After putting boxing fans through a rollercoaster of emotions with announcements of positive clenbuterol tests, cancellations due to purse split demands, ultimatum deadlines, and back and forth bickering from each camp, it is officially fight week for the much-anticipated rematch between Mexican boxing star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and unified middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
The mega-fight will once take place at the T-Mobile Arena on Mexican Independence weekend, Saturday, Sept. 15 and will be televised on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
Alvarez (41-1-2, 34 KOs), who had to pull out of the initial rematch in early April due to testing positive for the banned substance, Clenbuterol back in late Feb., has since received heavy criticism for appearing slimmer than in his first fight against Golovkin. While many fans claim the difference in body mass proves Alvarez was using PEDs, others argue the red-headed Mexican cut down in muscle in order to improve his speed advantage on fight night.
Once the rematch was re-announced, fans responded in mixed reactions as most preferred Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) to pursue a unification bout instead. As most fans saw Golovkin winning the first bout regardless of the scorecards, they felt becoming undisputed would accomplish more than fighting Alvarez for the second time. Since Golovkin failed to face his mandatory challenger after the rematch cancellation, the IBF stripped him of the middleweight world title which is now up for grabs for Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs or Sergiy Derevyanchenko who will meet in the ring in October.
Regardless of adverse reactions, the majority of the fans remain ecstatic this time around and are looking forward to seeing the two top middleweights clash in the ring this Saturday night, as it is more personal this time due to constant trash talk between the two camps.
Devoted fans gathered at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas as both fighters made their grand arrival. When Jessica Rosales asked Alvarez if he was tired of Team Golovkin constantly trash talking him, he assured he plans to silence them with a spectacular performance on Saturday night.
“From the first round, I’m gonna come out and work on the knockout,” Alvarez said. “I hope I’m successful so the fans leave happy.”
A mixture of cheers and boo roared from the crowd as Golovkin made his entrance to his popular theme song, “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. Ring TV’s Cynthia Conte questioned Golovkin about his strategy, especially the early rounds
“Right now its a different story, different situation,” Golovkin said. “Right now, I’m ready. I hope Canelo is ready. We’ll bring a beautiful fight.”
Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez appeared skeptic of Alvarez’s claims he’ll come to fight in “Mexican Style.”
“I don’t think he’s gonna fight toe-to-toe, ” said Sanchez. “But I think he has to come out to try to win instead of just try to survive. He’s gonna have to get close to Gennady to do what he says he wants to do.
A couple of weeks ago, Sanchez caused a commotion in the boxing community as he requested a motion to prohibit Alvarez from using his new boxing gloves. In an Instagram video posted from Golovkin’s suite Wednesday afternoon, his promoter Tom Loeffler confirmed both fighters would be wearing the same type of gloves as their first fight.
Footage of Sanchez complaining about Team Canelo’s hand wrapping methods in the first fight was also released by 360 promotions in hopes to stir up controversy and get fans against Alvarez for the second fight. However, The Nevada State Commission allows this method of hand wrapping is allowed in Nevada and Texas, but not in California or New York.
Fighters didn’t face off for the final press conference but are expected to come face to face at the weigh-ins on Friday afternoon. The animosity between both fighters might play a significant factor in the results for the rematch, however, it is safe to say fan’s do not want a draw this time around. No draw and no excuses.
Drop your predictions below!
feature image from Golden Boy Boxing (twitter)