By: Sean Crose
There are those – and there are quite a few of them – who feel Canelo Alvarez deserved to lose his November 2017 megabout with Gennady Golovkin. Indeed, the close, exciting contest was ruled a draw, a decision decried as unfair by many in and around the fight world. Judge Adelaide Byrd’s outrageous score of 118-110 didn’t help stem the tide of charges that Canelo was a favored child of the fight world, and particularly of Las Vegas, where the bout was held. During a Tuesday press conference to kick in the pre-fight hype for Canelo-Golovkin II showdown this coming Cinco De Mayo weekend, however, Canelo himself responded to numerous accusations.
“I respect all judges,” he said. “Some people see things differently.” The Mexican superstar made it clear that he himself wasn’t happy with how things turned out during the first match with Golovkin. “I saw myself winning by two points.” While admitting that Kazakh warrior Golovkin was a tough opponent (“It was a fight I had to work hard for.”) Canelo acknowledged that he could have performed better in the ring. “I learned a lot,” he said of the experience. “I made him miss. There were a lot of openings I didn’t take advantage of. Things we’re going to work on in the gym. We’re going to take advantage of the those openings (in the rematch).
Canelo was particularly rankled by criticism that he “ran” from Golovkin during their first match instead of standing and trading with the knockout artist. “I did what I had to do,” Canelo said. “I did what I planned out to do. I went in there. I outboxed him. I laid on the ropes. I made him miss. I controlled from the center of the ring.” No fighter likes the charge of being a runner, as it insinuates a lack of courage. Canelo is clearly no exception. “ Its not he same thing,” he claimed. “I’m a technical fighter that knows how to make a fighter miss, that knows how to counter punch, (rather) than just a jackass coming forward throwing punches and being hit.” Canelo continued to defend his style when faced with the criticism of Able Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer. “I know how to box,” Canelo stated. “I know how to use other techniques. He (Sanchez) should know that if he’s the so called best trainer.”
Canelo, who first became famous as a very young man when he faced the iconic Floyd Mayweather in 2013, now feels he is a far more complete fighter than his younger self was. “ It’s totally different,” he said in response to a query regarding his respective fights with Mayweather and Golovkin. “When I fought Floyd, I think I lost to experience…today, give years later, I have a lot more experience. It was two different eras.” Canelo was also asked about Golovkin’s vaunted power, which had taken many opponents before Canelo out before the final bell. “Look,” he said of Golovkin, “he landed some good punches. I can withstand them. I didn’t really feel it. I hope it was his best punch.”
There’s no doubt that perhaps the most famous fighter in the world is confident heading into the rematch. He’s also eager to make it clear who the better fighter is out of Golovkin and himself. “Now we have an opportunity to break that tie,” he said. As for Golovkin: “I can end it before the distance and knock him out.” Canelo-Golovkin II will do down May fifth at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be aired live via HBO par per view.