Tensions are running high between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and GGG expects to have the fans’ backing in Las Vegas.
Gennady Golovkin feels that “80 percent” of the world will be backing him when he squares off with rival Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in a hotly anticipated rematch this weekend.
The first bout resulted in a contentious draw a year ago and a scheduled rematch in May was postponed, with Canelo hit with a six-month ban for a positive test for the banned substance clenbuterol.
Tensions between the two camps have been palpable in the build-up in Las Vegas, with GGG and his entourage aiming several barbs at Canelo.
And the fearsome Kazakh, who has never been put on the canvas in 39 professional fights, believes the majority of boxing fans will be in his corner.
“I feel, in my view, a lot of Mexican people and the whole world – 80 percent – will support me,” he told Omnisport. “I think so, yes, I’ll bring my belt back home.
“I remember the first fight was not perfect for me or him. It was like a first test but the second fight is much bigger and much more interesting.”
Asked whether Canelo should be allowed to fight at all, Golovkin replied: “I’m a fighter, not a commissioner.
“I’m ready. I was ready in May, I was ready last September. I’m ready for this September.”
The context in the build-up to this bout has seemingly altered the opinions of both fighters, who took a much more amicable approach to their first encounter, and Golovkin recognized as much.
“Right now it’s a completely different fight, just different emotions, a different situation,” he said. “The first fight was a good experience. This fight is not a rematch, it’s the biggest fight.”
At 36, Golovkin’s sensational career is entering its twilight stage, but he remains non-committal on how much longer he has in the ring
“Right now I feel good. Just 36 years old, I haven’t lost my power, or my speed. I have motivation,” he said. “But who knows? Every fight is different. Not just the fight, just one punch, really just one punch can change a life sometimes. It’s a very serious business and a very dangerous sport.
“I can’t just say it right now, five years or 10 years. Sometimes there are people like Bernard Hopkins [who fought into his fifties], like Floyd Mayweather, he’s 40 , but he’s not old.
“Sometimes people who are 25 seem old, you know?”