Stevens made a lengthily apology for the 'funeral': Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin09 september 2013, 22:43
In his exclusive interview the WBA and IBO middleweight champion Gennady “GGG’ Golovkin from Kazakhstan said that his next rival made a lengthily apology for the "funeral", talked about his plans to hold a bout in Kazakhstan and spoke about differences between amateur and professional boxing.
Question: Your next bout is against American Curtis Stevens. Recently, your rival held an improvised “funeral” for you. What was your reaction?
Answer: Negative. I had negative feelings that I expressed. He, certainly, understood it and gave a lengthily apology. He tried to explain that it was just business, just a way he promoted himself. He wanted to leave his mark in the history by doing this, become more recognizable and catch the moment. He tried to assure me that it wasn’t bad, but would bring a lot of money, that it was part of the show business.
Q: What is your general attitude to this kind of “performances” – spits, confrontations and offences – that accompany bouts?
A: Very negatively, of course. But this case was a bit different. Stevens made it only for social networks. It wasn’t a personal offence. He was very respectful when we met face to face, tried to explain everything. I'm glad that it didn't come to a personal confrontation and spits. If it did we would cancel our bout.
Gennady "GGG" Golovkin. ©AFP
Q: Earlier, the media wrote that you were poised to defend your title in Almaty or Astana. Has there been any progress in this direction?
A: A lot of people would like that and it would be pleasure for me, too. I wouldn’t say that my schedule is overly busy now, but I believe it would be better for me if I promote Kazakhstan and hoist the Kazakh banner abroad for the time being. Organizers who schedule such events in Kazakhstan always try to make them coincide with some important date or other, but they are often hard to fit into my schedule. But if it’s a free title defense, then yes, I’d really like that and I hope to arrange it next year.
Q: What’s the formula of your success?
A: I don't like to talk about myself. But I'm really confident of myself. Boxing is not the kind of sport that anyone can do and achieve good results. First of all it is a result of the lifestyle that I chose for myself. There were guys who became outstanding boxers, wrestlers and track-and-field athletes around me. Those guys were vivid persons, they lived nearby. We were all striving for our goals. We all had high standards. This very lifestyle and atmosphere influenced the development of my personality. I'm very grateful to my parents and my older brother for the character building that they gave me.
Q: Gennady, is there something that Kazakhstan people don’t know about your profession?
A: It is very important to see the difference between amateur and professional boxing. From the statements that many of the CIS (post soviet space) boxers make, I gather that they all deem themselves great experts. It is trendy now to be a boxing expert. However, it is important to understand that professional boxing is a separate range. There is no professional boxing in Russia or Kazakhstan. And in Europe there are only two branches – in Great Britain and Germany. Here in Kazakhstan people don't even realize what professional boxing means. The truth is that it is a hard boiled show business. It is all about money. Things like fear fade into insignificance. People here are not thinking about fair fights, they are thinking about making money. It’s all about how well and how long one can make money. It is about marketing, promotion, selection rivals and making of contracts. That is what professional boxing is like.
Gennady "GGG" Golovkin. ©AFP
Q: What is your message for young people who want to succeed in professional boxing?
A: Today Kazakhstan is among the leader of the world boxing, but of amateur boxing only. We all know and respect our Olympic champions here in Kazakhstan, but at the world stage the scene is quite different. Few people know the names of the Olympic champions, but almost everybody knows Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali. And each of these champions proudly represents his country.
I want our young people to understand this, and make a distinction between professional and amateur boxing. Our country is developing at a very high pace. Many people put their hopes in the emerging talents growing up in Kazakhstan. I want Kazakhstan to stand out among the post-soviet countries, not follow the beaten paths of Russia or Ukraine.
If our young generation gains the right understanding of boxing then they will grow in the right professional direction and represent Kazakhstan in the right way.
Golovkin’s next fight is against American Curtis Stevens. It will take place on November 2 in the Theater at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Interview provided by: