Canelo-GGG Rematch: Alvarez beats Golovkin by majority decision

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Canelo Alvarez defeated Gennady Golovkin tonight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to claim the WBO and WBA middleweight titles. Get the latest news and analysis from boxing reporter Lance Pugmire and columnist Dylan Hernandez live from Las Vegas.

Pound for Pound Episode 3: Behind the scenes at Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin

In Episode 3 on the new Pound for Pound series, follow Los Angeles Times reporter Lance Pugmire behind the scenes in the immediate aftermath of the rematch between Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin.

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Only result that makes sense is a third Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Gennady Golovkin trade punches during a middleweight title fight
(Isaac Brekken/Associated Press)

From the shoulders of his trainer, Canelo Alvarez looked out at a world below that was suddenly changed.

Removed by twelve months from a disputed draw with Gennady Golovkin and six months from a couple of positive drug tests that tarnished his reputation, he was now the world’s undisputed No. 1 middleweight.

A majority decision winner in his rematch against Golovkin on Saturday night, Alvarez raised his index finger to his pursed lips, as if instructing his critics to be quiet.

In the coming weeks and months, Alvarez and his promoters could be tempted to move on from Golovkin, his longtime rival and tormentor. His win at T-Mobile Arena gave him the signature victory of an already storied career that could be parlayed into lucrative paydays against several of the other viable opponents in his weight class, most of whom wouldn’t trouble him nearly as much as Golovkin.

So whom should Alvarez fight next?

The list should start and end with Golovkin.

Glenn Feldman scored the fight a draw, 114-114. Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld declared Alvarez a 115-113 winner. On my unofficial card, I had Golovkin in front, 115-113. Any of the scores were reasonable.

But it’s not just that the fight was close. It’s that Golovkin and Alvarez returned to T-Mobile a year after their initial encounter as completely different fighters and engaged in another riveting battle. Considering how distinct the rematch was from the first fight, a third fight has the potential to introduce another 12 rounds that are equally unpredictable.

Alvarez was open to the idea.

“If the people want a third fight, we’ll do it,” Alvarez said in Spanish.

Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, called for another rematch.

“I can’t complain about the decision, but it’s close enough to warrant a third fight,” Sanchez said.

Alvarez and Golovkin reversed roles from their initial encounter, when Alvarez was the boxer and Golovkin the stalker. That Alvarez could fight effectively while advancing this time and Golovkin could do the same while circling and backpedaling was confirmation of their wide range of skills.

The two fighters tried to establish their respective jabs in the early rounds and it was Golovkin who succeeded in doing so. Golovkin not only threw his jab with power, but also delivered two or three at a time on occasion.

Alvarez started taking over the fight in the fifth round, when he bobbed and weaved past Golovkin’s punches and forced his opponent to back up. Golovkin was clearly uncomfortable fighting backwards, which diminished his power.

Alvarez delivered punishing hooks to Golovkin’s jaw. He landed thudding blows to his body. Golovkin occasionally tried to stand his ground, such as in the opening minute of the seventh round, but Alvarez eventually forced him to retreat. Alvarez was too strong.

One of the sport’s best-conditioned fighters, Golovkin uncharacteristically showed signs of fatigue in some of the middle rounds, dropping his hands to his side when there were lulls in the action.

But he was taking a breather. He wasn’t surrendering.

Golovkin attempted to salvage the fight by attacking a now-tired Alvarez over the last two rounds. The 12th was particularly competitive, with both fighters throwing hailmakers at each other as the crowd in the packed arena rose to its feet.

“We had a great fight, the one we expected the first time around,” Sanchez said.

The public perception of the first fight, as well as the expectations for the rematch, was shaped by the simultaneous outspoken and affable Sanchez.

Sanchez accused Alvarez of running last September. He didn’t.

Sanchez described the fight last year as boring. It wasn’t.

But Adelaide Byrd’s inexplicable 118-110 score for Alvarez in the split draw, coupled with the cancellation of the originally-scheduled rematch because Alvarez failed a pair of drug screenings, made the majority of fans sympathetic enough to Golovkin to accept Sanchez’s questionable assertions with little to no resistance.

The reality was the initial encounter was unusually violent considering the skill level of the combatants. If anyone was expecting to see another installment of the savage trilogy between Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward, it was only because they knew nothing about the sport. Gatti and Ward blocked punches with their faces because they were mediocre technicians. Top-level fighters don’t fight like that, nor should they.

They entertained 12 months ago and they entertained Saturday night. And they could entertain again next year.

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Abel Sanchez content with decision and asks for a third fight

We had good judges who saw it from different angles. I can’t complain about the decision, but it’s close enough to warrant a third fight.

— Abel Sanchez, Gennady Golovkin’s trainer

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Canelo Alvarez earns redemption with a close majority decision win over Gennady Golovkin

Canelo Alvarez celebrates after defeating Gennady Golovkin.
(Isaac Brekken/Associated Press)

Canelo Alvarez redeemed his name, reputation and ability Saturday night, rising to the criticism, pressure and experience of his bitter rival Gennady Golovkin to take away his two middleweight belts by majority decision.

Alvarez, drawing on his youth and passion to erase the stain of a positive drug test earlier this year, turned in an impassioned showing to pile up rounds in the middle of the fight, and then survived as Golovkin raged back down the stretch.

“I’m a great fighter and I showed it tonight,” Alvarez said. “I showed my victory with facts. He was the one who was backing up. I feel satisfied … it was a clear victory.”

While judge Glenn Feldman scored the bout even, 114-114, judges Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld had it 115-113 for Alvarez, and both awarded Alvarez the deciding 12th round in front of 21,965 at T-Mobile Arena.

“I’m not going to say who won tonight because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges,” said Golovkin, who needed eight stitches over his right eye. “I thought it was a very good fight for the fans and very exciting. I thought I fought better than he did.”

Mexico’s Alvarez takes away Golovkin’s unbeaten record, his record-tying 20-fight unbeaten streak in middleweight title fights, and his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Assn. belts by defeating the well-conditioned former champion from Kazakhstan.

