Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez return Saturday night for a rematch on the Las Vegas Strip. The 160-pound titles are at stake once again as the two fighters try to settle what they couldn't in last September's draw.
And this time it's personal.
A failed drug test by Alvarez didn't just postpone the rematch from the original date in May. It sparked a debate that left Golovkin openly questioning an excuse about contaminated meat in Mexico and whether Alvarez was clean for their first fight.
Luckily for Golovkin, he hasn't had to listen. He and Alvarez have shared a room only once since the fight was announced — at Wednesday's final prefight press conference — and Alvarez is so upset about Golovkin's comments that he refused to do a traditional faceoff with Triple G for photographers.
When they finally do meet Saturday night it will be with some hard feelings on both sides that didn't surface in the first fight.
"I'm angry but I'm going to use it in my favor in this fight," Alvarez said. "I'm bothered by all the stupid things they've been saying."
Golovkin, who has held pieces of the middleweight title for eight years, is 38-0-1 with 34 knockouts, and for much of his career knocked out anyone put in the ring with him. But he went 12 tough rounds against Daniel Jacobs before going the distance with Alvarez, and there are some in boxing who believe his skills are eroding at the age of 36.
"I'm going to go in there to knock him out," Alvarez said. "Every night before bed I visualize what I'm going to do, which is to get a knockout."
In the first fight, Alvarez came on strong against Golovkin in the late rounds to pull out a draw that was controversial largely because one judge had Alvarez winning 118-110.