GENNADY GOLOVKIN and Canelo Alvarez went head-to-head today at the Landmark Hotel in London to kick off the press tour for their mammoth middleweight clash on September 16.
Golovkin will defend his WBA, WBC and IBF world titles against Mexican star Canelo at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with HBO broadcasting on pay-per-view in America and BoxNation launching their pay-per-view platform in the UK with this fight.
Both fighters were respectful in front of the assembled media, and both are aware of the sheer scale of this event.
“I’m very excited for this fight because everybody understands this is the best fight. It’s an amazing time for both of us. I respect Canelo’s team and I understand this is the biggest fight in my career,” Golovkin said.
“This is boxing. Everybody knows we have power, I think it’s 50-50.
“I spoke only with my promoter, Tom Loeffler. This is business. Right now I think this is the best time for us, for everybody. I believe Canelo is ready, this is a big gift to boxing fans. I know him. I have [a] plan. I believe Canelo’s team have a plan.”
Canelo will fight as a fully-fledged middleweight for the first time, having won and defended the WBC title at 155lbs and most recently defeating Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr at a catchweight.
“This is going to be a very tough fight. There’s fights that are difficult and there arefights that are tough. I’m going to prepare 100 per cent and I’m happy to give the fans what they demanded. It motivates me that the fans demanded this fight and that they’re getting what they wanted,” he said.
“The key is not to stand in front of him and take the punches. I’ll have to be smart an elusive and use counter-punches. He’s powerful if you stand in front of him.”
Billy Joe Saunders will defend his WBO world middleweight title at the Copper Box Arena in London on the same night as a part of BoxNation’s broadcast.
“This [Golovkin-Canelo] is the fight of 2017, it’s not a freakshow. It’s become a 50-50 fight over the last few months and it’s a delight for us to be involved in this. For me, as a boxing fan, I’ll buy a ticket for it. It is the fight. Do not take your eyes off of this one because you’re going to see a great fight,” Frank Warren, Saunders’ promoter, said.
Saunders even asked Canelo a question – probing the Mexican over why he vacated his WBC middleweight title instead of fighting ‘GGG’. He then asked if the winner of this fight will meet him next.
“I know you like to talk, but you’re [a] boxer, not a promoter. You can speak to my promotional team,” Golovkin responded.
Canelo’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, had come under fire when talks for this fight had reportedly fallen through in the past, but the former multi-weight world champion is over the moon to have it finalised – and is adamant the timing is perfect.
“Canelo against Golovkin features two of the most explosive fighters in any division today. Both have a style fans clamour for,” he said.
“UK fans, I know you love Las Vegas, so get your bags packed and get your plane tickets. This will be a cant-miss event.
“When they prepare for this fight, they’re going to elevate their game, they’re going to move on to a whole new level of competition, their minds will expand to whole new levels. We’re going to see the very, very best out of Golovkin and Canelo. I’ve talked to my partner Bernard Hopkins and he feels this can be the best middleweight fight we’ve ever seen in the sport.
“I think this fight was made at the perfect time. Boxing is doing so well. I have to mention Anthony Joshua, who can bring the heavyweight division back to its golden days. This fight is the icing on the cake. This fight, we didn’t wait too long, it didn’t come too early, it’s at the perfect time. When I say this will be the greatest middleweight fight in history, it’s because of these two guys we have who will both prepare 100 per cent.”
Ticket details will be revealed later this week.