Respect, resolve and admiration replaced the vitriol that built to Saturday’s bout, and after Golovkin clocked Alvarez with an uppercut as the final bell tolled, the fighters moved in to embrace after being so embittered they could barely bring themselves to face off a day earlier.

The championship fight was preceded by year-long acrimony stemming both from Golovkin’s anger at feeling wronged by Nevada judging in last September’s draw and the fighters’ intense back and forth over whether Alvarez’s positive drug tests for the banned stamina-building substance clenbuterol were due to the innocent act of eating tainted meat or something more coordinated.

Nevada slapped Alvarez with a six-month suspension for having the substance in his system, delaying their planned rematch from May.

Alvarez reported to fight week leaner, vowing to rely on his hand speed and being eight years younger in a plot to beat Golovkin to the punch while incorporating more counter-punches into his fight plan this time.

It worked. Alvarez whipped a hard, defining right hand to Golovkin’s head in the fifth round, and the volume of punches left Golovkin backing up in the sixth – a rarity for the attacking fighter who once knocked out 23 consecutive foes and created his moniker, “Big Drama Show.”

Alvarez authored the drama this time, pressuring Golovkin, whose legs lumbered through the sixth and seventh rounds, and Sanchez informed his fighter on the stool before the eighth, “We’re losing the fight.”

“I can’t complain. That’s what we have the judges for,” Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said after he and Golovkin vehemently objected to the scoring in last year’s draw.

Because of the scorecards last year, Golovkin said he had strong incentive to keep the outcome from their hands thus time. He additionally banked on boosting the punching power that led to a streak of 23 consecutive knockouts into last year by drawing from the anger directed at Alvarez for his test results and perceived inability to accept blame.

The motivation was derived from the desperation of the battle, however, and after Alvarez continued to out-work Golovkin (38-1-1) in the ninth, Golovkin dug deep and launched an attack of punches on Alvarez in the 10th and 11th, bringing the crowd to its feet.

The roaring continued after they touched gloves to start the 12th, and while each man had convincing punches land in the final three minutes, the final round was a tossup as several of the other 23 before them had been.

Final punch stats showed Golovkin landed 234 of 879 punches and Alvarez landed 202 of 622. Overall, Golovkin out-landed Alvarez in eight of the rounds.

“We had a great fight, the one we expected the first time around,” Sanchez said after calling Alvarez a runner after the first bout. “It’s close enough to warrant a third fight.”

Alvarez (50-1-2) acknowledged he agrees with Sanchez and all the others wanting more.

“If the people want the fight, we’ll do it again … we’ll do it again, no doubt,” Alvarez said.

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Canelo Alvarez wins by majority decision in another classic

Get round-by-round updates live from ringside at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas from the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch below.

As Canelo answers HBO’s Max Kellerman’s questions similar boos to the first fight. He gets the crowd on his side by yelling ‘Mexico!’

He says he got the belts for Mexico.

Judges decision: First judge 114-114. Second judge 115-113. Third judge 115-113. Alvarez wins by majority decision. This will do nothing to quiet the Golovkin camp who thought he won the first one.

Last round: This thing can go either way and both fighters know it. Uppercut by Golovkin brings the crowd to its feet. Very loud GGG chants by the crowd. The entire crowd is on their feet. Both fighters mixing it up in the middle of the ring and this is looking like it can go either way. Another classic here which may lead to a third battle sooner rather than later. These are two fighters with huge heart and they are not backing down. Another close round and another close fight. Crowd erupts at the final bell.

LA Times Card; Golovkin 10-9. A draw 114-114

Eleventh round: No quit in either fighter to start this round. Golovkin peppers Alvarez with a couple jabs and Alvarez looks to be in a bit of retreat right now. Golovkin has definitely turned up the aggression. Five straight shots by Golovkin and this is his best round of the night. Alvarez looks tired. Wild miss by Alvarez. Golovkin’s stamina is showing right now. A nice response late by Alvarez but the early work by Golovkin wins him the round.

LA Times Card: Golovkin 10-9. Alvarez leads 105-104

Tenth round: Alvarez comes out firing in the tenth and lands a right and a left power shot. Really action from Golovkin brings the crowd to its feet and this is the first time Alvarez has looked hurt. Two great fighters going at it right now. Golovkin looks strong, if he was tired he is showing some great heart right now. Good left by Golovkin after an Alvarez miss. Golovkin’s best round.

LA Times Card: Golovkin 10-9. Alvarez leads 96-94

Ninth round: Overhand right by Alvarez after a Golovkin miss makes the crowd erupt. Alvarez continues to work the body. Slower action round so far and both fighters may be tiring a bit. They have woken up. Great exchange in the middle of the ring and crowd gets the loudest they have been all night. More activity by Golovkin this round. Here’s a shocker — another close one.

LA Times Card: Golovkin 10-9. Alvarez leads 87-84.

Eighth round: You can feel the confidence building in Alvarez. Good combination by Alvarez to the cheers of ‘Canelo’. Two good body shots by Alvarez midway through the round. There will be no talk of him running by Golovkin’s camp this rime around. Another really close round. Is this headed to another draw?

LA Times Card: Alvarez 10-9. Alvarez leads 78-74.

Seventh round: Alvarez going to the body more with his left. Alvarez fighting a really smart fight so far. Another good uppercut by Alvarez. Golovkin may be tiring a bit. Alvarez looks fresher right now. Golovkin throwing his jab, but Alvarez is doing a good job with his defense and making him miss. Another round that could go either way.

LA Times Card: Alvarez 10-9 Alvarez leads 68-65.

Sixth round: Nice left to the face to start the round by Alvarez. Another left to the body by Alvarez. Alvarez is fighting the fight Golovkin wanted him to but so far he hasn’t hurt him. Another body shot and that might have hurt Golovkin a bit. Alvarez continues to move forward. Good fight so far. Very close gain.

LA Times Card: Alvarez 10-9. Alvarez leads 58-56

Fifth round: Golovkin is using his jab and looks really quick. He is the boxer this fight as opposed to the last one. Overhand right by Alvarez gets the crowd going. Might be the best punch he has landed. Two wild misses by both fighters. Nice left by Alvarez. All these rounds have been really close and the cards can really be all over the place.

