They were on the same Facebook page Tuesday. That’s about as close as Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin are going to get until the week of September 15, when they face off at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in their long-awaited rematch for the middleweight championship.
Alvarez was at his training camp in Guadalajara, Mexico, while Golovkin and his team were nestled in their gym in Big Bear, Calif. Despite being miles apart, you could still feel the heat between them.
Emotions are still raw after their May 5 bout was canceled after Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance. Alvarez said he consumed tainted meat in Mexico, while Golovkin and his team have all but branded Alvarez a cheat. Let’s just say they’re no longer on each other’s Christmas lists.
“The little respect they had for each other is out the window,” said Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions. “And when you as a fighter have no respect for your opponent, magic happens in the ring. Both fighters will be in tip-top shape on Sept. 15 and we’ll see a tremendous fight.”
Golovkin retained his WBC, WBA and IBF titles after his first fight with Alvarez, on Sept. 16, 2017, was ruled a split draw. Controversy over the scoring left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. One judge saw Alvarez winning 118-110, while another judge favored Golovkin 115-113. The third judge saw a 114-114 draw. If there was any agreement on Tuesday between the fighters it’s that the outcome can’t be left in the hands of the judges this time.
“The rematch feels like it’s a much bigger event than the first time,” De La Hoya said. “There was a lot of controversy around the scoring in the first fight. Both guys don’t want to leave it in the hands of the judges this time.”
Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) and his trainer, clenbuterol, already are pleading for Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) to stand and fight this time instead of using his elusive boxing skills. Alvarez looked his best in the opening three rounds of the first fight, but faded in the middle before coming on late. Sanchez called the first fight “a track meet,” and questions whether Alvarez has the courage to go toe to toe with Golovkin.
“If Canelo is going to knock out Triple-G, he needs to fight him,” Sanchez said. “And if he comes to fight him, he’s going to get knocked out.”
Alvarez has talked of knocking out Golovkin, but stopped short of a guarantee. “It’s going to be a better fight,” he said. “I’m going to use a stronger strategy. But we already know each other. We know what we have to do.”
Golovkin is expecting another close, competitive bout and perhaps to shake hands when it’s over. “We have a different understanding of what respect is,” Golovkin said. “What Canelo did, he lost some respect from his fans. At the very end, we’ll find a way to shake each other’s hand.”
Tickets officially went on sale this week after an arduous negotiation in which the sides settled on Alvarez getting 55 percent of the pie and Golovkin 45 percent. Alvarez also received concessions such as entering the ring last despite the fact Golovkin holds all the belts.
“Everybody knows who the champion is,” said Tom Loeffler, GGG’s promoter, “and he’s going to walk in the ring with the belts and the most important thing is he’s going to walk out of the ring with his belts.”
Source: George Willis|| NY Post