John David Jackson reponds to story of Gennady Golovkin KO'ing Sergey Kovalev in sparring

The rumor mill has flared up this week with talk about a sparring session between Gennady Golovkin and Sergey Kovalev where Golovkin reportedly KO'ed Kovalev on a body shot. If I'm not mistaken, this sparring session supposedly took place a couple of years ago when Kovalev used to train at Abel Sanchez's gym, but somehow has become a hot topic of discussion recently.

When Marcos Villegas of FightHub caught up with Kovalev's trainer John David Jackson to get his reaction to the story, here's what Jackson had to say:

"Sergey and I, we talked about it, and he said it was like one of the first days he got back in the gym and he was terribly out of shape and he got caught with a shot and he wasn't ready for it.

"They're friends and he said he doesn't like sparring with Triple G because he has to really try to hurt him [to keep him off of him]. He said 'I don't want to hurt my friend.' He said Abel Sanchez wanted to make a war out of it and he said 'I don't want to make a war, that's my friend, why should I have a sparring session and make a war out of it?' [Kovalev] said it's not about that but [Sanchez] wants to have a war and we're friends and we're just trying to work with each other.

"But [Kovalev] wasn't hurt. It was just a shot he got caught win, first day in the gym, and it surprised him. That's all. It wasn't like he was really hurt bad. I understand that, I've seen that happen a lot of times in the gym. But he said [Golovkin's] definitely a tough guy, he said 'man, I didn't want to hurt him because I got to hurt hum to keep him off of me.' He said 'I don't want to do that, I don't want to make a war out of it,' and that's the only reason he said he wouldn't spar with him."


If it was in fact his first day back at the gym… and he was scheduled to spar GGG, that sucks.

Kovalev and JDJ both know that GGG is a monster and they don’t make that a secret.

Why would you allow yourself to spar GGG on your first day back?

Fuck if I know…

I would guess that there might be several reasons.

Maybe, since they’re friends, Kovalev wanted to start out by sparring a friend. He may have just assumed that GGG wouldn’t go into that sparring session, given how early it was in Kov’s training, loaded for bear.

Also, I’ve always assumed that sparring sessions aren’t always, or even usually, all-out fight sessions, but rather target certain skills and/or strategies. I’m just guessing here, though.

Why Kovalev sparred with Golovkin so early in his training is something only Kovalev can answer.

That’s what I assumed, that certain situations would be made for sparring and work on certain aspects of your game, not an all out slugfest.

sometimes you eat the bear...sometimes the bear eats you.

Groves said the same thing. Said it was one of his first days in training and GGG cracked one of his ribs and he had to quit.

I’d quit boxing if I knew I ever had to spar him

Especially knowing that he apparently doesn’t have a low gear, even in sparring.

There’s a video of him sparring with JCC Jr. and he’s going pretty easy on Chavez. It’s only when Jr. pushes too hard that GGG is forced to teach him a lesson. He then beats up the noticeably much larger Chavez with ease.

Here it is

I watched that video brah...

And while GGG clearly got the better of Chavez Jr I didn’t see a moment when I thought GGG had to turn it up to teach him a lesson. His pace seemed pretty controlled throughout

Imagine what his brother Maxim would have been like, had he stayed in boxing.

Max was rumored to be better than Gennady, and mean!

I read that little piece earlier this morning about how Mad Max was a killer in the ring. Scary to think that there is someone out there, let alone his of brother, that is just as good as he is

It is scary, isn’t it?

That’s why on BNB I likened it to Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother

did the holmes stories ever give background on his family? i don't remember any, just mycroft being some kind of spy or something.

I don’t recall much other background, but Mycroft basically sits in a club (he’s incredibly corpulent) and runs the country.

yeah i suspect rex stout got his model for nero wolfe from mycroft

another incredibly smart fat guy that hates to leave familiar surroundings.

Totally agree about Nero Wolfe. I discovered those not too long ago, and have enjoyed them immensely. The Archie Goodwin / Nero Wolfe relationship is great.

As with just about everything boxing on Sky Sports, I suspect it’s bollocks. I’ve heard Max was the better amateur, but that his style was more suited to the amateurs.

GGG was on the Max and Marcellus Show out here in L.A. last year (or the year before), and he stated exactly what you said, Paul. He was effusive in his praise of Max and admitted that he thought his brother was the better fighter (which could’ve just been him being humble), but the part about their styles appears to be true. Gennady and Max made a strategic decision, and they both believed Gennady’s style would be more fan friendly and thus more profitable in the professional ranks.

I’d quit boxing if I knew I ever had to spar him

Ha, ha. Let me tell you a story. When I was I think 12 or 13 my father big boxing fan and amateur boxer, wanted to get me involved into some kind of fighting sport… And since I was chubby at that time, he said lets try Judo. I went first day to training and they threw me into sparring with guys and those guys threw me around, upside down, like bag of potatoes. Beat me up like a drum.

Guess what? I quit that shit!

Hahahaha! There’s no shame in that. If you know you can’t do it and you tried, then you live knowing you tried.

The fact they made you spar your first day is just mean.

You are right, it was very mean to throw me into sparring with guys that have been at it for a year or two. I probably could have done it and excelled but damn it they just killed me first day. After that my heart wasn’t it. It took me a year to try next combat sport and that worked out thousand times better…


Yup. Love that sport.

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