Longtime fight game fixture Tom Loeffler hit New York this week, and no, the focal point wasn’t his typical one. Loeffler has promoted Gennady Golovkin and GGG is due back in the ring soon, but at Gallagher’s steak house in Manhattan, Loeffler talked about another athlete he’s allied with.
On Saturday, another hitter born in Kazakhstan, who makes Germany her home, as GGG did for a spell, gets time on a grand stage.
Christina Hammer, who holds a 24-0 mark, will put her middleweight crown up for grabs at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, live on Showtime.
Loeffler is advising Hammer, who is promoted by Dmitriy Salita, and he weighed in, saying he doesn’t believe she is an underdog versus Shields, 8-0 as a pro.
Loeffler said he’s been impressed with how well Hammer has done doing promotion in a foreign country.
“Saturday night we should see an undisputed champion. I don’t think Hammer is an underdog at all. I really see this as a 50-50 fight,” he stated.
Hammer’s height, reach, and jab make her a very live not-dog in this middleweight tango.
But of course, Loeffler was asked about GGG, the 37-year-old pugilist best known for his two fights with Canelo Alvarez. Golovkin took his time shopping around, talking to ESPN and PBC, before settling on a deal with the streaming service DAZN.
So, when will GGG fight next, and against who?
Loeffler said that more people are wanting to step to the line against GGG these days. No, Brandon Adams won’t be the foe for the June scrap. His name was floated, Loeffler said, but the reaction to the trial balloon on social media wasn’t promising. Also, Team Adams, he said, instead agreed to a match with Jermall Charlo. So, they will look elsewhere for a foe.
“When GGG fights next hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s safe to say that he will be coming back to Madison Square Graden. This is his home. It should be in June, the exact date hasn’t been determined,” Loeffler said.
“The fans want to see him back as soon as possible. He was weighing his options, took some time off over the holidays. If he can get the third fight with Canelo, that would be a great accomplishment.”
And of course, it would be assumed that GGG would like to be paired against a B-plus or lower-level foe — maybe Steve Rolls? — because a third fight with Canelo is the most lucrative pairing for both.
Loeffler wouldn’t give up much in the way of giving hints as to who is in the running. But I prodded.
Yes, Adams is off the list. What about Hassan N’Dam? And does GGG need to win a crown first to snag a third Canelo fight, as Canelo has said?
“I think that’s hyperbole, both have transcended the belts,” Loeffler said.
He said that both the PPVs did exceedingly well, and there’s no reason a third one wouldn’t “be a treat for the fans.”
“Don’t want to rule anyone out — unless there’s a signed agreement, you don’t want to rule anyone out,” Loeffler said. He didn’t say yes or no about N’Dam.
Adams, he said, lost to Willie Monroe, who GGG handled, so that’s why he wouldn’t have been the best foe. He lauded Charlo, saying GGG vs Jermall would be swell. Same goes for GGG vs Jaime Munguia: “He’s a big guy, he’s bigger than Triple G.”
Now, people are thinking they have a decent chance of beating the fighting pride of Kazahkstan, so his job is easier.
Maciej Sulecki “could have been an interesting matchup,” and “Kamil Szeremeta could have been an interesting fight,” Loeffler shared.
Both those hitters said no thanks to GGG, he said.
And when will we know the deets?
“I think we’ll know very soon, for sure within the next two weeks, but most likely sooner than that.”
Hear Tom Loeffler on the Everlast “Talkbox” podcast.