By Keith Idec
Canelo Alvarez will end almost exactly a one-year layoff the night he enters the ring to challenge Gennady Golovkin again.
Their middleweight championship rematch is scheduled for September 15, one day short of the one-year anniversary of their controversial draw last September 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. This marks the longest layoff for the 28-year-old Alvarez since he made his pro debut in October 2005, but the Mexican superstar isn’t the least bit concerned about being rusty when he meets Golovkin again in their HBO Pay-Per-View main event at T-Mobile Arena.
“I feel well and I don’t think a year off will affect me at all,” Alvarez said during a conference call Wednesday. “I like to train, I like to stay active, so I feel well. The most I’ve lasted [between] fights usually is from September until May, which is about [eight] months. So I think three additional months is nothing. I stay training and I stay active, and it’s not gonna affect me for this fight on September 15th.”
Because he has been compensated so well, Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) has fought just twice apiece in each year since 2012. The previous lengthiest layoff of his career occurred when nearly 10 months elapsed between his split-decision victory over Erislandy Lara in July 2014 and his third-round knockout of James Kirkland in May 2015.
The obvious difference is that Golovkin is a better fighter than Kirkland.
The 36-year-old Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) has fought just once since their 12-round battle 11 months ago. The WBA/WBC/IBO middleweight champion knocked out junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan in the second round of that May 5 bout at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
The Golovkin-Alvarez rematch was scheduled for that night, but it was canceled once the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Alvarez for six months because he twice tested positive for clenbuterol in February. Alvarez’s suspension is set to end after Friday because it is retroactive to the date of his first failed test, February 17.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.