By Keith Idec
Oscar De La Hoya wouldn’t have finally signed off on Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin if he wasn’t convinced Alvarez is a full-fledged middleweight.
De La Hoya is no longer worried about size as it pertains to his franchise fighter challenging the Kazakh knockout artist for middleweight supremacy. Speed has supplanted size toward the top of De La Hoya’s list of concerns as their 160-pound showdown nears.
Alvarez’s promoter expressed to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on his radio show Tuesday that he is concerned about Alvarez packing on too many pounds between their weigh-in September 15 and the start of their fight the following night. If Alvarez adds too much weight after weighing in at or below the 160-pound limit, De La Hoya thinks it could affect his speed, one of the Mexican superstar’s advantages over Golovkin.
“I’m worried about the speed a bit,” De La Hoya told Smith. “That’s his big advantage, is his speed, against Golovkin. So, you know, I wouldn’t wanna see him to go up too many pounds right after the weigh-in on Friday before the fight. So we’ll see how they do it. He has a new strength and conditioning coach, so we’ll see how they adjust. But I think Canelo’s speed is a big factor.”
Roughly 29 hours will pass between when Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) and Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) weigh in at MGM Grand Garden Arena and when the first bell rings at nearby T-Mobile Arena for their HBO Pay-Per-View main event.
Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs had even more time between their weigh-in March 17 and the beginning of their fight March 18 at Madison Square Garden. The 6-feet Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs) gained at least 15 pounds in those approximately 38 hours and enjoyed a noticeable size advantage over the 5-feet-10½ Golovkin in their 12-round fight.
Jacobs also skipped the IBF’s second-day weigh-in the morning of March 18. The IBF’s rules prohibit boxers fighting for its titles from adding more than 10 pounds over a division’s limit the morning after official weigh-ins.
Alvarez, who’s about an inch shorter than Golovkin, has said he will fight for Golovkin’s IBF 160-pound championship and thus participate in the second-day weigh-in.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.