By Xavier Porter | May 4, 2019

At thirty-seven years old, former WBC, WBA, IBO, IBF Middleweight World Champion Gennady Golovkin has decided to forego his working relationship with previous trainer Abel Sanchez, choosing to work with Johnathon Banks.

Banks, who is no stranger to the pressure of working on boxing’s biggest stages, has worked the corners of unified heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko and undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, just to name a few.

For Golovkin to change trainers, at this point in his career, has this writer scratching his head, wondering why. Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, will be bringing his Big Drama Show back to the “Mecca of Boxing” — Madison Square Garden — on Saturday, June 8.

He will be taking on undefeated top-10 contender Steve Rolls (19-0, 10 KOs), of Toronto, in a 12-round rumble that will be contested at a maximum weight of 164 lbs. The fight will be streamed live on DAZN. Golovkin vs. Rolls kicks off the exclusive six-fight, three-year global partnership between GGG Promotions and DAZN, the world’s fastest-growing sports streaming platform.

Banks, a former IBO cruiserweight champion and a heavyweight contender, is a disciple of the legendary Emanuel Steward. Upon Steward’s death in 2012, Banks, who was 30, was personally selected by heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko to be his new trainer, despite Banks being six years his junior. It was a boxing Baptism of fire but a challenge Banks was prepared for thanks to the many years he studied under Steward’s tutelage at the Kronk Gym, first as a fighter and then as an assistant trainer.

Banks and Klitschko traveled the world together, successfully defending the heavyweight world titles six times, with five of those defenses against undefeated contenders. Banks has steadily built on his success with Klitschko, earning a reputation as trainer with great insight who instills confidence and success into the fighters he teaches. Another star pupil of Banks is undisputed world welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus, long considered the best pound for pound female fighter. The undefeated Braekhus is in the 10th year of her world championship reign.

Banks Will Lead the Charge When the Big Drama Show Returns to Madison Square Garden on June 8, Live on DAZN.

Boasting a resume that includes a record 20 consecutive middleweight title defenses (18 by way of knockout), Golovkin has consistently drawn packed houses to the five previous events he has headlined at The Garden, dating back to 2013. Rolls, who has stopped four of his last seven opponents, has vowed to ice the middleweight legend with his version of a Canadian cold front.

When you’ve trained under a certain style of boxing for so many years, I wonder if the former champion will be able to make the necessary adjustments when he faces the undefeated Rolls on fight night.

Gennady Golovkin:

“I want to build on what I have already achieved and continue to improve as a boxer. Johnathon is teaching me new skills that will help me reach those goals. I believe in Johnathon’s teaching methods. We are working hard and I look forward to showing the world something special when I bring the Big Drama Show to Madison Square Garden on June 8.”

“I have always been a fan of Triple G since I began watching him as an amateur. I remember him at the Olympics and thought he was a tremendous talent,” said Banks. “When I got the call, of course I was excited to be working with him.”

“We have one goal and that is to officially return Gennadiy to the world championship throne that he deserves. The two fights Gennadiy had with Canelo reminded me of the two battles between Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns. Those fights had the same caliber of high level competition. I can’t wait for Gennaidy to get another shot at him.”

About GGG vs Rolls

Promoted by GGG Promotions, in association with DiBella Entertainment, remaining tickets to The Big Apple battle between Golovkin and Rolls are priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100, and $50, not including fees. Tickets may be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, and Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.msg.com.

For more information, fans can follow DAZN’s U.S. social channels: @DAZNUSA for Facebook, @DAZN_USA for Twitter, and DAZN_USA for Instagram.

About DAZN:

DAZN is the largest global sports streaming platform in the world. Since launching in 2016, DAZN had expanded across four continents with the service available in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan, and soon to debut in Brazil. DAZN guarantees no long-term contract, no bundles, just affordable access to all the service’s sports on connected devices including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, games consoles and PCs. In the U.S., DAZN has made its mark as an attractive alternative to pay-per-view within the combat sports industry. The platform features more than 100 fight nights per year from Matchroom Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, GGG Promotions, Bellator MMA, the World Boxing Super Series and Combate Americas. DAZN also features live MLB action each day of the season with its new daily show, ChangeUp.

Media Contacts:

  • Haiwen Lu (DAZN) – Haiwen.Lu@dazn.com – 917-855-7922
  • Brian Karpas (DAZN) – Brian.Karpas@dazn.com – 929-208-7117
  • Fred Sternburg (Golovkin/GGG Promotions) – Toofred@aol.com – 303-548-0707
  • Bernie Bahrmasel (Rolls/DBE) — berniebahrmasel@yahoo.com — 773-592-2986

Xavier Porter is the:

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