Pound for pound, Canelo vs. GGG: Episode 5
Lance Pugmire has a spot-on prediction about one judge before the fight takes place.
Judging controversy unfolds in Golovkin-Alvarez draw with one lopsided score for Canelo
Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, said late Saturday night that judge Adalaide Byrd needs “a small break” from big fights after turning in a scorecard in the draw between unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez that had the Mexican challenger winning 118-110.
“I’m not going to put her right back in,” Bennett said. “She’ll still be in the business … but she needs to catch her breath.”
Golovkin, holder of three middleweight belts, said he felt “terrible” after Byrd’s lopsided scorecard in favor of Alvarez helped lead to a draw in the title fight at T-Mobile Arena.
“I think she turned in her scorecard before the fight started,” Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said.
Judge Dave Moretti scored the bout 115-113 in favor of Golovkin (37-0-1), and judge Don Trella scored it 114-114 to create the draw.
In five rounds that Moretti and Trella scored for Golovkin, Byrd awarded each round to Alvarez (49-1-2). Also, Trella strangely gave what seemed to be Golovkin’s decisive seventh round to Alvarez, also helping to create the draw.
“I had suspicions when they gave us the list of judges,” Sanchez said. “I think she needs to go back to school and learn how to judge a fight.”
The last time a Nevada boxing judge returned to a major fight after producing a universally panned scorecard, it was awful again, so don’t expect Byrd to be back anytime soon.
In 2013, judge C.J. Ross turned in a highly disputed card that allowed Timothy Bradley to upset Manny Pacquiao. Commission head Keith Kizer returned her to judge the 2013 Alvarez-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight.
Mayweather cruised to victory on the other cards, but Ross scored the bout a draw. Shortly after that, Kizer and Ross were out of the business.
Bennett said Byrd was “wide” on her scoring, and even Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya said, “What was that? People are scratching their heads. They’re confused.”
“Like in any profession, you have a bad night,” Bennett said. “Unfortunately, she didn’t do well. I can tell you she conducts training for us, takes judges under her wing … but her score was too wide.”
Bennett said a bad score “tears apart” a judge. He said he’ll order a meeting to discuss the card with Byrd, who has scored more than 100 title fights, according to Bennett.
Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler admitted the controversy took some of the shine off an important night for the sport.
“Scoring it that way for Canelo takes away from the greatness of the performance in the ring,” Loeffler said. “Frankly, it is not good for the sport of boxing.”
Canelo vs. Golovkin ends in a classic draw
LAS VEGAS – Throwing heavy leather and showing unbending upper-body strength, Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez staged a fight for the ages Saturday that the judges called a draw.
Golovkin (37-0-1) retains his World Boxing Council, World Boxing Assn. and International Boxing Federation middleweight belts thanks to the scorecards, and Alvarez (49-1-2) has a contractual right to a rematch because of the outcome.
“I want to thank my fans and of course I want the rematch,” Golovkin said. “This was a real fight. I still have the belts and I’m still champion.”
The judges’ scorecards generated some controversy as Adelaide Byrd scored the fight 118-100 for Alvarez. Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 for Golovkin, while Don Trella had it a draw. Even Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, criticized Byrd’s 118-110 scorecard. “What was that?” he asked.
“This is the most exciting fight that fans have seen in years,” De La Hoya said. “Obviously, it begs for a rematch.”
In a thrilling, back and forth barrage of blows — especially in the second half of the bout — the champion from Kazakhstan threw hammering blows that Alvarez weathered through the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds before 22,358 at T-Mobile Arena.
Instead of buckling like the 33 fighters who’ve been knocked out by the 35-year-old Golovkin, Alvarez, 27, dug deep and both out-boxed and out-powered Golovkin down the stretch.
In the 10th round, Alvarez struck Golovkin with such a thunderous right hand
that the champion who had never been knocked down in 350 amateur fights and his entire pro career staggered backward to his left.
He found his footing and kept punching, just as Alvarez had done after occasionally getting cornered against the ropes and belted by Golovkin during the first half of the bout.
“I thought I won the fight. I was superior inside the ring. I won at least seven, eight of the rounds,” Alvarez said through a translator. “I was able to counterpunch and even make Gennady Golovkin wobble a couple of times. It’s up to the people if we fight again. I feel frustrated over this draw.”
Following festive introductions with roars from the sellout crowd, Golovkin sought to unleash his power, but found in the second that Alvarez’s hand speed and elusiveness were superior.
In the third, Alvarez again avoided Golovkin’s power and landed the better blows, including a left uppercut flush to the chin.
Golovkin went to corner Alvarez in the fourth, hitting him with body punches on the ropes.
The fifth round fulfilled the hopes of the action fight as each man delivered jarring head shots that caused the other to nod “no” to the pain.
Golovkin also smiled off an uppercut as each threw heavy punches.
That started a run of hard, thrilling rounds that featured head-rattling, character-revealing moments that forced both the longtime champion Golovkin and former two-division belt-holder Alvarez to show why they’ve earned the metal.
It wasn’t early, but late, that each called upon the legendary fortitude seen in boxing middleweight epics like Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard-Hagler, setting the stage for a likely Part 2 in May 2018.
Golovkin is now unbeaten in 19 consecutive middleweight title fights.
Despite obvious drawbacks, the GGG-Canelo fight was all that
The sport that disappoints more than any other finally delivered a masterpiece that was promised Saturday night.
Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez did what was expected of them for 12 rounds, Golovkin applying nonstop pressure to the challenger to his middleweight championship, Alvarez slipping and countering with vicious power shots of his own.
