By: Sean Crose
“It’s special for me,” Gennady “GGG” Golovkin said during a Wednesday conference call to promote his middleweight title showdown against Canelo Alvarez on September 16th. “It’s huge.” Indeed, his fight with Alvarez will be enormous, the biggest boxing event this side of Floyd and Conor. And team GGG made it clear on the call that it’s all been a long time coming. “We’ve had a terrible time getting people in the ring with him,” promoter Tom Loeffler said, adding later that “the other champions really weren’t willing to get in the ring with him.” Trainer Abel Sanchez claimed that landing the long awaited major fight with Canelo has had an impact on Golovkin.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
“There’s been a sparkle in his eye,” said Sanchez. “He’s been a little bit frustrated these last few years.” Sure enough, the long awaited fight with Canelo looked to be put off indefinitely, as fans salivated for a legitimate superfight between two decorated ring combatants. After besting Julio Caesar Chavez Junior last spring, however, Canelo – to his credit – finally announced (in the ring, with Golovkin present) that a fight between himself and the Kazakh warrior was a go. Now, with the biggest match of his life being only weeks away, Golovkin is clearly on a natural high. “A long time ago it was my dream to come to the United States,” he said. “Right now, my dream is real.”
For not only is Golovkin a known commodity among American fans of the sweet science, he’ll be facing Canelo at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas – the very Mecca of boxing. Surprisingly enough, this is the first time Golovkin will be in Las Vegas to fight. He’s made his mark in New York and California, but never in the neon city in the desert, where Canelo is known to fight to great fanfare. I asked him how he felt about most likely not being the fan favorite this time around. “In Vegas,” he said thoughtfully, “maybe the crowd will be for Canelo.” Yet Loeffler made it clear that fan bases can be localized entities. “In New York,” he explained, “ he (Golovkin) would be more popular than Canelo.” Sanchez also spoke on the issue as an Hispanic American, stating that “we just enjoy a good fight.”
It was clear that team GGG clearly feels a sense of satisfaction. It’s been a long haul and they now at least have the opportunity to shine on the largest scale imaginable. That’s true even in light of last week’s Mayweather-McGregor juggernaut, a fight which was brought up even on Wednesday’s call. Indeed, the fighter was asked what he thought of McGregor essentially accusing him of being boring. “McGregor,” said Golovkin, “he’s not a boxer.” Sanchez too had thoughts on the Irishman’s brash assertion. “I think, “ said the veteran trainer, “you have to consider the source.”