It’s personal: Canelo predicts 3rd fight knockout with Golovkin
Canelo Álvarez is hurting after his first defeat in nearly a decade, and he’s still angry about everything that happened during five years of fighting and arguing with Gennady Golovkin.
Álvarez says he’s determined to channel all those bad feelings into a dramatic knockout win over Golovkin when they wrap up their feud trilogy on Sept. 17 in Las Vegas.
The Mexican superstar said his third fight with Golovkin was a grudge match on Friday as they began promoting their showdown with a Hollywood press conference. Álvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) was surprisingly beaten by light heavyweight Dmitry Bivol seven weeks ago, but he guaranteed he would “permanently” retire Golovkin, 40, in stopping him for the first time. in his career.
“(It will be) so sweet,” Álvarez said. “For me, it’s going to be very satisfying because of everything that’s happened around this fight.”
Álvarez’s personal dislike of Golovkin seemed awfully genuine, even though Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) played down any personal animosity. The fighters stood nose to nose and motionless on stage in Hollywood for almost two full minutes before a rather terse press conference.
Neither fighter can deny that their rivalry has included years of gossip, especially after Canelo failed a drug test in 2018, preceding Golovkin’s only career loss.
“He always pretends to be a nice guy in front of people, but he’s a (dumb),” Álvarez said. “He is. I don’t pretend to be nice. This is who I am. I don’t pretend to be another person, and he always pretends in front of you, ‘Oh, I’m a nice guy.’ He is not.”
They also met in two incredibly close fights which are among the highlights of both fighters’ careers. The first fight in 2017 was ruled a draw, while Álvarez won the rematch by a narrow majority decision.
Golovkin sought a third fight much sooner than Álvarez. The coronavirus pandemic played a role in Álvarez’s decision to wait four years for the rubber match, but he also admits he waited partly because he just doesn’t like Golovkin.
Golovkin dismisses Álvarez’s bold statements on a knockout as fighting posture.
“If it’s so personal to him, my question is why did he put off the (third fight) for so long?” Golovkin asked through his interpreter. “If it’s personal, you should ask him why.”
Álvarez says it’s because he was busy collecting all four super middleweight title belts in 2021 – but it’s also because of Golovkin’s trash talk, especially in languages other than English. Álvarez wasn’t specific about the comments that triggered him.
Golovkin reacted to his loss to Canelo in 2018 with characteristic composure, but he has only fought four times in the four years since as he sought a chance at redemption and the massive payday offered by a third fight with Álvarez. Golovkin took 2021 before returning to the ring last April with a ninth-round stoppage of Ryota Murata.
“Emotionally, I completely calmed down,” Golovkin said. “I think it’s just another fight. But I was still fighting and he was in golf tournaments. It’s something he should be doing, but jumping up the weight classes, I don’t know.
Golovkin’s comment was a veiled shadow in Álvarez, whose near-daily golf habit has become a popular thing to blame for his surprising loss to Bivol last month. Álvarez said he would absolutely not stop playing golf, but he intends to improve the conditioning which left him visibly more fatigued as the fight with Bivol continued.
“He always says I’m scared, I’m running away,” Álvarez said. “(He says) I don’t fight the best guys out there, (while he) fights these class D fighters. He talks a lot about me, that’s why it’s special for me.
Golovkin will move up to super middleweight for the first time in his career for the third fight with Álvarez, who holds all four major championship belts at 168 pounds. Golovkin was the longtime kingpin of the middleweight division before his loss to Álvarez, but he has since reclaimed two of the belts.
Both fighters live in Southern California. They will meet in New York on Monday.
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