Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin on Training for His MSG Fight and How It Feels to Land a Knockout Punch

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Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin is ready to get back in the ring. Following his last fight with Canelo Alvarez—the first loss of his career—the boxer is set to take on Steve Rolls on Saturday, June 8 at Madison Square Garden. It’s his return fight, the first in a three-year, six-fight deal with DAZN.

The former WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, and IBO title holder has fought five times previously at Madison Square Garden, and it’s something that never gets old for Triple G.

“I mean, come on, it’s New York City and Madison Square Garden,” Golovkin told Men’s Journal. “It’s a dream for any boxer or athlete. Fighting there is on a different level. You feel the support from the fans at MSG and the city itself. It’s an iconic place and an exciting place to fight.

Following his loss to Alvarez, Golovkin brought in a new trainer for his fight against Rolls, a hard-hitting Canadian who has an undefeated 19-0 record. While Golovkin didn’t have much time to prepare with his new trainer—about three weeks—he’s confident: “He prepared me well for this fight,” Golovkin said. “We worked on some new techniques that I’ll be ready to show off on June 8.”

Amanda Westcott/DAZN

(Gennady “GGG” Golovkin makes his return to the ring and debut on DAZN this Saturday, June 8, against the undefeated Steve Rolls. Fans can download the DAZN app and stream the fight, live from the Mecca of Boxing – Madison Square Garden. Find out more on how to stream the fight here.)

Golovkin spoke with Men’s Journal ahead of the fight against Rolls about how he trained for the fight, what it’s like to land a knockout punch, and his pre-fight nutrition.

How do you prep for a fight like this? What’s your training like?

For a fight like this, there are a wide range of things I need to work on, including speed, timing, strength, distance, and endurance. We did a lot of bag work to help me prepare my technique, and I also did a lot of work in the gym to prepare as well. I did a lot of work on perfecting my technique and making sure my timing and speed are sharp. All of that has really helped me get ready.

Did you do anything different in your training?

Yes and no at the same time. For casual fans, they usually see boxing as boxing. But the people who watch closely know there’s a lot of nuance and intricacies in the strategies and moves. Boxing is a very individual sport. You have fighters who are right-handed, left-handed, short, tall, and so on, so you have to prepare for the individual in front of you. We decided to do some different things to prepare specifically for Steve Rolls, like working on certain punches, but at the end of the day it’s about coming to the same goal: to win and have a successful fight.

DAZN has made a big investment in boxing. How does it feel to be one of the faces of that?

It’s a very interesting feeling and very exciting for me. I see the new perspective that DAZN brings and the way they’re planning for the future. Thanks to DAZN, we have big plans and I think we’ll achieve some great results and have success as we go forward.

What are you excited about working with DAZN and starting on this new deal?

To be a partner with DAZN feels good and it means a great deal to be a part of this as things continue to grow in the sport. We’re focused on Steve Rolls now and while we’re excited about the future, we’re focused on this fight and doing well.

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 15: Gennady Golovkin punches Canelo Alvarez during their WBC/WBA middleweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena on September 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

What’s some of the best advice you’ve received in your career?

I learned how important stretching is. I’ve kept that with me. If you stretch, you keep yourself loose, and it helps prevent injuries when you’re fighting and when you’re training. You can’t stop injuries from happening, but stretching at least puts you in a good position to avoid them.

What’s your nutrition like when preparing for a fight?

I work with a nutritionist for a fight like this and I can see the difference it makes for my body. Having a nutritionist helps me get what I need, making sure everything is clean and lean to help me build the strength I need. I think athletes need to follow the advice of nutritionists to help be the best.

What does it feel like to land a knockout punch?

My knockout punch isn’t as sharp right now as it used to be [laughs]. But basically, you feel like you’re a superhero. It’s a unique feeling and it feels like everything you worked on has led up to that moment and it all comes together to earn a win on that punch.

Gennady “GGG” Golovkin makes his return to the ring and debut on DAZN this Saturday, June 8, against the undefeated Steve Rolls. Fans can download the DAZN app and stream the fight, live from the Mecca of Boxing – Madison Square Garden. Find out more on how to stream the fight here.  

Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin - Triple G, GGG, DAZN fight
Amanda Westcott/DAZN



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