LOS ANGELES—Gennadiy Golovkin and Johnathon Banks will walk into their IBF middleweight title bout Oct. 5 against Sergiy Derevyanchenko as a unit for just the second time.
Their first camp for the Steve Rolls fight on June 8 was an abbreviated one as they were still getting acquainted with one another after Golovkin suddenly split with longtime trainer Abel Sanchez in late April.
Banks and Golovkin came together as one again on Monday at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica to say that they’ve been working away and adding to the foundation and chemistry that was laid in the first camp all summer.
“I want to introduce timing, rhythm and movement. That’s what Emanuel Steward was all about,” said Banks. “In theory, [the first camp] was short, but I don’t feel that I needed that much time to implement something fresh and different, which is what he wanted.
“The fresh is just him being able to let his hands go without getting hit. It’s a whole body of things. When you implement movement, you allow for new features to develop. Personally, I don’t want to be in the corner of a fighter that’s taking punches. I want my fighters to be slipping at least some sort of punch and not getting caught.”
Banks is a former heavyweight contender who tallied a 29-3-1 record with 19 KOs and was trained by the late Steward before becoming a trainer himself and coaching the likes of Wladimir Klitschko toward the end of Klitschko’s career.
“This time we will have more time, and I feel much better,” added Golovkin, who said his last camp made him feel different and younger “100 percent.” “I feel much better.”
Golovkin easily dismantled Rolls in four rounds and is now fighting Derevyanchenko, a better step up in competition after a third fight with Canelo Alvarez could not be agreed upon yet again.
Golovkin will be leaning on Banks to introduce new wrinkles to his game as he fends off father time, staying at the ready in case Canelo ever ends up calling. He even brought on board a nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach in addition to Banks.
“[Golovkin’s] age is 37, but he’s not the average 37,” said Banks. “It’s only dangerous when you’re not willing or don’t like what you're being introduced to. I want to implement a rhythm, a movement, or moreso a strategy and not just going in there, like, ‘if all else fails, we have this bag of power right here.’ I would like to see him develop his skills. He’s a very skillful fighter. He’s more than just a one-punch knockout artist.”
Manouk Akopyan has been a member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011 and has written for the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Guardian and Philadelphia Inquirer. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at [email protected].