Golovkin eyes Vegas jackpot
First fight in Sin City as boxing champ takes on Mexico’s biggest star
GENNADY Golovkin is undaunted by the challenge of fighting for the first time in Las Vegas and says defending his titles against Canelo Alvarez will be like going on a date with a new girlfriend.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), who holds the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation middleweight belts, will face Mexico’s biggest boxing star Alvarez in a 12-round mega title fight tomorrow at the T-Mobile Arena.
“It is like you are going with your new girlfriend,” the 35-year-old from Kazakhstan said, describing his excitement for the battle for middleweight supremacy.
Golovkin said this week he would be ready for anything Alvarez threw at him.
“I bring my belts, all my belts. I feel like a champion. This is my game, I am boss.”
Nevertheless, Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, said the majority of the crowd tomorrow would be cheering for Alvarez.
“I expect the crowd to be pro Canelo. It is more for Canelo right now,” Sanchez said.
“People are picking Canelo. That even motivates him [Golovkin] more.”
Golovkin has waited a long time to get his first fight on boxing’s biggest stage in the United States.
He has fought in 22 cities and seven different countries but never in Sin City.
“The biggest day is coming. This is a true fight, there is a lot of money,” Golovkin said.
Several years ago, Golovkin had the younger Alvarez as one of his sparring partners at a training camp in Big Bear, California.
So there is some familiarity between the two, but Golovkin expects Alvarez to come into the fight with a few new wrinkles in his game-plan.
“He might bring some new ideas to this fight. I am ready for anything,” Golovkin said.
“I am ready to fight. It is a first-class fight.”
Alvarez, who has only lost once in 51 fights (49-1-1), said he trained 10 weeks for this bout.
“I just want to say I am prepared. I know it is going to be a tough fight,” Alvarez said at the news conference.
Alvarez’s trainer, Eddy Reynoso, said their camp was a success and his fighter was in top condition.
“We had a great preparation, more than 14 years to prepare for this fight,” Reynoso said.
“We had a great camp, no injuries, everything went well.”
Sanchez said the two fighters’ punching power would make for an exciting contest.
“We look for a dramatic fight, an explosive fight,” Sanchez said. “These two guys have the styles that are going to give us a fight we will remember for a long time.
“It is very special. This is where all the big fights happen. This is history and if the fight is as good as we think it is going to be then it will be remembered like the HaglerLeonard fight.”
Sanchez said Golovkin lost some of his popularity after his last fight in March because he had to go the distance to beat Daniel Jacobs.
Asked why so many more people now think Alvarez will win than a year ago, Sanchez said: “Because of the Jacobs fight.”
Tickets at T-Mobile are sold out for Alvarez-Golovkin but Sanchez said they still had work to do to get people to buy the pay-per-view. Boxing fans who shelled out $99 (R1 303) for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor novelty fight just over two weeks ago might be reluctant to buy this one, he said.
“It might have hurt us a little but it didn’t hurt as much as people thought it would,” Sanchez said.
“A lot of casual fans would have bought this fight if they hadn’t spent $99 on a spectacle.
“It is a different month. The budget may still be there.”
Golovkin said he did not see the Mayweather-McGregor contest but would have tuned in if it had been for charity.
“If Mayweather-McGregor was a charity fight where people give money I would have watched it. But it was not a true fight,” Golovkin said.