Golovkin and trainer Johnathon Banks.
Kronk trainer Johnathon Banks has been in camp, getting Gennady Golovkin ready for his September 17 trilogy battle with Canelo Alvarez.
Many thought Golovkin deserved to win the first time, but was only awarded a draw, and he lost a majority decision to the Mexican in the rematch. Through it all, their rivalry has intensified but Banks insists it’s only about the business for Golovkin and that it’s not personal.
“I think every fight has got to have a storyline,” former cruiserweight contender Banks explained. Without it, only us most loyal fans will watch. But you’re trying to get your everyday average people to watch? You’ve got to have a storyline. Is it personal for Canelo? That’s what he said. Is it personal for Triple G? He never said it was. It’s just business and this is the next guy in line. But that’s the storyline, they say it’s personal. Some people say yes, some people say no, but one thing about it is both fighters will be in the ring that night and both will give it their all to be successful. I have no doubt about that.”
Banks is also under no illusions about the type of fight it will be in September. He’s anticipating a brutal war.
“I think the fight is definitely an interesting one and I don’t think it’s going to be a Wilder-Fury-type trilogy fight but I think it’s going to be close to that kind of violent fight,” predicted Banks. “I think it’s going to be a very violent fight.”
Golovkin has been with Banks for almost three years. Triple G called the Detroit man and said he was looking for a new trainer and that he was one of the coaches they were looking at. Banks was interested and after they met for a couple of days in Los Angeles an agreement was struck.
Golovkin is now 40, and while the phrase ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ is often bandied around, Banks thinks you can if the ‘dog’ is willing to listen and learn.
“It depends on who you talk to, honestly,” Banks went on. “I think the mind is a beautiful thing and it’s endlessly evolving, and as long as the person is willing to work, something can change. That’s my opinion. I think you can teach anybody something new, as long as you’ve got the right teacher in front of them.”
Banks might have the big fight on his hands first, but the community-minded trainer wants to carry on the work of his trainer and mentor Emanuel Steward in Detroit.
“I want to develop more and more talent because that’s what the future is,” Banks said.
And one of his most famous clients so far was an older fighter he had to work on, heavyweight great Wladimir Klitschko. Banks picked up the reigns after Steward passed away.
“Emanuel always told me he had to find a way to make Wladimir more aggressive. I said ‘Why don’t you just tell him?’ He said, ‘I can’t because for me to rebuild him I had to keep him safe first and once he adapted to being safe, I can’t go back and change everything. I’m going to find a way to slowly do it, maybe if you do it you can find him a way to become more aggressive.’”
That was Steward’s way of planting seeds in the mind of Banks that he might have work to do in the not-too-distant future. Emanuel knew, and Banks learned.
For more from Tris Dixon’s Boxing Life Stories episode with Johnathon Banks, click Boxing Life Stories