The fans stood. They roared. They rocked the T-Mobile Arena.
About the only letdown they experienced was after the reading of the judges’ scores, declaring the fight a draw, which was unpopular but nonetheless fair.
Watch the Canelo vs. Golovkin post-fight news conference
Controversial scorecard raises eyebrows after Canelo vs. Golovkin draw
There was much hand-wringing ringside and on Twitter over the 118-110 scorecard submitted by judge Adelaide Byrd in the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin title fight.
Bryd was roundly criticized on Twitter after her scorecard was so far off from the other two judges and most observers ringside.
Bryd only gave Golovkin the 3rd and the 7th rounds. The other judges Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin and Don Trella scored it a draw.
Slide show: Photos from the GGG-Alvarez title fight
Canelo Alvarez : ‘ I thought I won the fight’
Although the judges scored the fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin a draw, the Mexican champion thinks he won the fight.
“I thought I won the fight. I was superior inside the ring. I won at least 7 or 8 of the rounds. I was able to counterpunch and even make Gennady Golovkin wobble a couple of times. It’s up to the people if we fight again, I feel frustrated over this draw.”
Canelo vs. Golovkin: Classic fight ends in a draw
One judge gave the fight to Golovkin 115-113, a second to Canelo 118-110 and the third had it a draw at 114-114. Fight ends in a draw. So a rematch should be guaranteed.
Round 12: Canelo gets the 12th and it goes to the judges
Canelo uppercut opens the round and stops Golovkin. Both fighters seem pretty fresh even in this 12th round. Another good uppercut combination from Canelo.
You can feel the desperation in Golovkin as he keeps pressing forward. This is a real classic fight. Golovkin lands a nice combination and he needs to keep pressing the action.
Some nice action in the middle of the ring to end the fight and both boxers are really leaving everything out there. It’s a really close fight. Canelo eeks out a hard-fought win.
LA TImes Card: 10-9 Canelo (115-113 Canelo)
Round 11: Canelo takes lead heading into last round
Golovkin keeps the pressure on Canelo early and you see the confidence building in him. A nice overhead right by Canelo gets the crowd to his feet. Good round so far for Canelo.
Golovkin slips a couple more of Canelo’s punches in the corner and the boxers aren’t tiring, even after 10 rounds of non-stop action. Credit to both of them.
Canelo wins a close one and takes a lead heading into the final round.
LA Times Card: Canelo 10-9 (105-104 Canelo)
Round 10: Great action, and the fight is even
What a start to the 10th. Both fighters are leaving it all out there, and the crowd is on its feet. This is boxing. Two warriors going at it.
Golovkin looks more marked up than Canelo, but this is the Mexican’s hardest fight since Mayweather Jr. by far.
Golovkin just doesn’t let up and continues to chase Canelo around the right. Really strong action in the middle of the ring to end the round. Another close one. It’s almost unfair that someone has to win that round, and another has to lose it.
LA Times Card: Golovkin 10-9 (95-95 even)
Round 9: Even round goes to Golovkin; fight tightens up
Classic back and forth in the corner with both fighters unleashing strong blows. This needs an immediate rematch. It’s a classic.
The body shots haven’t really been used much in the last couple of rounds as both fighters are mostly throwing jabs and uppercuts. Canelo really wants to set up his uppercut.
Canelo drops his hands in the corner, but Golovkin keeps peppering him there. Nice combo by Canelo in the middle of the ring.
A very even round. It could go either way. I’ll give it to Golovkin since he was pressing the action more.
LA TImes Card: Golovkin 10-9 (86-85 Canelo)
Round 8: Canelo bounces back with nice combinations
This fight is living up to the hype with constant action. Both boxers are executing their strategy through the first half of the fight.
Golovkin is feeling much more comfortable throwing his jab now, and the crowd is noticing. What was expected to be a heavily pro-Canelo crowd isn’t manifesting itself right now.
Golovkin continues to stalk, but Canelo finally landed with one of those vicious uppercuts to stop Golovkin.
Golovkin is looking a little puffy around the eyes. Close round goes to Canelo.
LA Times Card: Canelo 10-9 (77-75 Canelo)
Round 7: Strong round for Golovkin
Both fighters may be tiring a bit as there is more dancing around the ring in the early going. That all changed with a nice left by Golovkin.
Golovkin is doing some good work now in the corner. He continues to come forward, and Canelo can’t keep him off. A very good round for Golovkin so far.
This might be the round where things start to turn around for Golovkin.
LA Times Card: 10-9 Golovkin (67-66 Canelo)
Round 6: Even round goes to Canelo
Slower start to the sixth round after an amazing fifth round of action. Nice left by Canelo gets the crowd going again.
Golovkin’s endurance seems to be paying off a bit. He just keeps coming at Canelo, who is showing great defensive skills.
Canelo with a nice combination to halt a bit of Golovkin’s momentum. That does not stop the chants of “Triple G, Triple G.”
Very even round, but it goes slightly to Canelo.
LA Times Card: 10-9 Canelo (58-56 Canelo)
Round 5: Action-packed round goes to Golovkin
Slower start to the fifth, but some nice action in the corner as Canelo evades several of Golovkin’s punches.
Canelo is just missing with some big power shots and is doing a really good job countering. Golovkin rocked by a left, and the fighters are giving the fans what they want by staying in front of each other and throwing punches. The crowd is erupting.
What a round. The crowd is going nuts, and this is the loudest T-Mobile Arena may have ever gotten.
Golovkin did enough work pushing Canelo into the corner and throwing combinations.
