Gennadiy Golovkin’s trainer Johnathon Banks says they’re working on defense in preparation for the trilogy match against Canelo Alvarez on September 17th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Banks says they’ve tried different strategies against Canelo (57-2-2, 39 KOs) in the first two contests, and they failed to work. So for the third match, Banks wants Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) to be defensively sound.
We saw that defense worked against Canelo in his 12-round unanimous decision defeat against WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7th in Las Vegas.
Banks notes that Bivol, the B-side fighter, was given a decision over the popular money-fighter Canelo, who had only lost one decision during his career despite seemingly being beaten three to four times.
Bivol blocked many of Canelo’s shots with his tight guard and won rounds by throwing sustained combinations. When Bivol would throw combos, he’d fire off three or more, which was difficult for the judges to ignore.
Shockingly, they scored the fight close, giving Bivol a narrow 115-113 x 3 win, but at least they didn’t rob him. Many fans had Bivol winning 11-1, as Canelo looked helpless in every round.
Golovkin to box Canelo
“In my opinion, the first fight, is hard to say because when you outbox someone for nine of a twelve-round fight, you should be able to get the decision, but it didn’t happen,” said trainer Johnathon Banks to Secondsoutwhen asked ‘What will we see different from GGG that we didn’t see in the first and the second fight.’
“The goal is to go back to boxing, continue to box, but do it in a way where it’s more beneficial to GGG,” Banks said. “Not often, always,” said Banks when told that ‘the big-name fighter, the money fighter in Vegas often has the advantage on the scorecards, for whatever reason. Knowing that, he [Golovkin] can’t have different results with the same performance.’
“I put it like this. I personally believe Canelo’s performance will be different because as you said, the big-name fighter usually gets the decision,” said Banks.
Canelo is likely going to work hard on his conditioning during camp, and try and fight Golovkin at a more sustained pace than he showed in his loss to Bivol.
It’s unrealistic to expect the 31-year-old Canelo to be able to fight at a faster pace than he showed in his recent contests against Bivol, Caleb Plant, and Billy Joe Saunders because his stamina problems are fixed.
Canelo isn’t going to improve his cardio without daily workouts at the track with a good coach that knows how to train fighters in that aspect of their games.
What Canelo needs is a track & field coach to help him with his cardio because this is a problem he’s had his entire career, and it’s gotten worse as he’s aged.
“For the first time in his entire career, that didn’t happen for Canelo [against Dmitry Bivol], that didn’t happen,” said Banks. “Bivol, Canelo was the bigger-named fighter, but Bivol got the decision. Canelo was shocked.
“He was like, ‘Why is this?’ So, Canelo is going to come different because now he sees he can lose a close decision. Canelo, like he said he was going to do, he’s going to go for the knockout,” said Banks when asked ‘What adjustment will Canelo make?’
Canelo will try and attack Golovkin more, and we may even see the Mexican star trying to mimic the combination punching that we saw from Bivol.
When Canelo lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr, he added many parts of his game to his fighting style.
It’s reasonable to assume Canelo will attempt to do the same thing with Bivol, but it’s going to be a lot harder to accomplish that. Canelo has NEVER been able to throw combinations due to his cardio problems, and again, without a good coach that can train him on a daily basis, he’s going to fatigue early against Golovkin as he did in the Bivol fight.
Age isn’t a factor
“It depends on who you’re talking about,” Banks said when told that ‘Boxing is a young man’s game.’ “That’s why I say, ‘it depends on who you’re talking about,'” Banks said when told that ‘At 40, it’s not something that we can just disregard.’
“Would you tell George Foreman that before he fought Michael Moorer at 45 years old? That’s why I say it depends on who you’re talking about.
“We got a few aliens in this sport is all I’m saying. Bernard Hopkins is one of them, and George Foreman is one of them. You don’t make him an alien. He either is or he’s not,” said Banks when asked, ‘How do you make GGG an alien?’
“Either he can perform well at an old age or he can’t. Normally, as the great Bernard Hopkins showed, if you take care of your body all year round, and you make this your priority, you can perform at a late age.
Defense is the key for GGG
“It’s not like I’m looking for him to go the distance, but every day, the goal is to work on defense,” said Banks about the focus for Golovkin during training camp for his trilogy match with Canelo.
“I think 90% of the fighters at this level can do offense, but very few of them are as in shape on defense as they are on offense. So the goal is to continue to work on his defense, and the more you work on his defense the better.
“Well,” said Banks when asked if there’s one advantage that Golovkin has that he can use to surprise Canelo on September 17th. “If he’s consistent like I’m asking him to and use that jab, that’s the deal-breaker.
“I think it’s already a winning mentality because he feels that this has happened, and now I got to go to the next to make this happen.
“I believe that he’s already set to win. It’s just a matter of him going out there and doing it. Mentally, he wants to win. Mentally, he says, ‘This is what I need to do to win. If the first two didn’t work, now let’s work on something different to make sure this third one works.’
“I’m always looking for the win. So what does it mean for me? Another win. I’m always looking for the win. In the big fights, you always want to show up and get the win. That’s the goal, that’s the whole mentality of my teaching. Go get the win,” said Banks.