Once, it was enough for Gennady Golovkin to ride the wave of a knockout streak that reached 23 consecutive fights, smile widely afterward and mutter his patented “Big Drama Show” catchphrase.
Golovkin had a consistent formula — train hellishly in Big Bear, let his fists do the talking, allow his handlers to best explain his dominance and veer from controversy.
But Golovkin, 36, was always observing intently, and as his rise led him to a showdown last year with the more popular Canelo Alvarez, the champion noticed a shift from the way it had worked during his earlier dominance.
Bernard Hopkins constructed a Hall of Fame career by winning 20 consecutive middleweight title fights between 1995 and 2005, but seeing that record threatened by Gennady Golovkin on Saturday has Hopkins downplaying the significance of Golovkin’s feat.
Although Golovkin still needs to defeat Canelo Alvarez on Saturday to set the standard of 21, Hopkins sought Wednesday to point out the flaws in Golovkin’s achievement.
“Don’t ever mention Marvin Hagler and ‘Triple-G’ in the same sentence. It’s disrespectful to Marvin Hagler,” Hopkins told reporters in referring to the former middleweight champion who reigned from 1980 until a 1987 split-decision loss to Sugar Ray Leonard that sent him to retirement. “Don’t ever touch that. You’re embarrassing yourself.”
Canelo Alvarez’s Saturday night bout on HBO pay-per-view is the final fight on his current deal with the premium network, and promoter Oscar De La Hoya indicated the sport’s most powerful draw could leave for a new suitor.
“It makes me wonder if HBO even wants to be in boxing,” De La Hoya told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.
Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 knockouts) will seek the two middleweight belts belonging to unbeaten champion Gennady Golovkin on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena on HBO ($84.95), and De La Hoya said, “I do want to fight him in December.”
Canelo Alvarez says he spends each night lying in his bed, visualizing how Saturday’s middleweight-title bout against Gennady Golovkin will transpire.
He doesn’t dwell on the lowest point of his career — his suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug earlier this year. Instead he focuses on what could be his defining moment as a fighter.
“I will win without a doubt,” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 knockouts) said Tuesday upon his arrival at the MGM Grand for Saturday’s rematch with the unbeaten champion Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) at T-Mobile Arena.
Keep in mind that it’s fight week for his most important promotion of the year, but Oscar De La Hoya says he’s serious after floating the possibility that he’s considering running for president in 2020.
“It’s real … that’s the beauty of our nation,” De La Hoya told a small group of reporters Tuesday at MGM Grand, where he built his substantial sporting reputation in fights against Fernando Vargas, Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
“If Arnold [Schwarzenegger] can be governor, if Trump can be president, then why can’t a Mexican American who won an Olympic gold medal, who’s over 35 and a U.S. citizen run for president?”
Gennady Golovkin’s Saturday night pay-per-view rematch with Canelo Alvarez marks the final fight in Golovkin’s current alliance with HBO.
In a climate in which powerful new options have emerged to broadcast and stream high-profile bouts, it will be compelling to see if the middleweight champion turns away from a network that is increasingly turning its back on boxing.
Six years after HBO helped launch Golovkin’s rise by televising his U.S. debut in New York, he was irked that HBO seemed unsupportive of his plan to fight a replacement opponent in May after Alvarez was suspended for six months for submitting two positive tests for clenbuterol.