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Molded Gennady Golovkin into Tszyu: Golovkin's first coach

Abel Sanchez and Victor Dmitriev in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Photo courtesy of vk.com/ggolovkin Abel Sanchez and Victor Dmitriev in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Photo courtesy of vk.com/ggolovkin

Victor Dmitriev is a man of a smaller stature, loved by his pupils dearly. He stands proudly as the first coach of Gennady Golovkin in an old gymnasium that saw better days. Dmitriev remembers the WBA (Super) and IBO middleweight champion as a young boy who was just like a “playdough” when he first came to the gym in Maikuduk, Karaganda. For the coach, Golovkin had more than just a raw talent. He was a hardworking and determinate kid, Dmitriev recalled. Though, now he is called Tripple G or God of War by the media, his old coach affectionately calls him Gena.

After his father’s death, Golovkin came back to Karaganda, Kazakhstan for a mourning period. He, then, visited his first gym with his trainer Abel Sanchez. The condition of the old gymnasium did not leave Sanchez unaffected.

“I showed him around and said: that is where Champions are born,” Dmitriev said proudly.

He grew up as a boxer we know him now in the walls of the old gymnasium in turbulent times.

“There were fighters to look up to and learn from. I, for example, liked Kotya Tszyu’s work. And so I drew on his fighting style and copied his leading arm onto Gena. I was able to mold him. Maybe I could not do it completely, but champions are not to be judged. It took a lot of time and nerves, but we reached the goal,” Dmitriev said.

The former coach said that Golovkin always looked up to Tszyu.

Dmitriev does not see any serious opponents that can take Golovkin down. But the coach is always a coach; he does not let his guard down, despite the immense success of his fighter. “He still has to work hard, very hard. Gena will be tearing his opponents down as long as he is well prepared. (…) If Gena is prepared for all his fights as he was for his last two or three fights, then there will be no fighter equal to him,” Dmitriev said.

Dmitriev believes that on October 18, Golovkin will once again bring the Kazakhstan flag into the boxing ring as the winner. Golovkin will face Marco Antonio Rubio in Los Angeles in his third fight of the year.

Reporting by Damir Satayev, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova

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