By Keith Idec
Gennady Golovkin disagreed with Oscar De La Hoya’s take Tuesday on how fans will treat Canelo Alvarez in their rematch.
Golovkin believes Alvarez has turned off even some Mexican fans by failing two performance-enhancing drugs tests in February. The WBA/WBC/IBO middleweight champion expects some fans who once supported Alvarez to root for him to win their rematch September 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (HBO Pay-Per-View).
“I know what Oscar says,” Golovkin said through a translator during a split-site press event streamed live on Facebook. “I don’t always agree with what Oscar says. For example, I don’t believe all Mexicans will be rooting for Canelo.”
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin later added, “I think Canelo’s team, by doing what they did, they lost respect from their fans.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Alvarez for six months for twice testing positive for clenbuterol. His suspension caused the cancelation of the May 5 rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin, and created doubt about Alvarez.
De La Hoya, whose company promotes Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs), acknowledged Tuesday that Alvarez has his fair share of detractors. He also reminded Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) and others that Alvarez remains boxing’s biggest active star, no matter what has happened.
“Everybody has their fans,” De La Hoya said. “Everybody has their fans. And there’s a reason why when Canelo fights on HBO Pay-Per-View, which he’s the only pay-per-view star in boxing, there’s a reason why they support him. There’s a reason why he generates the numbers he does. There’s a reason why the gates are so high. There’s a reason why the numbers are so high.
“And look, every fighter has their naysayers, every fighter has their non-supporters. But the truth of the matter is Canelo has millions and millions of fans all over the world, just like Triple-G. But we have to recognize one thing – that Canelo is the Mexican champion, the Mexican star, the star of boxing.”
The first Alvarez-Golovkin fight produced roughly 1.3 million pay-per-view buys. It also generated just over $27 million in ticket sales, which made it the third-highest gate in Nevada boxing history.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.