GGG Meets With the LA Media – Downtown Los Angeles becomes boxing central this week.
Middleweight world champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin (pictured with promoter Tom Loeffler) kicked things off with a media luncheon at the Palm Restaurant on Tuesday.
Famed for his Mexican style attack, Golovkin talked about his upcoming title defense against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook on Sept. 10 in London, England. The undefeated British threat will be gunning for Golovkin’s middleweight titles. HBO will televise.
Team GGG stopped in L.A. before hitching a jet to London next month.
“We never want to leave the L.A. media out,” said K2 Promotion’s Loeffler. “This is home.”
Golovkin looked at ease among the reporters that helped ignite his career to superstar status. But he’s not taking his foot off the gas pedal simply because his opponent comes from two weight divisions lower.
A recent weighing showed that Brook weighed 176 while Golovkin hit the 165 mark.
Loeffler said the world was shocked when Brook was announced as Triple G’s next opponent. The O2 Arena in London sold out within 24 hours after tickets were available.
“This is a big fight for me,” said Golovkin. “It’s very important. I have only a few years left.”
Today, Aug. 17, Bash Boxing presents a boxing card at a downtown venue called the Exchange located at 618 S. Spring Street near the State Building located in the center of downtown L.A.
A loaded fight card features young prospects including Ryan Garcia of Victorville, California. Garcia won 15 national tournaments during his amateur career. He faces off against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Cruz who has one knockout win in his only pro fight.
Garcia, 18, just recently had a birthday but turned pro a few months ago. He fought four times in Mexico and scored four victories. Now he makes his American debut in front of not only boxing fans, but a few boxing promotion companies eager to sign the wunderkind.
Steve Bash, who runs Bash Boxing, has a habit of featuring sterling prospects that go on to much greater things. Former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin performed on his show and so have many others.
Doors open at 6 p.m.
Shabranskyy at Belasco
Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (16-0, 13 KOs) makes his second appearance at popular Belasco Theater on Friday Aug. 19, when he faces southpaw Oscar Rojas (10-5-1) in the light heavyweight main event of the Golden Boy Promotions card. Estrella TV and RingTVLive will televise.
Shabranskyy, 29, is no stranger to the city of Los Angeles. He arrived in 2011 and performed as a member of the LA Matadors boxing club. Before that, he was a kickboxing world champion who was discovered by a sharp boxing manager who convinced him to turn to the bright side.
It wasn’t easy.
In his first boxing match Shabranskyy spotted an opening when his opponent dropped his guard. So he delivered a swift kick. Oops. He forgot there’s no kicking in boxing. He was disqualified and suspended for a year.
No problem. His boxing trainer worked on keeping his kicking legs under wraps until the urge to kick was gone. Shabranskyy has plenty of fighting acumen. It’s something you can’t teach. Many boxers look good when they’re hitting the mitts or pounding the bag. Some even look good during sparring. But what really determines a fighter’s worth is when someone else is punching back.
The Ukrainian light heavyweight is working with Manny Robles Jr. at the Rock in Carson.
“I’m very thankful that Manny Robles is my coach,” said Shabranskyy. “He is teaching me Mexican style boxing.”
Shabranskyy describes his journey into the boxing world as a never-ending travel full of surprises.
“It’s like a chess game. I learn new moves every day,” he said, adding that he recently saw an old fight of his on tape and could see the differences in his style and technique.
Shabranskyy signed with Golden Boy Promotions and remains the only light heavyweight on their roster. California does not have many light heavyweights and it’s difficult to find sparring. But he’s prepared for anyone.
“Of course my dream is to fight for the world championship,” Shabranskyy says. “I am ranked 16th in the world and I would like to fight anyone ranked above me.”
Others fighting on the Belasco fight card
Santa Ana’s Alexis Rocha (3-0) fights Israel Villela (2-2) of Tijuana in a welterweight bout set for four rounds. As an amateur Rocha fought internationally several times.
“As a junior Olympian I fought in Russia, Italy and the Ukraine,” said Rocha, 19. “Fighting over there you learn not to let mental things affect you and get into your head.”
Rocha is the younger brother of featherweight contender Ronny Rios.
In a super lightweight bout Pasadena’s David Mijares (2-0) fights Jorrell Sparenberg (0-1) in a four round bout.
Mijares made his pro debut on the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Amir Khan middleweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I was really nervous,” said Mijares, 20. “I had to get over it.”
Mijares ended up winning his debut this past May and then scored a knockout win in June.
“Boxing is always in my life,” said Mijares who loves working in the gym. “And I love body shots. It’s one of my key things.”
GGG Meets With the LA Media / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.