal with DAZN would have been had the judges given victories in his two fights with Canelo is the important question. One can only speculate how much additional money GGG would have been given by DAZN if he’d been given victories over Canelo rather than a 12 round draw in the first fight in 2017, and a 12 round majority decision loss to him in the second fight.

Golovkin took the high road in answering the reporter’s question about how things would have been different if he’d won his two fights with Canelo instead of winding up with a 0-1-1 record from the two encounters. GGG is hoping to fight a trilogy match against Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) this September on the Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend on DAZN. Golovkin still wants to fight Canelo in September even if he loses his unification match to Jacobs tonight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. For Golovkin, it’s personal now. He wants to fight Canelo to even the score, and to prove to the world that he’s the better fighter. Canelo took away Golovkin’s perfect record as a pro, and he wants to avenge that loss by fighting him a third time. GGG’s new trainer Banks might be the guy that can help him solve the Canelo riddle. Abel Sanchez looked flustered and had no real answers for GGG in those fights.

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“I want to build on what I have already achieved and continue to improve as a boxer,” Golovkin said. “Johnathon is teaching me new skills that will help me reach those goals. I believe in Johnathon’s teaching methods.”

What’s interesting is that GGG will continue to train in Big Bear, California. Abel Sanchez’s gym is in Big Bear. Golovkin will be able to stay in the mountains of that beautiful part of California, and isolate during his training at high altitude. If Golovkin had moved his operation to a place like Los Angeles, which is where he lives, he would likely be followed around on the streets by the media when he went on his long runs. It would be a lot harder for Golovkin to train in a place where it’s highly congested like Los Angeles.

Some boxing fans think Johnathon Banks is going to be someone that will be passive in between rounds, and let GGG do whatever he wants during his fights. Banks is going to give Golovkin the right instructions, as he did with Klitschko. It’s up to Golovkin whether he wants to pay attention and do what Banks is telling him. Wladimir was listening to what Banks was telling him, but he clearly didn’t follow his instructions in his last two fights against Fury and Joshua. Golovkin wants to keep improving as a fighter, but he won’t be able to do that if he doesn’t carry out Banks’ instructions inside the ring.

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