NEW YORK–Canelo Alvarez may have many superlative qualities, but murderous puncher is apparently not one of them, according to his longtime nemesis Gennadiy Golovkin.

Golovkin’s only career loss came at the hands of Alvarez. Their rematch, in 2018, saw Alvarez win a close majority decision. Their first fight, in 2017, ended in a controversial draw. Their third meeting will take place at the 168-pound limit, the division in which Alvarez holds all four major belts.

At a press conference in Manhattan promoting his Sept. 17 trilogy bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with Alvarez, Golovkin answered questions regarding the punching prowess of the Mexican superstar. While Alvarez was not typically regarded as a knockout artist for the majority of his career he has shown a propensity for earning stoppages at 168. Indeed, his loss to Dmitry Bivol notwithstanding, Alvarez has been on something of a knockout tear lately, with stoppages over former 168-pound titlists Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant and former 175-pound titlist Sergey Kovalev.

Golovkin, however, having fought Alvarez at the middleweight limit twice, was not ready to concede that his adversary had uncommon punching power.

“I fought Canelo at 160 and I could say he was a faster puncher, he had faster combinations but I wouldn’t say they were power punches, knockout punches,” Golovkin told a group of reporters. “You saw that. You saw his clean shots that brought no result.”

Golovkin was referring to the fact that he never knocked down nor staggered in his two bouts with Alvarez.

Before his loss to Bivol, Alvarez’s string of knockouts produced the perception that he could take on all comers at the higher weight divisions. Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) had even expressed interest in fighting current unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk at the cruiserweight limit of 200 pounds; Usyk once fully unified the cruiserweight limit.  

Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) finds that notion utterly laughable.

“Of course, he (Alvarez) is in a different weight class right now, but him saying he could go to 190 and beat Usyk, c’mon, get back to reality,”