I met Tom Loeffler about four years ago. We would meet quite often in a company of friends. I knew that he is a professional promoter of well known boxers, and the Managing Director of K2 Promotion. I also knew that Tom worked and still works with world class champions. That is why I was so happy to hear that he works with Gennady Golovkin, a champion from Kazakhstan.
Question: Tom, I know you have been a boxing manager for a while. Why this path? What made you make your choice?
Answer: It wasnt my original choice, my background is in finance and real estate. I became a financial partner in a sports agency that was representing retired athletes and our biggest client was Muhammad Ali. We signed two active boxers and I became involved in managing the boxers. Representing Ali opened many doors that normally would have been difficult for us. We signed with Kevin Kelley in 1992 and he became World Champion the next year. After that I was managing up to 10 boxers at one time. In 1999 I met Vitali Klitschko at a fight in Germany, where he knocked out a heavyweight boxer I was working with. I invited him to come to LA anytime he wanted, and 6 months later he came to LA with his family. We became friends after that and in 2003 we started K2 Promotions, the promotional company that has promoted all of the fights for Vitali and Wladimir since that time. We have promoted more heavyweight championship fights since 2000 than any other promoter.
Q: What other fighter have you been working with?
A: I have worked with many world class boxers in addition to Gennady including Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Shane Moseley, James Toney, Kevin Kelley, Oba Carr, Ola Afolabi and Johnathon Banks to name some of the names.
Q: How did you discover Gennady, and how did you guys meet?
A: His managers approached me because they were having problems with the German promoter that they had been working with. They wanted to have Gennady fight in the United States and they knew I had good contacts with US television and arenas. I met him for the first time at a fight in Panama when he fought against Kassim Ouma. I was impressed right away with his character outside of the ring and his skills inside of the ring. We signed a contract after speaking with each other and forming a strategy over 9 months.
Gennady Golovkin (L), Tom Loeffler (C) and Prince Albert of Monaco (R). Photo courtesy of Gaukhar Noortas
Q: I know that you truly believe in Gennady's success. Besides the fact that he has been proving himself already what makes you believe in him?
A: Gennady is very dedicated to the sport of boxing and he is very professional about his career. He has so much experience from his amatuer career of over 350 fights so that he can fight against any style and be successful. He also has one of the strongest punches that I have seen, and this is a great advantage for him. Boxing fans like to see knockouts and he has the highest knockout percentage of any champion in boxing today. He is also very disciplined and he trains very hard for each fight so he is 100% ready every time. These qualities are responsible for his success in the ring, he is very humble and likeable outside of the ring and that is why he has become so popular outside of the ring.
Photo courtesy of Gaukhar Noortas
Q: I am sure we have many talented young fighters in Kazakhstan. How can they get discovered?
A: Kazakhstan has a great amatuer program. This was the initial success for Gennady because he was amatuer world champion and then Silver medalist in the 2004 Olympics. With a strong amatuer career and then some good wins as a professional, that is the best way to get discovered.