LA Times Card: 10-9 Golovkin (48-47 Canelo)
Round 4: Golovkin wins his first round with strong combinations
Canelo lands a couple strong lefts, and the crowd starts up with “Mexico, Mexico” chant. This is definitely trending Canelo’s way in the early rounds.
Golovkin hasn’t been able to work the body, and Canelo looks just a bit faster. Nice combination by Golovkin as Canelo is standing against the ropes.
He is taunting Golovkin a bit, which may be the first time that has ever been done to him. That confidence is showing strong now. A nice left by Golovkin silences the crowd.
Golovkin wins his first close round.
LA Times Card: Golovkin 10-9 (39-37 Canelo)
Round 3: Good back and forth, but round goes to Canelo
Strong lefts by Golovkin to start the round. This is the best start to a round by Golovkin so far.
Another missed uppercut by Canelo, and the chants for the Mexican champ start up again. Canelo is really loading up on his punches, but they’ve missed so far. If Golovkin slows up and one of those punches lands, watch out.
Two uppercuts by Canelo and he is now in charge of the round. Canelo is looking much more confident right now, almost daring Golovkin to get close to him.
LA Times Card: Canelo 10-9 (30-27 Canelo)
Round 2: Canelo wins another round, looks strong
GGG starts the round by flicking his jab with a nice combination by Canelo to start the round.
Canelo is looking like he wants to land those power punches early. He isn’t backing away. Another good combination from Canelo. Left by Golovkin just misses, and Canelo works the body a bit.
Canelo looks much stronger early, snapping punches. A good round for Canelo
LA Times Card: 10-9 Canelo (20-18 Canelo)
Round 1: Close first round goes to Canelo
Loud cheers at the opening bell, and both fighters started by dancing around the ring to the cheers of Canelo, Canelo followed by Triple G.
Canelo lands a nice right to the body, but this is playing out as both boxers said it would: a lot of measuring up the opponent.
Very cautious opening minutes with Golovkin landing the first power shot. Canelo with a nice combination at the one-minute mark. A big uppercut by Canelo just missed to a loud gasp from the crowd.
A very close round, but it goes to Canelo.
LA Times Card: 10-9 Canelo
Canelo vs. Golovkin: The fighters are in the ring
Canelo vs. Golovkin: The national anthems have been sung, and the boxers are entering the ring
Canelo vs. Golovkin: The main event is next
The last of the undercard fights is over, and the main event is next. We expect the Canelo Alvarez versus Gennady Golovkin fight to begin around 8 p.m.
The interesting thing to note is that a lttle less than an hour before the main event, the T-Mobile Arena is not near full. There is very little buzz right now inside the arena.
Canelo vs. Golovkin: One more fight until the main event
Next up is the co-main event with Joseph Diaz facing Rafael Rivera. After this one is the main event.
Canelo vs. Golovkin: Two hours from main event
We are still two hours away from the start of the main event between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin and the T-Mobile Arena is not half filled yet.
There is an earlier start time for this main event with an expected start at about 8:10 p.m. You hope the crowd realizes this and gets in the building. Should be a classic.
Currently, the second fight of the pay per view is going on with Diego de la Hoya taking on Randy Caballero. Still another fight to go before the main event.
Canelo vs. Golovkin: Boxers are entering the arena
Canelo vs. Golovkin: The latest odds on the fight
Canelo vs. Golovkin: So who is going to win? Boxing experts discuss
What’s it like inside the Canelo Alvarez vs. GGG fight right now?
Canelo vs. Golovkin: Complete card for fight night
Complete card for the night:
Main event: Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin 12 rounds WBC - WBA - IBF - IBO middleweight championship
Co-main event: Joseph Diaz vs. Rafael Rivera 12 rounds WBC featherweight title eliminator
PPV Fight: Randy Caballero vs. Diego de la Hoya 10 rounds NABF super bantamweight championship
PPV opener: Ryan Martin vs. Francisco Rojo 10 rounds superlightweights
Canelo vs. Golovkin: The Golovkin fans are small but vocal
Canelo vs. Golovkin: The scene inside and outside of T-Mobile Arena before the fight
Five hours before the expected start of the main event between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, the crowds have started gathering outside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The sounds of mariachi music could be heard from blocks away and the majority of the people gathered outide the arena were sporting Canelo Alvarez gear.
The lone Golovkin presence was a couple of stalwarts with a Kazakhstan flag standing next to a Canelo fan who was waving a Mexican flag.
Canelo vs. Golovkin: An exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the fight
A behind-the-scenes look and interviews from boxing experts as Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin prepare for their middleweight-title showdown Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Lance Pugmire takes us behind the scenes for the final preparations of Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin fight tonight in Las Vegas.
Canelo vs. Golovkin: Latest odds from Las Vegas
Behind the scenes from the Alvarez-Golovkin fight
Want to see what it took to get the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin fight made? L.A. Times writer Lance Pugmire takes you behind the scenes with exclusive access to the fighters, promoters and trainers of this mega-fight.
Canelo vs. Golovkin: Predictions from L.A. Times writers
This is the kind of fight I wouldn’t bet on. It’s a real 50-50 fight, in which both fighters will have their moments.
As I wrote in Saturday’s edition of The Times, I think the early rounds with be more tactical than people expect. Golovkin’s long and powerful jab will be the key in the first few rounds.
Keep an eye on whether Alvarez can use his own jab effectively. Alvarez will have to use angles while doubling and tripling up on his jab. If Alvarez can advance behind that jab – this will require a certain degree of footspeed I’m not sure he possesses – this will be a good night for him.