LA Times Card: Alvarez 10-9. Alvarez leads 48-47.

Fourth round: Good exchange early punctuated by a left hook by Golovkin that snapped Alvarez’s neck back. Another left by Golovkin and the ‘GGG” chants start up again. Both fighters exchange punches in the middle of the ring. Good action so far. Another close round.

LA Times Card: Golovkin 10-9. Tied at 38-38.

Third round: Nice uppercuts by both fighters to start the round. Golovkin looks a bit more active this round. Good defense by both fighters so far. Nice left by Golovkin. Interesting switch as Alvarez is looking like the more active fighter right now, definitely not running. Nice left by Golovkin rattles Alvarez. Both fighters exchange combinations and this is the best of the rounds up to now.

LA Times Card: Golovkin 10-9. Alvarez leads 29-28.

Second round: Nice lefts by Alvarez to start the round. Both fighters being very cautious early. Golovkin with a jab and an uppercut got the crowd going, but an upper cut by Alvarez got the crowd going. Good round for Alvarez so far. Of the 14 rounds they have fought this may be the best round for Alvarez. Wild left missed by Alvarez. Left by Golovkin lands on Alvarez’s face.

LA Times Card: Alvarez 10-9. Alvarez leads 20-18.

First round: Golovkin in white trucks and Canelo in black and gold. Loud cheers at the opening bell. Golovkin the early aggressor but Alvarez lands a nice shot to the body. Shouts of ‘GGG’ go up and they are drowned out by loud ‘Canelo’ chants. Not a lot of action as both fighters are standing in the middle of the ring. Right by Alvarez got the crowd excited for a bit. Golovkin working the jab quiet often and Alvarez looks content to counter punch. Close round.

LA Times Card; Alvarez 10-9

8:12p: Golovkin introduced first to a loud round of boos. Really loud cheers for Canelo. Well it seemed like a mistake at the start. Canelo was introduced first.

8:10p: And Canelo comes into the ring with the traditional Mexico Lindo y Querido and the crowd is singing it at the top of their lungs. Good stuff. Crowd is ready for a show. For all the talk about Golovkin’s Mexican-style, this crowd is 85% pro-Canelo.

8:07p: The arena goes dark and here comes Canelo. A video was just shown that said Por Honor, For Honor, in Spanish. Loud cheers and here comes the mariachis with Canelo.

8:05p: A mixed reaction for GGG from the crowd as he walks into the ring. Pretty loud crowd right now. They have been waiting a long while for this.

8:04p: And here we go. Video promo playing and early strands of Seven Nation Army. We should have the fighters in the ring within five minutes. (Crosses fingers)

8:02p: Chants of Mexico! Mexico! ring out from the crowd but then it quickly dies out. The crowd really wants something to happen.

8:00p: I think we are getting close. Honestly. The PA announcer is really trying to do his best to liven things up. He just announced Scottie Pippen in the house. There are people waiting around inside the ring so you figure the boxers are close. Some boos in the stands.

7:55p: The crowd is getting a little restless as the wait is really dragging. Expect Golovkin to make his way into the arena any minute now.

7:40p: It’s been over an hour wait from the end of the last undercard fight until the start of the main event. The crowd is pretty dead right now, but we are about 15 minutes away from getting the fighters in the ring.

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Main event about an hour away after Munguia scores TKO

Jaime Munguia, left, and Brandon Cook face off during their weigh-in.
(Erik Verduzco / Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

Jaime Munguia’s rush to establish himself as the best under-25 boxer in the world reached the mass exposure of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight-title rematch Saturday, when Munguia accentuated his rapid ascent with a fast finish.

Needing just 1 minute and three seconds of the third round, Tijuana’s Munguia (31-0, 26 knockouts) knocked out Canada’s Brandon Cook with a heavy combination of damaging punches that mirrored another set of blows that dropped Cook (20-2) earlier in the round.

The victory, in Munguia’s fifth fight of the year, stands as his second successful defense of his World Boxing Organization light-middleweight belt and a testament to his imposing size and power advantages in the division.

“I was much more focused this time around,” Munguia said.

The 21-year-old needed all 12 rounds in July to defeat former 154-pound champion Liam Smith of England one bout after taking the belt from Sadam Ali in a fourth-round knockout.

“I was looking for the knockout,” last time, “and that was part of the problem,” Munguia said. “I’m focused now, you saw the results. It’s a process of learning.”

Munguia may actually fight for a sixth time this year, possibly in December, although the Nevada Athletic Commission rejected him as an opponent to replace the suspended Alvarez for a May 5 Golovkin bout in which veteran Vanes Martisrosyan fought Golovkin at StubHub Center.

Asked if he’s ready for either of the main-event participants in the near future, Munguia said, “I want to fight the best to show that I am the best.”

Earlier, in his comeback fight from a knockout loss to WBC super-flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai last September at StubHub Center, former No. 1 pound-for-pound and four-division world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua produced a devastating fifth-round knockout of Mexico’s Moises Fuentes.

Gonzalez (47-2, 39 KOs) smashed a power punch to the middle of Fuentes’ face, instantly knocking him unconscious as Fuentes’ head slammed backward onto the canvas before being revived seconds later.

“When he hit the floor, I got very worried for him and I panicked. When he regained consciousness … I asked for him to forgive me, because this is the job that we chose and I didn’t mean to hurt him,” Gonzalez said, adding he took satisfaction that “I am a step closer to becoming a world champion.”

The knockout came at 1:44 of the fifth, and Southland promoter Roy Englebrecht immediately said, “SuperFly 4 … ,” indicating Gonzalez will return in February to the series he helped create.

Gonzalez manager Carlos Blandon said Japan’s former three-division Kazuto Ioka, who looked especially sharp last week in winning on the “SuperFly 3” card at the Forum, is a preferred opponent for what would be a compelling matchup.

Another big knockout quickly followed on the pay-per-view portion when former International Boxing Federation middleweight champion David Lemieux knocked out mouthy foe Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan of Ireland on a left to the head with 16 seconds remaining in the first round.

“I’m in superb shape. I give you guys great knockouts, great fights and I hope you’re happy,” Canada’s Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) said.

After being called a “greasy, piece … ,” by O’Sullivan (28-3) at Wednesday’s news conference, Lemieux said he was sending a message to his opponent – “Don’t piss me off, guys. The message must be clear.” – and another to Saturday’s main event winner.

Lemieux is in prime shape to fight Alvarez, who wants to compete again on Dec. 15, and Lemieux said he’d like another chance to meet Golovkin after being dominated by him three years ago while losing his belt.

“I fought Golovkin at his peak. In the near future, Golovkin will fight me at my peak,” Lemieux said.

Also, Riverside-trained Vergil Ortiz Jr. improved to 11-0 with his 11th knockout by knocking out Mexico’s Roberto Ortiz at 1:03 of the second round.

Golden Boy Promotions executive Rolando Arellano said his team sought to test one of its best prospects with a more experienced foe in Saturday’s bout because “sometimes when you win so many fights so easily early in your career, it builds up a complacency that becomes a problem down the road in bigger fights.”

But Ortiz Jr. hammered Ortiz (35-3-2) with a barrage of punches that sent him to the canvas for good, lifting his arm and flashing a beaming smile after another one-sided romp he referred to as “bittersweet.”

“Massa [Roberto Ortiz] was my first-ever sparring partner when I first turned pro, and now he’s a win on the next step of my career,” Ortiz Jr. said. “During my first sparring session, he gave me a swollen lip, and today I knocked him out, a great benchmark for me as to how I’m progressing as a fighter.”

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Canelo and Golovkin enter the arena

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Two early knockouts to start the undercard

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National anthems go off before pay-per-view start in break from tradition

Traditionally at big boxing events the fighters are in the ring while the national anthems of the respective countries are sung.

In a break from tradition the national anthems of Kazakhstan and Mexico were sung before the undercard even started.

This means the fight will start fairly quickly after the boxers make their way into the ring but it will surely upset the predominately Mexican fans in the arena to not here the national anthem on Mexican Independence weekend.

There was always something special hearing a crowd of almost 20,000 fans singing the national anthem at the top of their lungs.

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Undercard fights getting ready to start as fans start filing into T-Mobile-Arena

We are still over three hours away from the start of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch from T-Mobile-Arena in Las Vegas.

The doors to the public have been opened and the undercard and pay-per-view telecast are getting ready to air.

Here is a list of the fights leading up to the big rematch tonight:

  • Ramon “Chocolatito’ Gonzalez vs Moises Fuentes
  • David Lemieux vs. Spike O’Sullivan
  • Jaime Munguia vs. Brandon Cook
  • Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin
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Six hours before the Canelo vs. GGG fight and the party has started

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The latest odds from Las Vegas have Golovkin as the favorite

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Fight predictions for Canelo vs. GGG rematch

Canelo Alvarez (L) and Gennady Golovkin are held back after facing off during their official weigh-in.
Canelo Alvarez (L) and Gennady Golovkin are held back after facing off during their official weigh-in.
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

Hate to say it, but I expect this to go to the judges again.

Saturday night’s Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez rematch at T-Mobile Arena is an even fiercer test of wills than it was the first time they met in a draw one year ago this weekend, and since neither gave in to the other’s power punches then, I’m not expecting it to happen this time, either.

The pick: Gennady Golovkin by split-decision, leading to a trilogy meeting in 2019.

Alvarez appeared leaner and vowed to rely on punching volume and enhanced boxing skill, which will complicate the aging effort of Golovkin, 36, but the two-belt middleweight champion from Kazakhstan has committed to another demanding training camp in Big Bear to ensure his preparedness for 12 rounds.

More importantly, I expect Golovkin’s ability to land more defining punches to give him the edge in what has every appearance of another tightly contested clash.

Each man landed head-jarring blows in the first bout, but there was no critical moment of leg wobbling.

Alvarez’s turn to become leaner and faster makes his knockout bid more of an uphill challenge, and his best hope is to compile his punch-landing success into the later rounds, where, perhaps, the older champion seeking a record 21st consecutive middleweight title fight without a loss will yield.

Golovkin seems certain to unleash the heaviest punches of his career given his anger at Alvarez for submitting two positive tests for the banned stamina-building substance clenbuterol earlier this year, and the champion’s distrust of judging after Adalaide Byrd awarded Alvarez a 10-rounds-to-two 118-110 scorecard last year.

In addition to Dave Moretti, who scored the first fight for Golovkin 115-113 (seven rounds to five), the Nevada Athletic Commission assigned respected veteran judges Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Feldman to the bout, and the commission also granted some modifications on hand wrapping that will slightly limit the amount of tape Alvarez had over his hands compared to last year.

If either man goes down, it will be the boxing moment of the year.

Instead, expect an impassioned bout revealing more of what has been seen in the buildup to this rematch: two elite fighters fueled by dislike, exposing all that has brought them to the moment of the first bell.

-- Lance Pugmire, reporter, Los Angeles Times

Canelo Alvarez looks leaner than he did in his first fight and could be lacking the muscular armor necessary to withstand the devastating two-fisted power of Gennady Golovkin.

On the other side, Golovkin is now 36 and that could prevent him from catching a more mobile version of Alvarez than he faced last year.

Heading into the fight, I have two main questions:

1. Does Alvarez, who has shown a tendency to tire over the course of fights, have the endurance required to execute his stick-and-move game plan over 12 rounds?

2. Is Golovkin, who showed great respect for Alvarez’s power in the first fight, willing to drop his head into some dangerous areas to land his trademark body punches?

The fight could play out similarly to the last. And that’s not a bad thing.

As much as Golovkin’s loquacious trainer, the ever-hilarious Abel Sanchez, convinced the public that the initial encounter was boring, it was, in fact, a very good fight.

Remember this: Micky Ward fought like Micky Ward because he had to. Top-class fighters don’t have to resort to such tactics, nor should they. Alvarez-Golovkin I was about as violent an encounter between top fighters as you’ll see today.

The first fight was a toss-up and this one probably will be, too. Viewers will be split on who won the fight. Considering that I scored the first fight for Alvarez, my guess is that I’ll see him as the winner again.

But the judge who scored the fight for Golovkin is back; and the others could be inclined to score close rounds for Golovkin after hearing the drivel about how the Kazakh was robbed last time.

My pick: Alvarez by decision on Dylan’s card, a.k.a, the truth; Golovkin by decision on the official cards.

-- Dylan Hernandez, columnist, Los Angeles Times

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What time does the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight start?

The fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will begin around 8 p.m. Saturday, according to Golden Boy executive Erik Gomez.

Gomez mentioned during a Tuesday press conference from Las Vegas that both fighters will be in the ring no later than 8 p.m. Pacific Time.

That ensures that the fight will end no later than midnight on the East Coast.

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Weigh-in between Canelo and GGG turns into shoving match

After months of insults thrown back and forth from both camps, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin finally met in person at the weigh-in for their fight on Saturday night from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

And the meeting didn’t disappoint as the fighters had to be separated after a shoving match ensued as they met on stage.

With Golovkin standing in the center of the stage, Alvarez walked right up and got in his face. This led to both camps pushing and shoving until cooler heads prevailed.

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Some excitement at the Lemieux and O’Sullivan weigh-in

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Go inside T-Mobile Arena for Canelo vs. GGG weigh-in

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Pound for Pound Episode 2: Tension builds as the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch approaches

In Episode 2 on the new Pound for Pound series, follow Los Angeles Times reporter Lance Pugmire as he continues to prepare for the rematch between Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin.

From the ongoing friction between the two fighters to the status of both of their television contracts,, Lance Pugmire takes you behind the scenes of one of the most anticipated rematches of the century.

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Elie Seckbach has pioneered a new way to cover boxing with his viral videos

Boxer Canelo Alvarez, left, with journalist Elie Seckbach
(Dylan Hernandez / Los Angeles Times)

The city was still waking up. The casino floor at the MGM Grand was almost empty. The only line in the property was at Starbucks.

The hardest-working man in boxing was already on the prowl.

Elie Seckbach wore a black hoodie over a black Bruce Lee T-shirt, dark blue jeans and a pair of black Michael Jordan sneakers. His head was covered with a black-and-white cap.

“There’s O’Sullivan,” he said.

Spike O’Sullivan, an Irish middleweight with a curvy hipster moustache, was speaking to a couple of fans in the hotel lobby. Sullivan will be fighting Saturday on the undercard of the middleweight championship match between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

As O’Sullivan started to walk toward the elevators, Seckbach approached him TMZ-style, clutching a small black Sony video recorder.

“Spike,” Seckbach called to him. “How long would it take for me to grow a moustache like you?”

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Boxing regulations still lacking to protect fighters from head injuries

Gennady Golovkin, left, connects with a left to Canelo Alvarez during their middleweight title fight in Las Vegas on Sept. 17, 2017.
Gennady Golovkin, left, connects with a left to Canelo Alvarez during their middleweight title fight in Las Vegas on Sept. 17, 2017.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

When Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez step into the ring on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, observers will be expecting two fighters to provide the kind of head-rattling finish fans crave.

However, boxing’s most dramatic moments can be the ones that involve the gravest physical damage. The absence of national regulation and monitoring of the unforgiving toll exacted on the human brain is a moral conundrum the sport continues to wrestle with.

“It’s one of the reasons boxing is such a guilty pleasure,” said Lou DiBella, a veteran New York fight promoter and former HBO executive. “Our greatest warriors are the guys you can most identify with having damage.”

DiBella said he’s conflicted by showcasing the performances of brave fighters while knowing the regulation of their health and safety leaves much to be desired.

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Franchon Crews-Dezurn stops Maricela Cornejo by majority decision

Maricela Cornejo trains in preparation for a bout in 2016.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Maricela Cornejo’s second chance for a boxing world title were vanquished Thursday by Franchon Crews-Dezurn.

Crews-Dezurn, 31, relied on her power advantage to defeat Los Angeles’ Cornejo by scores of 95-95 (Patricia Morse-Jarman), 99-91 (Dave Moretti), 99-91 (Tim Tschida) to claim the vacant World Boxing Council super-middleweight title at Hard Rock Hotel.

“I knew her will and determination wasn’t as great as mine,” Baltimore’s Crews-Dezurn (4-1) said. “I’m very grateful.”

Cornejo (12-3) did not look comfortable during exchanges with Crews-Dezurn, who landed the heavier blows in the first round and sought to increase the pressure by shoving Cornejo to the mat in the second, drawing a warning from referee Jay Nady.

Cornejo became hesitant to probe for openings, wary of Crew-Dezurn’s power punches. Cornejo had some early success with her jab, but then Crews-Dezurn answered with her own precision jabs and hammered Cornejo to the midsection and head in racking up the defining punches of the rounds.

Cornejo lost to Kali Reis in a 2016 bout for the WBC middleweight belt.

“I found that I’m too light for this division now,” Cornejo said. “The push downs made my back completely cramp up. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t release my jabs because my back was cramped. It was like I was frozen. And if I did jab they were weak.

“It’s an excuse, but I tried to get something out and I couldn’t get anything out. It was hard to keep weight on me during my camp. If I could go back, I would not have gotten as light as I did for this fight.”

Discouraged in her corner after five rounds, Cornejo couldn’t find a way to defuse Crews-Dezurn’s blows. One jarred Cornejo’s head in the seventh and more body blows were followed by two stiff shots to the head as her corner.

The super-middleweight belt was vacated by middleweight champion Claressa Shields, who defeated Crews-Dezurn, 31, in each of their pro debuts.

While Cornejo rose to the title shot by grinding through training camp in torrid Indio, Crews-Dezurn has operated without a manager and promoter.

In victory, she became reflective about long car rides to training and the sometimes painful solitude of fight preparation.

