CANELO ALVAREZ does not believe WBA and IBF middleweight king Gennady Golovkin has earned the right to fight him. The desire to see that showdown is so great that Alvarez has fielded as many questions about Golovkin this week as he has Amir Khan – who will challenge the WBC champion on Saturday night.
“It doesn’t bother me at all that Golovkin is constantly being brought up,” said Alvarez. “Right now it’s Golovkin, and in the past it’s been other names, but you get used to it. Look, the one who needs to escalate, and prove they deserve this fight [against me] is Golovkin. The type of opponent he fought a couple of weeks ago [Dominic Wade], come on, that’s not going to make this fight.”
Golovkin – who has been a middleweight champion since 2010 and won all 16 of his ‘world’ title fights via knockout – halted Wade in two rounds last month, and again called out the Mexican in the aftermath. While Alvarez has never dismissed the contest, the fact there is little sign of it happening has led some to accuse Canelo of cowardice.
“I fight the best and I’ve never been afraid of anyone,” Alvarez responded. “My record speaks for itself. Look at my last 10 opponents and compare them to Golovkin’s last 10 opponents and you’ll see. There is no reason to be afraid of him. If it was about just business or money, we would have done this fight already because a lot of people want to see it. He needs to work his way up, and earn his shot.”
Considering that Golovkin has hammered the likes of David Lemieux, Martin Murray, Matthew Macklin, and Daniel Geale in recent years – and Khan earned his shot without any middleweight experience whatsoever – it was fair to ask exactly who the Kazakh should fight to gain Alvarez’s approval.
“He would have to fight someone that can complicate him, someone that has skill,” came the reply. “He has all these knockouts but who has he fought?”
Canelo has also faced criticism for fighting at a catch-weight of 155lbs – just one pound above the super-welterweight limit, and five below the middleweight threshold.
“I feel comfortable at 154lbs,” Alvarez explained. “I know I’m fighting for the 160lb title but that one extra pound is lighter on my body and I feel better. While I am at this weight I will not fight someone who weighs 160lb – that would be an advantage to the opponent – why would I give them that advantage?”
Looking slick in a blue checked suit, Alvarez’s demeanour also exuded coolness. He insists the hard work he has put into training for Khan has fueled his quiet confidence.
“It’s a virtue that I have. I’m always like this. I know the hard work has been done, that I’ve completed all the hard training and that gives me the tranquillity,” he said.
Alvarez insists he has prepared for the best Khan can bring and the outcome will not just be decided by his power – or the Englishman’s speed.
“I don’t go in there thinking about power – there’s a lot more to me than just power,” the champion emphasised. “When you see me in the ring on Saturday night you’ll find out.
“Everybody thinks this all about my power and Khan’s speed. But people are going to be surprised that it’s not just power with me, they will be surprised about my speed. I have prepared myself for the best Amir Khan – whether it’s his power or speed, or whatever he brings.”
Whatever happens on Saturday, and whether or not the Golovkin showdown occurs, Alvarez promised a bright future.
“I already have a lot of experience but the best is yet to come. I’m 25 years old, I’ve had a good career and the best is yet to come. I want to fight for the next 10 years which will be better than my first 10 years.”