Al­varez sees a knock­out and a great fight

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

LAS VE­GAS (AP) — Canelo Al­varez was just Saul Al­varez back then, a red-haired 15-year-old who wanted noth­ing more than to make some money box­ing.

He got his chance on a sum­mer night in 2005 in a sub­urb of Guadala­jara, Mex­ico, where he grew up. His op­po­nent was an­other teenager named Abra­ham Gon­za­lez, but he could have been any­one.

Al­varez showed some po­ten­tial by stop­ping Gon­za­lez in fourth round. Af­ter­ward he col­lected his first real pay­day.

“Eighty pe­sos,” Al­varez re­called this week. “I think it was like $6.”

A dozen years later, the pay has got­ten a lot bet­ter. On Sat- ur­day night Al­varez will make mil­lions as he meets knock­out spe­cial­ist Gen­nady Golovkin in a mid­dleweight show­down that box­ing purists are com­par­ing to some of the divi­sion’s great fights of years past .

Some 40 mil­lion of his coun­try­men are ex­pected to be watch­ing on tele­vi­sion as the fighter who is ar­guably Mex­ico’s big­gest sports hero takes on the fear­some Golovkin in a fight that could de­fine the ca­reer of both fight­ers. The fight will be tele­vised on HBO pay-per-view in the U.S.

“This is for my coun­try and my peo­ple,” Al­varez said. “Sim­ply put, the peo­ple wanted this fight.”

It won’t be a fight for the faint of heart. Golovkin had a 23-fight knock­out streak be­fore go­ing the dis­tance in his last fight, while Al­varez is a mas­ter­ful coun­ter­puncher who is not afraid to mix it up.

Be­tween them they have only one loss in 88 fights. Al­varez suf­fered it in 2013 against Floyd May­weather Jr. in a fight he ad­mit­ted he took too early in his ca­reer.

By con­trast, he may have waited un­til just the right time to fight Golovkin. Al­varez and his pro­moter, Os­car De La Hoya, were widely crit­i­cized for avoid­ing Golovkin for the last two years, but now Al­varez has grown into a full-fledged mid­dleweight and both fight­ers seem to be in their prime.

There shouldn’t be many sur­prises. And there will cer­tainly be no ex­cuses.

“My men­tal­ity is 100 per­cent to win,” Al­varez said. “Ev­ery night be­fore I go to bed I vi­su­al­ize a knock­out.”

Al­varez has been on the big stage be­fore. He and May­weather de­liv­ered more than 2 mil­lion pay-per-view buys in their fight, and he has con­sis­tently drawn big crowds and big tele­vi­sion num­bers over the last five years.


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