Canelo Alvarez is a world boxing superstar, multi-weight champion and veteran of over 60 professional contests.
But he admits this weekend’s clash with Gennadiy Golovkin will be the most personal fight of his career.
“Yeah, I think so,” Alvarez said. “It will be very sweet for me.”
Alvarez and Golovkin have fought twice before in middleweight unifications. Their first contest in 2017 was a very controversial draw. A rematch was delayed when Alvarez received a six-month suspension for an adverse drug test that he blamed on eating tainted meat.
When the second fight finally happened in 2018, the Mexican won by majority decision.
As for both fighters, their business is unfinished. Arriving in Las Vegas for his third fight, to be contested at super middleweight, where Alvarez is now the undisputed champion, Golovkin declared: “This is not just for me, [it’s] for sport I want to get the position of boxing back, I want a clean sport.”
The comments questioning his integrity infuriated Alvarez, who said: “The story we have, after the second fight spoke a lot about me, so I take it personally.
“It means a lot because everyone will remember this trilogy, so it means a lot to me.”
Their feud runs deep. Even his mother “hates Golovkin so much.”
“You’re going to hear a lot of bad words from my mom in the arena,” Alvarez said with a smile. “But it is what it is, it’s my mother.”
Although Golovkin has never been stopped, Alvarez will go for a knockout. “Look, that’s my goal,” said the champion.
“But you never know in boxing. That’s my goal. I prepare for it. But you never know. I’m going to jump in the ring and fight with my head. That’s my goal, I’m going to try my hardest to finish the fight before the 12th round. But you never know.”
The Mexican is a big body puncher and that’s where Golovkin will aim. “I think it hurts the body a lot, that’s why I’m going to work hard on Saturday,” he said of the Kazakh.
“He is still strong and it will be a good fight,” Alvarez added. “I think this fight will be the best of the three.”
Although he still holds the four main super middleweight titles, Alvarez is coming off a loss. In May he moved up to lightweight and was outclassed and outclassed by WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.
“Everything is important. I want to win every fight. It’s important to me, to my legacy,” he said. “I learned a lot [from the Bivol defeat]. I just learned what not to do in training camp and a fight. I’ve learned a lot, you learn from everything.”
He had been fighting regularly before that bout. One of the lessons he has learned from this latest fight is not to be so active. He won’t be boxing again this year after Golovkin.
“I fought four times in 11 months, so I think my body needs some rest between fights,” he explained. “I need to slow down. My body needs some rest, so I’m going to go a little bit this year.”
Álvarez, however, insists that losing to Bivol has not harmed his position in this sport.
“I have nothing to prove. In my position, no one takes risks like me,” he declared.
“In my position I don’t need to take risks. But I take risks because I love boxing. I love what I do and I love challenges. I don’t need to prove anything.”
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