“Canelo, he’s a good boy.”
That’s one of the lines Gennady Golovkin would use to great effect in the past when he spoke of Canelo Alvarez.
It became one of his familiar catch phrases, though it came about because he was having difficulty with English. His natural language is Russian and the current WBA-WBC middleweight champion was simply attempting to say that Alvarez was a nice guy.
That isn’t his sentiment now, only days after he ended an impasse over a rematch with Alvarez by holding out for 45 percent of the gross revenues. Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who told Yahoo Sports that he made up the difference to pay Golovkin what he wanted out of his own pocket, said the two fighters now hate each other.
One of the frequent tactics a boxing promoter uses to generate interest is to insist the fighters hate, or at least seriously dislike, each other.
It’s rarely true, and the fighters almost always have tremendous respect for each other. But when De La Hoya’s words were relayed to Golovkin and he was asked point-blank whether he hated Alvarez, he didn’t blink.
“Maybe, why not?” Golovkin said. Later he added, “It doesn’t matter if he likes me, loves me, doesn’t like me.”
Golovkin returned to Los Angeles from Russia, where he was involved in the opening ceremonies for the World Cup, to host a news conference for Los Angeles-based media on Monday at The Palm Restaurant. There, they served steaks with the word, VADA-approved, in front of the casserole dish, a shot at Alvarez’s drug-test failure that forced the cancellation of their May 5 bout and is largely responsible for the enmity that exists between them.
De La Hoya said, “Look, I understand Triple-G coming strong at Canelo and doubting him and talking negatively about him,” De La Hoya said. “It’s all part of the game and you know this,” but said the proper way to handle it is in the ring.
It should be noted: De La Hoya fought Fernando Vargas in 2002 when Vargas was using a banned substance.
“If there is anything negative you have to say, say it inside the ring and try and knock out Canelo,” De La Hoya said. “I’ll tell you one thing: Canelo is so pissed off that he’s not going to talk anymore. He’s already held a press conference and apologized to everyone and he did it sincerely. He’s going to go in there and believe me, on Sept. 15, he’s going to go in and try to knock out Triple-G.
“I’m sure and I hope that Triple-G tries to do the same thing.”
That is exactly what Golovkin said he will try to do. He admitted that emotions are riding high and said it will guide his performance.
Boxers tend not to do well when they let their emotions get the best of them, but Golovkin has been angry at Canelo and has difficulty holding his feelings in check. He’s done biting his tongue and said he’s going to go out to try to punish Canelo.
He took the opportunity to mock Alvarez for what he called running.
“Absolutely, [this is an emotional fight],” Golovkin said. “It’s 100 percent emotional for me. One hundred percent. I don’t know what it is for him. Right now, like the first fight, he has a lot of emotion. But when he went into the ring, he stepped back and only ran. Running. He only ran. … He’s not like a warrior. He’s not like a Mexican fighter. Not like a true champion.”
De La Hoya said the fight was one of the best boxing has seen in recent years. How much he is involved in formulating Alvarez’s game plan is anyone’s guess, but it’s likely to be minimal.
De La Hoya, though, understands Canelo’s style as well as anyone and has a better feel for his emotions than just about anyone. And he said if Golovkin expects Alvarez to run in the rematch, he’ll be shocked.
“Obviously, the second time around is going to be different,” De La Hoya said. “Canelo is going to stand his ground, push him back and try to knock him out. I’m telling you, Canelo is right now so angry at what’s been taking place. He’s angry at Golovkin. Oh, he’s angry at Golovkin. There is real animosity there.
“This reminds me of me and Vargas. It’s going to be a really intense fight, so look, if Canelo moves a little bit and doesn’t want to get hit, then so be it. That’s what boxing is, I guess, right? Floyd Mayweather has done it all his career.
“But you know the fans, they want to see a great fight. The fans are going to be picking on the guy who is moving a little more than normal, but this time around, Canelo is going to stand his ground and fight him. I believe we’re going to see a knockout this time.”
Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez’s rematch bout is scheduled for Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
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