“You’re going to hear a lot of no’s. If you believe in your heart, just go for it,” Crews-Dezurn said.

In the main event, Big Bear-trained super-lightweight Ruslan Madiev (12-1) cut Mexico’s Pablo Cesar Cano over the left eye in an accidental head butt during the fifth round and a ringside doctor stopped the bout before the start of the sixth round.

Cano (31-7-1) was given the triumph by technical decision.

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Undercard face-off brings drama to a lackluster promotion for Canelo vs. GGG

Oscar De La Hoya, left, poses with middleweight boxer Gary O'Sullivan of Ireland.
(Steve Marcus/Associated Press)

What Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin couldn’t bring themselves to do at the conclusion of their own news conference became the most entertaining moment of Thursday’s undercard session.

Middleweights Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan of Ireland and former world champion David Lemieux of Canada fulfilled the routine pre-fight duty of a face-off, intensifying the anticipation for a bout that will position the winner for a title shot at the Golovkin-Alvarez survivor.

“I can’t understand why they can’t do it,” O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 knockouts) said. “The fear in him, the weakness … I could really feel that in him when I walked toward him and faced off. I could sense the fear. I felt like I’m the stronger man. He has it in his head he’s the stronger puncher, but I’m going to [mess] him right up.”

Mexico’s Alvarez is believed to be the one who’s mandated the face-off restriction in response to his anger at Golovkin for insisting Alvarez’s positive test results for the banned substance clenbuterol in February were not accidental.

Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler promises the two will face off Friday after they weigh in for the HBO pay-per-view bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) was stopped by Golovkin after eight rounds of their International Boxing Federation middleweight title bout at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and he was beaten in a one-sided decision in December against World Boxing Organization middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders of England.

The mouthy O’Sullivan has riled Lemieux since their bout was announced, and Lemieux said he ordered his foe not to touch him before the face-off.

“I didn’t need to do what I did, but I warned him not to touch me. He touched my face, I pushed him back. Don’t touch me,” Lemieux said. “I will always try to keep it as professional as I can as long as the fighter is minimally respectful.”

Lemieux chided O’Sullivan to take off his sunglasses during the news conference, and as O’Sullivan strode to Lemieux, he did.

“I saw fear,” Lemieux said. “He knows what’s coming for him Saturday. He’s trying to show something he’s not. People, come. He’s going to get his beating.”

O’Sullivan didn’t back down.

“I’m disciplined. I felt like hitting him, but I’m a professional fighter so I don’t do those things,” he said. “I wanted to smash his face right in, but I’ll wait for Saturday night to do that. I cannot wait for that.

“Lemieux was absolutely obliterated by Triple-G in their fight. He wasn’t in the fight, didn’t win a round. This is going to be his last fight. He should’ve retired before now. He’s been beaten convincingly on many occasions, and Saturday will finish his career … a knockout.”

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Gennady Golovkin’s camp puts taunting into overdrive this week to entice Canelo Alvarez into a slugfest

Gennady Golovkin’s trainer addressed a half-packed theater and internet live stream viewers from around the world, but his message was intended for an audience of one.

Standing behind a podium, Abel Sanchez never once looked over to his right at Canelo Alvarez. He didn’t have to.

“The bottom line is to my left is the unified, undefeated middleweight champion,” Sanchez said, “and in order to take his belt, you’re going to have to fight him.”

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From his first fight with Canelo Alvarez to now, Gennady Golovkin has gone from ideal sportsman to vocal critic of boxing’s hypocrisy

(John Locher / Associated Press)

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.

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From his first fight with Canelo Alvarez to now, Gennady Golovkin has gone from ideal sportsman to vocal critic of boxing’s hypocrisy

Gennady Golovkin listens during a news conference. Golovkin is scheduled to fight Canelo Alvarez in a title bout Saturday in Las Vegas.
Gennady Golovkin listens during a news conference. Golovkin is scheduled to fight Canelo Alvarez in a title bout Saturday in Las Vegas.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

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.

Despite wearing three middleweight belts, Golovkin was to earn 35% of the purse to Alvarez’s 65%. Golovkin accepted because it was the biggest bout of his career.

In that fight last September, some thought Golovkin had won at least by the 115-113 (seven rounds to five) score that judge Dave Moretti awarded. But judge Adalaide Byrd gave Alvarez 10 of 12 rounds, and judge Don Trella gave Alvarez the seventh round when the other two judges gave it to Golovkin.

In Golovkin’s eyes, it was beyond suspicious. He was let down and angered, but focused on landing a rematch.

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Gennady Golovkin’s camp puts taunting into overdrive this week to entice Canelo Alvarez into a slugfest

Gennady "GGG" Golovkin works with trainer Abel Sanchez during a media workout before his fight against Canelo Alvarez.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

Gennady Golovkin’s trainer addressed a half-packed theater and internet live stream viewers from around the world, but his message was intended for an audience of one.

Standing behind a podium, Abel Sanchez never once looked over to his right at Canelo Alvarez. He didn’t have to.

“The bottom line is to my left is the unified, undefeated middleweight champion,” Sanchez said, “and in order to take his belt, you’re going to have to fight him.”

Team Golovkin’s campaign to shame Alvarez into standing his ground and trading punches in their rematch Saturday has moved into overdrive this week, with Sanchez using the pre-fight news conference Wednesday to further reinforce the misguided perception that Alvarez fought like a coward in their draw last year.

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Bernard Hopkins downplays Gennady Golovkin’s record run of title victories

Bernard Hopkins constructed a Hall of Fame career by winning 20 consecutive middleweight title fights between 1995 and 2005.
(Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

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.”

As Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler mentioned Golovkin has the opportunity to surpass Hopkins by remaining unbeaten in a 21st consecutive middleweight title bout at T-Mobile Arena, Hopkins sat on the dais and grimaced, nodding his head no.

