NEW YORK–Gennadiy Golovkin believes his career speaks for itself, with or without the upcoming third fight with Canelo Alvarez.

The longtime middleweight titlist from Kazakhstan is projected to face Alvarez in a highly anticipated third match Sept. 17 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. On the line are Alvarez’s four 168-pound titles.

Their first meeting, in 2017, ended in a controversial draw, in a fight many observers believed Golovkin deserved to win. Their rematch, in 2018, ended with Alvarez winning a majority decision. And while there was less outrage about the outcome in the second bout, plenty of viewers believed the fight was either a draw or a Golovkin win.

The pair were projected to face each other some four odd years ago as part of the programming focal point of DAZN, which had just entered the US market with the express intention of staging the trilogy bout. But contractual problems prevented the fight from ever taking place at that point in time, to say nothing of Alvarez’s hardly-veiled animosity for Golovkin.

Given that there was no guarantee that the third fight could ever happen and that there was unfinished business from the first two fights, the question was posed to Golovkin if he believes the third Alvarez fight is necessary for his career from the perspective of his legacy.

Golovkin’s answer, in short, was no.

“I never felt that I needed the third fight in order to retire,” Golovkin told and other reporters at a media scrum in Manhattan Monday afternoon. “I could have my career and be happy with my career even without the third fight without Canelo.”

Golovkin, however, noted that the Alvarez fight would allow him to leave the sport with a hearty bank account.

“Of course, this third fight will help me retire from a financial standpoint,” Golovkin said.

Golovkin, 40, made it clear that the 31-year-old Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) is not some kind of thorn in his side, despite the fact that Golovkin seemed visibly angry when their second bout was temporarily postponed after Alvarez tested positive for a banned substance. Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) has approached the pre-fight buildup recently with a business-like demeanor at odds with the highly personal, almost aggrieved posture of Alvarez, who has repeatedly stated his dislike for Golovkin.

“I don’t even think about him,” Golovkin said. “Like him or not like him. He’s not a good looking girl. I have a wife, I love my wife. I think about her. I don’t think about him.”