Now for the real fight

Golovkin, Alvarez to face off in ‘a war’

Metro Canada (Halifax) - - SPORT -

The freak show of a fight is over, and for that ev­ery­one in box­ing should be glad. That Conor Mcgre­gor man­aged to make it into the 10th round against a re­tired 40-year-old who can’t knock real box­ers out isn’t much to cel­e­brate, un­less you’re Mcgre­gor’s ac­coun­tant.

Yes, Mcgre­gor and Floyd May­weather Jr. cap­tured the worlds’s at­ten­tion with a spec­ta­cle that played out pretty much how most box­ing ex­perts pre­dicted. It made for a grand time in liv­ing rooms across the coun­try, pro­vid­ing some en­ter­tain­ment in tense times for about 50 mil­lion peo­ple.

Now comes the real fight — and what a fight it will be.

Canelo Alvarez against Gen­nady Golovkin is as good as it gets in the Sweet Sci­ence, a sport that is in the midst of a re­nais­sance of sorts. They meet Satur­day night in a mid­dleweight ti­tle clash as highly an­tic­i­pated by box­ing purists as was Mcgre­gor’s chal­lenge of May­weather to UFC fans.

Two fighters who both rank high on any­one’s pound-for­pound list. One loss be­tween them, with Golovkin’s three mid­dleweight belts on the line.

And un­like May­weather, they knock peo­ple out.

“It is not a fight,’’ Golovkin said. “It is a war.’’

What­ever you call it, it shapes up as the most an­tic­i­pated fight of the year in box­ing. It’s not too much of a stretch to say it might be the best mid­dleweight clash since Marvelous Marvin Ha­gler and Tommy Hearns en­gaged in their three-round clas­sic more than 30 years ago.

Styles re­ally do make fights, and th­ese are two fighters with ex­plo­sive styles.

“We’re both go­ing to fight a fight where any­body can win by knock­out,’’ Alvarez said. “We both have the power to win by knock­out. But that’s what makes for a great fight.’’

That the fight comes only three weeks af­ter Mcgre­gor and May­weather per­suaded more than 4 mil­lion house­holds to buy their pay-per-view is not fault of the fighters or their pro­mot­ers. The fight was an­nounced in May, be­fore May­weather-mcgre­gor was fi­nal­ized.

Os­car De La Hoya, who pro­motes Alvarez, made no se­cret of his dis­dain for the May we a therm cg reg or fight, send­ing out an ob­scene tweet just be­fore the event, claim­ing both were dis­re­spect­ing box­ing.

But view­ers seemed gen­er­ally sat­is­fied with the money they spent on May­weather-mcgre­gor, and box­ing fans will open their wal­lets for this bout.

It won’t sell as much as the most re­cent fight, but it still fig­ures to do huge pay-per-view numbers, par­tic­u­larly among Mex­i­can-amer­i­can fans of Alvarez.

It should be money well spent. “I’m go­ing to do my part to make it mem­o­rable so I can go down in his­tory as one of the best fighters,’’ Alvarez said.

Ethan Miller/getty im­ages

gen­nady golovkin ar­rives at MGM grand Ho­tel & Casino in Las Ve­gas on Tues­day.

Ethan Miller/getty im­ages

os­car De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez.

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