Minutes later, Hopkins, 53, contended that Golovkin’s secondary World Boxing Assn. title victories between 2010 and 2014 fall short of the full-title bouts Hopkins won. The WBA lists two champions in its divisions, a “super” champion and a “world” champion. In 2014, Golovkin knocked out Daniel Geale for the “super” version, then later went on to knock out International Boxing Federation champion David Lemieux to capture the World Boxing Council belt when Alvarez vacated it.

“I put out a long historic record and I don’t even need to throw a punch to defend myself,” said Hopkins, an executive for Alvarez’s promoter. “History will say, ‘Let’s go look at the book,’ and history was put there by blood, sweat and tears. … I’ll let history be my best defender.”

He’s right, considering he proceeded to win a light-heavyweight belt at a record age of 48 and fought at 51, finishing with a record of 55-8-2 (32 knockouts).

“If anyone can break that legitimately … and that’s what this is all about … is this really the record?” Hopkins said. “If you’re asking me, you already know. If I was advising myself, I’d say the way you handle this can be written wrong or talked about … it will look like I’m bitter.”

That is how it looks considering Hopkins’ own astounding success and the fact that Golovkin, at 36, is 38-0-1 with 34 knockouts.

“They say records are meant to be broken. In this case, I don’t think I can say that to you,” Hopkins said. “In this case, a person shouldn’t get rewarded for being second or having the second title.

“From now until they retire is the history … what they did before getting to Saturday is getting to the door. Saturday, you go through the door to seal and clarify why you’re the face of boxing.”

Hopkins’ recourse is to advise Alvarez on how to defeat Golovkin after they fought to a draw in September 2017.

Asked what he told Alvarez, Hopkins said, “Win for himself first, and then for me.”

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Canelo Alvarez could leave HBO and look for new TV partner after Gennady Golovkin rematch

(Steve Marcus / Associated Press)

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.”

The suitors will be plenty.

In addition to ESPN investing deeply in a seven-year union with veteran promoter Top Rank to stage bouts on cable, pay-per-view and to stream them on ESPN-Plus, Fox just announced a deal with Premier Boxing Champions to place bouts on network and pay-per-view television while the new streaming service DAZN will launch next week with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s title fight.

“Given the circumstances that boxing is in line at this moment, with ESPN, DAZN and the fact that Fox television has paid millions and Showtime’s doing many things, it’s going to be very interesting for us and Canelo to see what HBO can do to keep him,” De La Hoya said.

De La Hoya was long featured on HBO, which maintained a dominant position in boxing ratings before a withdrawal from the sport the last few years.

“HBO’s been my family since I started boxing and it has been my family up until today,” De La Hoya said. “I’ve always given HBO the first and last opportunity, but this is a business and I must do what’s best for my fighters. I want to do what’s best for Canelo’s career, and right now particularly, boxing is big business on television, with more than 200 fights on a year.”

De La Hoya said he will act swiftly on the matter as a likely frenzied pursuit toward Alvarez is launched.

“I’m going to carefully analyze everything and right after the final bell Saturday, I’m moving forward with this decision to explore what’s in Canelo’s best interest.”

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He’s funny, provocative and the reason Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez want to destroy each other

Trainer Abel Sanchez stands as Gennady Golovkin, right, speaks to the media alongside promoter Tom Loeffler.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

How is it possible for Canelo Alvarez to ingest contaminated meat in Mexico when his trainers are literally butchers?

“They own meat markets,” Abel Sanchez said.

How can Alvarez claim to be upholding Mexico’s boxing tradition when he was backpedaling for the most of his draw against Gennady Golovkin last year?

“He fought a great fight not to be knocked out,” Sanchez said.

And how can Alvarez say with a straight face that he couldn’t knock out Golovkin because he fought with an injured right hand?

“My earlobe hurts,” Sanchez said sarcastically.

In the vitriolic buildup to the rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin on Saturday, which included the cancellation of a Cinco de Mayo date because Alvarez failed a drug test, Sanchez has provided a steady stream of one-liners that are playful as they are inflammatory. The personality of Golovkin’s 62-year-old trainer has dominated the promotion, so much so that Alvarez believes the Southern California-based cornerman is also responsible for the cutting remarks made by Golovkin.

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Gennady Golovkin and his trainer made Canelo Alvarez mad, now he’s going to make them pay

Canelo Alvarez arrives at the MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
(Steve Marcus / Associated Press)

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.

The popular former champion from Mexico, who fought Golovkin to a draw last September, submitted two positive tests for the banned stamina-building substance clenbuterol in February, which resulted in a six-month suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Their May rematch was postponed, costing Alvarez a likely $30-million purse.

Alvarez says he accidentally ingested beef contaminated by clenbuterol in Mexico, but Golovkin and his trainer Abel Sanchez have been relentless in rejecting the explanation. They also insist Golovkin fights in a truer “Mexican style” than his opponent, while painting Alvarez as a more reluctant “runner.”

Sanchez contends Alvarez appears smaller since last year’s draw and that the challenger will be a weakened version — physically and mentally.

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Oscar De La Hoya considering running for president in 2020

Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions is the lead promoter for the Sept. 15 Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight title fight.
( (Brad Barket / Getty Images))

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?”

East L.A.’s De La Hoya has taken on important civic-minded projects like funding the cancer wing named for his late mother at an East L.A. hospital, opening a charter school and hosting an annual charity gold tournament.

He said he began considering political office “many years ago,” and would run as a Democrat if preliminary plans allow this vision to become realized.

Like Trump, De La Hoya has a self-indulgent, checkered past. De La Hoya’s past includes battles with addiction and an incident with a New York stripper in which he was photographed wearing fishnet stockings.

“As I got older, I get wiser and as I get wiser, I get smarter, and as I get smarter, I start to realize the millions and millions of people who’ve told me, ‘Oscar, why don’t you run for some kind of office? … . Because you can make a difference,’” De La Hoya said.

De La Hoya does have a grudge with President Trump.

Two years ago before Canelo Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan, De La Hoya said Trump cheated in golf when they played previously, wondering how a man who’d break rules in a gentleman’s game could run the country. Trump answered he never played with De La Hoya even though video footage of the golf outing exists.