Regardless of whether Alvarez can land his jab, he will have chances. Golovkin isn’t as flexible as Alvarez and often covers up instead of slipping punches. This will offer Alvarez opportunities to throw his trademark combinations.
Once that happens, look for the violence to escalate immediately. Golovkin surely has to be aware he is fighting in front of a pro-Alvarez crowd, which could sway the judges. If the quicker Alvarez throws a flashy combination, Golovkin will be compelled to answer.
Stamina could be the deciding factor. Alvarez has demonstrated great professionalism throughout his career by never missing weight and always showing up to fights well-prepared. Nonetheless, he always seems to tire. Golovkin never fatigues.
I see Golovkin claiming the late rounds and winning a decision on my scorecard, which, in my opinion, is the scorecard that really matters. But this is boxing, so who knows if the judges will see it the same way.
- DYLAN HERNANDEZ, LA Times columnist
From the time the idea of a Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez match was born two years ago, the prevailing wisdom has seemed to be that Golovkin’s crushing power would expose the popular redhead.
Times have changed.
While Alvarez, 27, has strengthened both his body and skill, Golovkin, 35, has shown some slips.
Tonight at T-Mobile Arena, I’m expecting Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 knockouts) to emerge with a split-decision victory over three-belt middleweight champion Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs).
Alvarez, since his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, first balked at Golovkin in late 2015, has shown sudden knockout power against former 140-pound champion Amir Khan, along with the ability to wear down a foe, like then-154-pound champion Liam Smith, with hard blows.
And although many critics dismiss those victories and May’s one-sided beating of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., veteran matchmaker Don Chargin says Alvarez’s development of a whipping left hand to the body has reached near perfection – a throwback to the legacy of the best warrior boxers from Mexico.
Golovkin, meanwhile, came back from a victory last year over then-welterweight champion Kell Brook with a puffy face. Yes, he broke Brook’s orbital bone, but those punches that landed weren’t coming from a true 160-pounder with the defensive skill of Alvarez.
Then, Golovkin escaped Madison Square Garden in March with a narrow victory by unanimous decision over a bigger, faster man, Daniel Jacobs, who also landed clean shots and ended Golovkin’s 23-fight knockout streak.
Expect each fighter to deliver flush punches. Expect action that will leave fans begging for a rematch from fighters extremely dedicated to their craft.
While those in each fighters’ camps have claimed they foresee their guy wearing down the other and dealing the loser his first knockdown – Alvarez has said he’s dreamed nightly of such an outcome – the more likely scenario is that neither man yields.
I see Alvarez keeping it close, and believe he’s going to get the nod in narrow rounds from at least two of the three judges, Dave Moretti, Adalaide Byrd and Don Trella.
- LANCE PUGMIRE, LA Times boxing writer
Ryan Garcia, all of 19, wins by knockout in 30 seconds
One day, Victorville’s Ryan Garcia hopes to participate on a pay-per-view card such as the one Saturday featuring the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin showdown.
Garcia, 19, showed the potential to reach such a spot Friday during an ESPN Desportes card at MGM Grand’s Marquee Ballroom, posting a first-round knockout of Mexico’s Miguel Carrizoza in 30 seconds.
“I didn’t expect that. [Carrizoza] has never been knocked down. He fought a friend of mine and went the distance, and they tell me he spars world champions,” said Garcia, a super-featherweight who is unbeaten in 11 fights, winning 10 by knockout.
“I expected some competitive work, but I’ve seen the opportunity and I attacked.”
Former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, calling the fight on television, turned around to print reporters and exclaimed, “Not only is he handsome, he can fight!”
A Garcia handler said the plan is to keep the talented prospect busy, with another fight coming by December.
The explosiveness of his punches “comes from over the years … I’ve learned to channel the energy in your hand. You can channel it -- boom! – and it just comes out. If you see the opportunity, you’ve got to shoot it.”
Garcia added that the knockout “was 80 percent leverage.”
Canelo vs. GGG: Both fighters weigh in at 160 pounds
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin each made weight Friday for their Saturday night middleweight-title showdown.
Both Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 knockouts) and unbeaten, three-belt champion Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) weighed in at 160 pounds.
Saturday’s HBO pay-per-view bout at T-Mobile Arena will be the second with a weight limit of 160 pounds or more for Alvarez, 27, the former two-division champion.
Alvarez’s added brawn has caused some debate this week by fight insiders questioning whether he became too muscular when his speed might serve as a better asset in the bout against the veteran Golovkin, 35, who never has been knocked down.
Golovkin has appeared slightly drawn this week, a situation that drew more whispers when his publicist asked reporters Wednesday not to shake hands with him because “it’s cold and flu season.”
The bout is the most significant yet for Golovkin, who has been avoided in the past by the likes of middleweight champions Felix Sturm, Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and even Alvarez, who gave back his World Boxing Council belt last year rather than accept a Golovkin date.
The pay-per-view fight card begins at 5 p.m. Pacific time, with Alvarez-Golovkin preceded by three bouts.
Canelo vs. Golovkin: The buzz has begun in Las Vegas
The buzz that usually precedes big title fights in Las Vegas has finally arrived as the crowds of Canelo Alvarez and Gennedy Golovkin fans take over the MGM Grand.
Fans started lining up at 7 a.m. for the free weigh-in that doesn’t start until noon, and by 11 a.m. the Grand Garden Coliseum was already filling up.
While this fight may have a different vibe than the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor bout, there is no doubt that this is the fight boxing fans have been looking forward to.
