Kind demeanor or not, Gennady Golovkin is a menacing force with his gloves on. The middleweight champion’s 22 consecutive knockouts attest to that.
Thursday, Golovkin took the gloves off and verbally battered Canelo Alvarez, saying he believes it’s “impossible” that Alvarez will agree to fight him even at a promised, delayed date in September 2017.
In an extended conversation with the Los Angeles Times, Golovkin, 34, speculated that Alvarez would postpone the fight for “three years.”
Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 knockouts) opted in May to relinquish his World Boxing Council belt to mandatory challenger Golovkin (35-0, 32 knockouts), opting to instead fight for World Boxing Organization junior-middleweight champion Liam Smith’s belt Sept. 17 at AT&T Stadium outside Dallas while vowing to keep a date for Golovkin a year from now.
Golovkin moved on to an HBO-televised Sept. 10 defense of his three middleweight belts at London’s O2 Arena against England’s unbeaten welterweight champion Kell Brook.
Thursday, a day before concluding his training camp in Big Bear, Golovkin took aim at Alvarez and went beyond repeating his critique that Alvarez is operating as a “businessman” in delaying a problematic fight.
That feeling dates to sparring sessions that Golovkin had with Alvarez a few years ago in Big Bear, when Golovkin said he hammered Alvarez with a body punch that hurt the Mexican fighter and brought anguish to trainer Eddy Reynoso.
“Canelo and [promoter] Golden Boy — everybody around Canelo — understands, and they’re all scared,” Golovkin said. “He’s their Golden Child. If he’s finished, no money from him, no business.”
Instead of accepting a fight Alvarez indicated he’d take when he called Golovkin into the ring following his sixth-round knockout of Amir Khan on May 7, saying that Mexicans “don’t [mess] around,” Alvarez’s team has preached that he isn’t a true middleweight and needs time to build up to 160 pounds.
Golovkin’s not buying it.
He knows the nightmare scenario for Alvarez, 25, and his promoter is a one-sided loss, and when asked if he believes such destruction would transpire, Golovkin nodded yes.
“I think so,” he said. “He’s fighting small guys, no one with a true big punch.”
That appears to be a bad idea, given the depth of Golovkin’s experience and a grueling training regimen that fatigued his sparring partners Thursday but had Golovkin proclaiming “easy” after one routine of 400 head lifts with eight-pound headgear strapped on.
After being betrayed by Alvarez previously, Golovkin said he can already foresee the next scheme being concocted against him.
“He’s saying September’s the best date,” Golovkin said. “Maybe he’ll fight [Antonio] Margarito, maybe [Manny] Pacquiao or blah, blah, blah before then.
“It’s too much talk from Canelo. He’s not serious. Everybody understands it. People understand that G’s ready and Canelo’s not. He’s under pressure.”
Told of Golovkin’s comments, Golden Boy Promotions executive Eric Gomez told The Times, “We’re going to do our best to make the fight and that’s all I can say. We’ll make our best effort. We want the fight. Canelo wants the fight.”
That’s a comment that will be repeated as the September 2017 date nears, said Golovkin, maintaining that the delay is rooted more in fear than the greed-driven motivation that built the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao bout into the richest fight in history.
“The next step is for Canelo to say, ‘I’m ready. I’m size A, [Golovkin] is size B, and I’ll give him $2 million,’” Golovkin predicted. “Then, [Alvarez] can say, ‘What? He won’t take that? He’s not ready? I’m ready.’
“It’s a 50-50 fight, but that’s what he’s going to do. It’s a game to him.”