By Keith Idec
Gennady Golovkin obviously is a very different fighter than Floyd Mayweather Jr., the one opponent who has beaten Canelo Alvarez.
It is the differences in himself, however, that Alvarez expects to help him handle the problems presented by the Kazakh knockout artist in their middleweight title fight September 16 in Las Vegas. The 27-year-old Alvarez is thankful for the experience he gained against Mayweather and believes he is a much better fighter than when he lost a majority decision to the undefeated five-division champion in September 2013.
“I definitely learned a lot,” Alvarez said through a translator during a conference call Tuesday. “I have more experience now. I feel more confident. I’m more of a mature fighter now. Obviously, not just that fight, but the fights that followed, got me to this point. But yes, I’ve changed, I learned from it and I just feel I’m more of a complete fighter now. I have more experience and the confidence is probably the one thing I can point out the most.”
Mexico’s Alvarez is 7-0 and has knocked out four of his opponents since suffering his lone loss to Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) nearly four years ago.
One of those wins was a debatable split-decision defeat of Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara three years ago. Other than that, Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) has beaten Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in decisive, impressive fashion.
Mayweather was able to beat Alvarez convincingly, despite that besmirched judge C.J. Ross scored their 12-round fight even (114-114). The two other judges, Craig Metcalfe (117-111) and Dave Moretti (116-112), scored their fight for Mayweather by big margins.
“In that fight with Floyd, I think the only reason he beat me was experience,” said Alvarez, who was 23 when he faced Mayweather. “He had more experience. He had more championship fights under his belt. And in this fight, it’s gonna be different. I have a lot of experience now and I’m not gonna let that happen again in this fight because I have more confidence and I have more experience.”
The 35-year-old Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), who’ll defend his IBF, IBO and WBA middleweight titles, is a slight favorite over Alvarez five weeks before their HBO Pay-Per-View main event ($99.95 in HD).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.