Cotto hopes to finish his career against Golovkin
Four-division champion Miguel Cotto said he believes if Gennady Golovkin defeats Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night, Cotto will make his farewell fight against Golovkin on Dec. 2 at Madison Square Garden.
Cotto (41-5, 33 knockouts) is coming off an Aug. 26 junior-middleweight victory over Yoshihiro Kamegai at StubHub Center in Carson.
Cotto told reporters Thursday that landing the Golovkin-Alvarez winner would be an outstanding way to close his career.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) has fought at Madison Square Garden as recently as March, defeating Daniel Jacobs by unanimous decision.
Since Cotto is promoted by Golden Boy, the same as Alvarez, Cotto’s path to landing a Golovkin fight would be easier because of the rematch clause that Alvarez carries over Golovkin. Those two could then fight again in May.
Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) has maintained a May-September fight schedule the past two years, and while he and Cotto generated 900,000 pay-per-view buys in Alvarez’s November 2015 victory by decision, Cotto said he’s not convinced Alvarez would want to fight a third 2017 bout.
Golovkin’s most trusted boxing advisor is also his biggest confidant — twin brother Max
As Gennady Golovkin stood in the glare of bright television camera lights helping to beam his image to the world, the boxer’s closest confidant and most trusted advisor stood alone in the theater’s shadowed corner.
There in the darkness, Max Golovkin shed some needed light on what has made his twin the world’s most explosive boxer.
“Nobody knows about it because camp is always closed,” Max Golovkin said. “No one knows how dedicated and focused and concentrated he is.”
While operating as an unbeaten, three-belt middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) is pleased to reveal his talents for all inside the ring.
He returns there Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena for his most important bout yet, meeting Canelo Alvarez, Mexico’s popular former two-division champion.
What stirs Golovkin, what makes him so committed to his craft and what unleashes the viciousness that resulted in 23 consecutive knockouts with 18 consecutive middleweight-title victories, are motivations he keeps from public view.
Canelo vs. Golovkin: Sugar Ray Leonard gives his take on the fight
Is there going to be a rematch? A definite maybe
Although Gennady Golovkin does not have the same rematch clause as Canelo Alvarez, he and promoter Oscar De La Hoya say they would want to pursue a second fight if Saturday’s middleweight title bout is competitive.
A rematch “is very possible,” Alvarez told reporters before Wednesday’s news conference. “It all depends really how the first fight goes before we can talk about a second fight, but if the fans, the people see it, I have no problem to do it right away.
“Time period, time restraints, won’t be an issue. … Absolutely, I have no problem with it.”
The 35-year-old Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts), who was delayed in his effort to fight Alvarez for nearly two years before Saturday’s bout was made, told reporters that while he appreciates Alvarez’s sentiment, it’s really De La Hoya’s call.
“That rematch clause was put there for security,” De La Hoya said. “I have no clue who’s going to win.
“And if it’s a close fight, if it’s a great fight and there’s public demand, why not make another one?”
Alvarez previously has said he wants to win convincingly and move on with his career.
“I will not keep anybody from experiencing a great trilogy if there can be one,” De La Hoya said. “If Triple-G [Golovkin] beats Canelo or vice versa, there will be a rematch. There’s no other way. That’s what boxing needs now.”
Alvarez could add some belt drama if he beats Golovkin
The possibility exists that Canelo Alvarez will defeat Gennady Golovkin on Saturday night, turn to face the man who delivered his first world-title belt, and not accept his latest prized possession.
Last year, Alvarez returned his World Boxing Council middleweight belt to the sanctioning body after failing to fulfill a promise signed by his promoter to meet mandatory, No. 1 challenger Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts).
Golovkin was given the belt, adding to the World Boxing Assn. and International Boxing Federation belts he’d previously won.
Since then, Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) has turned his back on the powerful, Mexico-based body that delivered him his first belt in 2011.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said he’s mystified by Alvarez’s anger toward the situation.
On Wednesday, Sulaiman arrived in Las Vegas with a newly designed belt for the bout.
The strap includes the flags of Alvarez’s Mexico and Golovkin’s home country, Kazakhstan, with a golden “WBC” center surrounded by mini-flags of other nations, stamped with the date written in Spanish, “16 DE SEPTIEMBRE” with “Mexico” below that.
Sulaiman was prepared to speak at Wednesday’s news conference, to show the belt and speak of the pride he felt in offering the specially designed piece for this anticipated clash.
However, Sulaiman said he was told by Alvarez’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, not to attend the news conference.
Sulaiman said he plans to be in the ring after Saturday’s fight and offer the belt to whoever wins.
Alvarez has refused to discuss the situation extensively when asked about it by the U.S. media.
When he was asked in a conference call by the Los Angeles Times earlier this summer about the possibility of striking a peace with the WBC, he said he’d already discussed that situation and someone monitoring the call hung up on The Times.
This week, he repeated that everyone knows how he feels and that victory will be his best response.
The situation dates to 2015, when Golovkin was positioned to be then-champion Sergio Martinez’s opponent, only to see Martinez fight Miguel Cotto and lose his belt.
Cotto then balked at Golovkin, and paid an $800,000 step-aside fee to Golovkin to meet Alvarez, in a bout that generated more than 900,000 pay-per-view buys.
Alvarez, assuming the responsibility to meet Golovkin, promised in a signed agreement last year between Golden Boy and Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, to fight former 140-pound champion Amir Khan in May 2016, and then strike a deal with Golovkin no later than 15 days after that bout.
