Jonathan Banks acknowledges Gennady Golovkin was ill but said it’s no excuse!
In the eyes of most, former middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KO’s) was the recipient of a gift decision over Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KO’s).
It certainly was not an easy night for Derevyanchenko. Right from the beginning, he had to survive a first round knockdown and contend with a nasty gash that opened up in the second.
Regardless, the game Ukrainian gave GGG all he could handle in trying to capture the vacant IBF and IBO middleweight titles. It was his second attempt at a world title following his failed first October 2018 attempt against Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-3, 29 KO’s).
Since the time the judges awarded Golovkin the victory, cries of ‘robbery’ have made their way through the boxing circuit. In response, GGG sympathizers have run with the narrative that the Kazakh was sick during fight week.
According to them it was the illness, not Derevyanchenko, which was responsible for the former middleweight boogeyman’s poor showing. During the telecast itself the DAZN commentators brought up this talking point quite a bit.
Despite the opportunity to exploit this same readily available narrative, Golovkin’s head trainer Jonathan Banks would not take that route. In an interview conducted with IFL TV, Banks did acknowledge and admit that Golovkin was ill before the fight.
Yet, past that admittance, he gave all credit to Derevyanchenko for the fight being as strenuous as it was.
In terms of the illness Banks did think that it was severe and was going to be an issue. However, since the former unified champion had made up his mind to fight, Banks more or less put it out of his mind.
Once in the ring, whatever ailments might have been present became just another hurdle on their path to victory.
“It probably did it, probably didn’t, I don’t know, I mean getting sick effects anybody. I thought it was horrible, horribly bad. It’s nothing to talk to about now because he chose to fight.
“It was his choice, he chose to continue and fight, so with him choosing to continue to fight it doesn’t matter how you feel. The only thing that matters is what you do in the ring.”
Even though Banks expected a tough fight and was confident in his charge, he had to admit that even he was nervous when it was time to go to the scorecards. Interestingly, he also admitted that he told Golovkin whoever won the twelfth round would take the fight. This is interesting because most felt he lost the twelfth round due to excessive holding.
“I hate decisions! I’ve always hated decisions in boxing. You could win every round, you could knock a fighter down every round and if it goes to decision you crossing your fingers and hoping it’ll happen.
“That’s seriously really how boxing is. […] I told G if he win the last round he won the fight. I thought he won the last round in my opinion. That’s just my opinion.
“I been saying it all camp! I told them the type of fight we were looking at so Derevyanchenko if nothing else he proved that.
“[…] You see all these middleweights are coming around to fight GGG. They ain’t looking to fight Derevyanchenko, they trying to fight GGG! Because Derevyanchneko is a pain in the ass for anybody.
“I don’t care who you are! He’s going to be there and he ain’t leaving! He isn’t the type of guy to come visit, he the type of guy to move in and he’ll be in your face all night long.”
Boxing heads will be very curious to see who the Kazakh fighter will take on next. Golovkin has sought a rubber match with an overtly disinterested Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KO’s) for some time now. Following that performance, it’s very unlikely Alvarez will take that trilogy bout any more seriously.
Yet, just as Canelo won’t provide Golovkin the time of day, GGG has routinely snubbed WBC middleweight champion Jermall “Hit-Man” Charlo (29-0, 21 KO’s) as well as WBO middleweight champion Demetrius “Boo-Boo” Andrade (28-0, 17 KO’s).
On-lookers will also be eager to see how Golovkin performs in his next outing and who he chooses. Will it turn out that this sluggish exhibition was due to illness, or has GGG finally gotten old?
By: Bakari Simpson