Gennady Golovkin has clearly heard the resounding chorus of booing and hissing from fight fans who aren’t particularly excited about his June 8 return against Steve Rolls, which will be Golovkin’s debut on DAZN. He tweeted earlier that it will be “a good fight,” and spoke about it after today’s presser, too.
One of the things that we’d heard is that there was a push from DAZN to get the relatively unknown Rolls (19-0, 10 KO) as the opponent, as Rolls is Canadian and they think this will get Canadians to sign up for DAZN.
“I didn’t know a lot about him, but because DAZN is trying to establish themselves in Canada and Steve is from Canada, I figured that this would be a good starting point for us,” Golovkin said on Monday.
Tom Loeffler elaborated on that a bit, and mentioned that others — Hassan N’dam, Maciej Sulecki, and Kamil Szeremeta — were considered for the fight, in some cases offered the fight and passed.
“There were a lot of names that were being considered,” Loeffler said. “N’dam was one of them. Sulecki we heard was available but then when I contacted his promoters directly, apparently he wasn’t available for June 8, only the end of June. The undefeated Polish guy Szeremeta, we offered him the fight last May and we offered him again this time and he wasn’t interested. (WBO titleholder Demetrius) Andrade has his mandatory obligation.
“So for this fight here, for this homecoming to New York and the Garden, like Gennady said, out of the opponents that were being considered, DAZN liked the fact that Rolls was from Canada, and they can help publicize that to their subscribers up there.”
If DAZN are counting on Steve Rolls to sell subscriptions in Canada, my gut feeling is they’re going to be really disappointed.
Anyway, Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KO) also discussed why this fight is being held at a 164-pound catchweight.
“It wasn’t a big deal for me to do this weight. This is the first fight for me (on DAZN) so I wanted to do this fight at this weight to try it out,” he said. “This is my return, my comeback, so I wanted to try this weight. It wasn’t a big deal to do this weight.”
He added that it’s also a weight that should be a bit easier for Rolls, who has fought his last two as a super middleweight.
“For my opponent, this would be a little more comfortable. I wouldn’t want him to be uncomfortable in the weight,” GGG said. “He boxes at 168, and it would be hard for him (to fight at middleweight).”
As for drug testing, Golovkin says VADA will handle things, and that he’s already signed up.
“VADA will do the testing. I believe in clean fighting, I believe in clean boxing, and I want everything to be fair.”