The sides had the freedom to negotiate up until 15 days after the Khan fight (for which Golovkin just happened to show up in the ring). Before that window expired, he returned the belt. Alvarez went on to fight Liam Smith for the 154-pound belt. The deal was finally done before he fought Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May.
Alvarez also shunned Sulaiman’s offering of a special belt for the Chavez bout too.
Canelo Alvarez has visions of knocking out Gennady Golovkin
Canelo Alvarez says his intention to knock out Gennady Golovkin is becoming an obsession.
“Every night before going to bed, I visualize the knockout,” Alvarez told reporters Wednesday. “I trained for the knockout. It is not something I can predict or I can say this … but it is something I can visualize.”
Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) not only has never been knocked down in his pro career, his trainer, Abel Sanchez, said the three-belt middleweight champion hasn’t been decked in sparring, and no one has yet unearthed a detail that Golovkin was dropped in more than 300 amateur bouts.
Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) flattened England’s former 140-pound champion Amir Khan in May 2016, and Khan hasn’t fought since. And Alvarez scored a technical knockout of then-154-pound champion Liam Smith last September. Despite showing an impressive uppercut in May, Alvarez couldn’t stop former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Told that Alvarez is dreaming of knocking him out, Golovkin said, “Oh yeah? It is his dream.”
Asked if he has similar visions at night, Golovkin said no.
“I am reality guy, true guy,” he said. “This is a hard fight for us. Of course, yeah, maybe [there’ll be a] knockout. I don’t know for who — for him or for me.”
Golovkin and Alvarez don’t talk trash, or say much at all, before fight
Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez said little, but their words were similar Wednesday when they rose behind the microphone at their final pre-fight news conference.
“I don’t want to talk too much,” Golovkin said, to which a Spanish-speaking Alvarez followed, “You know me, I don’t like to talk a lot.”
In the aftermath of the trash talk that carried the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor novelty boxing match to more than 4 million pay-per-view buys, efforts to generate widespread appeal for Golovkin and Alvarez’s compelling middleweight championship are restricted.
The barrier is language.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) is an unbeaten, three-belt champion seeking his 24th knockout in 25 fights and a 19th consecutive middleweight title victory. But he doesn’t understand English fluently and, with cameras and recorders pointed in his face, typically limits his answers to short or repeated statements.
Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) is so fluent that he frequently visits English-language movie theaters near his San Diego training home and understands the content completely.
Hopkins reflects on a career Golovkin could surpass
Bernard Hopkins’ record run of 20 consecutive middleweight title victories could soon be in danger from Gennady Golovkin, who would be at 19 should he defeat slight underdog Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night.
“My era was my era,” Hopkins said Wednesday at the fighters’ final news conference.
Philadelphia’s Hopkins retired at age 51 in December after getting knocked out of the ring by Joe Smith Jr. at the Forum. Reflecting on his career, he said the bout that most stood out was his 2001 technical-knockout of Felix Trinidad Jr. soon after Sept. 11 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“That’s 16 years ago if my math’s right,” Hopkins said. “It doesn’t happen all the time. When it does happen, embrace it.”
Hopkins made it clear that he views Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) and Alvarez (49-1-1, 34) as worthy of the title, which he lost to Jermain Taylor in 2005.
“The pride and vision I felt in my career … Canelo and Triple-G, thanks for respecting the division that made me.”
“History is something we should always remember.”
Canelo Alvarez hints that he’d like another shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Canelo Alvarez spent an abundance of time on a variety of skills he believes will be necessary to deal Gennady Golovkin his first loss Saturday night.
One of those is precisely what Floyd Mayweather Jr. has advised his 2013 opponent to pursue.
In training camp for Conor McGregor last month, Mayweather interrupted some reporters’ conversation with his father/trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. and said Alvarez should try to defeat the unbeaten, three-belt middleweight champion Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) with body punches.
“Look, I have my plan, my technical plan, my tactics already. We already set it up with the team what we are going to do,” Alvarez said Wednesday before the fighters’ final news conference at MGM Grand. “That [body punching] is one of them – attack the body, attack the head and everywhere we have got to attack.”
Alvarez’s remarks – like Mayweather’s interest in discussing Alvarez-Golovkin – could very well be part of some encoded communication between the fighters.
While the prideful Alvarez wanted it to be clear that any fight plan he follows Saturday will be his own, he clearly has interest in accepting Mayweather’s advice after previously praising the 50-0 five-division champion’s performance in their 2013 meeting.
And Mayweather, too, usually isn’t in the habit of talking about any other fighter outside of his own scheduled opponent – perhaps unless he’s eyeing a victorious Alvarez as a future opponent in what would be a lucrative pay-per-view offering that could surpass the 2.2 million buys they generated when Alvarez lost by majority decision at 23.
“Yeah, it would be good,” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) said of a Mayweather rematch. “That is a thorn I have and I would like to take that thorn out.
“But it is not an obsession. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, that is OK, too.”
Jorge Lara off the card; Joeph Diaz will fight Rafael Rivera
What looked to be the best challenge yet for South El Monte’s unbeaten featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. fell through with an unexpected withdrawal from unbeaten opponent Jorge Lara.
Diaz will remain on the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin pay-per-view card Saturday against unbeaten Rafael Rivera (25-0-2, 16 KOs) of Tijuana.
If Diaz (24-0, 13 knockouts) wins, he will become the mandatory opponent for World Boxing Council featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr.
Sampson Lewkowicz, the manager of Lara (29-0-2, 21 KOs) notified Golden Boy Promotions Tuesday afternoon that Lara had hurt his back.
