‘He’s dis­re­spected the sport, pub­lic and sup­port­ers. I am ready for him’

Af­ter their first fight ended in a con­tro­ver­sial draw, Golovkin is out to make Canelo pay in the re­match

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Boxing - Gareth A Davies BOX­ING COR­RE­SPON­DENT Gen­nady Golovkin v Saul “Canelo” Al­varez is live on BT Sport Box Of­fice

Among the gam­blers and chancers of Sin City, Gen­nady Golovkin is tak­ing aim in the MGM Grand Ho­tel, land­ing hard blows on Satur­day’s op­po­nent Saul “Canelo” Al­varez, the Ne­vada State Ath­letic Com­mis­sion, and even Golden Boy Pro­mo­tions, his Mex­i­can op­po­nent’s over­seers.

As he pre­pares for his sec­ond bat­tle with Canelo, Golovkin, who defends the World Box­ing Coun­cil, World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and Ring Mag­a­zine mid­dleweight ti­tles, is an­gry.

The un­beaten 36-year-old – who has knocked out 34 of his 38 vic­tims – is com­posed, but with quiet men­ace, ahead of the re­match af­ter their con­tro­ver­sial draw a year ago. Most ob­servers, in­clud­ing this one, saw Triple G win com­fort­ably.

Golovkin is a wreck­ing-ball fighter with freak­ish power in his el­bow-tofist levers, and a dom­i­nant force in the 160lb divi­sion for the past five years. But he al­ways es­pouses sport­ing con­duct, and there is a beau­ti­ful bru­tal­ity about him.

The long de­lay in the re­match; the re­fusal from Canelo to em­bark on a me­dia tour ahead of this fight; the le­niency of the Ne­vada State Ath­letic Com­mis­sion in met­ing out just a six-month sus­pen­sion for Canelo’s two pos­i­tive out-of-com­pe­ti­tion tests for the drug clen­buterol, a banned mus­cle-build­ing steroid, have all in­fu­ri­ated Golovkin.

They have mo­ti­vated him, made it per­sonal. Now he craves paint­ing a mas­ter­piece of de­struc­tion, in­side the ring at the T-Mo­bile Arena in the Mo­jave desert. It is pay­back time.

Golovkin tells The Sun­day Tele­graph: “Canelo and I, we have dif­fer­ent men­tal­i­ties. What he’s done has dis­re­spected the sport, the pub­lic and his sup­port­ers. Be­fore, I re­spected him. And I re­spect peo­ple who re­spect box­ing. These guys don’t re­spect the box­ing, only busi­ness. He’s a smart guy. But he lost re­spect be­cause he used drugs.

“He did a lot of dam­age to box­ing. For some­body like him to make such a bad mis­take and then con­tinue to work with the same peo­ple, with the same team who brought him to this sit­u­a­tion, it shows he doesn’t recog­nise cer­tain things.”

Golovkin said of Canelo, who has lost only once, to Floyd May­weather, in a 52-fight ca­reer: “I pointed out some things that were ev­i­dent, some marks on his body that looked like in­jec­tions [prior to the first fight]. It was ob­vi­ous he was tak­ing some­thing. I was re­ally sur­prised it took so long for the com­mis­sion to come to a de­ci­sion.”

Will the clen­buterol is­sue en­ter his mind when they step into the ring? “I’m only think­ing about the fight. We know each other much bet­ter. The sec­ond fight will be much more in­ter­est­ing be­cause of that. He was able to run around me in the first fight. It will be more dif­fi­cult to do that.

“I’m very calm. Nor does the Ne­vada Ath­letic Com­mis­sion re­ally af­fect me at all. I think I won the first fight; the de­ci­sion is only a con­se­quence.

“The im­por­tant thing is fight­ing and hav­ing a sec­ond fight with him. It’s im­por­tant for box­ing, the fans and both of us. He will need to fight in the sec­ond fight, be­cause he lost so much re­spect from the fans.”

Golovkin was hardly sur­prised Canelo es­chewed a me­dia tour.

“He talks a lot about how it doesn’t make sense to stand face-to-face. Of

course it made sense. Peo­ple are not stupid. He would have been faced with some un­com­fort­able ques­tions and he prob­a­bly doesn’t have enough courage to face the truth, to face those un­pleas­ant ques­tions. The im­por­tant thing is that we are now fight­ing.”

There is ev­ery rea­son to sus­pect that Golovkin could have mixed it with the great mid­dleweights of the Eight­ies. He might not have beaten any of the Four Kings – Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Du­ran, Marvin Ha­gler, Tommy Hearns – but he is a mod­ern great.

“I had a good ex­pe­ri­ence in the first fight, but I’ve a dif­fer­ent men­tal­ity for the sec­ond fight. I be­lieve this fight will be much bet­ter. Much big­ger, more ac­tion, more drama. I’m ready. I’m ex­cited. I want to put on a big, dra­matic show – and this is my chance. It’s so im­por­tant to have this sec­ond fight. For his­tory, and to put the record straight. Re­ally put it straight.”

Bru­tal busi­ness: Saul “Canelo” Al­varez (left) and Gen­nady Golovkin trade blows dur­ing their con­tro­ver­sial draw in Las Ve­gas last year

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