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Banks wants GGG to match Canelo’s speed

Canelo Alvarez Demetrius Andrade Gennady Golovkin


By Barry Holbrook: Trainer Johnathon Banks say he wants Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin to try and match Saul Canelo Alvarez’s hand speed when the two of them meet up in a trilogy fight possibly in September on DAZN. Banks believes that Golovkin (39-1-1, 35 KOs) has been using the wrong approach in trying to beat Canelo in their first two fights.

GGG was just loading up on single shots, and missing badly much of the time. Canelo would then counter Golovkin with shots that led to the judges giving him a lot of rounds.


Banks took over for GGG’s longtime trainer Abel Sanchez recently. There was a lot of talk about how Banks was going to turn GGG into a speedy combination puncher, but we didn’t see any of that in his recent fight against Steve Rolls (19-1, 10 KOs) on June 8 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Golovkin was still throwing single shots, and he was hit with some big punches by Rolls when he would come forward looking to land.

“I’d like to see him [Golovkin] match Canelo’s speed for speed. I think that’s what was lacking,” said trainer Johnathon Banks to Fino Boxing. “If you’ve got a fast fighter in front of you, and you’re trying to hit him with one punch, you’ll never land it. You’ll only make yourself look weird for trying to do that,” said Banks.

GGG will never be able to match Canelo’s hand speed

Golovkin won’t be able to match Canelo for speed, and it’s silly for him to even try. That’s not happening. If Banks is going to waste GGG’s time trying to improve his hand speed, then he needs to look in a different direction to find a trainer that has realistic expectations. Banks is dreaming if he thinks he’s going to get more hand speed out of GGG, because he’s as fast as he’ll ever get. Golovkin is 37-years-old now. He’s not going to gain hand speed at this point. If anything, Golovkin will get slower as he continues to age. Canelo will get slower as well, but the chances are that they’ll only fight each other one more time, and then it’ll be done with.

If Canelo beats Golovkin again, the boxing public won’t want to see them fight a fourth and fifth. It’s already getting boring. Their first two fights were mostly technical affairs with neither of them taking a lot of chances. If DAZN tries to push for a additional fights between Canelo and GGG, the fans will be turned off by that. The only way it makes sense for DAZN to continue to have Canelo and GGG fight each other is if Golovkin wins the third fight. If Golovkin fights Canelo the way he fought Steve Rolls, he’ll surely lose the trilogy match. A victory for Golovkin over Canelo would breathe new life into their rivalry, but it’s probably not going to happen considering how bad GGG looked against Rolls.

Banks has the right idea of wanting to get Golovkin to throw punches in bunches, but he wasn’t doing any of that against Rolls. Golovkin was throwing jabs, and then either attempting to land a left hook or a looping right. It wasn’t the continuous punching that Banks wanted to see from Golovkin for him to have a chance of beating Canelo in a third fight. Banks sounded frustrated after the fight at Golovkin failing to do some of the things that he wanted him to. Whether GGG is going to be able to improve in the way that Banks wants him to is debatable, but right now it’s not looking like he will. Golovkin had the perfect soft opponent in front of him in 35-year-old Rolls to experiment with, but he didn’t even try to show some of the things that Banks was talking about. There was no combination punching, and there certainly wasn’t the high work rate that Banks wanted as well. It was the same old GGG that had lost to Canelo in his previous fight.

“By the ninth round, you’ll have everyone in the audience that is fans of yours saying, ‘Dude, stop throwing one punch. You can’t do that. You keep missing it.’ That’s the only thing that I want to see that would change,” said Banks about Golovkin’s two fights with Canelo. “I told GGG, ‘I understand that you’re a knockout puncher, but in my opinion you’re better than just labeling yourself as a knockout puncher. He’s got a lot of skills he can display, and then knock them out. A lot of people forget that people that have been in the Olympics are special fighters. Not just the gold medalists, but the silver medalists,” said Banks.

The only thing that Golovkin hasn’t tried in his fights with Canelo is to throw continuous punches without stopping. It takes a lot of conditioning to fight like that, and also requires a good chin. GGG probably couldn’t fight like that even if he wanted to. He would have to possess a good engine to throw 100 punches per round at Canelo, but that would be the best way for GGG to win. He’ll never beat Canelo with the way he fights now.

Golovkin doesn’t want Andrade, Charlo, Jacobs or Saunders fights

Last Saturday at the post-fight news conference, Golovkin put it on broadcast that he does not want to fight Daniel Jacobs, Demetrius Andrade or Jermall Charlo. Recently, Golovkin said didn’t want to fight WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders either. Golovkin might lose to all those guys. A lot of boxing fans think Golovkin is just looking to cash out against Canelo, and retire from the sport after his remaining five fights with DAZN expires. The Golovkin that fought Rolls would likely get embarrassed by Andrade, Saunders, Charlo and Jacobs. Rolls was making GGG look bad, and he’s not an elite level fighters.

Golovkin vs. Canelo 3 = Money grab?

There’s still pockets of interest from fans in watching Canelo and Golovkin do it again, but they’ve already seen who the better fighter is between them. It’s academic at this point that Canelo is the better fighter of the two. A third fight is not needed. For many fans, they see GGG wanting to fight Canelo a third time as a ‘money grab’ in a contest that has no real point. It’s similar to the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley. Pacquiao had already shown that he was the better fighter, and yet Top Rank put them in with each other a third time. The fight still brought in a lot of pay-per-view buys, but it was hopelessly one-sided with Pacquiao winning a listless 12 round decision.

Golovkin looked bad in the eyes of some boxing fans by not fighting Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders, Erislandy Lara, Julian Williams, Austin Trout, Andre Ward or Demetrius Andrade. Golovkin didn’t give Daniel Jacobs a rematch despite the controversy surrounding the results of their fight in 2017.

Fans want to see Canelo and GGG fight other top fighters at 160 and 168

The rivalry between Canelo and Golovkin needs a long rest. There are other fighters at middleweight that the two could fight. Canelo has already said that he’s open to fighting Callum Smith at 168 and Sergey Kovalev at 175. Those would be great fights. Welterweight Errol Spence Jr. wants to fight Canelo, and Golden Boy Promotions likes that fight. There’s nothing wrong with Canelo and Golovkin facing each other again in the future, but it should come after the two of them face other talented fighters.

It’s a bad look that Golovkin chose to fight Rolls when he could have tried to setup fight with Lara, Jarrett Hurd, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Derevyanchenko, Andrade, Saunders or Callum Smith. Yeah, Golovkin would probably lose to some of them, but at least he would be facing the best fighters. Rolls isn’t one of the best. That was a showcase opponent. In other words, a soft opponent to get Golovkin winning again.

Canelo beat Golovkin using the style he wanted him to

Golovkin wanted Canelo to come out slugging in their rematch last September. Canelo did as Golovkin asked him to, and dominated the fight in out-slugging him over 12 rounds. Instead of GGG and his promoter Tom Loeffler giving Canelo credit for him winning the fight by using the style they wanted, both have been saying that they didn’t agree with the scoring of the fight. Golovkin thought he should have won. It looked to a lot of boxing fan that Golovkin was a poor sport by not giving Canelo credit for fighting the way he wanted him to. It’s not Canelo’s fault that Golovkin couldn’t deal with the style that he wanted Canelo to fight in.

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