“We said let’s get the kid on the scale,” Golden Boy President Eric Gomez said, indicating he believed Lara was not hurt but overweight. “They never produced the kid, and we waited until 10 p.m. … very mysterious.”
Southland-based manager Alex Camponovo produced Rivera, who was originally in talks to be Diaz’s opponent, Gomez said, until the WBC requested Lara.
Lara impressively knocked down former multi-division champion Fernando Montiel four times in the first round of a 2016 bout at StubHub Center.
Rivera most recently fought June 23 in Ontario and beat former super-bantamweight world champion Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. by split decision in 2015.
“Fortunately for us, because the fight could’ve fallen apart, Camponovo had [Rivera] scheduled to fight next week, so the kid’s been in training and he’s ready,” Gomez said. “He just needs to go through [routine] medical exams.”
It was a long path that led Gennady Golovkin to fight Alvarez
One of the most debated subjects about Gennady Golovkin is whether he has intentionally allowed recent opponents to land punches on his head.
The theory from the Golovkin side is that by making himself look vulnerable while escaping Madison Square Garden in March with a narrow decision over Daniel Jacobs and before that absorbing an early round pounding in a win over Kell Brook, Golovkin lured Canelo Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya to make the fight with Golovkin.
Mexico’s former two-division champion Alvarez and De La Hoya both laugh at the suggestion, each understanding the pain that accompanies those punches.
But if Golovkin participated in gamesmanship, it was boxing that taught him.
Finally reaching the sport’s ultimate stage atop Saturday’s HBO pay-per-view card has been an arduous journey for the 35-year-old from Kazakhstan.
Carrying only one bag, he flew to Los Angeles in 2010 to work with Big Bear-based trainer Abel Sanchez in preparation for a nontitle fight in Panama.
Now, after posting a first-round knockout in that bout to continue a run of 23 consecutive knockouts, Golovkin can move within one victory of tying Alvarez co-promoter Bernard Hopkins’ record of 20 middleweight title victories.
Throughout, the task of landing fights for Golovkin has been difficult for promoter Tom Loeffler.
Former middleweight champion Felix Sturm obviously avoided him, as did then-middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. appeared to have agreed to a fight at the Forum that would’ve boosted Golovkin’s popularity, but that never happened either.
After four-division champion Miguel Cotto beat Martinez, Golovkin had successfully positioned himself to become Cotto’s World Boxing Council mandatory opponent.
But then Alvarez stepped in and Golovkin agreed to wait to fight that winner.
Then, of course, Alvarez worked out an agreement to fight former 140-pound champion Amir Khan instead of Golovkin and vowed to fight him next in an animated moment inside the T-Mobile Arena ring.
Again, it didn’t happen.
Golovkin reflected on those trials, which started by uprooting himself to seek more exposure by fighting in Germany.
“Germany, the U.S., Sergio Martinez, Chavez Jr., Cotto, Sturm, Canelo,” he said.
When someone asked him if he was excited to finally reach Las Vegas for his first bout here, Golovkin said, “I want to fight. I’ve wanted this fight for a long time. It’s about pound-for-pound … old-school … who’s the best? I just want the ring. It doesn’t matter where.
“It’s very interesting for me. Who I am? Canelo? The reaction, the atmosphere … .”
Loeffler said the bout confirms what he’s always said about Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts).
“He always wanted to be the best,” Loeffler said. “He beats Canelo, he is the best.”
Watch Canelo Alvarez discuss his fight with Gennady Golovkin
Watch Gennady Golovkin’s grand arrival in Las Vegas
Restrictions placed on reporters during training camp could affect pay-per-view buys for Canelo-Golovkin
If the greatest impact on the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin pay-per-view sales on HBO is the dollars used up by the Aug. 26 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight, another significant blow will be the decision to keep reporters out of training camps in August.
By being restricted to comments emailed out by Golovkin’s side and an Aug. 28 media day at L.A. Live, the fighters sacrificed the type of one-on-one access that produces the best type of profile stories that complement a big fight.
Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya said he closed camps before some of his major bouts as a way to improve concentration on the task at hand, and because Golovkin carried a 23-fight knockout streak into his bout in March, the opposition is too fierce to lose focus.
Golovkin said he, too, wanted to eliminate the media distractions that compromise his daily two-hour sessions in the gym, which were enhanced by runs and conditioning in Big Bear.
“This is the biggest fight for us,” Golovkin said Sunday in a promotional appearance for the bout while at Dodger Stadium, where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
“Everybody’s been coming during training time – ‘I just need two to three hours,’ – I can’t please everybody who asks me. I give my interviews before training [camp] and after training. Give me just those two hours every day because this fight is difficult.”
Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, said Alvarez made a conscious decision to concentrate on training even if it did cost him pay-per-view buys by engaging in fewer interviews.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) said when it came to this fight, he decided legacy trumps some extra cash.
“Yes, absolutely, that’s what I was thinking about,” he said.
Even after the Mayweather-McGregor spectacle attracted at least the second-best pay-per-view audience of all time with more than 4 million buys, promoter Tom Loeffler said he expects Alvarez-Golovkin to produce at least 1 million buys, as Alvarez’s May victory by unanimous decision over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. did.
Golovkin has yet to reach 200,000 buys in either of his two pay-per-views, against David Lemieux (in 2015) and Daniel Jacobs (in March).
“It’ll do as big as Canelo-Chavez and should do really well with the combination of the fan bases,” Loeffler said.
