“I feel very good,” middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin said on a Tuesday conference call to promote his September 15th rematch against Canelo Alvarez. “My body, my speed, my power, everything is coming back.” What used to be a respectful, cordial relationship between Golovkin and Canelo has now clearly turned hostile, with both sides lobbing accusations at the other. “They were trying to avoid us every way possible,” Golovkin said when essentially asked if he should have faced Canelo sooner. “They even gave up one of the belts. The WBC, they gave up trying to avoid us.” As for Canelo himself, Golovkin was almost glib. “It doesn’t matter what he says,” he quipped. “Let him say whatever he wants.”
The first fight, in September of last year, ended in insanely controversial fashion, with Canelo and Golovkin getting a draw in a bout many, if not most, felt Golovkin won. It was the odd scoring of certain rounds, however, which really brought about fan disdain. Tom Loeffler, Golovkin’s promoter, said he hoped such controversies could be avoided the second time around. “Controversy sells,” he admitted. Yet the promoter went on to say that: “We just want the focus…on the fighters in the ring, not any controversies outside the ring.”
Not that any of this kept Golovkin from making some digs of his own. “What I’m really grateful to Abel for,” he said of his trainer, Abel Sanchez, “is not bringing any banned substances into my fighting career.” With Canelo testing positive earlier this year for having the banned substance of Clenbuterol in his system, how else could such a comment be taken other than being at least a partial slap to team Canelo? When asked if he thought the negativity leading up to the rematch would dwindle his fan base, Golovkin showed a considerable degree of confidence. “I don’t think my fans will turn away from me,” he said.
Despite the obvious hostility involved in the lead up to the rematch, the weightiness of the bout was still acknowledged during the course of the conference call. “This is the biggest event in the sport of boxing,” Loeffler stated plainly, adding after that: “Everything was amicable with the officials,” in the leadup to September 15th. “It’s the most important fight in my life right now,” Golovkin admitted. No doubt Canelo would say the same thing. “A lot of people talk about fighting each other,” Loeffler offered. “This is the second fight GGG and Canelo have fought.”