Gennadiy Golovkin has a well-deserved reputation for being a forthright individual.
Furthermore, he claims that he has no ill feelings toward Canelo Alvarez.
The first match between the two ended in a split decision draw in September 2017 and the second bout, which took place just one day shy of a full year later, ended in a majority decision in which Alvarez handed Golovkin his lone loss.
By the way, after Alvarez failed drug tests, the second fight was postponed for six months.
Golovkin is not hesitant about saying he deserved to win both fights, and a lot of people with a strong background in boxing agree with him.
As they get ready to make it a trilogy on September 17 in Las Vegas, he continues to maintain that there is no animosity between the two men, despite obvious differences in how they interact with one another—warm handshakes being replaced with chilly looks.
But now that he is past the age of 40, his nonverbals might be lying about him.
The veteran middleweight champion recently spoke with Bleacher Report by video Zoom, at which time Alvarez’s name unavoidably came up.
His features twisted into a wicked smirk as he delivered a sneaky verbal haymaker in Canelo’s direction when he was directly questioned if their relationship had soured over the years since their initially seemingly amicable contacts.
He said, “I don’t even know how to explain it.”
“Perhaps it’s just the unwanted effects of specific drugs in the body. But I don’t take it personally; I treat it like a sporting event. However, he uses words that are inexplicable. Inexplicable.”
By the way, those remarks are about as subdued as a sledgehammer.
This month, Alvarez said to TMZ Sports, “He’s a f—king a—hole.”
“He isn’t trustworthy. He tries to appear different and like a wonderful person, but he is not. He waxes lyrical about me all the time. He will declare, in part, that he respects the boxer’s career and that he is an embarrassment to Mexican boxing. Because of that, I detest that a—.”
Greetings from a high-stakes “he said/he said” sweet science style.
The possibility of a third battle between the competitors had been on-again, off-again since they left the T-Mobile Arena ring following fight No. 2. In between Alvarez pursuing and winning titles at 168 and 175 pounds and Golovkin staying put at middleweight and winning back two of the three mainstream belts he had lost in the 2018 rematch in Las Vegas, their names would occasionally come up in conversation.
After interim bouts in which Golovkin faced the WBA’s 160-pound claimant, Ryota Murata, and Alvarez once more moved up to light heavyweight to challenge that division’s WBA champion, Dmitry Bivol, it was announced this spring that they would rematch in September.
Golovkin passed his test by defeating Bivol by ninth-round TKO in Japan, but Alvarez suffered his second loss in 61 fights when he lost by a large margin. He stated that a rematch with Bivol was his top goal in the days following the fight, but it was soon revealed that he will meet Golovkin to wrap up their trilogy in a contest in which Alvarez’s four belts at 168 pounds are on the line.
Golovkin is unsure whether he would have been given a third chance if Bivol had lost.
The sly smirk returned as he asserted, “Knowing certain details, I feel that this fight would take place regardless of the outcome of the Bivol-Canelo bout.” However, his defeat in his most recent battle likely jolted him back to reality. It most likely inspired him to take boxing more seriously.
“At some time, I gave up thinking that this fight would happen since there were unfulfilled legal requirements, contractual obligations that were broken, and the pandemic started. In other words, I eventually gave up hope.
“But this fight eventually happened, and I’m glad it’s going to happen right now.”
Now that it is taking place, it will offer a new opportunity to evaluate the legacy of Golovkin.
Given his multiple belt-holding pre- and post-Canelo title reigns, as well as an incredible KO streak spanning eight years and 23 opponents from 2008 to 2017, the incessantly haughty Kazakh insisted prior to the fight with Murata that a rematch with Alvarez was not necessary for his career narrative.
Even said, Golovkin’s 0 to 1 to 1 record versus Alvarez does create a stain that he’ll probably be eager to clear up come September when compared to his spotless 42 to 0 record against everyone else.
Whether he explicitly acknowledges it or not.
He stated, “My response to your query before the fight in Japan was an honest response. “At the time, I didn’t think it was significant, and I still don’t think it will have a bad impact on my legacy.
“It would be a wonderful addition to my accomplishments if I defeat my opponent and receive what is due to me. On the other hand, I am of the opinion that I will gain nothing. Even if I don’t succeed in this fight, it won’t damage my reputation. I’ll still be content. Without this added objective, all that will remain of me is my legacy.”
Golovkin played it conveniently close to the vest when it came to the means of achieving the objective.
He has displayed flashes of brilliance in comprehensive victories over relative unknowns Steve Rolls (KO Rd. 4) and Kamil Szeremeta (TKO Rd. 7), and flashes of vulnerability as he battled his way past Sergiy Derevyanchenko (UD Rd. 12) and Murata, two more renowned top-10 contenders (TKO Rd. 9).
The fights between Szeremeta and Murata took place at the start and conclusion of a 16-month layoff brought on by the pandemic, which was the longest of his career and followed a fourteen-month break between Derevyanchenko and Szeremeta.
Between Alvarez II and Alvarez III, he only competed four times over 32 rounds, or about half as much as his younger (by eight years) competitor.
Golovkin, meanwhile, is incensed at the very notion that the layoffs would be a problem.
In his words, “I don’t think that I would need to demonstrate to anyone or prove anything to anybody.”
“I feel no need to prove anything to anyone; I just need to be myself and do my job, in my opinion. As a result of his promoter focusing on him, who was able to bring him back and shuffle his card deck, he started to fight more frequently. I won’t be significantly impacted.”
Golovkin claims that the third Alvarez outcome will not have an impact on him either.
He would not guarantee that a victory, no matter how great, would herald a magnificent ride into the sunset. He also refused to admit that speculation of retirement would start right away if he lost the third fight.
With his victory over Derevyanchenko, he added the WBA belt to his collection of middleweight championships. Whether he wins, loses, or draws in September, he will have the choice of going back down to 160 pounds, which is the weight he has competed at or under in 41 of 44 career fights, to defend his claims or potentially to face the WBO (Demetrius Andrade) and WBC (Jermall Charlo) champions of the division.
So, if you are trying to gauge exactly when he will be finished, Golovkin is not showing his cards.
“It’s hard for me to say,” he said.
“I will continue until I stop feeling I can show the best of me, the best boxing at this top level. I will continue until my body tells me to stop. I also have the belts at 160, so the victory or the loss in this upcoming fight is not going to affect my decision about when to retire.
“It’s about being honest with myself, listening to my body, to my mind, and to feel when it tells you to stop. And then you stop.”