By Keith Idec
Gennady Golovkin and Abel Sanchez are skeptical.
Canelo Alvarez promised prior to his first fight against Golovkin that he would be aggressive and try to win by knockout. Alvarez obviously took a more tactical approach to that 12-round middleweight match.
A year later, Alvarez again has predicted that he’ll engage Golovkin more in their rematch September 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Mexico’s Alvarez says he gained confidence from their first fight, believes he hurt Golovkin and will attempt from the first round to stop the unbeaten middleweight champion.
Both boxers are angrier than they were before their first fight because of everything that has happened and all that’s been said since that bout resulted in a controversial draw. Golovkin still isn’t sure that’ll lead to Alvarez trading more with him.
“It doesn’t matter what they say,” Golovkin said through a translator on a conference call Tuesday. “We’ll see what’s gonna happen on September 15th. Because often what they say doesn’t correspond to what they do. So let’s wait until September 15th.”
Exchanging more seemingly would favor Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs), who’s considered the harder puncher. Alvarez demonstrated, however, that he could take Golovkin’s power in their first fight and has displayed one of boxing’s most reliable chins during his 12-year pro career.
Like Golovkin, his trainer hopes Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) doesn’t move as much as he did during their first fight.
“We’re preparing for September 15th,” Sanchez said. “How he talked the first time, how he boasted, how [promoter] Bernard [Hopkins] boasted about [Alvarez] being so brave that he was gonna knock out Golovkin in the 10th round of the last fight – and now what he’s saying about this fight, I just hope that he’s true to his word.
“The fans are expecting the Canelo that they’ve seen in the past, not the Canelo they saw last year. If he’s true to his word, that’ll give us the kind of fight we expected the first time – two guys that wanna win. Not one guy who wants to win and the other guy who’s just looking to survive.”
The Golovkin-Alvarez rematch will headline HBO Pay-Per-View’s four-fight broadcast a week from Saturday night ($84.99 in HD; 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.