By Keith Idec
Canelo Alvarez began boxing as a professional six months before Gennady Golovkin and has 13 more fights on his pro record.
The 28-year-old Alvarez is the notably younger fighter, however, eight years younger than the undefeated middleweight champion he’ll fight again Saturday night. Golovkin turned 36 five months ago and some fans and reporters suspect age could give Alvarez a decided advantage in their 12-round rematch at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, hasn’t noticed anything during their recently completed training camp that would lead him to believe Golovkin is getting too old to thrive at boxing’s elite level. Many of the Kazakh knockout artist’s fights have been one-sided and he hasn’t taken a lot of punishment in any of his fights.
Golovkin beat 23 straight opponents by knockout or technical knockout before Daniel Jacobs took him the distance during their 12-round, 160-pound championship match in March 2017 at Madison Square Garden. Two of his last three fights have gone the distance, but Sanchez doesn’t think age will be a factor when Golovkin encounters Alvarez again in the main event of a four-fight HBO Pay-Per-View telecast (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT; $84.99 in HD).
“I’m seeing slight growth [in Golovkin], but I think it depends on the weight and it depends on the type of fights,” Sanchez said during a recent conference call. “You have a guy like Fernando Vargas, who was put in a lot of difficult fights early in his career, and by the time he was 26 he was finished. And then you have guys like Bernard Hopkins fighting into his 40s and his early 50s.
“So it all really depends on the kind of fights and how the fighter takes care of himself. But Gennady, I haven’t seen anybody dominate him in the ring, not only in sparring, but in the fights. And until then, then I can say I will judge a little age. But until that happens, it’s difficult to say he’s old.”
Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) is a slight favorite over Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) entering their rematch. They’ll meet again a day short of the one-year anniversary of their controversial 12-round draw last September 16 at T-Mobile Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.