NEW YORK–Canelo Alvarez may be seething with animosity toward Gennadiy Golovkin but that does not mean he does not know how to extend a compliment where he sees fit.
The 168-pound undisputed champion from Mexico will defend his four belts against his longtime Kazakh nemesis in a trilogy bout scheduled for Sept. 17 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Their pre-fight publicity thus far has seen Alvarez take an aggressive, almost aggrieved approach. In addition to adopting menacing glares in their face-offs, Alvarez has repeatedly stated that he has taken this fight personally and that he intends to knockout out a man whom he feels is a hypocrite and liar. Alvarez has taken exception to strong comments Golovkin made after Alvarez tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol leading int their second fight; Alvarez has always maintained the substance was ingested inadvertently through contaminated Mexican beef.
But Alvarez sounded off a rare complimentary note to his blood rival during a press conference to promote the event. Alvarez, in particular, was impressed by Golovkin’s last fight, in April, a ninth-round technical knockout over Japanese champion Ryota Murata to unify the WBA and IBF middleweight titles.
“He looking good the last fight,” Alvarez told a group of reporters at a press huddle. “He’s strong. Like I say he’s a talented boxer.”
“I watched the highlights because I was in Greece (vacationing),” Alvarez continued. “Like I say, he looked always strong, a pressure fighter, looking good.”
Alvarez (57-2-2, 38 KOs) did not stop there with the flattering remarks. Asked to confirm if he believes Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) is one of the toughest opponents he has ever faced, the Mexican superstar did not hesitate to respond in the affirmative.
“He’s one of the best,” Alvarez said. “He’s one of the best for sure.”