Al­varez, Golovkin poised to do bat­tle for place in boxing his­tory

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - SPORTS - BOXING

LAS VE­GAS: Now that the Floyd May­weather-Conor McGre­gor cir­cus has left town, at­ten­tion shifts to Gen­nady Golovkin and Canelo Al­varez and their show­down for mid­dleweight boxing supremacy.

For those dis­ap­pointed by last month’s so-called su­per­fight be­tween a boxer and a UFC fighter that was staged be­fore a less-than ca­pac­ity crowd, Satur­day’s sold-out worldti­tle con­test at the same T-Mo­bile Arena will be a wel­come change.

Kaza­khstan’s three-belt cham­pion Golovkin against Mex­ico’s big­gest star Al­varez is one of the most an­tic­i­pated fights in years, fea­tur­ing the most explosive fight­ers in the di­vi­sion. “This is a fight boxing can be proud of. It is boxing’s big­gest fight. It is a fight for his­tory,” Golovkin said.

Most peo­ple don’t think this will go the dis­tance as both fight­ers are skilled ring­mas­ters and have the abil­ity to de­liver knock­out blows when the op­por­tu­nity presents it­self.

They both pre­fer to do their talk­ing with their fists and their fight was al­ways a mat­ter not of if, but when, as they need each other to val­i­date their places in boxing his­tory.

Golovkin, who will be mak­ing his Las Ve­gas de­but, has fought his en­tire ca­reer at 160 pounds (72.5 kilo­grams) while Al­varez, 27, fought just once above 155 – in his last fight against Julio Ce­sar Chavez Jr.

The un­de­feated Golovkin, whose World Boxing Coun­cil, World Boxing As­so­ci­a­tion and In­ter­na­tional Boxing Fed­er­a­tion ti­tles will be on the line, said he is ex­pect­ing the tough­est fight of his ca­reer against a boxer six years his ju­nior.

“This is my big­gest fight,” he said. “I worked hard to be­come of cham­pion of the world. I worked hard with Abel [Sanchez, my trainer] to stay cham­pion of the world.”

Al­varez also ex­pects a dif­fi­cult fight. “He is the most dan­ger­ous op­po­nent of my ca­reer, but I’m ready for him and what’s next to come,” the for­mer WBC and WBA su­per-wel­ter­weight cham­pion said.

“We know that in fights, it takes two to tango. I’m ready, and you know what you’ll get from me.”

Al­varez, who is gun­ning for his 50th ca­reer win, is com­ing off a lop­sided win over Chavez on May 6. He beat Chavez by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion as all three judges scored it 120-108.

In his last fight, Golovkin out­pointed Daniel Ja­cobs at Madison Square Gar­den in New York. Ja­cobs had an un­ex­pected surge over the fi­nal three rounds be­fore los­ing by a nar­row de­ci­sion which led some to be­lieve that the 35-year-old Golovkin might be start­ing to show his age.

Al­varez’s big­gest fight be­fore this one was a 12-round loss to May­weather in 2013 in an en­ter­tain­ing fight which May­weather de­served to win. Al­varez was also held to a draw by jour­ney­man Jorge Juarez in 2006 when he was 15.

Al­varez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso said his fighter has im­proved a lot since the May­weather loss.

“He is more ma­ture, a more com­plete fighter,” Reynoso said Thurs­day at the MGM Grand Ho­tel and Casino. “You al­ways learn some­thing from vic­to­ries but de­feats teach you more.

“You can see the mis­takes you made and you learn not to go that route again. He learned a lot from that de­feat to be­come a bet­ter fighter,” Reynoso added.

Golovkin is one of the best-con­di­tioned ath­letes in the sport. He even missed the birth of his sec­ond child Fri­day be­cause he was in the gym train­ing.

He stayed in the gym for two hours after his wife, Alina, gave birth to the cou­ple’s first daugh­ter.

Golovkin may be the cham­pion but he is not the over­whelm­ing fa­vorite and Sanchez says the crowd in­side the T-Mo­bile Arena will be de­cid­edly for Al­varez.

Golovkin said even if the crowd is for Al­varez he will en­ter and leave the ring as the cham­pion.

“The big­gest day is com­ing. This is a true fight, there is a lot of money com­ing,” Golovkin said.

“I bring my belts, all my belts. I feel like a cham­pion. This is my game, this is my fight, I am the boss.”

Golovkin and Al­varez size each other up.

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