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GGG Bringing Southern California Heat to NYC’s Curtis Stevens

BY David A. Avila ON October 31, 2013
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k2ggg103013timessquareC c581cSome Southern California heat is coming your way.

For three consecutive weeks prizefighters from the heat infected Southern California region will participate in high profile fights or perform in that area, specifically the Inland Empire.

Big Bear Lakes’ Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (27-0, 24 Kos) starts the fuse when he faces New York City’s Curtis Stevens (25-3, 18 Kos; the two are seen above in Times Sq., in photo by Will Hart/K2) in that fighter’s city on Saturday Nov. 2, at Madison Square Garden. The middleweight kicks off the action and will be followed in subsequent weekends by Riverside’s Mikey Garcia and Oakland’s Andre Ward. More on that later.

Big punching Golovkin left his Big Bear Lake training base and headed to New York City to face an equally big puncher in Stevens. HBO will televise.

Golovkin has punched his way through criticism with each and every fight. Little by little the doubters have come to realize that maybe the cat from Kazakhstan has some real talent. Fans already like his penchant for not allowing judges to decide who wins or loses.

“I think it’s my style,” said Golovkin about why fans have grown in support.

Waiting for the WBA and IBO middleweight champ is the underdog Stevens, who promises to snap Golovkin like two-week old pizza.

“I’m going to crush him,” said Stevens, 28, who goes by the nickname “Kryptonite.” “I’m going to wreck him.”

Before leaving from Big Bear, trainer Abel Sanchez said that most opponents have the faintest idea of what awaits them until they feel Golovkin’s power.

“Curtis is just talking and doesn’t understand the situation that he’s put himself into,” said Sanchez. “We respect the fact that he has a lot of knockouts. But those knockouts came at a different level.”

Fans are already pushing for Golovkin to fight WBC middleweight titlist Sergio Martinez or WBA super middleweight titlist Andre Ward. But he’s “Cool Hand Luke” when it comes to deciding the future.

“Curtis Stevens is a good fighter, a strong fighter,” said Golovkin. “I have to be ready for him.”

Two other fighters training in Big Bear Lake will also be on the same fight card. Ola Afolabi fights for the IBO cruiserweight world title against Lukasz Janik. And Cuba’s undefeated Mike Perez is in a heavyweight scrap against undefeated Magomed Abdusalamov. Both Afolabi and Perez live and train in the same mountain training camp as Golovkin.

Mikey

Moreno Valley’s Garcia (32-0, 27 Kos) travels to Corpus Christi, Texas on Nov. 9, to face WBO junior lightweight titlist Roman Martinez (27-1-2, 16 Kos) of Puerto Rico. If Garcia wins, it will be his second world title and a new weight division. Though Garcia now lives in the Inland Empire, he moved training camp from Riverside to Oxnard for this fight. He has been working with his brother Robert and father Eduardo in the same gym as Brandon Rios who is preparing for Manny Pacquiao.

Andre

Andre Ward (26-0, 14 Kos) arrives in Ontario, Calif. on Nov. 16, to defend his WBA super middleweight world title against New England’s Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (24-0, 16 Kos). The Oakland-based prizefighter is making his first appearance in the I.E. since 2009 when he knocked out Shelby Pudwill in Temecula.

Ward is now widely recognized as one of the top boxers pound for pound in the world. Fans in the Inland Empire are very familiar with Ward.

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Comment on this article

kidcanvas says:

GGG always positions himself when he punches.. thats his ace..

amayseng says:

good point Kid, GGG is always ready to transition offense to Defense and vice versa.

flawlessly

stormcentre says:

GGG’s ace is his experience with any style and his ability to remain calm, observant and balanced.

Everything else comes from that, and of course his fitness. He does not stay up in Big Bear because it doesn’t given him an advantage. He knows that when he comes down from up in the hills to fight, his natural stamina advantage is equivalent to some of the PEDs out there.

Golovkin has seen hundreds of guys that box like Stevens whom have power. Everybody at this level brings something good. Great left hook (Jeff Lacy), good defense (Whittaker), great right hand (Julian Jackson), good hand speed (Camacho) . . and the list goes on.

Steven’s power (provided GGG doesn’t wear it the wrong way – because it could happen – but it probably wont) will probably work right into Gennady’s plans.

To land it Curtis will have to open up, or reach: or both!

Golovkin knows that Stevens, even if he can take some good shots, really doesn’t have a plan “B”. He’s not incredibly adaptable. He basically looks to execute the power, pressure, smash and grab; game-plan.

GGG knows how to take away power, and he can execute a game plan without being nervous.

This brings benefits in the areas of accuracy and economy of motion; to an already extremely potent arsenal that appears as deceptively vulnerable as it is efficient.

Kostya Tszyu and a few other successful Eastern block fighters were very similar in this sense. To some extent it’s their amateur program, population driven competition and all the European fighting styles they get subjected to. It’s no accident Floyd never meaningfully tried to fight Kostya Tszyu at light welterweight and exact revenge for his Uncle. He knew experienced Russian (or similarly located) fighters are not too fazed with the shoulder roll defense, and actually like it in their competition. Paw the left hand out to confuse and obstruct vision. Feint the right hand to bleed out the shoulder-rolled fighter’s cocked/waiting counter right (as they always are), then step to the right and counter that right with a counter left hook supported by diagonal footwork; Cuban style.

Tszyu did it time and time again to devastating effect with many slick USA fighters. Of course you have to be good and confident at it, otherwise you get hit too. ☺

Anyway, you know when you're warmed up but not tired, and you start hitting the boxing bag and feel real fresh, just before the lactic acid and heartburn starts to set in? Those times when you can put the shots on the bag anywhere where you want with ease, and also control your feet enough to make you think you can go 10 rounds with the champions?

Until of course you get to round 6 and you feel all the sloppiness set in, reconsider and thank yourself you never called anyone at the level out?

Well Golovkin feels like how that is at round 3 on the bag, all the time, in the ring, no matter who he is in there with. He’s that’s relaxed.

Provided Golovkin hasn’t forgotten how to take a decent competition (not sparring) punch and doesn’t walk into too many; Stevens should get ready to become Golovkin’s next big statement.

Not in the least as this weekend Steven’s will probably find himself in all sorts of wrong-footed and dangerous positions from which he can only do one thing; demonstrate his punch resistance – or lack thereof.

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