Golovkin’s trainer says it’s ‘impossible’ for his fighter to lose Saturday
Nobody has been more bullish on Gennady Golovkin’s ability than his trainer, Abel Sanchez, who said at Dodger Stadium on Sunday that it’s “impossible” for Golovkin to lose to Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night in their pay-per-view bout at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
Sanchez, whose teaching of unbeaten, three-belt middleweight champion Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) began with having the fighter study old video of Mexican warrior Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., said the Kazakh’s “presence” will determine the outcome of Saturday’s bout.
By that, he means he believes that Golovkin’s preparation and ring experience — marked by a 23-fight knockout streak that was ended in a victory by unanimous decision over Daniel Jacobs in March — should outlast Alvarez’s reliance on youthful energy and power.
Breaking down the fight further, Sanchez said the key discipline to watch will be jab effectiveness.
“The jab is probably the most important weapon,” Sanchez said. “Canelo’s got a good jab, but the timing of Gennady’s jab will be more important. His [jab] is more ramrod.
“I feel like this is a great fight for us, a fight that we’re going to be extremely happy [about] in the end, and good enough that hopefully we do it again.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s advice for Canelo Alvarez: ‘Go to the body’
Even as he trained for Conor McGregor last month, Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s thoughts turned to Saturday’s anticipated middleweight title fight between unbeaten, three-belt champion Gennady Golovkin and his challenger from Mexico, Canelo Alvarez.
As he overheard an interviewer ask father-trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. who would win the Golovkin-Alvarez bout, Mayweather Jr. interrupted.
Mayweather cruised to a majority decision victory over a 23-year-old Alvarez in 2013, but he told one close to him afterward that Alvarez punched harder than any opponent he had faced.
“He’s got to go to the body, Daddy,” Mayweather Jr. said of Alvarez. “He can stop him if he goes to the body.”
After stopping McGregor by 10th-round technical knockout Aug. 26, Mayweather said he was retired, a point he reiterated on a Showtime boxing telecast Friday in Las Vegas.
But a rematch with Alvarez, 27, would certainly be a lucrative bout that would be difficult for Mayweather to pass up after drawing more than 4 million pay-per-view buys against UFC champion McGregor.
Four years ago, their meeting set a then-record of $150 million in sales from 2.2 million pay-per-view buys.
If Alvarez can wrest the throne from Golovkin, considered by some to be the world’s No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer, that rematch would certainly be favored to surpass those prior sales.
Mayweather (50-0) has been less interested in fighting Golovkin, although he could see diminished speed in the 35-year-old champion from Kazakhstan and press for a fight at 154 pounds.
“It ain’t that Triple-G [Golovkin] is weak to the body, but if you go down there, you’ll find a lot of stuff you haven’t seen before,” Mayweather Sr. advised, perhaps to assist Alvarez trainers Eddy and Chepo Reynoso. “It happens that way.”
What time does the Canelo Alvarez-Golovkin fight start?
Promoters for Saturday’s Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight title fight did East Coast newspapers a tremendous favor by moving up the start time for the four-fight pay-per-view card by one hour.
That means the main event should begin around 7:50 p.m. Pacific time.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) is defending his World Boxing Assn., World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation middleweight belts on the HBO card while Mexico’s 27-year-old Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) attempts to stamp this era as his now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has retired.
The exact start time is predicated on how long the pay-per-view undercard bouts will last, and it’s quite possible all three will go the distance.
In the 10-round opener, lightweight Ryan Martin (19-0, 11 KOs) meets Mexico’s Francisco Rojo (20-2, 13 KOs), who has never been knocked down or stopped.
Then, promoter Oscar De La Hoya’s cousin, Diego De La Hoya (19-0, nine KOs) of Mexico, meets Coachella’s former bantamweight world champion Randy Caballero (24-0, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super-bantamweight bout.
Unbeaten South El Monte featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. (24-0, 13 KOs) fights for the right to meet World Boxing Council champion Gary Russell Jr. next when he confronts hard-punching Jorge Lara (29-0-2, 21 KOs) of Mexico in a bout scheduled for 12 rounds.
While Lara did drop former multi-division champion Fernando Montiel four times in the first round of their April 2016 bout at StubHub Center, Diaz is more slick and elusive.
And with the expected walk-in pageantry and anthems, expect 7:50 p.m. to be an ideal time to be seated and not to miss a minute of the main-event boxing action.
Gennady Golovkin wants to focus on fight, not new daughter
Middleweight boxing champion Gennady Golovkin is considered by some to be the best in the world at his profession, a job that requires its participants in deciding moments to turn away from considerations of the heart.
On Friday, Golovkin’s wife, Alina, gave birth to the couple’s second child and first daughter — perfect timing as the boxer returned home from training in Big Bear before he departs Monday for his Saturday night showdown in Las Vegas against Mexico’s former world champion, Canelo Alvarez.
Yet, Sunday, which brought Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) to Dodger Stadium to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, also marked the start of fight week.
So from Golovkin’s perspective, the idea of waxing sentimentally about the beauty of his child’s arrival was not anything he cared to discuss in great detail publicly.
“I just want to talk about my business now — my boxing — not my family,” Golovkin said. “My focus now is boxing.”
Pound for Pound, Episode 3: The best brings out the best
ABOUT THE SERIES Two of the most dominant boxers in the world are set to square off on September 16 – Canelo Alvarez, the young superstar and pride of Mexican boxing, against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, the current unified middleweight world champion w
Pound for Pound, Episode 1: Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin
ABOUT THE SERIES Two of the most dominant boxers in the world are set to square off on September 16 – Canelo Alvarez, the young superstar and pride of Mexican boxing, against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, the current unified middleweight world champion w