Canelo Alvarez: This time it’s personal

Canelo Alvarez
Golden Boy Promotions
Hostility mounts between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin ahead of their September rematch, writes John Dennen

FIGHTING spirit has come into question as Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin prepare for their rescheduled rematch on September 15.

Golovkin may be a Kazakh but he thinks many of Alvarez’s own Mexican fans will be supporting him and the style in which he fights. “I don’t believe all Mexico will be rooting for Canelo. I understand that [promoter] Oscar [De La Hoya] thinks that Canelo is the main locomotive behind this fight, but I think we’re both worthy of this fight,” he said.

Alvarez replied, “I’ve always had detractors, regardless of who I’m fighting. There’s always that side of the fans that are the detractors, but I have much more, many more, that love and support me. And now, that little respect that I had or that we had [for Golovkin], it’s been lost, and come September 15, it’s just him and I in the ring, whether I have the support or not. It’s just going to be him and I. And he’ll see.”

Golovkin still maintains that he deserved an equal share of the split for this rematch with Canelo, but allowed 55/45 to the Mexican to make the fight. “As far as the 45 to 55, yes, we made a concession. I think that we make a big concession, but I think it’s right now, it’s the most important thing that we are going to have a fight and our fans will love it,” Golovkin said.

“GGG’s” team have also criticised Alvarez’s tactics in the first fight, which resulted in a controversial draw. Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, said, “All those same things were said prior to the first fight and it ended up being a track meet. I think that on the 15th when Oscar and Canelo are having breakfast, Oscar needs to remind him, he needs to bring his courage to the venue that night. Because he’s going to need it. If he intends to knock out Golovkin, he’s going to have to fight him. And if he fights him, he’s going to get knocked out. I said that before; he would have gotten knocked out the first time but he decided to make it a track meet that night… But if he comes to fight and if he comes to knock out Golovkin as he said he’s going to; if he doesn’t defraud the fans again, then he’s going to get knocked out. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again.”

However it would be a mistake for Golovkin to try to re-fight the last bout. Alvarez is adapting. “I did my fight. I did what I set out to do. I did what I trained to do but I did a great fight. But on September 15, I’m going to do the necessary adjustments and the necessary things to win. This man just likes to talk. He likes to talk a lot and bring up every excuse possible, but you’ll see, on September 15, what Canelo Alvarez is all about and what he’s capable of doing,” the Mexican said. “Without a doubt it’s going to be a different fight. It’s going to be a better fight. Look, we know what we have to do. I’m going it take even a stronger strategy, a better strategy, and it’s going to be a much better fight. We already know each other. Now we know what we have to do.”

Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin

His intends to up his workrate and, after an arthroscopy, assures supporters that no injury will hinder him. “I know how to move inside the ring. The knee is not a problem. We’ve been working hard now and we’ve been training here and it hasn’t given me any issues and if it does come up during the fight that it gives me problems, we’ll already have a Plan B, a strategy behind that as well,” he said. “[Increased workrate] that’s part of the plan and part of what we are working on. Yes, we know what we have to do, and yes, we have to throw more punches. To win fights, you have to throw punches, and that’s what I do in all my fights.”

The thought of engaging with Canelo appealed to Golovkin. “As the champion [he holds the WBA and WBC middleweight titles], I know my strategy and of course in this upcoming fight a lot will depend on Canelo and the more Canelo shows, the more interesting the fight will be,” Golovkin said. “I want to tell him that we should be ready for the fight. You know, we should be ready for his fight for us.

“We should get ready. I think we should both be in the best shape for this fight and the better we will be for this fight, the sweeter the taste the victory will have for us.”

Canelo Alvarez has taken these criticisms personally. “Yes, absolutely, it’s changed, totally,” the Mexican said. “They disrespected me for everything they have been saying, everything they have been doing, all their actions. Now it’s different. It’s personal.”

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