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Pressure On Golovkin and Canelo To Revive Boxing in USA

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By Scoop Malinowski

Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez is a month away but it should have happened two years ago.

The middleweight superfight has been completely overshadowed by the Mayweather-McGregor pre-fight hype which has been colorful and fascinating on so many levels.

Meanwhile, Golovkin and Canelo have both remained low-key. Neither elected to make any waves at the New York City press conference over a month ago and have been relatively quiet since. Alvarez is a dull, pleasant, polite sort. It’s just not his nature to say anything controversial or profound Golovkin is far from a boat rocker himself. Unlike Mayweather and McGregor, who are both natural born headline makers.

While Mayweather vs McGregor is on track to break pay-per-view records, according to tracking figures mentioned by UFC boss Dana White, how Golovkin vs Canelo performs numbers-wise remains to be seen.

No doubt, the GGG-Canelo promotion could use some controversy, drama and bite to attract some positive press coverage. But those ingredients are not always necessary to produce a superfight of epic proportions – Klitschko vs Joshua earlier this year certainly proved that.

I have to say though that my once voracious enthusiasm for Golovkin vs Canelo has waned.  I thought there might be a bit more venom and grudge, expressed by Golovkin who had to wait two years for Canelo and Oscar De La Hoya to step up to the plate. But the whole promotion has been nothing but niceness, more like it’s a business agreement not a tense, edgy, malicious superfight.

Both sides seem afraid or incapable of saying anything to insult or hurt the other. And you wonder if that gentlemanly approach will transfer to the fight. Are these guys going to spar – or try to tear each other’s heads off?

Surely, the Mexicans will show up on September 16 and they will buy the PPV. Mexicans love Canelo because…well, because he’s Mexican. I asked a Mexican fan at the New York press conference what was it about Canelo that he really admired? The fan responded without any specific reasons, other than “He’s Mexican, and he’s all we have right now.”

Golovkin is an icon national hero in his own way also. A Russian journalist told me that for his last fight against Jacobs in New York, over a hundred tycoons and oligarchs from Kazakhstan flew in across the globe on private jets to support their champion.

Golovkin vs Canelo probably is going do very good numbers. It’s a fight that sells itself. But you wonder, if the two combatants had just a little more pizzazz and spice, if the fight could sell so much more. Boxing in America is struggling right now. It needs a mega-event to remind the world what a fantastic, incredible sport boxing can be. Leoanrd vs Hearns. Leonard vs Duran. Leonard vs Hagler. Pryor vs Arguello. Holyfield vs Tyson. Bowe vs Holyfield. Lewis vs Tyson…

While both Golovkin and Canelo are exciting fighters I can’t think of two more boring personalities who seem absolutely afraid of saying anything remotely offensive or insulting.

Hopefully the fight itself will more than make up for this severe shortage of pre-fight drama. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Because a boring, dud fight or controversial, political decision would be very damaging for boxing’s future in America which right now is at a low point.

There is immense pressure riding on Golovkin and Canelo, two non-Americans, to deliver a great fight which will show to everyone that boxing in America can be and will be great again.

About Scoop Malinowski

Author of six books including "Muhammad Ali: Portrait of a Champion" and "Heavyweight Armageddon: The Lewis versus Tyson Championship Battle" available at amazon