AT today’s intoxicating Canelo-Golovkin weigh-in both fighters looked in sublime fighting shape as they came in bang on the middleweight division limit of 160lbs. While the scales will tell you the rivals are the same size, the superior height of the WBC, WBA and IBF champion was evident as they went nose-to-nose.
“See you tomorrow,” a smiling Golovkin said when asked to provide a message to his opponent; few fighters mix a cheery exterior with bad intentions so effectively.
Canelo punched the air after emerging unscathed from Golovkin’s intense stare. He too appears to be looking forward to tomorrow night’s T-Mobile Arena showdown.
“We’re only a day away and I’m going to show him who Canelo really is,” the Mexican responded. “I’m going to give the fans 100 per cent like I always do.”
Three weeks ago, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor concocted an event that briefly invaded the sport of boxing. The story there was about disappointing ticket sales, how long McGregor would last and how seriously Mayweather would take it. The outcome was already a certainty, making the whole spectacle null and void as a sporting contest long before it even began.
Canelo-Golovkin is at the opposite end of the scale, of course. The only thing people have been talking about all week, and keep talking about and love talking about is the fight. People don’t care about the attendance (should you be interested, it’s a sell-out) and there’s no questions being asked about how much effort the fighters will put in. The conversation among the media here, which often leads to debate, is simply about who is going to win this fight and, like with all great matchups, the opinion is split right down the middle.
Boxing fans are lapping it up too.
As early as 6am, as the night stragglers slurped on their Jack and cokes and the early risers started their day, fans of both Canelo and Golovkin gathered outside the MGM Grand’s Garden Arena. By 9am – one hour before they would be allowed in – the queue stretched all the way out to the hotel swimming pool.
The weigh-in lacked the ridiculous fanfare that has accompanied several big fights out here in recent years. There were no bad musicians, comedians or needless razzmatazz. Like the fighters are expected to do tomorrow night (which is due to start at 8pm local time, and 4am in the UK), it got straight down to business, and as Golovkin made his way to the stage – to the familiar soundtrack of White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army – euphoria thundered through the arena.
Boos and cheers battled for supremacy as “Triple G” coolly and confidently waved and smiled to the crowd. The bearded Canelo soon followed and his reception confirmed his status as the ‘home’ fighter as the fans united to roar their approval.
“This is going to be 12 rounds of hell, this is war!” promoter Oscar De La Hoya bellowed.
Indeed, all that’s left to do now is let battle commence.