Two worlds will collide when Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez meet one another in boxing’s square jungle in Las Vegas this weekend, writes GARY LEMKE.
Now that we’ve had boxing’s sideshow of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, it’s time to get to the main event. Sure, neither Golovkin nor Alvarez will set the cash register ka-chinging in the way The Money Man and Notorious did a couple of weeks back in the same T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. But this is real boxing, to decide who will become the best middleweight of his generation.
Golovkin is the current bookmakers’ favourite to retain his unbeaten record. He’s had 37 fights and won 33 of them by knockout, and each fight has gone an average of less than five rounds. The ‘attraction’ for Alvarez is that this match-up should have taken place in 2015 or 2016, and many will argue that it was the Mexican’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, who kept the pair apart.
Golovkin, known as ‘Triple G’ or ‘GGG’, was taken the distance for the first time since 2008 when he last fought, beating American Daniel Jacobs over 12 rounds at Madison Square Garden in New York. That, and the fact that the iron man from Kazakhstan is already 35, has led to the belief that De La Hoya has pulled off a masterstroke of timing.
Sure, the pair should have collided in 2015 or 2016 – but the Mexican was last year fed a diet consisting of Amir Khan and Liam Smith, both of whom he knocked out. Alvarez is at his peak, a 27-year-old from the tough streets of Guadalajara and a winner of 49 of his 51 fights. The draw came in his fifth contest, back in 2006 and the defeat was a 12-round points setback in 2013. And the man who handed him his only defeat? Yes, Floyd Mayweather. On the night Alvarez was unable to get close to the defensive master and Mayweather’s speed was too much.
When Golovkin and Alvarez meet there won’t be much left to the imagination. Both are come-forward fighters and the contest has fans drooling at the prospect of seeing another classic in the mould of Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns in 1985. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favour and watch it on YouTube. It will be eight minutes spent that you’ll never regret.
Golovkin’s punching power is famed. He has the one-punch concussion that made Mike Tyson great, but he reckons there’s more to his bow. ‘I’m not just a puncher. There’s also speed, positioning and tactics. But I understand my situation. It’s my job to entertain the fans. This is serious business. It’s fight, it’s 12 rounds, not a game.’
Although he is relatively easy to tag, and lives by the rule that he’ll gladly take a couple in order to land his own, he has a chin of granite, never have been knocked off his feet as an amateur or professional.
He is also the slightly taller man of the two with a longer reach. In the other corner is a Mexican fighter who himself takes a helluva punch and in his knockout of British favourite Khan he showcased his own power. Once he started finding a home for his left hook the contest was over. And afterwards, in typical straight-talking manner, he said to the interviewer, via a translator, on live TV: ‘Like we say in Mexico, we don’t f**k around’.
The fight will be shown on SuperSport 2 on Sunday morning.
Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images
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