Part 1 can be found here

BoxingScene: Give us a great Gennady Golovkin memory.

Loeffler: The first time he trained in Los Angeles, he trained in Big Bear with Abel Sanchez. But he was fighting in upstate New York – Turning Stone. That was his very first fight. That was his very first fight in the U.S., on HBO, and if I tell you the road it took to get him on HBO, we’d be here for a long time. Nobody wanted to fight him. I met with HBO and Showtime. I met with Epix, which was doing boxing back then. It was a very simple pitch. He’s the WBA middleweight world champion. He doesn’t need a lot of money. He’ll fight anybody. All he wants is an opportunity to fight over here in the United States on television, and they’ve never really heard that pitch before. His English wasn’t very good at the time and so he couldn’t express himself all that well. But I spoke, Abel spoke and the only way he got on that particular show [was because] it kept getting postponed.

Then, on that show, they said, “OK, would you fight?” So Daniel Geale was supposed to fight Dmitry Pirog. That’s how it developed. It was a unification fight. Daniel Geale was IBF champion, Pirog was the WBO champion. So that fight was set, and Gennady was supposed to be on that show, but it looked like it’s full and you can’t get on this show. Then all of a sudden, Daniel Geale gets an offer from Felix Sturm to come to Germany, to unify over there. 

GGG was a mandatory for Sturm, a two-year waiting mandatory for the WBA title, and [it was] the only way Felix Sturm could get out of fighting him on that date. We kept pressing him. The only way he was able to get out of fighting him was in a unification fight. So he overpaid Daniel Geale to pull out of the HBO fight, go over to Germany.

Now they got Pirog with no opponent, and they called me up and said, “Would you fight Priog?” We said, “Sure, we'll fight Pirog.” So it was going to be a unification fight with Dmitry Pirog, who had just knocked out Danny Jacobs, and nobody wanted to fight Pirog. And I think that’s one of the reasons why Geale went to go fight Sturm, who he beat in Germany. But anyway, once we confirm that fight, then Pirog gets injured. Then they were trying to think, “Are we going to keep GGG on this or are we going to put on a different fight?”

Then, luckily for [HBO executive] Peter Nelson, who really pushed for GGG, they kept him in a made WBA title defense against the European champion at the time – Polish fighter, Grzegorz Proksa. He had just beaten Sebastian Sylvester, so he was a top-notch fighter. I asked Abel, “Will you fight him?” He’s like, “It doesn't matter who it is. Right-handed, left-handed, tall, short – just get somebody in the ring.”

And sure enough, he had been trained the whole time for a right-handed opponent in Pirog and then it switched to a southpaw and he landed on HBO and had an impressive knockout.

BS: How about a favorite Klitschko memory? 

Loeffler: Vitali Klitschko against Lennox Lewis. He was also mandatory for a long time and the WBC said, “OK Lennox, you can have one more voluntary defense, against Kirk Johnson.” Remember, we brought Vitali, and Mike Tyson was supposed to be the co-feature to sell tickets, and Lennox was a champion as the main event. We told Wladimir and Vitali, who were in L.A., “Let’s go to the press conference.”

Lennox Lewis just talked to some of the media, telling them he was the mandatory challenger, and as soon as you get out of the car, Steve Kim, who is a friend of mine and a media reporter, comes over to the car and says, “Tom, Mike Tyson pulled out of the show. You should get Vitali as the co-feature with Lennox Lewis.” And all of a sudden, lights are going off. I’m like, “Yeah, that’s a good idea.”

So we go in there and we’re doing interviews, and all the media wants to talk to the Klitschkos, as well. Wladimir being an Olympic gold medalist … and then I asked [promoter] Gary Shaw if he would put Vitali on HBO. Gary didn't want to put Vitali on as the co-feature; he wanted to put one of his fighters on. But then we had a good relationship with Tim Leiweke at AEG, who ran Staples Center. They wound up putting Vitali on because they needed a ticket seller and there are a lot of Russian-speaking people based in Los Angeles, and it would be building up to if Vitali wins and Lennox Lewis wins – they’re going to fight each other as the mandatory fight. And sure enough, we got him on as a co-feature. Then what happens is, Kirk Johnson gets injured and pulls out. 

HBO has just over two weeks before the fight, [Johnson] got injured in sparring. So they tell Vitali and Lennox … I got to give Lennox credit. “If you want to fight, the only way we can save this show is if you guys fight each other. Lennox, if you don't fight Vitali, then we'll have to postpone it.” Then the WBC said, “OK, since Kirk Johnson got injured, now the next guy you have to fight is Vitali Klitschko.”

So we knew we had to fight him one way or the other, and he agreed to fight Vitali. We were sitting in our attorney’s office and going over everything with Vitali, and said, “Are you good with this fight?” And he's like, “I've waited my whole life to fight for the WBC world title.” He told this story about being on a military base – he grew up on military bases in the Soviet Union. “Sometimes it’d be people surrounding me, kids surrounding me in a new school, like 20 kids trying to test me. It’s like if there's only one person standing in the ring against me, that doesn't matter to me. I'll fight Lennox Lewis.”

That was one of the most compelling heavyweight fights that I’ve seen, where Vitali was winning the fight four rounds to two, but had a big cut. Unfortunately, the doctor wound up stopping it, which Vitali definitely wanted to continue. Walking into that fight, everyone knew what Lennox Lewis was as a champion. Eighty percent of the fans were cheering for Lennox, walking into it because they didn't really know who this big Ukrainian was. Then, with Vitali showing as much heart as he did and valor, and wanting to continue, he jumped up on the ropes, and I would swear that 80 percent of the fans were cheering for Vitali. Literally, in one night he won over all those fans, and then unfortunately Lennox never did a rematch. Instead, he vacated the title. Then Vitali actually became the champion in his next fight, against Corrie Sanders.

BS: Would the UFC model ever work in boxing? 

Loeffler: That's a good question. We've instilled a lot of elements that Dana White and the UFC use for their shows. If you notice the pacing of our boxing shows, people love the pacing. We have sometimes eight fights, seven fights on TV, and we'll go fight to fight. There's no 20-minute, 30-minute breaks in between, so you can put on that many fights on a boxing show. We’ve really modeled that after the UFC in terms of what Dana has created in terms of entertainment and fighters, top fighters willing to fight other top fighters that you don't see in boxing. 

That one is going to be hard to do, because there’s so many different promoters, there’s different TV platforms, and Dana is really able to say, “OK, this will be the next match.” And if someone loses, the genius of the model that Dana created is you can lose in the UFC and two months later, you’re in another UFC pay-per-view event. 

Whereas in boxing, if you lose, you might have to wait a year or longer to get back on TV. That’s why he's able to do that. He's really created that model that the fans just want to go to a  UFC show. Regardless of who's fighting, they know if they go to a UFC show, they’re going to get great entertainment and we're trying to provide that same type of energy. If you come to a “Hollywood Fight Nights” show, you know it's going to be a great show, whether it's Callum Walsh fighting, whether it’s Serhii Bohachuk, Cain Sandoval. Any of these guys are going to be exciting fighters. And that's really what we're modeling after Dana.