De La Hoya, who owns part of an MLS team and several pieces of Southland real estate, said he “absolutely” has sufficient financial backing to pursue a serious political run.

Still, the fierceness of his commitment must remain questioned.

Four questions into the presidential talk, De La Hoya said, “It’s very preliminary … let’s talk boxing.”

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The Fight Corner: Will Gennady Golovkin leave HBO? Canelo Alvarez bout is last on current deal

Gennady Golovkin, left, and Canelo Alvarez during their September 2017 fight in Las Vegas.
Gennady Golovkin, left, and Canelo Alvarez during their September 2017 fight in Las Vegas.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

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.

It rubbed Golovkin as preferential treatment by the premium network toward Mexico’s popular Alvarez.

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Gennady Golovkin still doesn’t trust judges to give him a fair fight against Canelo Alvarez

Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez both celebrate after the final bell of their match at T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 16.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Gennady Golovkin’s main focus during Saturday night’s rematch with Canelo Alvarez will be on his opponent, but part of him will be thinking about the judges.

Golovkin harbors distrust in the business side of boxing, and much of that is connected to two of the scorecards from his first fight against Alvarez.

Although respected veteran judge Dave Moretti awarded Golovkin a 115-113 score in that September 2017 bout, judge Adalaide Byrd turned in what has become perhaps the most notorious card of the generation, giving Alvarez 10 of the 12 rounds, and judge Don Trella went against both Moretti and Byrd by awarding Alvarez the seventh round in his 114-114 card to blemish Golovkin’s otherwise perfect record with a draw.

Asked his greatest regret over that bout, Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said, “I wasn’t persistent enough in not allowing Adalaide Byrd to be a judge.”

The Nevada Athletic Commission sought to quell both Golovkin’s and the public’s doubts by assigning Moretti and veteran judges Glenn Feldman and Steve Weisfeld to score Saturday’s HBO pay-per-view, middleweight-title bout at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

Even with that, Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 knockouts) expressed apprehension over allowing the outcome to be determined by any man other than himself.

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Golovkin-Canelo II is a grudge match of possibly historic proportions

Canelo Alvarez throws a punch at Gennady Golovkin during their middleweight championionship bout at T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 16, 2017.
Canelo Alvarez throws a punch at Gennady Golovkin during their middleweight championionship bout at T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 16, 2017.
(Al Bello / Getty Images)

The consequences of the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez middleweight title fight Sept. 15 in Las Vegas are immense for each man.

Golovkin, a 36-year-old boxer from Kazakhstan, confided in a recent interview that he views this rematch with his bitter rival from Mexico as his defining bout, pointing to “time” as the leading reason.

“This is the biggest fight of my boxing career because of the time for me … maybe I won’t have a bigger chance in the next few years than I have right now,” Golovkin said. “He’s a huge name, this is a huge situation and I believe whoever wins is the pound-for-pound champion. So much attention, so many sponsors, so many people watching this fight — I like this.”

Alvarez, 28, has been stained by a six-month suspension, imposed after his two positive tests for the banned stamina-building substance clenbuterol, that caused the cancellation of their May rematch. The two fought to a draw in September 2017.

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It’s a rematch: Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez set to fight Sept. 15 in Las Vegas

Gennady Golovkin, right, and Canelo Alvarez
(John Gurzinski / AFP/Getty Images)

Canelo Alvarez and unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin have agreed to a rematch bout Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.

The agreement was struck hours after a deadline that Alvarez’s handlers had given Golovkin to accept their offer of 42.5% of the fight’s purse. Golovkin originally asked for half, then demanded 45%, but in the end settled for a little less than he wanted — and a little more than Alvarez wanted to give.

Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, gave credit to Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, which manages Alvarez, for coming up with a compromise.

“He came back with a solution that satisfied both sides,” Loeffler said. “Purse percentage was a main factor.”

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Gennady Golovkin knows his worth when it comes to his rematch with Canelo Alvarez

Gennady Golovkin
Gennady Golovkin
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images)

If it weren’t already apparent by his 23-fight knockout streak and his record-tying run of middleweight-title victories, there’s a cold hardness to Gennady Golovkin’s mannerisms.

So when Canelo Alvarez’s team asked Golovkin to further reduce the 45% purse cut he’d already agreed to — and to do it by a specific deadline — the icy denial could be felt from the Moscow phone conversation the unbeaten champion hung up from last week.

“I agreed to do 45 because I thought this is exactly how much I was worth,” Golovkin told reporters in Los Angeles in his first public comments since his Sept. 15 showdown with Mexico’s popular former two-division champion was finalized.

“And they just confirmed exactly how much it was worth. They knew that.”

Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, and trainer, Abel Sanchez, revealed Golovkin had a backup deal to fight World Boxing Organization middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders on Aug. 25 at the Forum.

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There’s a no-duh reason — think money — for Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez rematch

Canelo Alvarez, left, Oscar De La Hoya and Gennady Golovkin
Canelo Alvarez, left, Oscar De La Hoya and Gennady Golovkin
(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

Ultimately, it was about the money. In boxing, it always is.

Or, as Floyd Mayweather Jr. once reminded a television audience, “I’m a prize fighter. That’s what I’m supposed to fight for, a prize. Duh.”

So, duh, of course Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will be fighting again.

Chemically enhanced or not, the ever-popular Alvarez represented by far the most lucrative payday for the 36-year-old Golovkin. So Golovkin agreed to terms for a Sept. 15 rematch of their draw from last year.

The outcome was predictable. In real time, there was legitimate uncertainty. The reason for that was Golovkin.

Golovkin didn’t speak publicly as his representatives negotiated the rematch with Alvarez, but he made comments this year that indicated he might not want anything to do again with the red-headed Mexican.

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Pound for Pound Episode 1: The controversy around the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch

In Episode 1 on the new Pound for Pound series, follow Los Angeles Times reporter Lance Pugmire as he prepares for the rematch between Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin.

From the controversial suspension for performance-enhancing drugs by Alvarez that postponed the fight last May to Golovkin’s concerns over judging, Lance Pugmire takes you behind the scenes of one of the most anticipated rematches of the century.

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