NEW YORK–Johnathon Banks was not much interested in parroting what he feels are hackneyed talking points from the boxing media.
The trainer of unified middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin, Banks pushed against the notion that his charge might be in diminished form because of his relatively advanced age of 40 during an interview given at a press conference in Manhattan for Golovkin’s third bout with Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 17 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will be contested at the 168-pound limit, the weight class in which Alvarez, 31, holds all four major titles.
Banks poured cold over the idea that Golovkin might be slipping due to age. Golovkin, who built his reputation as one of the most lethal punchers in boxing, has had to battle the perception lately that he is no longer what he was in his prime.
In 2019, his heated battle with Ukrainian contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko saw Golovkin receive many blows, including a body shot that seemed to give the normally durable fighter some pause. In his last bout, in April, Golovkin went up against WBA middleweight titlist Ryota Murata. Golovkin looked vulnerable at times in the first half of the fight before he ramped up the pressure in the second half, eventually stopping the Japanese in brutal fashion in the ninth round of their middleweight unification bout.
“I think the only people that is worried about his age is the media,” Banks told a group of reporters. “I don’t even think the other opponents is even worried about his age. My opinion…I’m not worried about it. I worry about when I see the slow down, then I will acknowledge it.
“But as of right now, as long as he stays motivated and he’s working his butt off to accomplish the goal, I don’t see any reason to pull him back and start discussing how old he is and this and that.”
Banks believes both fighters will showcase versions of themselves different from their first two fights. The last time Golovkin and Alvarez shared a ring was in 2018, their second fight, which ended with a razor close majority decision in favor of Alvarez.
“Like I say, both fighters are different coming into this fight since four years ago when they fought,” Banks continued. “I think both fighters are different and that will make it an even better fight.
Banks added, “This version of ‘Triple G’, I believe, will be able to make those adjustments.”