By Scoop Malinowski
The first fight between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez was a close, fair fight with minimal grudge or tension between the two camps. The press conferences and fight itself harmonious and respectful, with both teams overly polite and fair to each other. The two middleweight titans fought to a controversial draw, which many felt GGG was the winner. Now after over a year, the rematch is here and will be contested this Saturday night on September 15 in Las Vegas at the T Mobile Arena.
This time, in what is a profound understatement, the tone and energy of this rematch have completely changed into a highly-charged major grudge fight.
The rematch negotiation was bitterly contested with Canelo demanding most of the money. Contracts were ultimately signed but then Canelo was caught with a positive drug test for the illegal performance-enhancing drug Clenbuterol which he claimed was ingested from tainted meat in Mexico. Golovkin used this issue and rematch cancellation to obtain a higher percentage of the purse after another fierce negotiation.
But as the weeks have passed, both camps have become increasingly nasty and mean-spirited to each other. Both sides have bickered back and forth via the media about which fighter fought to win, who ran in the fight, the validity of Canelo’s excuses for using the drugs, etc. Golovkin even said this week that Alvarez is a liar and he has seen photographs of the 28 year old Canelo with drug injection marks all over his body.
This week the two finally met again in the same room, for the first time since Feb. 27, 2017, the night of the press conference of their first fight.
Tensions were apparent. The press conference was held in a private room with only select media invited, no boxing fans were allowed in. Eerily quiet, both fighters and their camps spoke with only scripted cliches. Nobody said anything even remotely colorful or offensive. It was as if they can’t wait to start hitting each other and they just wanted to get this formality over with as soon as possible.
Here are some of the fighting words of each…
Alvarez: “I don’t like to talk. I’ll do it in the ring for my fans and Mexico.”
“It’s going to be a great fight for Mexican Independence Day and we’re going to celebrate it with a win.”
“I’m going out there to win. I’m training to knock him out. And of course I’m going to win.”
GGG: “I believe he’s ready, and I’m ready. This is the biggest fight for us. Don’t miss this fight, this amazing show. Good luck to everyone. It’s the biggest fight. Thank you.”
Another interesting note: After the press event ended today, the perfunctory fighter face off for photographers didn’t happen – upon the request of Alvarez. Golovkin wanted it.
Victimized by horrendous judging in the first fight, Triple G is a deserving -160 favorite heading into his rematch with Canelo Alvarez (+135) says the folks at MyTopSportsbooks.com. Though he’s now a year older and presumably that much slower, the 36-year-old didn’t rely on speed to “win” the first fight; he controlled the ring, backed Canelo up with his power, and stayed more active, outlanding Alvarez 218 to 169. Thanks to his quicker hands, Alvarez was able to get the better of a few exchanges when the pair stood and traded, but that strategy also opens up the Mexican to Golovkin’s power and may prove unwise over a 12-round fight with the heavy-fisted Kazakh.