Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez clash for the soul of boxing
IT says something for the quality of today’s world middleweight title fight between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘‘Canelo’’ Alvarez that no-one is talking about how much money they will earn.
What is more, no-one is speaking with too much certainty about who will win in Las Vegas.
‘‘This type of fight you don’t see every day,’’ Oscar De La Hoya, the boxing great turned promoter, said. ‘‘You see a fight like this every 15-20 years.’’
De La Hoya knows a bit about great fights. He was the A-side of numerous big nights through the 1990s and into this century, before becoming one of the biggest promoters in the world.
‘‘These two guys are the best middleweights in the division by far,’’ he said. ‘‘Boxing needs this type of fight. We’re riding this wave but boxing needs this fight.’’
It’s easy to sneer at the events of three weeks ago, when Floyd Mayweather made a fortune in a slowpaced exhibition of the noble art against boxing novice Conor McGregor.
De La Hoya took to Twitter on the morning of that fight to accuse the pair of disrespecting the sport. But that event was just the culmination of the Mayweather era, when an almost ghoulish obsession with high-priced designer goods was portrayed as the reward for years of toil.
In that way, at least, Golovkin, 35, and the 27-year-old Alvarez are battling to recover the soul of the sport.
They are already rich enough that they never have to work again and will earn more today than they could have imagined. But this is not about that, it is about earning the right to call themselves great.
Today’s fight, which is for Golovkin’s WBC, WBA and IBF titles as well as Alvarez’s claim to be the ‘‘lineal’’ champion, is being seen as a throwback to an era where being the best was the most important thing. The Times, London
Joseph Parker trains in London ahead of his world title fight with Hughie Fury next Sunday.