Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez v Gennady Golovkin: Las Vegas bout 'biggest of this era'
Gennady Golovkin says his bout with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas on Saturday is the “biggest of this era”.
Golovkin holds the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles – although if Canelo wins he will not take the WBC strap, so that would become vacant.
Golovkin, 35, is looking to extend his undefeated professional record to 38 fights against 27-year-old Canelo.
“It’s the biggest day for boxing, for this era – this huge history fight,” said Kazakh fighter Golovkin.
Canelo is a three-time world champion in two classes, whose only defeat in 51 fights came against Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
The Mexican’s promoter Oscar de la Hoya says the bout at the T-Mobile Arena, where Mayweather beat UFC’s Conor McGregor three weeks ago, will be “hell”.
“I don’t like to talk a lot. I’m prepared,” added Canelo.
“I know what it’s going to be, a tough fight, I know that. That’s what I’m ready for. I want you to all enjoy it like I’m going to enjoy it.”
Analysis: ‘Fight of the decade – Canelo wins’
BBC Radio 5 live boxing analyst Steve Bunce
I wrote at the time this was confirmed, this is a fight of the decade. That’s what we are dealing with here. There are very few fights you consider for that title.
I was never with Golovkin. One of the reasons why I have stuck with Alvarez is because I saw the job he did on Chavez Jr in May. He nullified a big guy.
And there was a big question mark over Golovkin against Daniel Jacobs last time. There were moments in that fight where he looked to be struggling.
Their last two fights have made me resolutely believe it is a Canelo victory.
A carnival atmosphere – Canelo fans out in force
Ade Adedoyin, BBC World Service reporter in Las Vegas
There hasn’t been quite the same level of hype and hysteria that we witnessed ahead of the Mayweather-McGregor fight three weeks ago but there does appear to be an appreciation of the magnitude of this match-up from both sets of supporters.
Many are suggesting that it’s not just the belts on the line but also that unofficial title of best pound-for-pound fighter.
Vegas is gearing up for Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations and that has added to the occasion. There will be a concert on Friday night featuring a popular Mexican band called Mana. A lot of people have flown in for that and the fight the following night.
So no surprise that the Alvarez supporters outnumber the Golovkin fans. Regular chants of Ca-ne-lo and the sounds of a mariachi band helped to create a carnival atmosphere in the lobby of the MGM where the grand arrival ceremony took place on Tuesday.
As for Golovkin he is leaving nothing to chance. A select number of media were given the opportunity to interview him before the press conference and we were advised he would rather not shake anybody’s hand as precaution as he is concerned about picking up an injury or illness before such a big occasion.
He missed the birth of his daughter last week as he was preparing for this fight. When I asked him about that, he said he was 100% focused on boxing, that his wife understands the situation and this is business.