Loeffler maps out 2015 for GGG
On Wednesday afternoon, a press conference was held at the Palm Restaurant in Los Angeles featuring Gennady Golovkin, who defends his WBA/IBO middleweight titles on Feb. 21 in Monaco, Monte Carlo. For this particular event, Golovkin and his team racked up the frequent-flyer miles, all for an event to be held in a venue that seats no more than 1,500 patrons.
For Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2 Promotions, efforts like this are about building Golovkin’s global brand. There is no television packaging going on here.
“Gennady does things in the ring that are unprecedented, the way he knocks people out, and I try to do things out of the ring to keep the momentum going,” he explained to UCNLive.com. “This will be the fifth press conference in five different countries. We had one in Monte Carlo to announce the right, then went to Kazakhstan. He had 2,000 people show up in Kazakhstan. Then went to London, Martin Murray’s hometown, to promote the fight there, then Mexico City, where he got his WBC [interim middleweight] belt and we had over a hundred journalists there. He had a huge reception in Mexico City.
“And now here, to cap off the tour in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles. So we’re really excited about it and that’s really part of the plan of building a global star.”
Later that evening, Golovkin stuck around L.A. Live to see the Clippers-Lakers game at the Staples Center and filled a few more media obligations before heading up the mountain to Big Bear to resume his training with Abel Sanchez. 2014 figures to be another busy year for Golovkin, who could conceivably fight up to four times. “Absolutely, Gennady always goes in telling me he wants to go four times a year. He wants to stay active, he wants to make up where he had a couple years where he had promotional issues in Europe,” explained Loeffler. Golovkin is currently 31-0 (28) and 32 years old; the belief is that they must continue to strike while the iron is hot.
Loeffler continued, “He wants to make up for some of that lost time and now he’s clearly established himself as the best middleweight. It’s just a matter of getting one of those ‘A’ names in the ring.”
This suits Golovkin just fine; he has no qualms about going up to four times in the upcoming year as he did in 2013.
“Yeah, I hope so. First fight, February, second fight, May. He has plans, big plans. I’m ready for his plan,” he says. 2015 could be the year where he lands that marquee fight.” Gennady and Abel are both in a hurry and it’s my job to look forward, play chess,” said Loeffler, who made some key maneuvers that could hasten this process. “With the [Marco Antonio] Rubio fight, [Golovkin] becomes a mandatory for the WBC champion [Miguel Cotto] and I really think you’ll see one of those [fights], whether it’s ‘Canelo’ [Saul Alvarez], Cotto or one of those 168-pounders. I think you’ll see that.”
Regardless, the plan will call for Golovkin to fight as often as possible. It’s one of reasons he’s been able to build this foundation of popularity.
“Like I said, we’re not going to stop Gennady’s momentum; he’s going to keep fighting. He likes the activity. They’re either talking about his last fight, the knockout or his upcoming fight. That’s really skyrocketed him as quickly as he has,” stated Loeffler, who has used the yearly appearances in Monte Carlo adroitly. “Monaco’s been great for Gennady’s career; it gives us an offset because HBO can’t give him as many dates as he would like here in the United States, four times a year. So the European fights and Monte Carlo – it’s a great city – there’s a lot of support over there and it provides prime time coverage on European television and that’s been great for him.”
2014 was a year that saw Golovkin make significant strides as a stateside attraction, headlining in big buildings in the two biggest media markets – New York and Los Angeles – and Loeffler says, “We’re just going to go to bigger venues. I’d like to bring him – if everything goes the right way in Monte Carlo – we’d like to bring him to Los Angeles and do a big fight back here to build on the momentum he had at the StubHub Center.”
You get the sense that Loeffler has his sights on venues like the Staples Center and the Forum (which got back into the boxing business last year after it’s multi-million-dollar renovation). But moving forward, you could see Golovkin hitting new markets.
Loeffler explained, “We focused on New York originally to build in the media capital of the world. Fighting in Madison Square Garden really catapulted him on a worldwide stage. Then we brought him over here to Los Angeles and it really put him over the top but, absolutely, with markets in Texas, whether it’s San Antonio, whether it’s Dallas, if there’s a fight that makes sense in Chicago or Las Vegas is certainly on the schedule. Richard Sturm of MGM[Grand] really has been supportive and hoping to bring a fight with Gennady in Las Vegas.
“So there’s a lot of markets he hasn’t fought in and the great thing about Gennady is that he doesn’t care where he fights.”
In a age of fighters who simply aren’t willing or able to do their jobs more than twice a year and “promoters” who do nothing more than collect a few television license fees a year and stick their supposed superstars in small Indian casino ballrooms – who then wonder why their fighters are leveraged to the hilt in big-fight negotiations – this collaboration here between the boxer and brain trust is one of the best jobs of developing a boxer and brand you’ll ever see.
But will this pay off with a major fight this calendar year?
“I think so,” said Loeffler, optimistically.” At this point, people start running out of excuses and Gennady brings financial and marketing strength and the excuses just don’t exist anymore. So I really think that you’ll see 2015 as that breakout year with a big-name opponent.”
In response to this article I wrote recently on the importance of pay-per-view dates that are centered around Mexican holidays, I received this email:
“Hi Steve, enjoyable writing – as always!
However, as a Mexican-American, Garfield high and UCLA class of ’02 grad, I disagree with both of your fellow writers’ perspective of the holidays
IMO, Cinco de Mayo had become a day for Mex-Americans (I.e., non-first-generation Mexicans) to celebrate their culture – albeit with plenty of drinking/partying…and fights featuring Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya or other popular Mex-American fighters.
Sept. 16th applies to Mexican citizens living here in Mexico or anywhere else in the world.
Either way, both holidays ARE important and just as Americans love going to baseball games on the fourth of July or enjoy NFL football on thanksgiving, many Mexicans and Mex-Americans love fights on their respective holidays.
Next time you’d like an opinion from someone of my background, I’m happy to help!
Keep up the great work!
So I asked Jose this very simple question: Does he prefer having Mexican boxers headline on these particular dates? His response:
“I absolutely would for two reasons:
1. The Mexican community generally embraces its own stars (at times, blindly) due to patriotism and ethnic pride. This unconditional support and passion adds extra drama and excitement to an event. Plus, on these dates, the national anthems, pageantry, mariachis, etc. mean a little more.
2. Elite Mexican fighters generally fight in a crowd-pleasing “Mexican style” i.e. forward, aggressive, risk-taking. Since I reserve these weekends for boxing, I like knowing that at least one fighter will be coming forward. It gives greater certainty to my monetary investment.
There is boxing on tonight on FOX Sports1, ESPN2 and Showtime (“ShoBox”). Check your local listings… “Solo Boxeo Tecate” on UniMas makes its 2015 debut from the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas with a card featuring Jessie Magdaleno…Petr Petrov-Hank Lundy is a very good match-up for Friday Night Fights on Jan. 16…So are the Rams coming back to Los Angeles? My reaction: Ehhhh…So how was “Empire” on FOX? I have it DVR’ed, haven’t watched it yet. I’m still bummed “Gang Related” got the ax after their first season…I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet (a lot) at http://twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at http://instagram.com/steveucnlive.