Canelo Alvarez was asked during Tuesday’s hourlong satellite news conference with Gennady Golovkin if he had anything to say to his bitter boxing rival.
“Nothing. We’ll see you Sept. 15,” Alvarez said from his training camp in Guadalajara, Mexico, while Golovkin was shown on a Facebook Live split screen from his Big Bear camp.
That iciness epitomized the session that was created simply because the fighters couldn’t stand to be in the same room with each other.
Following their tightly contested September 2017 draw that provided the only blemish on unbeaten, two-belt middleweight champion Golovkin’s otherwise perfect record, Alvarez botched the scheduled May 5 rematch by submitting two positive tests for the banned performance-enhancing substance clenbuterol.
Golovkin painted Alvarez as a cheat before the Nevada Athletic Commission slapped the former two-division champion with a six-month suspension that lasts until mid-August, despite Alvarez’s explanation that he accidentally ingested the substance by eating tainted beef in Mexico.
“We were all disappointed by Canelo,” Golovkin said. “It was not my decision to disqualify him.”
Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said, “My personal feelings have nothing to do with the commission findings,” which stopped short of saying Alvarez intentionally took the substance that is banned because it boosts stamina and endurance.
What defined the day was the stoic expressions of both fighters, each vowing to take the bout out of the judges’ hands and win by knockout in an HBO pay-per-view rematch at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which is expected to eclipse the last fight’s 1.3 million pay-per-view buys and $27 million live gate. Tickets went on sale Tuesday.
Promoter Tom Loeffler said Golovkin is “training for a convincing victory.”
Asked by the moderator why the pair couldn’t sit on the same dais, face off and shake hands as happens in most boxing news conferences, Golovkin said, “We are in a space that’s best, more comfortable for all of us. It’s better to meet on Sept. 15 and show all our best.”
Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 knockouts) said he’ll see Golovkin soon enough and no longer respects the champion for his opinions on the clenbuterol matter.
“This means magic happens in the ring,” promoter Oscar De La Hoya said. “You train harder, run extra miles, and the mental aspect is at its highest level. We will see an amazing fight.”
Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) took issue with De La Hoya’s assertion that Mexican nationals are strongly supportive of Alvarez and credited himself with being the aggressor in the first fight. He also touted his aggressive style of fighting, which was seen in his May 5 replacement fight, a second-round knockout of Vanes Martirosyan at StubHub Center.
“You can’t call that a fight. He had no opponent,” Alvarez said, jabbing the light-middleweight Martirosyan of Glendale.
Alvarez clearly is being goaded by the Golovkin team into a toe-to-toe battle better suited for the harder-hitting, 36-year-old champion.