There is a tremendous amount of animosity between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin as they prepare for their highly-anticipated rematch on Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Their first encounter, which took place in September 2017, concluded in a controversial 12-round split draw, with a majority of ringside observers giving the nod to Golovkin.
It was a solid fight, but not close to the Marvin Hagler-Tommy Hearns all-out brawl that many fans expected to see. One of the reasons the bout did not live up to its expectations was a lack of legitimate bad blood. Both Canelo and Golovkin obviously wanted to knock each other out, but they had a lot of mutual respect for one another, and at times, it showed during the fight.
But if you have been paying any attention the last several months, that mutual respect has ceased to exist. Gone. Concluded.
It all started in March when Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KO's), 27, tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol in two tests conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency on Feb. 17 and Feb. 20 in Canelo's hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Canelo and Golovkin were initially slated to fight again on May 5th, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission slapped Alvarez with a six-month suspension in a unanimous decision, although Canelo had already withdrawn from the fight by that point.
But Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KO's), 35 a Kazakhstan native based in Big Bear, California, lost his cool, going as far as to suggest that Canelo had taken steroids through injections. He also unloaded on Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez's promoter, a former five-division world champion, stating "I can talk about Oscar De La Hoya, too. He is also not clean. He’s dirty."
Although Canelo and Golovkin will settle their beef in the ring, Triple G's ill-advised rant could mean another fight inside a courtroom. Time will tell, but one thing can be assured, Alvarez is focused on the fight and taking Golovkin's titles in Sin City.
"They disrespected me for everything they have been saying, everything they have been doing, all their actions. Now it's different. It's personal," Canelo asserted.
"That's probably their tactic. You know what, the sentiment that I have inside of me, it's going to help me a lot, intelligently, to bring out what I have to do. I know what I have to do," he added.
In a recent interview with ESPN Deportes, you cannot help but notice that Alvarez sported a much skinner look, very reminiscent to his physique for his megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., in 2013, where he suffered his first and only professional loss to date. Conspiracy theorists will be out in herds with every theory in the book, but it could mean a few things.
Canelo could be focused on coming into the fight at a lighter weight with a gameplan to outbox Golovkin from the opening bell by coercing him to come forward. Alvarez knows that if they go the Hagler-Hearns route, Triple-G will probably score a knockout. While both have outstanding amateur pedigrees, Alvarez is the better pure boxer, but Golovkin still possesses impressive knockout power, as demonstrated in May with his absolute destruction of former 154-pound world title contender, the overmatched Vanes Martirosyan.
Canelo and Golovkin have substantial pop, but we tend to see them score those big knockouts against opponents who had no business being in the ring with them. While Golovkin had Martirosyan and the likes of Dominic Wade, Alvarez iced Amir Khan, and James Kirkland. Golovkin went the distance with Daniel Jacobs, and Canelo completed 12-rounds of action with former champions like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Miguel Cotto.
Canelo-Golovkin II has the elements and the story to hype up a more violent, brutal rematch. However, it could very well play out like the first fight. Maybe someone gets knocked out this time around, but youth certainly benefits Canelo.