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Gennady Golovkin: Canelo Alvarez fight ‘first step to history’

22
Jun

NEW YORK — IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin is always in a cheerful mood but he appeared even more at ease than usual Tuesday.

That’s because he finally feels it – It’s here.

His long-awaited fight with THE RING Magazine champion Canelo Alvarez, the type of marquee event “GGG” has dreamt of, since he punched his way onto American airwaves five years ago, finally feels real with the promotional tour underway for the September 16 championship clash.

“The last two, maybe three years, I wanted this fight,” Golovkin said. “I’m very excited…Every day, I learn. Right now, I feel great. My body, because I’m 35, is old (but) I believe, on September 16, I’ll look my best. I understand the situation. I understand it’s my biggest fight; it’s my biggest opponent.

“It’s a huge day for my career; I need this day. Right now, I feel on top. My energy – I feel like Superman right now.”

Canelo may be the biggest name opponent of GGG’s career and he’s certainly the best foe on paper, too. After all, Canelo is the only fighter rated in The RING’s pound-for-pound Top 10 whom Golovkin will have faced.

Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) was long criticized for his level of opposition but through no fault of his own. That question mark was remedied in March, when Golovkin faced Daniel Jacobs at Madison Square Garden. Jacobs, a bigger, faster opponent, was able to use movement and angles to befuddle “Triple G.”

Media members at ringside were split on who deserved the decision.

The fight showed some weakness in Golovkin’s game but the Kazakh is pleased that it happened. Energized, even.

“Absolutely. Experience of going 12 rounds, I needed it,” Golovkin stated. “I feel more comfortable. Sparring is sparring; fight is fight…I needed 12 rounds to relax, take my time.”

Indeed, this was the first time in 37 professional outings in which GGG saw the 12th round. He knocked Jacobs down in Round 4 and when the Brooklynite continued on, GGG didn’t panic. Instead, he found a way to adjust and eke out a decision.

It also surely didn’t hurt matters that Golovkin looked vulnerable when it came to securing the bout with Canelo. The Mexican star, while more highly regarded than Jacobs, also possesses a style more suited to Golovkin’s liking.

“I think Danny being physically bigger and heavier and fast (with) great combinations,” Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler said, “I think probably with Canelo, like Gennady says, he’s not going to have to look for Canelo; Canelo is just going to be there. Danny was moving quite a bit, giving a lot of angels, lot of lateral movement.

“Mexican style is kind of a bonus for the fans, it’s going to be more excitement. They’re going to be going at it in the middle of the ring. He doesn’t go backwards; Canelo’s not going to go backwards. They might shift a little bit but it’s not going to be a boring 12-round fight.”

What very well could be a boring 12-round fight is Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s fight against UFC star Conor McGregor, which figures to gobble up media attention just three weeks before Canelo-GGG.

When asked if he’ll watch the matchup, Golovkin looked at his Hublot watch and answered, “Maybe, if I have time. Maybe I go and play hockey.”

Golovkin will be hitting his peak in training during that time and he knows. He realizes a victory over Canelo likely cements him as not just fighter of the year but also likely stamps his place in the Hall of Fame down the road.

“I believe this is first step to history,” Golovkin said. “This time, this life, Canelo is Canelo. Seriously, he looks good but I am a champion. I don’t know who stays close (or) who (is ranked near) us. I don’t know who’s number 3, number 4, number 5 (at 160 pounds). Last five years, he’s beat everybody. Right now, I think I’m first class. Canelo is special. He is like a hero.

“I come back home from Kazakhstan three days ago. I saw fans; I saw children with eyes (big and starry). They look at me like I’m Superman, like an Iron Man. This fight is a hero’s fight.”

And if the pair’s meld of styles lives up to expectations, they could be linked forever in history.

 

 

 

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeCoppinger.

 

 

 

 

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  • The Parrfection

    Good article.

  • Turner Wednesday

    “Danny was moving quite a bit, giving a lot of angels, lot of lateral movement.”

    He’s an angelic kind of guy, Danny Jacobs.

    • DougWilsonFan

      Maybe they were guardian angels? He did beat cancer, not sure if anyone knows that 🙂 I will say, while Coppinger is a really bad writer he actually turned out an almost average column. There is hope for him!

      • Mitchell Nelms

        Hah…

      • Turner Wednesday

        Danny beat cancer!?!? Next you’ll be telling me Bellew has kids to feed.

  • Joey Junger

    If you really go back and watch the catalog of fights for some of the greatest boxers of all time, what you’ll discover is that they all have nights where they look human, or even sub-par. I don’t think the Jacobs fight really undercuts Golovkin’s claim to greatness. Thomas Hauser already crunched the numbers with some other good boxing scribes and it looks like Golovkin probably is already a top-ten all-time middleweight. If he wins against Canelo in definitive fashion he definitely is. You don’t only judge a fighter by how he performs against the best; you also have to judge him by whether or not he blows out good fighters or stops guys you’re not used to seeing stopped just below the elite level. Golovkin has blown out some guys who didn’t get stomped in such definitive fashion before they crossed paths with him.

    • Dee Money

      Very well stated

    • Jorge

      Everyone is in a rush to claim a fighter the best of all time, or top 10 greats. You have to wait until the career is over and judge it as so. While he has a good run, right now there isn’t a memorable fight. It’s way too soon to judge GGG.

      • Mauro Hermida

        At 35 years of age, its a what you see is what you get. There were a lot of great middleweights over the years, no way in hell can you seriously claim GGG a top ten all time great 160. The division is just too weak and he has not had any greats around him. Canelo is good, but cmon, he is in no way elite and at 160, completely unproven. This fight does a lot for GGG’s bank account, but not much else.

      • Left Hook2

        True dat. I am a big GGG fan, but I don’t think a win over Canelo is much of a blip on the radar for his career, just as wins over DLH, Tito, Squirrel, JDJ, and Brown were not impressive wins on hopkins’ ledger. Not ‘bad’ wins, but not ‘upgrade’ wins. Unless GGG moves up, his best win by far will be over Jacobs. IMHO…

  • Mauro Hermida

    How the F do you befuddle an opponent, yet go on to lose a competitive decision?

    • Tom Sherman

      Good point!

  • John Grady

    Frequently a substandard performance can be helpful to a dominant fighter, offering some version of adversity not before experienced. It isn’t as much of a leap, then, when an excellent fighter presents even more adversity (which CA may be able to provide).

    Going the distance and watching a fallen foe bounce back to fight quite competitively is a good experience for GGG. I’m a little concerned about his age and the natural decline that comes along with it, but he hasn’t endured much damage and should be in terrific condition for a convincing win vs. CA.

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