THERE are doers of deeds and speakers of words. (Of course ideally some people are both.) Gennady Golovkin tends much more to being the former than the latter. At a press conference on Thursday in London’s Canary Wharf, ahead of his September 10 middleweight title defence against Kell Brook, ‘GGG’ did nothing to dispel the aura he has quietly built up over the course of acquiring that unsettling knockout ratio of 91%.
Golovkin sat peaceably through the press conference and finally leaned toward his microphone with a broad grin on his face. “I feel great. I like people in London, beautiful people, a huge city. I love London right now, it feels great, like my second home,” he beamed.
Golovkin has not been an easy fighter to match, even though he has lure of holding three middleweight titles (although for this particular contest the WBA belt will not be on the line). “I respect Kell Brook. For us this is the biggest fight. He looks good. He said he’s ready to me. I’m ready for him. This is a gift for people, not just UK people, fans but for everybody, so many American people, people from Germany, Kazakh people. I believe this is the biggest fight for us,” he said.
As magnanimous as he was towards Brook, he gave no hint that the possibility of losing on Saturday had crossed his mind. “I’m not scared. I like sport, I like boxing, I respect my opponent because I understand the situation. He is very strong, he is a very good fighter. He is in the same situation. This is boxing. No, I’m not scared,” Golovkin said.
Brook, emphasising his comfort moving two weights divisions up, promised a new level of performance. “I’m not taking ridiculous amounts of weight off to make 147lbs. So I believe I’ve probably been 60, 70%. I think this time we’re going to see 100%,” he said.
While Golovkin seems implacable, Brook admits a human response to the fight. He feels fear. But he will use it. “There is fear with me in this fight, but that’s going to make me so sharp on the night, having that fear is healthy. It’s good. It’s good for me to sharp and be switched and switch on throughout the fight,” he declared.
“It’s meant to be. It’s written. I believe that this is my time. This is it for me. I mean to shock the world on Saturday night and no better than [against] the most feared man in boxing, GGG, where guys don’t want to fight him. They give titles up to avoid him. Me coming up, people say I’m coming up to his weight, what a win that is going to be.”
That’s the appeal of this fight. Fear versus faith, man versus boxing’s monster. Brook might well look the part at middleweight, all eyes will be on the weigh-in tomorrow. But the problem is it’s not just any middleweight he’s going up against. It’s Golovkin. Whether Brook is right, whether ‘fear is good’, we’ll find out on Saturday night.