CANELO ALVAREZ today weighed in at 159.4lbs, just a quarter-of-a pound lighter than Saturday’s opponent Gennady Golovkin and three-quarters-of-a-pound lighter than when he held “GGG” to a highly contentious draw one year ago in the Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena.
Golovkin – who weighed 159.6lbs compared to 160 last time – made his way to the stage with his signature tune “Seven Nation Army” booming through the arena. Cheers and boos battled with The White Stripes for attention as the Kazak smiled, removed his cap and put his hands through his hair. Alvarez was also the picture of contentment as coolly strutted to the ring as his fans roared with delight.
The calmness in the air was snapped when Alvarez – the lead attraction despite being the challenger – was mistakenly invited to weigh-in first by the announcer of ceremonies. He remained in his seat, clearly offended by the error, and shook his head. An uneasy few seconds followed before Golovkin, the unbeaten WBC, WBA and IBF champion, was then introduced.
Canelo, seemingly ruffled, charged straight at Golovkin as the pair engaged in their first face-off since the rematch was rescheduled. It was heated, it was exciting, it was the perfect aperitif.
“This is going to be a special war,” said Golovkin. “Absolutely, I will knock him out.”
The immense interest in this fight was highlighted by the crowd inside the T-Mobile Arena, with all available seats taken to watch the world’s two premier middleweights drop their trousers, dispense with their jackets, and stand on scales in their pants.
Fans had been queuing for several hours to see the fighters make their final public appearance before Saturday night’s rematch. Ignoring the oppressive heat, they partied all the way down the new pedestrianised Park area which sits between the arena and New York New York Hotel and Casino.
Inside, above the stage, the contentious first fight was played on giant screens. Any suggestion that Canelo would be the villain of the piece following a failed drug test in February were dismissed as footage of the Mexican arriving at the arena drew hearty cheers from fans waving the tricolour Bandera de México.
The potential implications of that doping allegation, which stemmed from clenbuterol being found in his system and resulted in a six-month ban, undoubtedly heightened the interest. Plenty of observers have commented on Canelo’s appearance this week, with suggestions from some that his apparently slim appearance might be a consequence of performance enhancing drugs being removed from his preparation.
But at today’s weigh-in, those claims that Alvarez would look significantly lighter proved to be utterly nonsensical. Perhaps he’s just been wearing bigger suits.
Super-welterweights – WBO title
Jaime Munguia: 154lbs
Brandon Cook: 153.2lbs
Middleweights – WBA eliminator
Spike O’Sullivan: 159.2lbs
David Lemieux: 160lbs
Super-flyweights – 10-rounder
Moises Fuentes: 116lbs
Roman Gonzalez: 114.8lbs