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Gennady Golovkin's most trusted boxing adviser is also his best confidant: twin Max

Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Boxing

"Gennady hasn't had the right dance partner until now. If he fought Chavez Jr., his numbers would be high, too," Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said. "He doesn't bring his wife and son to the fights. He keeps it completely separate. He's always done it that way. He's been effective that way. ... I'd rather have an exciting fighter in the ring who's boring outside of it than the other way."

The person who knows Golovkin's compelling story is his twin. Max remains a confidant constantly by Gennady's side during training camps and fights, providing trusted, calming advice.

Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez, says what Max tells his brother "is more important than me. Max knows Gennady better than he knows himself. I've seen the interactions with Max and, at times, it is like Max is the older brother."

The words are "in Russian, obviously, and I am not understanding, but I can kind of hear it in the tone of voice, what he is doing wrong, what he needs to do more ... they know each other better than anybody else could ever know them."

Max also boxed as a youth, from the age of 8, when their older brother, Vadim, led them to a local boxing gym. Another older brother, Sergey, dedicated time with them during their development.

Shortly after the twins discovered boxing, Vadim was killed while performing mandatory Russian government service. The family wasn't given clear details of what happened, and the funeral took place with an empty coffin.

The influence of that loss is telling. Gennady's other child, a son, is named Vadim.

Compounding the heartbreak was the 1994 death of Sergey Golovkin in similar circumstances to Vadim's, in Russian government service in Siberia.

The devastating loss certainly tightened Golovkin's desire to maximize the greatness in the ring born from his brothers' vision, but his reluctance to verbalize it has taken the subject nearly completely off limits. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times a few years ago, one publicist promised every subject was available for discussion.

But when Golovkin was asked about his brothers, he turned away and stared out a window, remaining silent until the subject changed.

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