Canelo Alvarez hasn’t watched Gennadiy Golovkin’s technical-knockout victory over Ryota Murata in its entirety.
Spending 24 rounds in the ring with Golovkin was more than enough to educate the four-division champion on his rival’s capabilities. That familiarity limited the Mexican icon to watching highlights of Golovkin’s ninth-round stoppage of the Japanese superstar April 9 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Their fight began slightly after 5 a.m. local time where Alvarez has been training for his upcoming light heavyweight title fight against Dmitry Bivol, yet the early start time wasn’t what kept Alvarez from watching his potential opponent’s recent action.
“I [didn’t] watch the fight,” Alvarez stated Wednesday during a conference call with a small group of reporters. “I watch the highlights, but I don’t watch that fight yet. But he do what [he] was supposed to do.”
When asked to elaborate on why he didn’t watch Golovkin-Murata live, Alvarez replied, “I never watch the fights – never, never.”
If Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) beats Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) on May 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, he is expected to drop back down to the super middleweight division to defend his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 168-pound championships versus Golovkin on September 17 at a site to be determined.
Alvarez clarified Wednesday that he considers the Bivol bout important for strengthening his legacy. He doesn’t feel the same way about a third fight with Golovkin.
The Guadalajara native contended that he finally agreed to face Golovkin again because it’s a fight Alvarez feels fans want.
“I’m a hundred-percent focused on Bivol, but I don’t care about the fight with Golovkin,” Alvarez said. “I’m a hundred-percent focusing on the Bivol fight, and then we’ll see. But the people want to see that fight, right? That fight will be for the people.”
Alvarez, 31, defeated Golovkin by majority decision in their 12-round rematch in September 2018 at T-Mobile Arena. Whereas Alvarez is commonly considered the deserved winner of their second middleweight championship bout, the result of their first fight, a 12-round split draw, is widely viewed as controversial.
Golovkin, 40, signed a six-fight contract with DAZN in March 2019 in large part because he expected to square off with Alvarez a third time long before this September. The Kazakhstan native has boxed just four times as part of that DAZN agreement in three years.
The IBF/IBO/WBA 160-pound champion overcame a slow start against Murata, who landed a lot of clean head shots and affected Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) with body blows during the first five rounds of their title unification fight. Golovkin gained control of their bout thereafter and broke down Murata with various power punches.
Their entertaining encounter was stopped by Murata’s trainer once Golovkin landed a right hand that sent Murata to the canvas in the final minute of the ninth round. Golovkin became the first opponent to stop Murata (16-3, 13 KOs) inside the distance in the former champion’s 8½ years as a pro, but nothing he did to Murata surprised Alvarez.
“I’m not impressed,” Alvarez said. “But he looked good, he looked strong. But I’m never impressed. So, I’m never impressed about him. I know what he do, and I know he’s a strong fighter. I know what kind of fighter he is, but I’m not impressed because I know.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.