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LOS ANGELES — The way Canelo Alvarez sees it, there’s too much disdain in his heart and too much distrust in the mind of Gennadiy Golovkin to allow their trilogy bout to go the distance for a third time.
Capped by a menacing face-off between the two unified champions who’ve wailed at each other for 24 rounds without either getting knocked down, the granite-chinned combatants spent Friday at Hollywood Legion Theater touting their DAZN pay-per-view fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sept. 17.
No matter how hard two-belt middleweight champion Golovkin worked to not tip his hand about how the fight will play out on The Strip, undisputed super-middleweight champion Alvarez laid all his cards on the table.
"A knockout is what I see," Alvarez said. "I’m going to find a way."
Mexico’s most popular fighter and a four-division world champion, Alvarez fought Kazakhstan’s Golovkin to a draw in 2017 and a similarly disputed majority-decision victory one year later.
Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) even declared he’ll be the man who retires Golovkin, calling that vision "very satisfying ... because of everything around this fight."
"That will make me very happy," Alvarez said.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) June 24, 2022
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) June 24, 2022
In May, Alvarez was lost a unanimous decision to Russia’s unbeaten WBA light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, a naturally bigger man who leaned on those strengths and a killer jab to produce the upset.
Other than criticizing himself for tiring in the second half of the bout, Alvarez eschewed excuses about his first loss since 2013 to newly-inducted Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"The weight I feel best is 168," Alvarez said. "If I fight with Bivol again, I’ll fight at 175. I don’t want any excuse."
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Alvarez emphasized he "still feels like (he's) the best" on the pound-for-pound list because of his willingness to challenge himself — even if it results in a loss.
"Everyone (else) fears losing," Alvarez said. "The loss hurt me, of course. There’s going to be bumps in the road, but I’m (still) on that road. I’m a competitive individual and that won’t stop me from my objective.
"Life is like that: you win, you lose. The greatness is in getting up stronger than you were before and following your path. And that’s where I am."
A redemptive victory back at super-middleweight would be sweeter, "especially against this guy," Alvarez, 31, said of Golovkin, 40, who yearned for the trilogy fight. In 2019, he joined Alvarez in signing a multi-fight deal with DAZN, believing it would happen in short order.
Golovkin didn’t give much energy to what he has spent years fuming over — that he can’t count on judges to award him a victory.
After feeling he did enough to win the first fight, Golovkin lamented the sport is a business that tends to give preferential scoring to the most popular fighter. He was more down following the second bout, his lone defeat.
Yet, neither he nor trainer Johnathan Banks expressed that the only way to win is to knock out Alvarez.
"I don’t think anything changes. There’s nothing new. I’m totally prepared," Golovkin said. "I don’t think it’s the proper way to (look at it), to try to get a knockout. You always give your best in a fight."
Banks predicts Golovkin’s famed power — he once knocked out 23 consecutive opponents — will remain a substantial threat while moving up to 168 pounds for the first time.
"When you’re a true puncher, your power is something you don’t leave home without," Banks said. "This trilogy fight will be a fight of adjustments."
What hasn’t changed are the hard feelings.
Alvarez admitted Friday he relished the sight of Golovkin waiting for the massive payday while the Mexican star elevated to becoming the sport’s pound-for-pound king.
"He talks so much," Alvarez said. "He says I’m scared and running away when I was busy fighting these best (champions) out there ... and he’s fighting these Class-D guys."
Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) said he doesn’t know why it’s remained so personal between himself and Alvarez. But the long-reigning middleweight champion deepened the rivalry previously by blasting Alvarez for his positive drug test for the banned substance clenbuterol between their first two bouts.
"He knows," Alvarez said. "He knows what I think about him."
Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @pugboxing.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin 3: Too late or better than never?