By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Gennady Golovkin looked relaxed as he spoke with reporters prior to a press conference Wednesday at MGM Grand.
His calm demeanor aside, the heavy-handed champion from Kazakhstan understands that a very difficult assignment awaits him. The unbeaten Golovkin knows Canelo Alvarez will provide perhaps the toughest test of his 11-year pro boxing career when they meet Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
Once they take some time to figure each other out early in their scheduled 12-round fight, the defending IBF, IBO, WBA and WBC middleweight champion anticipates a brutal brawl to unfold.
“It’s not [an] easy fight for him or for me,” Golovkin said. “I think maybe a couple rounds [will be] very close. Just, you know, I look [at] his strategy, he looks [at] my strategy. I think [the] second half is much crazy, like a street fight, like a rob bank, like not step back.”
The 35-year-old Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) remains a slight favorite over Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs), a former middleweight and junior middleweight champion who has lost only to undefeated, retired legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. (50-0, 27 KOs).
Even though Golovkin expects a grueling fight against Alvarez, he was smiling from ear to ear Wednesday. When asked why he seems so happy at a time when many fighters would appear tense before such a huge fight, Golovkin gave a brutally honest answer.
“The biggest day is coming,” Golovkin said. “A lot of money is coming, you know? It’s true. True. The biggest fight is coming, a true fight. I’m a boxer. I like fight. My biggest opponent is coming. It’s just very close. I’m very excited. I don’t know, maybe a very close situation like, OK, you’re going to meet with your new girlfriend. You’re excited, like, ‘Oh yeah! Oh yeah!’ You know, like that.”
The Alvarez-Golovkin showdown will headline HBO Pay-Per-View’s four-fight telecast Saturday night. It is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT, and will cost $79.99 to watch in HD.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.