They may have different fighting styles, but Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are striking similar tones with reporters.
In separate interviews last week, Alvarez decided to speak only on his terms, and Golovkin came close to scrapping his entire Big Bear media day Thursday.
“We’re working hard. People should understand we’re training here. It’s a process,” Golovkin said after deciding to abbreviate his availability to a 15-minute interview with select reporters on a park bench outside his gym.
“We understand reporters like to see what we’re doing, but they shouldn’t interrupt our training process.”
Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 knockouts) became miffed when reporters in vehicles surrounded him during his planned morning run early Thursday morning, spewing car exhaust in his face.
“He ran 100 meters, turned back to camp and said he was done,” Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said. “He just wants to get his work in without interruption.”
Alvarez has been selective in his media obligations and last week banned a Los Angeles Times reporter from a scheduled visit with the former two-division champion in San Diego.
A Thursday morning email to the invited throng for Golovkin’s event informed he wanted to instead train in solitude. The message first felt like an extension of the ongoing tit-for-tat between the fighters, who both might attend a news conference in Los Angeles on Aug. 26.
When The Times arrived at noon Thursday, Golovkin was napping and a representative said there was no guarantee of documenting any activity.
Upon his rousing, he greeted a reporter with a smile and handshake to say, “There are other times they can come and film me. I don’t know why they did that.”
He was asked if his tense response could be explained by the fact he’s preparing for the most important bout of his life, a Sept. 15 rematch in Las Vegas with Alvarez following their draw one year earlier.
“That’s true,” he replied of the HBO pay-per-view rematch of a bout that generated a $27 million live gate and 1.3 pay-per-view buys last year.
“I remember one famous athlete once asked his coach, ‘Why are they coming, interrupting me all the time?’ and the coach responded, ‘You should lose once. They’ll never come again.’”
Loeffler said Golovkin’s professionalism in promoting the bout will help it eclipse the profits of the first meeting, noting the fighter’s prior media lunch in Los Angeles, a visit with reporters at last month’s UFC event in Las Vegas and plans to throw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium.
“There’s speculation that Oscar and I planned this controversy, which is ludicrous,” Loeffler said. “Canelo got a headline by testing positive. Then ‘Triple-G’ said something about it and got a headline. Then Canelo got suspended and their [May] fight got cancelled … anything that happens with this fight gets a headline.”