By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Gennadiy Golovkin has turned to an Emanuel Steward disciple to train him.
The former middleweight champion announced during a press conference Saturday morning at MGM Grand that Johnathon Banks is the new man in his corner. Banks, a former cruiserweight contender and heavyweight, is most known as a trainer for his work with retired heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and female welterweight champ Cecilia Braekhus.
Detroit’s Banks replaced Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s longtime trainer. Sanchez announced last week that he and Golovkin parted ways because Golovkin wanted him to take a significant pay cut.
“First of all, he is young,” said Golovkin, who noted that Banks’ relationship with the late Steward was important to him. “And he has experience.”
"I want to build on what I have already achieved and continue to improve as a boxer. Johnathon is teaching me new skills that will help me reach those goals. I believe in Johnathon's teaching methods. We are working hard and I look forward to showing the world something special when I bring the Big Drama Show to Madison Square Garden on June 8."
The 37-year-old Golovkin agreed to a six-fight contract with DAZN early in March, a deal that reportedly will pay him in excess of $100 million. Golovkin’s deal is expected to include a third fight against Canelo Alvarez, which could pay Golovkin a purse that could exceed $30 million.
A third Alvarez-Golovkin fight could be scheduled for as soon as September. That’ll require Mexico’s Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) to beat fellow middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) in their 12-round, 160-pound title unification fight Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena (DAZN).
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) also would have to win his upcoming tune-up bout for Alvarez-Golovkin III to take place next.
Banks began training Golovkin two weeks ago for his June 8 fight against unknown underdog Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York. Golovkin previously has trained for all of his fights in the United States at Sanchez’s gym in Big Bear Lake, California.
He’s still training in Big Bear Lake, at a gym near Sanchez’s facility.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.