By Keith Idec

LAS VEGAS – Curtis Stevens knows Canelo Alvarez isn’t afraid to fight Gennady Golovkin in his next bout.

And when they do fight, Stevens expects Mexico’s Alvarez to win a very competitive battle between powerful punchers.

“If I had to bet my own money, I’d probably go with my main Mexican,” said Stevens (28-5, 21 KOs), who stopped Brazil’s Patrick Teixeira (26-1, 22 KOs) in the second round on the Alvarez-Amir Khan undercard Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. “I like Canelo. He’s a Mexican. He fights for his country and he fights for blood.”

Brooklyn’s Stevens spent an entire training camp as a primary sparring partner preparing Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) for his November 21 victory over Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs). Stevens also lost by eighth-round technical knockout to Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) in a November 2013 middleweight title fight in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

“Canelo fights at his own pace,” Stevens said. “Golovkin fights at his own pace, too. Golovkin might not engage as much against Canelo because he knows Canelo’s strong. You saw when we fought me that he didn’t engage as much until he wore me down. It’ll be a good fight. I like both of them. It’ll be a good fight. … Golovkin doesn’t throw every shot as a finishing shot. Canelo does, so I believe it’s whoever lands first.”

Stevens believes the 25-year-old Alvarez and the 34-year-old Golovkin will face each other next, yet realizes the negotiations will be troublesome.

“I believe they’re gonna try to make a megafight against Golovkin next,” Stevens said. “It’s a good match, but I don’t think Canelo will come up to 60. He’s not a 60.”

The 31-year-old Stevens also thinks waiting and trying to build Alvarez-Golovkin into an even bigger pay-per-view event is a mistake.

“How much bigger do you wanna get it?,” Stevens asked. “Canelo just knocked Khan out. Golovkin just knocked [Dominic Wade] out. What’s next now? Who else is [Alvarez] gonna fight? Either he’s gonna let [the WBC middleweight title] go or fight him. Now I don’t know about the weight. Golovkin ain’t moving down. What’s the weight gonna be? It all depends now.”

Stevens doesn’t think Alvarez should be criticized, though, for wanting to box Golovkin below the middleweight limit of 160 pounds. His middleweight title fights against Cotto and Khan were contested at a contracted catch weight of 155 pounds.

“When you’re a superstar, I believe you can do whatever the f*ck you wanna do,” Stevens said. “That’s what’s going on right now – he’s doing what he wants. Until the WBC makes a stand, who am I to be mad at Canelo for doing what he’s doing, because he is a superstar, you know?”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.