By Miguel Maravilla
Kazakhstan’s two-time middleweight world champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KO’s) finally gets his shot to settle the score with his rival undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KO’s). Golovkin squares off against Canelo Saturday September 17 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas live on DAZN.
“It’s my first fight at 168 we will do everything we can to win this fight. I know Canelo at 160, now we are going to try at 168,” Golovkin said. “From an emotional standpoint after two fights it’s just another fight. I’m completely relaxed about it.”
Having faced each other two times for a total of 24 rounds, as the first fight in September of 2017 saw the two fighters go the distance in fighting to a draw, the rematch came one year later September 2018 with Canelo pulling a close split decision in another close fight.
“I don’t think anything changed. Everyone had an opinion, judges, and journalists. The worst of decisions, it’s water under the bridge,” Golovkin on the 2 fights with Canelo. “During the fight you learn something about your opponent. We learned something against the opponent. When the fight is over, you hug but if your opponent says it’s personal maybe there is something,”
Apparently, tensions have intensified in the rivalry with GGG and Canelo as Golovkin expressed his concern.
“If it’s personal to him or his team. I don’t know but, in my opinion, there is nothing personal,” Golovkin said.
It’s no secret but Golovkin has anxiously been awaiting the third fight with Canelo. With Canelo pursuing other options and achieving his goals to become undisputed it appeared that time was running out for Golovkin. At the age of 40, Golovkin feels that age is not a factor as he looks forward to the third fight with Canelo.
“I was not 100 percent sure if we would fight again. There were developments in court he was trying to postpone there was hope. It was reasonable for him to take the fight,” Golovkin said. “I don’t want you to get this impression that I’m in boxing because of my opponent,”
It has been a quiet and different campaign for Golovkin since his last and only defeat to Canelo. Making a change of trainers from Abel Sanchez to Jonathan Banks.
“I feel great with Jonathan and our training process. I think my fans will continue to support me. I think there is a group of people the supported me because of Abel but it doesn’t matter who the trainer is people are going to be fans of fighter regardless,”
“Any fighter or any person you assess them as an individual. I don’t go off the norm, I look at a sense of what I have in front of me. I know who he is and how old he is. His work rate is as if he was 19 years old,” Gennady Golovkin trainer Jonathan Banks said. “He is one of the guys that has a high work rate, 100 percent,”
The duo has piled up four wins together, a knockout over Steve Rolls in their first fight, hard fought tough decision over Sergey Derevyanchenko in picking up the vacant IBF middleweight title, scoring a knockout over Kamil Szremeta.
“A lot has changed since the last fight, the pandemic. I’m talking about life; boxing stayed the same. I believe I have matured and became wiser. The fact that I spent 2020 with my family was good,” Golovkin said.
Golovkin is coming off an exciting knockout win over Japan’s Ryota Murata, as the Big Drama Show hit Japan.
“My approach was based that it was a 12-round bout. I started checking out and feeling out my opponent. I knew I just had to figure him out,” Golovkin on his last fight
“I thought he had a great performance. We’re getting more efficient for things he does best. The development is like anything to the point you first start something you start with a seed. The more you water and nurture it is supposed to grow and that’s the case here. He can grow to be more efficient,” Jonathan Banks said.
Canelo is coming off a decision defeat to WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in his attempt at the light heavyweight title. Despite the loss, Alvarez still holds the undisputed titles at super middleweight as he campaigned at 168 and conquered, following his win over Golovkin.
“I know a lot of people don’t believe me, but I didn’t watch the fight live, Bivol was Bivol and Canelo was Canelo. No surprise” Golovkin on Canelo’s defeat to Bivol. “I watched some highlights,” Golovkin added.
“I thought it was a good fight. I said if Bivol came out jabbing it would be difficult for him to win,” Banks on Canelo’s defeat.
Golovkin feels that despite the loss, he knows what Canelo Alvarez he’s getting come fight night.
“A loss can only make you stronger. I think it’s good for Canelo because he will be much stronger and more motivated,” Golovkin said about Canelo. “I don’t think it’s a proper way to put it to try to get a knockout. My strategy stays the same I have to box,”
“This will be a fight of adjustments. I think this fight will be the fight of adjustments. Who will make the adjustments? They know each other,” Jonathan Banks said.
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla.