Much More Than Just Bad Blood: Canelo vs. Golovkin II
By: Gary Todd
In boxing, a lot can happen in a year, and this has definitely been the case for this fight and for these two fighters. Since that night in Las Vegas 2017, where these two elite boxers met for the first time, all eyes were on the rematch, which just had to happen.
The controversial ending which had ringside judge, Adelaide Byrd scoring 118 – 110 to Canelo Alvarez, in a fight which should have had Gennady Golovkin, a clear winner , had enraged fight fans around the world, particularly on social media. I had GGG winning 7 rounds to 5, and that was being kind to the Mexican. A draw was a bad ending , to a great event, and an entertaining fight for the millions of fans watching around the world . They deserved better, and so did Gennady Golovkin. The biggest issue for me, was the fact that Golovkin’s perfect record had been altered for the remainder of his career, and beyond. Adelaide Byrd was told to have a spell from boxing for a while, and we all moved on, focusing on the rematch.
The rematch was announced for the Mexican holiday week end, Cinco De Mayo which was the 5th of May 2018 , and both fighters went into training camp, to both do what they do to be the best they can possibly be to win . Golovkin [ 38 wins, [ 34 kos ] 1 draw. ] went up to Big Bear, and Canelo [ 49 wins, [ 34 kos ] 1 loss, and 2 draws. ] trained in his gym in Mexico. There was great excitement, and the build up to the fight was all about Canelo getting some “home cooking” in Vegas, and the countdown was on for both teams and the boxing fans.
There was rumours going around about Canelo being tested and failing two drug tests , then the media got hold of it, then it was made official that he had indeed failed and that traces of Clenbuterol were found in his system. [ Clenbuterol is a potent fat loss muscle preservation substance that retains muscle mass and strength while losing weight ]
As soon as I saw this, I knew the fight was off. Later, Canelo stated and claimed that he was a clean athlete, and that the drug was widely used in the meat industry in Mexico, and he had eaten some beef that had been affected. Shortly after there was a decision by his team and his promoter, Golden Boy to withdraw from the contest. Canelo was banned for 6 months, as opposed to a 1 year ban for testing positive to a banned performance enhancing drug .
With only a few weeks to go till May 5th, it was unclear if there would be a fight at all. The T-Mobile Arena was sold out for the mega fight with Canelo and tickets were refunded. The event was then rumoured to be heading across to the MGM garden arena, all the while trying to find a viable stand in to replace a Mexican superstar fighting on Cinco De Mayo . Not an easy thing to do.
Although I had planned and paid to travel across from the other side of the world for GGG v Canelo, I was glad the fight was off. If they didn’t ban Canelo, it would have devastated the sport of boxing. At the time, I didn’t think Golovkin would be fighting anyone. Not long after , it was announced that GGG would be fighting and the venue would be in Carson Los Angeles, at the Stub hub arena. The opponent would be Vanes Martiroyan [ 35 [ 21 kos ] 3 loss, and 1 draw ] A rough tough boxer who had been fighting for years, and had experience in world championship fights against Demetrius Andrade and Erislandy Lara, as well as Jermel Charlo. Lets face it, at that late stage we were lucky just to get a fight. Was the Armenian ever going to win? No, but we got a fight. Golovkin unleashed and showcased his formidable talents of pure speed , controlled aggression and power, ramming home the jab, then taking him out with a fistful of punches , to end the night with a fist full of dollars and a quiet realisation that this was over.
With that difficult period over, it didn’t take long before the rematch with Canelo being all the talk. [ Also in that time, Golovkin was stripped by the IBF, for not making his mandatory defence .
A lot of talk, until finally we got the fight we all want to see. The biggest fight in the sport of boxing. Canelo v Golovkin 2.
The big question in this fight is, can Canelo do anything different to beat Golovkin?
If he doesn’t, he will get beaten again and possibly get knocked out this time around. To win this fight, he has to fight for 3 minutes of each round and stay off the ropes, which he has a habit of doing . Golovkin and his trainer, Abel Sanchez will have been watching the tapes and they will see he can’t fight going backwards. In the first fight, he retreated to the ropes and waited for GGG to throw punches, closed up a tight defence, then push off the back foot, to try and surprize GGG hoping to get the attention of the ringside judges. The man from Kazakhstan will have learned from the first fight that he was waiting too much, not throwing punches, whilst Canelo was on the ropes. This time round, he has to hammer him.
Canelo has a great jab and he has to throw and establish that jab, followed up by his superb uppercut and finish with a hook. He has to push forward and put pressure on Golovkin. If he can do that, he will unsettle him and stop Golovkin’s momentum. I think GGG is open to the uppercut all night long as he carries his head down, chin up , with little head movement. If the Mexican comes to fight and try to knock out Golovkin, we will see a much different fight . Canelo Alvarez can win this fight. Will he have an easy time if he comes forward, No, but this time he has to . Golovkin knows he won the first fight, and he now has in his mind that Canelo had a bit of help from a banned substance and with that, he would definitely think he has the edge , mentally.
Is there anything he will do to change the way he fights, and I would say no other than sustained pressure off his ram rod jab. He will chase Canelo and cut the ring off, and throw a hard thudding jab setting up the huge straight right hand [ and or , an overhand, right or hook ] . He will take one coming in to land one of his own because he knows his is usually better . A big fight for all the marbles [ other than Billy Joe’s WBO belt , and the IBF strap.] so there will be pressure for both fighters, but most of the pressure will all be on the 27 year old Canelo Alvarez. There is talk of there being bad blood between the two fighters. Historically this has been used as a tool to promote a fight but with what has happened in the last year, I would say it’s much more than bad blood. This is a legacy fight that was tarnished. A controversial beginning, to a scandalised middle, to settling a score, and having a defining ending.
Golovkin Tko in the 9TH round
Gary Todd is an international best selling author with his books on world champions and their workouts. “Workouts From Boxing’s Greatest Champs “ Volumes 1 and 2. He has been involved in all aspects in the sport of boxing for over 30 years.
Canelo vs. GGG 2 Press Conference Transcript
MAURICIO PEDROZA: To everyone, watching on Facebook Live today, we want to hear from you. Leave your questions for the fighters, the promoters in the comments section below for a chance to have your questions answered live on the air today.
So stay tuned for that. All right. Let’s get this started. Let’s go straight to our fighters, to our promotors and we go live to Guadalajara, Mexico.
Both fighters have already started their training camps and we will introduce everyone around this fantastic fight. Joining Canelo from his gym in Guadalajara is his manager and co-trainer Jose “Chepo” Reynoso, his trainer Eddy Reynoso, and the and chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya who will open our press conference with a few remarks.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Thank you very much. Thank you for having us. I want to express my gratitude to everybody around the world watching us live for the first time ever holding a press conference on Facebook. We greatly appreciate the support, and today, as of 10:00 in the morning, tickets went on sale. They are going extremely well, extremely fast, and we are grateful to all the fans who can be watching live on September 15 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
I want to thank Team Canelo. I want to thank Team GGG for making this fight once again for the fans. The fans got to witness an incredible, incredible fight the first time around, and we strongly believe that the second fight will be a continuation, round No. 13, of their first fight televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
The telecast does begin at 8:00 Eastern. This will give an opportunity for the fans across the globe to watch this fight at an earlier time. So we want to thank HBO and their teams.
Mauricio Pedroza: Thank you, Oscar.
Joining GGG live from the summit gym in bear, California is his trainer, Abel Sanchez and promotor for GGG, Tom Loeffler, who will also begin with a few remarks. Tom?
TOM LOEFFLER: Today, this rematch really feels like it’s a much bigger event than the first time. There was a lot of controversy around the scoring for the first fight, and both guys don’t want to leave it in the judges’ hands this time.
We’re up here where Abel Sanchez has his training camp in Big Bear, California. GGG is training to make a much more decisive victory over Canelo the second time around. You see we have all the titles here.
GGG is the champion, and if Canelo wants to become a champion, he actually has to fight and try to take the titles away.
So we are looking forward to seeing everyone September 15 at T-Mobile and on HBO Pay-Per-View.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Tom, thank you very much.
So first question is for you, Canelo. What happened, and what would you like to say to your fans that were disappointed in you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The reason for the cancellation, we all talked about that. The main thing is the fight got here, the fight got done. I did it for the fans. This is the fight you wanted to see and come September 15, I can assure you it will be a much better fight than what you would have seen in May.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: How disappointed were you the fight didn’t happen in May?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Of course we were all disappointed. I was disappointed and the fans were disappointed that this first May 15 bout didn’t happen, but right now everybody is happy that we all agreed to have this next fight on September 15.
So both us and our fans should be happy.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Gennady, do you really believe the reason Canelo tested positive for clenbuterol was tainted meat?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: First of all, I respect the fighters of the level of Canelo, and the fact that they screwed up, it was not my decision to disqualify him, and I think it was a team failure, but it doesn’t matter right now. It doesn’t matter right now. It’s important that we’re going to have a fight.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Abel Sanchez, do you believe the reason Canelo tested positive for clenbuterol was tainted meat? You were very vocal when this news first came around that Canelo might be suspended.
ABEL SANCHEZ: We had been waiting for the commission to do their investigation, and come on, whatever the findings were, unfortunately they made a mistake. We have a fight on our hands September 15. They found him innocent of anything, any wrongdoing, so we have to go with that.
My personal feelings have nothing to do or should have nothing to do with the actual findings of the commission.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: But why are you saying you think they made a mistake? What mistake did they make?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, they felt that he made a mistake. They felt that he ingested some bad beef. Hopefully this time that they are in Mexico, he doesn’t do that again. We’d like to have a fight on the 15th and the fans deserve that.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Even though your rematch against Canelo Alvarez says was cancelled, you still fought in May in Los Angeles at the StubHub Center against Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan. What were you trying to prove in the fight?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Well, because I like to be active, I like this box, I like this sport, and I like the fans. You know, the fans wanted me to fight, and why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I fight, particularly on such an important day, May the 5th.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Did you watch GGG’s fight in May?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes. Yes, I did see the fight in May. Of course I would. He’s the opponent that I have at hand and that’s my job to watch him.
As far as what I thought about the fight, look, you can’t call that a fight. You have no opponent. That’s not my level of opponent. I didn’t pay attention as far as that being a fight.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar, could you take us through the negotiations that have taken place over the last few months?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: The negotiations are the negotiations. The bottom line is that we have a fight. Obviously we know who the A side is, and that’s Canelo Alvarez.
We obviously know that all of Mexico is behind Canelo Alvarez. Everywhere I go, everywhere we walk, the Mexican National is behind Canelo Alvarez, and I strongly believe that, look, Canelo going into the ring last, wanting to win those belts, for honor and pride.
You know, he’s going to show it up in the ring, and we strongly feel that you know, it’s a big advantage and once that first bell rings, you know, we have a fight.
So we strongly feel that, look, whatever the negotiations were, we’re extremely happy with and the fans are going to be even happier when they see a fight on September 15.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Tell us why is it so important for this rematch to take place on September 15? So important, that you had to put up your own money to make happen.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that was the big hail maker — I mean, you know, we can all here talk about percentages and this and that but there was a few things that I had to throw in myself.
But the bottom line is, is that look, Canelo has the bigger piece of the pie, and because he’s the champion, he’s the draw. He’s the one that brings in the people. On September 15, you will have millions and millions of fans supporting Canelo and supporting GGG, as well.
But this fight had to be made because we didn’t want to experience another Hagler/Hearns or Hagler/Sugar Ray Leonard because we didn’t see the second fight that didn’t take place. We didn’t want to see – like Trinidad and myself, we didn’t see the second fight.
So this fight had to take place. The first time was a draw and finally we have it. September 15, will be such an important day for boxing. I strongly feel that the way this fight is going to turn out, the fans are going to be extremely happy, extremely proud and boxing will once again rise to the pinnacle of where it should be.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Why is it so important for GGG, for this fight to take place and to make the compromises GGG has had to take in order to ensure the rematch? For example, letting go of your position that the percentage for the rematch should be an even and even split.
TOM LOEFFLER: On our side we know who the champion is. It doesn’t matter who is announced first. Doesn’t matter whose name appears first on the poster.
GGG is the champion. He’s going to walk in with his belts and the important thing is he’s going to walk out with his belts. There were a lot of back and forth with the negotiations but again, we have to give both fighters credit. We have to give GGG credit. We have to give Canelo credit. We have to give Oscar and Golden Boy Promotions credit.
The bottom line is, we are not just talking about the rematch. We are actually seeing the rematch happen September 15. A lot of fighters can’t even fight the first time, and here are two of the biggest stars in boxing fighting the rematch.
Neither side wants to let it go to the judges. Canelo is predicting a KO. GGG doesn’t want to go through the same thing he went through last year in September — where his fate is in the hands of three people. He wants to make sure he controls his destiny and wants to make sure there’s going to be no question who walks out of the ring as the champion on September 15.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: We heard Oscar describing why Canelo Alvarez is the main man in this fight, so why do you think you deserve a 50/50 split?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: I always believe that and I know Oscar says, and I not always agree with what Oscar says. For example, I don’t believe all Mexico will be rooting for Canelo. I understand that all Oscar think that Canelo is the main locomotive behind this fight, but I think we’re both worthy of this fight.
As far as the 45 to 55, yes, we made a concession. I think that we make a big concession, but I think it’s right now, it’s the most important thing that we are going to have a fight and our fans will love it.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, Gennady just said he doesn’t believe that whole of Mexico will be rooting for you. Do you agree, and why do you think GGG believes he has some part of the Mexican fans behind him?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I’ve always had detractors, regardless I’m fighting him or who I’m fighting. There’s always that side of the fans that are the detractors, but I have much more, many more, that love and support me.
And now, that little respect that I had or that we had, it’s been lost, and come September 15, it’s just him and I in the ring, whether I have the support or not. It’s just going to be him and I, and he’ll see.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Now I want to go back to Oscar De La Hoya. As a fighter, does being in a fight like this motivate you more in training camp, especially when you just heard Canelo saying he doesn’t respect GGG anymore?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that’s exactly what a fighter needs, and that’s exactly why this fight is going to be such a great fight.
Like Canelo said, the little respect they had for each other is out the window, and when you’re a fighter and you have no respect for your opponent, magic happens. Magic takes place inside the ring. You train harder in the gym. You run extra miles. You assure yourself that you’re in tiptop shape but more importantly it’s mental, the mental aspect of it is at its highest level. That’s why I think that these bullfighters are going to be in tiptop shape come September 15 and we will see an amazing fight.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: As a fight fan and promotor, how excited are you for the fight and how excited shot fans be for the fight?
TOM LOEFFLER: Not only as a promotor but as a boxing fight, this is the fight everyone is looking forward to. This is the fight the fans are looking forward to, that the media has been asking about.
And GGG, I get a lot of comments, a lot of messages on social media from fans in Mexico saying, please knock out Canelo, don’t let it in the judges’ hands this time and GGG is going to come out that way.
I know Oscar is down there in Mexico with Canelo. Make sure, Canelo, less Mexican meat, more Mexican style this time, September 15. Make sure everything goes the right way.
There’s two warriors getting in the ring. The gloves are off this time around. Both guys, you know, feel disrespected by what happened last May 5, so I think the fans are going to win coming up September 15 when these guys get in the ring with each other.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar De La Hoya on May 15 Tweeted the following, “In the meantime, @GGGBoxing making 3million and #Canelo making 40million without you. #signthecontract. #scared. #CaneloGGG2. #stopcrying.”
We just talked about respect. Gennady, how do you respond to this, to what Oscar De La Hoya had to say about you on May 11?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Oscar De La Hoya can say a lot of things, and it’s not always correct.
As far as the money concerned, I’m a fighter, and I go and work, do my work. I fight. As far as Oscar De La Hoya, I suggest that he should take care of his own fighter and if he wants him to make more money, let’s have a fight. Put him on the ring.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: I want to go back to Abel. This quote from Canelo Alvarez, this past week on RingTV.com, “The truth is that this fight means a lot to me because of all that has happened and all that has been said.”
Alvarez said, Friday, one day officially before tickets go on sale, “I will prove with my fists that I am the best and Golovkin will eat all his words and speculations. I will demonstrate who the best when I defeat Golovkin soundly on September 11 during Independence Day weekend, and I will make it clear that Mexican boxing is the best.”
Abel, do you think Canelo has what it takes to knockout GGG?
ABEL SANCHEZ: All those same things were said prior to the first fight and it ended up being a track meet.
I think that on the 15th when Oscar and Canelo were having breakfast, Oscar needs to remind him, he needs to bring his courage to the venue that night because he’s going to need it.
If he intends to knock out Golovkin, he’s going to have to fight him. And if he fights him, he’s going to get knocked out. I said that before; he would have gotten knocked out the first time, but he decided to make it a track meet that night.
But if he comes to fight and if he comes to knock out Golovkin as he said he’s going to; if he doesn’t defraud the fans again, then he’s going to get knocked out. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, you just heard Abel saying you didn’t want to fight the first time. I want to go back to you now and let you answer that statement because it seems like from GGG’s camp, you were never willing to engage during the fight. Will this time be any different?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I did my fight. I did what I set out to do. I did what I trained to do but I did a great fight.
But on September 15, I’m going to do the necessary adjustments and the necessary things to win. This man just likes to talk. He likes to talk a lot and bring up every excuse possible, but you’ll see, on September 15, what Canelo Alvarez is all about and what he’s capable of doing.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Gennady, you just heard Canelo saying that was his fight, that was his strategy, but he says it’s going to be different.
How about from your side? How different is your strategy going to be to face with Canelo once again?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: As the champion, I know my strategy and of course in this upcoming fight, a lot will depend on Canelo and the more Canelo had show, the more interesting will be the fight.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Eddy, why is your fighter the better fighter?
EDDY REYNOSO: He’s a fighter with more arguments. He has more talent and is more versatile. He knows how to walk in the ring and make you miss, counterpunch, attack. I mean, he has the total package.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Chepo, what did you learn from that first fight that can expose GGG’s weaknesses?
CHEPO REYNOSO: He’s an intelligent fighter and regardless of what people thought, I thought he clearly won the fight, clearly but come September 15, I can assure you two things. Not only is he going to take away GGG’s undefeated record, he’s also going to shut up Mr. Abel Sanchez.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Abel, you just heard Canelo saying, we’ll see a different Canelo, even Chepo Reynoso said we’ll see a different Canelo. What did you learn from Canelo Alvarez on the first fight, and do you think we’ll see a different Canelo Ãlvarez September 15?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, in the first 40-some fights we saw Canelo fight, he fought a totally different fight and he promised the fans he was going to give them the same type of action against Golovkin. After the first couple rounds, he found out he couldn’t.
I hope September 15 coming up is different because I think the fans deserve what we have been promising them. Golovkin fights in his style. He’s the champion. He’s going to go at Canelo, and if Canelo thinks he can knock him out, then I think we’ll see a classic fight.
It doesn’t matter how smart Canelo is, when he gets hit and he get hurt, he’s going to be knocked out. Smarts have nothing to do with it. He’s going to get hit and get hurt.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Several times Sanchez called Alvarez a cheater after all the controversy surrounding his suspension. How did that make you feel, and what do you think of Abel Sanchez as a trainer?
CHEPO REYNOSO: I think Abel Sanchez likes to talk. He talks too much. At the end of the day it’s going to be Canelo Alvarez and GGG fighting with their fists and not with their mouths. He likes to be the star of the movie, and it’s not him.
This is about Canelo and GGG. And what we need to do as corner men, as trainers, is do our job quietly because it’s not about us.
Abel, learn to be quiet, please.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar, what have you seen so far from Canelo’s team and the way they are preparing for September 15?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, it’s clear that for team canal low, it’s a totally different mind-set. It’s a totally different fight. Just being an ex-fighter myself, I know what type of preparations you must do in order to fulfill your goal, to fulfill your goal come September 15 against GGG, and I can assure you, I mean, it’s clear that Canelo is in a stronger state of mind. There’s obviously bad blood, and therefore, that’s why it’s going to be an amazing fight.
Look, Canelo, yes, he can box. He can move. He’s the more skillful fighter. He can do all that stuff, but he can also fight. And GGG hasn’t seen that, but I’ll assure you one thing: Come September 15, it’s all business. It’s all going in there and proving not to everyone who is watching but proving to GGG that he’s the better fighter.
So will Canelo be in different shape? Will he be in better shape in will he be stronger, faster? He’s going to be all that, and then some.
So on our side, we strongly feel they haven’t seen Canelo the way they are going to see him September 15. We have seen GGG. We know what he does. All he does is come forward and fights and that’s it. Canelo has many other things he does, so come September 15, you’ll be able to witness them.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Oscar, I want to give you a chance to respond to one of Tom’s comments, also Gennady’s comments, when they say that Mexico is actually split. It’s divided. Not everyone is rooting for Canelo, and some Mexicans are rooting for Gennady Golovkin.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Everybody has their fans. Everybody has their fans. There’s a reason why when Canelo fights on HBO Pay-Per-View, which he’s the only Pay-Per-View star in boxing, there’s a reason why they support him. There’s a reason why he generates the numbers he does. There’s a reason why the gates are so high. There’s a reason why the numbers are so high.
Look, every fighter has their naysayers, and every fighter has their non-supporters, but the truth of the matter is that Canelo has millions and millions of fans all over the world just like GGG.
But we have to recognize one thing; that Canelo is the Mexican champion, the star of Mexico, the star of boxing.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: GGG, you just heard Canelo Alvarez saying how he has lost some respect for you. Let me ask you something. Have you also lost respect for Canelo Alvarez, the boxer, or even the person?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Respect is respect. We have different mentality. We have different understanding of what respect is. I think Canelo team, by doing what they did, and they lost some respect from their fans. But it’s not important.
I do have respect to all the fighters, all the athletes, all the champions who fight at this level, and I think at the very end, we will find a way to shake each other’s hand, regardless what the outcome, regardless what we think before the fight. As two men, we should be able to stand against each other and shake each other’s hand at the end.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: I remember before the first fight, you both were behaving in a very respectful manner. Why does this time feel like more personal to you, actually to both of you, but for you, is this personal this time?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, absolutely, it’s changed, totally. They disrespected me for everything they have been saying, everything they have been doing, all their actions. Now it’s different. It’s personal.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: A lot has been said from both camps about you and GGG, but one of your biggest critics so far is Abel Sanchez, and you haven’t really talked to him yet, so we’ll give that you opportunity to address him correctly.
What do you want to say to Abel Sanchez who is listening to you right now live?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I have nothing to say to him. He knows what I think of him.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Abel, what do you think about Canelo? He’s listening now. You’ve talked a lot about him, as well.
ABEL SANCHEZ: I talked about him because of what his actions have been and I think the consequences it has caused for us as a team here, the GGG team.
He’s an exceptional fighter. Two guys at the top of their game are going to duke is out on the 15th. I hope we get the kind of fight that we are expecting.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Gennady, is there anything you would like to say to him?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: Well, I want to tell him that we should be ready for the fight. You know, we should be ready for his fight for us. We should be ready for his fight for our fans. We should get ready. I think we should both be in the best shape for this fight, and the better we will be for this fight; the more, the sweetest taste the victory will have for us.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, you have the floor. What do you have to say to Gennady Golovkin?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Nothing. We’ll see you September 15.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: And to all of you watching, is there anything you would like to say to GGG? Is there anything you would like to say to Canelo? Let us know in the comments section below for a chance to have your questions answered directly. But before we check out what the fans have been posting in that comments section below, let me ask you one question to all of you in our Facebook Live broadcast.
I want to start with Gennady Golovkin. Why aren’t we all hanging out in the same room? Why are you in Big Bear, California? Why is Canelo in Guadalajara, and why aren’t we shaking hands in person?
GGG, I’ll start with you.
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: We are in a space, we are in a room where it’s best for all of us and which is more comfortable for all of us. It’s better to meet on September 15 and show all the best of what we can demonstrate.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Canelo, usually when we are promoting a fight, we have both boxers looking at each other, sometimes shaking hands, sometimes having a little more action than that.
Why didn’t you want to face Gennady Golovkin before September 15? Why didn’t you want to be in the same room with him at the same time?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I assure you we’ll see each other face-to-face before September 15. We already got the tour and we already got the promotion. It wasn’t necessary for this one. But I’ll see him very soon.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: That’s fair. Well, we certainly have a lot to look forward to this September 15. In just a moment, we will open the phones to ask questions from members of the media.
Q. This is for Canelo. As a Mexican, do you believe Abel Sanchez deserves a handshake? Can you actually shake Abel Sanchez’s hands?
CANELO ALVAREZ: He deserves that and much more.
Q. Canelo, real quick, do you feel like the things that Abel and Gennady are saying to you about making this a toe-to-toe fight just a tactic to draw you in, when it may make more sense for you to box yourself to victory in this fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, that’s probably their tactic. You know what, the sentiment that I have inside of me, it’s going to help me a lot, intelligently, to bring out what I have to do. I know what I have to do.
Q. This first question is for Canelo. There are lots of rumours that have spread around about you wearing a knee wrap in different pictures. Is there anything wrong with the knee and can you address that?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Simply put, it’s a brace just to support. I’ve been training really hard. It’s part of rehabilitation and I’ve been working really hard, and that is not going to be a problem, trust me.
Q. The numbers from your last fight show that GG out-landed you by 49 punches and out-threw you by 198. Do you feel that you need to increase your work rate in order to win the rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yes, that’s part of the plan and part of what we are working on. Yes, we know what we have to do, and yes, we have to throw more punches. To win fights, you have to throw punches, and that’s what I do in all my fights.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Now it’s time to take a look at the questions and comments for the fighters and their teams on Facebook Live. We’ll go straight to that. We’ll start with Rob.
Q. Asking them both, what will be the difference from the first fight? Gennady, what do you think will be the difference from fight No. 1?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: I think this fight will be interesting. It will be tougher fight. It will be fiercer fight and I think we made our conclusion from the first fight, and this fight will be more colorful and more interesting.
Q. Canelo, what do you think the difference will be from the first fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Without a doubt it’s going to be a different fight. It’s going to be a better fight.
Look, we know what we have to do. I’m going it take even a stronger strategy, a better strategy, and it’s going to be a much better fight. We already know each other. Now we know what we have to do.
Q. To Team GGG, are you doing anything different in this camp from the last time you fought Canelo?
ABEL SANCHEZ: We prepare ourselves and we prepare Gennady to be the best Gennady can be. We won the first fight. A lot of people know we won the last fight. He knows he won the last fight.
Some adjustments obviously will be made in camp but Gennady fights in a style that is not only fan-pleasing but a style that he has mastered with a 23-knockout streak, in, what, 20 defenses, making it the 21st on the 15th. I think that’s the best in history. He’s tied Hopkins’ record. He’s got a knockout ratio, the best in middleweight history. I think the changes are going to be minimal. But I think it’s all going to defend if Canelo brings his courage.
Q. Gennady, are you doing anything different for this second fight, this rematch?
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN: No. As always, I’m going 100 percent what I need to do and I’ll be ready 100 percent for this fight.
Q. Can you talk about your impressive footwork and mobility in the first fight, and now that you’ve had surgery on your knee, do you think your footwork might be even better in the rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: That’s always been part of my arsenal. I know how to move inside the ring. The knee is not a problem. We’ve been working hard now and we’ve been training here and it hasn’t given me any issues and if it does come up during the fight that it gives me problems, we’ll already have a Plan B, a strategy, behind that, as well.
MAURICIO PEDROZA: Thank you, everyone, for joining us today watching this special Facebook live GGG special event. A reminder that tickets for September 15 are on sale now and they are going fast. You can also join Canelo GGG September 15 live from the T Mobile Arena on Pay-Per-View.
By Hook or By Crook They Cannot Make GGG Go Away
By: Ken Hissner
This fighter they call “GGG” came to the US from Kazakhstan after winning a Silver Olympic Medal in 2004. He was 350-5 in the amateurs losing to a Russian amateur in the finals who pitty pattered up points and knew as a professional he would never succeed as he did as an amateur. On the other hand his opponent Gennady Golovkin had a professional style and chased him.
Golovkin turned professional in May of 2006 in Germany and won his first 23 fights, 20 by knockout, when he debuted in the US. He was defending his WBA and IBO titles against the European champion Poland’s Grzegorz Proska, 28-1, having reversed his lost in gaining his title. It was held at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY. Proska found himself on the canvas in rounds one, four and five before the referee had seen enough and halted the mismatch. It was September of 2012.
The Proska fight was when the fans of the US were given their first view of Golovkin now living in L.A. under the watchful eye of trainer Abel Sanchez. His manager is Tom Loeffler, the architect that would guide his career. The people in attendance and those viewing him on the cable were star struck with this warrior who could box as well as fight and was very humble with a smile that was deceiving compared to the way he broke down his opponents.
This writer interviewed his next opponent “King” Gabe Rosado in a Philadelphia gym. Rosado had become the top super welterweight contender and warranted a title fight that he had a good chance of winning. When asked why jump up a division when a title in your weight class was at hand? He replied “if I beat “GGG” I too will be a super star,” said Rosado. This writer thought to himself “there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening!” I had spoken to Golovkin while in training for this bout on the phone thanks to US sparring partner Philly’s Dhafir Smith who told me “he hits like a heavyweight”. I asked how is Farah (Ennis) doing? I heard Farah who was the other Philly sparring partner yell out ”he’s kicking the shit out of me!”
I asked for Golovkin to come to the phone. I asked being from KAZ are you a Muslim? He replied, “no, I am Orthodox with my father from Russia and my mother from Korea.” I traveled for the first time to NY to the MSG Theater to watch this match. Philly Boxing History editor John DiSantos who had been there during the interview in Philly was pulling for Rosado as I was pulling for Golovkin. Except for half a round it was a “blood bath” with Rosado’s blood being spilled on the canvas and ropes! Rosado brought in his 21-5 record with a 7 fight winning streak. The referee finally stopped the one sided event at 2:46 of the 7th round with Golovkin ahead 60-54 twice and 59-55 once.
Rosado despite being declared the loser went to the corner and jumped up on the ropes with hands held high not in victory but in able to “survive” without going down into the 7th round against the best P4P fighter in the world, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. When the ring was cleared it took two attendants about ten minutes to get as much of the blood off the canvas and the ropes as possible. A star was born in his previous US appearance but how it did shine that night at MSG.
It was the twelfth straight stoppage by Golovkin. It was the fifth WBA defense and Monte Carlo in two months he would defend against Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida, 24-8-2 who had gone the distance in his two previous fights against interim WBO Super welterweight champion southpaw Paul “The Punisher” Williams, 40-2 and Russia’s Dmitry Pirog, 19-0, over 12 rounds each. But on this night he faced someone he had never encountered before, GGG! In the third round he found himself knocked out cold!
Next up for Golovkin would be European champion Matt “Mack the Knife” Macklin, 29-4, in June of 2013 at the MGM Grand, in CT, where in the second round Golovkin ripped open a cut over the left eye of Macklin with a right hand that hit like a razor blade! In the following round Macklin was counted out on his back!
Next would be NABF Middleweight champ Curtis Stevens, 25-3, looking to “expose” Golovkin. He found himself on the canvas in the second round and survived until the end of the eighth when he was not able to come out for the ninth round.
In February of 2014 Ghana’s Osumanu Adama, 22-3, out of Chicago, IL, was brought in proclaiming a knockout win. He was dropped in the first, sixth and seventh before the referee put a stop to the slaughter in Monte Carlo. Former IBF World middleweight champ James “Real Deal” Geale, 30-2, came to challenge Golovkin, at MSG, and lasted only into the third round.
In October of 2014 Golovkin would travel west to the Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA, among many Mexican supporters of his opponent Marco Antonio “El Veneno” Rubio, 59-6-1, with 51 knockouts, the interim WBC champ who didn’t make weight by several pounds. Rubio was knocked cold in the second round. The Mexican’s had a new hero who fought like a Mexican warrior named “GGG”!
In February of 2015 Golovkin found himself once again in Monte Carlo to face the UK’s Martin Murray, 29-1, the WBC Silver champion. Murray was knocked in the fourth and tenth rounds and finally stopped 0:50 into the eleventh round so far behind on points only a knockout would win for him.
In May Golovkin was back in CA, at the Inglewood Forum, facing southpaw Willie “Mongoose” Monroe, Jr., 19-1, who was down in the second and sixth rounds when halted in the sixth. The newly crowned IBF World Middleweight champion from Canada David Lemieux was brought in with the title belt wrapped around his shoulder into the MSG ring. He wouldn’t leave with it as he was down in the fifth and stopped in the eighth round.
In April of 2016 Golovkin face unbeaten Dominic Wade, 18-0, at the Inglewood Forum, dropping him once in the first and twice in the second where he was counted out on his back. In September the winner would travel to the UK to face their Kell Brook, 35-0, IBF World welterweight champion who came in at the same 159 as “GGG”. In the fifth round Brook had his right eye socket fractured halting the fight.
Back to MSG on St. Patty’s Day Golovkin would face a full-fledged middleweight in New York’s own Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 32-1, with 29 knockouts. After the day before weigh-in both fighters tipped the scales at 160. Jacobs pulled a “fast one” refusing to come to the day of the fight weigh-in as Golovkin scaled in at 170. By that night he would fight an overweight light heavyweight in Jacobs at what looked like 185. Jacobs would surprisingly fight the entire fight southpaw and give Golovkin a close but obvious win. Jacobs was down in round four which helped Golovkin win by scores of 115-112 twice and 114-113. This writer had Golovkin ahead 115-112. It would be eight months before Jacobs entered the ring again and it wasn’t against Golovkin.
Six months later on September 15th after the Jacobs fight Golovkin whose knockout streak of 23 straight was broken would face Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-1, with 34 knockouts only losing a majority decision to Floyd “Money” Mayweather, at 154. For five rounds they battled before Alvarez couldn’t handle the “heat” of Golovkin’s punches and kept moving away from the champion for the next seven rounds. When the decision was announced it was quite obvious a PPV payday for the promoters was influencing the judges. Byrd’s 118-110 for Alvarez had “fix or incompetent” written all over it. Was she blind? Moretti’s 115-113 for Golovkin was followed by Trella’s 114-114 draw! This writer had Golovkin a wide winner taking the second half of the fight as Alvarez was on the move. The look on Golovkin’s face told it all. He knew he had be had! In the meantime Alvarez was “celebrating” a draw! A PPV deal was probably set before the decision was announced.
Alvarez tested positive for two drug tests after this bout. Why the draw decision wasn’t changed to a No Contest or No Decision could be a first. Alvarez decided not to enroll into the WBC’s clean boxing program and therefore was removed from their rankings. He was put on a 6 month suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission in April prior to a May 5th rematch.
Filling in for Alvarez was 2004 USA Olympian Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan, 36-3-1 (21), having never been stopped and an Armenian from Glendale, CA. Though it had been two years since he had his last fight which was a losing one he was still ranked among the super middleweights. The bout was held at the Stub Hub Center, in Carson, CA. Martirosyan was dropped in the second and stopped at 1:53 of the round.
The IBF has informed Golovkin he’s been stripped of his title due to not fighting his No. 1 contender Russia’s Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko, 12-0 (10), living in Brooklyn, NY, he will be stripped of his title. The Russian and former WBA Middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs may be fighting for the vacant title. Jacobs is No. 3 in the IBF with No. 2 vacant. He is No. 1 in the WBO where the champion Billy Joe “Superb” Saunders hasn’t fought since December of 2017 and No. 1 in the WBA and No. 2 in the WBC.
Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (21), of Houston, TX, is the interim WBC Middleweight champion. Japan’s Ryota Murata, 14-1 (11), holds the WBA World Middleweight title. UK southpaw Billy Joe “Superb” Saunders, 26-0 (12) holds the WBO World Middleweight title. It had been rumored Golovkin was looking at meeting Saunders prior to the Alvarez to be his next opponent.
There is so much bad blood between the fighters at this point that there will not be a press conference or a press tour and the fighters won’t meet face to face until fight week. There will be a split screen press event on Facebook next week.
“Canelo can walk to the ring last. He can walk to the ring first. The important thing is who leaves the ring last,” said Golovkin. “I will demonstrate who is the best when I defeat Golovkin soundly on September 15th on (Mexican) Independence Day week-end,” said Alvarez. For some reason Alvarez with no belts again gets the larger percentage of the money. It will be the twenty-first title defense for Golovkin.
Canelo-GGG 2 Press Conference Brings the Bad Blood
By: Sean Crose
This was a different kind of press conference. Most press conferences for major fights take place in hotels or huge outlets. Not Tuesday’s press conference for September 15th’s Canelo-GGG 2 battle for middleweight supremacy. This particular press conference took place in two separate locations – three, actually, if you included the host’s location. Canelo and his team were seated before a ring in an empty gym in Guadalajara, Mexico. Golovkin and his team were seated before a ring in an empty gym in Big Bear, California. The conference was aired live, via splitscreen, on Facebook.
There was something else different about this press conference, though, especially as it pertained to the fighter’s themselves. Both Canelo and Golovkin are known to be sportsman, professionals who are more serious than they are bombastic. The seriousness was still there on Tuesday for sure, but there was a coldness to the entire affair, which added a chilling air to things. Neither fighter smiled. Neither fighter even attempted to communicate in English. Neither fighter showed much love for the other. What’s more, neither man’s team showed much love for the opposing fighter.
“Less Mexican meat, more Mexican style this time,” GGG promoter Tome Loeffler, generally a soft spoken type, sniped at team Canelo – a clear reference to Canelo stating tainted beef was the reason for the two failed tests that pushed back the GGG rematch from May to September. GGG trainer Able Sanchez suggested that Canelo “bring his courage to the venue that night…if he doesn’t defraud the fans again, he’s going to get knocked out.” As Canelo promoter Oscar De La Hoya claimed: “there’s clearly bad blood.”
De La Hoya, however, wasn’t averse to throwing shots of his own. “All he does is come forward and fight,” he said of GGG’s fighting style, “and that’s it.” After the enormous controversy that came from Canelo’s failed drug test and subsequent suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (which will be over by the time the fight goes down), a notable degree of hostility appears to have seeped through to the fighter’s relationship. “The little respect that we had has been lost,” said Canelo.
The subject of the rematch being different from the first fight was a huge topic of conversation throughout the conference. “I think this fight will be more interesting,” said Golovkin. “Without a doubt it’s going to be a different fight,” Canelo said. “We already know each other. Now we know what we have to do.” Canelo also added that he has “to throw more punches,” this time around. “It will,” he claimed, “be a much better fight than what you would have seen in May.” As Loeffler stated: “Neither side wants it (the rematch) to go to the judges.”
The fact that the first fight ended in a controversial draw has clearly moved each fighter and his team to indicate a more decisive battle is in order for September 15th. “This fight had to be made because we didn’t want to experience another Hagler-Sugar Ray Leonard,” said De La Hoya. “We didn’t want to see Trinidad and myself.” Both fights De La Hoya mentioned had ended controversially, but were not followed up with a rematch. If all sides were able to agree on something, Tuesday, it was that everyone is happy this rematch is happening.
“The negotiations are the negotiations,” said De La Hoya. “The bottom line is we have a fight.” Loeffler stated that: “It was a tough negotiation but at the end of the day both fighters agreed to get in the ring.” The possibility for a more decisive ending is driving the marketing for this rematch, as is the recent hostility that has turned things nasty between the two fighters and their teams. “It’s changed, totally,” said Canelo. “They disrespected me…now it’s different, it’s personal.” Golovkin stated that his team has “a deeper understanding what respect is.”
Still, Golovkin claimed that things might not be permanently strained between he and his rival, Canelo. “At the very end,” he said, “I do feel we’ll find a way to shake each others’ hand. As two men, we should be able to shake each others’ hand.” Before that moment comes, however, there will be a full fight to transpire, a fight heated by rhetoric and ill will. “He’ll walk in with the belts and he’ll leave with the belts,” Loeffler said of his fighter. “Nothing,” Canelo snapped when asked if he had anything to say to GGG. “We’ll see you September 15th.”
Press Release: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to host Canelo vs. GGG 2 Sept. 15 on HBO PPV
Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and WBC/WBA/IBO Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) will return to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for their historic 12-round rematch on Saturday, Sept. 15. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Tickets for Canelo vs. GGG 2 will go on sale Tuesday, July 3 at 10:00 a.m. PT, and are priced at $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $800, $700, $500 and $300, not including applicable service charges and taxes. There will be a limit of 8 per person at the $5,000, $2,500, $2,000, $1,500, $800 and $700 price levels with a limit of two (2) per person at the $500 and $300 price levels. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.
To purchase tickets during the Pre-Sale, subscribe to our newsletter by going on www.goldenboypromotions.com and clicking VIP Connect. The pre-sale is schedule to run from Saturday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m. PT thru Monday, July 2 at 10:00 p.m. PT. Follow Golden Boy Boxing on its Social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) at @goldenboyboxing.
In September 2017, Canelo and GGG met in the ring for the first time across a competitive 12 rounds of action that ended in a split draw. The battle drew a record crowd for an indoor boxing event in Las Vegas, selling out T-Mobile Arena in less than two weeks and bringing legions of fans from Mexico to Kazakhstan and everywhere in between.
Canelo, the 27-year-old native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, is without a doubt boxing’s biggest star. After capturing two world titles and the lineal championship in the super welterweight division, Canelo moved up to middleweight to capture the WBC, Lineal and Ring Magazine World Titles with a unanimous decision victory against Miguel Cotto in November 2015. Canelo has maintained his status as the lineal champion ever since, and in a historic September 16 showdown with Golovkin last year, he silenced all doubters by facing one of the most avoided fighters in boxing. Canelo was born ready and he promises to defeat Golovkin in exciting fashion to prove that he is the world’s best 160-pounder.
“The truth is that this fight means a lot to me because of all that has happened and all that has been said,” said Canelo Alvarez. “I will prove with my fists that I am the best, and Golovkin will eat all of his words and speculations. I will demonstrate who is the best when I defeat Golovkin soundly on September 15 during Independence Day Weekend, and I’ll make it clear that Mexican boxing is the best.”
Golovkin, the 36-year-old wrecking ball of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, was a dominant amateur standout and Olympic Silver Medalist before turning professional in 2006. Since then, Golovkin has been on an historic trajectory, knocking out one opponent after another to unify and retain several middleweight titles. During this run, Golovkin maintained an unblemished record that included a 23-fight knockout streak, which ended with a unanimous decision victory against Daniel Jacobs in March 2017. After going the distance against Canelo, Golovkin scored a second-round knockout victory against former 154-pound contender Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan in May of this year.
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin said, “I am happy that the deal is done and the rematch is back on. I am ready to get back to work in Big Bear with Abel. This is the biggest fight for boxing, the fight everyone wants. It is a fight to see who is best. It is for boxing history. I am happy to be defending my titles on Mexican Independence Day, a great stage for true Mexican-Style boxing. Canelo can walk to the ring last. Canelo can be introduced last. The important thing is who leaves the ring last, and that will be me, as world champion, the people’s champion. See you at the Big Drama Show.”
Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions, said, “There is serious bad blood between these fighters. The fight is personal, and the stakes are high. Canelo will without a doubt want to shut Golovkin up, and the only way to do it is by knocking him out on September 15. I have no doubts that our champion will walk away with the victory.”
Tom Loeffler, promoter of Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, said, “It’s hard to believe that there could be bigger drama than the negotiations we just concluded to make the rematch – again. The rematch has a much bigger feel to it because of all the controversy and is the biggest fight in boxing. It’s also the third consecutive time Gennady has taken over a major Mexican holiday to showcase his exciting Mexican-Style of fighting. This rematch transcends a championship boxing match and has become an international sporting event where it will be shown in over 150 countries worldwide. Gennady is bringing his belts and his resolve to prove he is still the best middleweight of his era and boxing’s No. 1 pound for pound fighter. He won the first fight against Canelo in the eyes of millions of viewers who tuned in last September and he will do it again on Mexican Independence Day, with his record-breaking 21st consecutive title defense. It’s his destiny.”
Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports, said, “The biggest fight of 2018 is now upon us: Canelo-GGG 2. On September 15, the rematch will prove middleweight and pound-for-pound supremacy. We are pleased to present it live by HBO Pay-Per-View.”
Richard Sturm, President of Sports and Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “We look forward to celebrating Mexican Independence Day weekend for what boxing fans worldwide anticipate will be one of the sport’s greatest rematches. T-Mobile Arena is the industry leader in hosting championship events including Boxing, UFC and most recently the Stanley Cup Finals. Our community is prepared to once again show why Las Vegas is the Sports and Entertainment capital of the world.”
Canelo vs. GGG 2 is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle,” Fred Loya Insurance, Fathom Events and Interjet. The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com,
www.caneloggg.comand www.hbo.com/boxing; follow on Twitter @GoldenBoyBoxing, @Canelo, @gggboxing, @OscarDeLaHoya, @hboboxing and @TomLoeffler1; become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing, ‘
www.facebook.com/gggboxing, and www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing; follow on Instagram @GoldenBoyBoxing, @Canelo, @gggboxing, @HBOboxing and @OscarDeLaHoya; and follow the conversation using #CaneloGGG2.
GGG-Canelo: Did Golovkin Have the Better Poker Face?
By: Charles Jay
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are set for their rematch on September 15 in Las Vegas, which is a year minus a day from the first meeting, although that wasn’t the plan, as you know. The numbers from sportsbooks around the world have GGG favored, but in a very competitive fight; the odds most prevalent on him are -175 (a little higher some other places), while Alvarez fetches anywhere from +140 to +160.
Ah, sports betting – that’s one pastime very popular on the Vegas strip.
Another pastime is poker, and that looks just like what these guys have been playing – through their representatives – in the negotiations leading up to the final agreement.
Both went all-in. So who got the better of the pot?
Well, Alvarez’s hand seemed to have weakened; he has been through the wringer as far as flak for his failing two drug tests, and no one seems to be buying the excuse that he ate some contaminated meat, although in Mexico that would seem to be altogether possible. Canelo’s manager is Chapo Reynoso, a former butcher.
Should he have known? Oh, the drama.
When this rematch was originally planned, GGG was going to get 35% of the pie, which was five percent more than he got for the previous fight. Of course, that’s before all the trouble started.
So the way this went is that, as the fight was rescheduled, Golovkin now wanted a 50% cut, since he was the champion.
Ultimately GGG settled for 45%, which was not a big concession on his part, and a big gain after getting no better than a draw, but then Alvarez’s side, presumably for the purpose of calling his bluff, wanted to cut him down to 42.5%, and set a deadline for him to take it and like it. Golovkin wasn’t coming off his figure. So we’re right there at the 55%-45% split. According to GGG’s promoter Tom Loeffler, “It was all about the principle and respect for him as the champion.”
Was it? Maybe, but not all the way.
If it was all about the principle, he may never have budged from 50%, especially as he insisted later that Canelo didn’t deserve to have 5% or 7.5% conceded back to him.
And looking at the other side, we have been hearing this theme lately about how Canelo’s image needs to be “rehabilitated,” but did he take such a hit that it was with 10 to 15 points of damage in terms of negotiating leverage?
Oscar De La Hoya, who holds the promotional paper on Alvarez, didn’t think so. He’s been maintaining that “Canelo is bigger and more popular than ever.” He probably won’t be far out of the ballpark when all is said and done.
Sure, there are probably a lot of Mexicans who were disappointed in him last September; not so much for the result but for the performance. It was not necessarily “blood and guts” and Alvarez did more than his fair share of retreating. But of all the boxers active today, Canelo is among the top two or three when it comes to bringing a built-in audience to the table, and it’s doubtful that his countrymen will want to see this fight any less. The media isn’t likely to give it less coverage either; in fact, the angle of the failed drug tests adds an element that might actually create more interest. It’s important to point out that this time around, the fight (which drew 1.3 million paid subscribers) does not come on the heels of a Mayweather-McGregor bout, which was a very expensive event for the more mainstream audience they’ll be trying to snag here. The point is, will revenues take a hit because of Canelo’s “image problem,” or will they instead experience a spike because of that and other factors?
Let’s push our point across even further. The business of Pay Per View (PPV) in boxing may not seem fair when the champion is taking less than the challenger, but it’s actually quite democratic, in the sense that the guy who can produce more fans and followers will pull in more revenue. Is there any question about Alvarez being that guy? If you ever watch those documentaries with wrestlers of years gone by, you’ll notice they always talk about the concept of “drawing money.” Well, same principle at work here. The guy who can do more of that should have more leverage.
And the fact is, Golovkin couldn’t carry a PPV on his own. He just couldn’t drive the big guarantees as the A-side of a matchup. Impatient after Alvarez got suspended, he fought a relatively known quantity in Vanes Martirosyan, who was handpicked not just because he was the right kind of opponent but because he had better “name” value than other alternatives. And GGG made a grand total of $1 million.
Loeffler was talking about a backup plan for Golovkin, whereby he’d fight Billy Joe Saunders in Los Angeles on August 25, and would be more than happy to do that if Canelo wouldn’t come to terms. But even though there are some provisional odds at online sportsbooks that have Golovkin priced at -450, it’s still the kind of fight that may have given him more trouble than expected. And from the standpoint of money, what would that have really produced?
When you go beyond that, who else is there for him to make a bundle of money with? The Charlo brothers? Maybe, if he fought them on the same night. Other than that, pickings are slim.
So you wonder whether Alvarez’s people (Eric Gomez with Golden Boy in particular) could have stood firm, even at 35% or 40%, and still landed Golovkin’s name on a deal. That may well have been the case. But despite De La Hoya’s assertions, they may have valued the whole “rehabilitation” angle about as much as many of the media people do.
Who knows – maybe Alvarez is the guy who’s really fighting with principle on his mind, and was willing to pay for it.
And if he got bluffed, he wound up second best.
Breaking News: Canelo-GGG II On For September 15th
By: Sean Crose
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) June 13, 2018
“I’m happy to inform that we have a fight September 15!!!! #CaneloGGG2 Feliz De informar que si tenemos pelea Septiembre 15!!! #CaneloGGG2 ”
With the above Tweet, Oscar De La Hoya, head of Golden Boy Promotions announced Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin II, a rematch that seemed like it might not ever happen. The match was due to go down last spring in Las Vegas, but Canelo tested positive for having the banned substance Clenbuterol in his system. Not only did the much hyped bout fall through, Canelo was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for six months, meaning he was effectively out of the fight game for half a year.
To make matters even more vexing, Golovkin was hesitant to sign on to a rematch at a later date until he felt he was getting the money he was worth. Although Canelo is clearly the more lucrative and famous of the two fighters, many feel Golovkin won their original bout last fall, even though it was controversially ruled a draw. What’s more, Golovkin expressed hostility towards Canelo because he felt the man had cheated. For his part, Canelo denied that he intentionally took any banned substances, but the resentment was still in play.
Up until Wednesday afternoon, it appeared that negotiations might fall through, with a De La Hoya imposed deadline coming and going. Things were finally settled once and for all, however, and now fans can expect the long awaited fight to finally go down on September 15th.
Gennady Golovkin Treats His Fans to a Show while HBO Gives Viewers Boxing at a Bargain
By Vishare Mooney
Vegas’s loss ended up SoCal’s gain, as the Canelo-GGG pay-per-view cancellation yielded a bargain for boxing fans watching around the world, and in attendance, at the gorgeous and affordable outdoor boxing venue that is the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA. Despite the circumstances, GGG Promotions and HBO together produced a collection of solid bouts, including the first ever live telecast of a women’s fight and leading to the ultimate showcase of their featured fighters, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1 34KO) against Vanes Martirosyan (36-4-1 21KO). According to Nielsen Media Research, the HBO telecast peaked at 1,361,000 viewers, making it cable tv’s number one rated boxing telecast in 2018. Saturday’s show also broke StubHub’s record for highest grossing boxing event.
Triple G merchandise were worn by fans throughout the entire venue that evening and even the night before during Golden Boy Promotions Garcia vs. Velez bout. GGG merchandise were sold then too and fans were seen wearing GGG hats alongside young girls wearing Ryan Garcia “The Flash” tees. Such is the power of a champion – your merch is worn on fight nights when you’re not fighting.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions
But enough shop talk. Let’s talk about the fight.
This fight seemed an unexpected pit stop for the Big Drama Show 2 that was teased last September seconds after the controversial draw that extended the Canelo-Golovkin saga – two fighters vying for the prefix “undisputed.” After the controversial draw came the controversial “tainted meat” followed by the controversial choice of replacement fighter. (Max Kellerman actually suggested Golovkin went from a fighter who was avoided to one who was avoiding top challengers. Oy.) Let’s not forget the posturing on social media from an angry Canelo and attention needy Billy Joe Saunders. There was all this drama but not the good kind, the junk kind, like a bag of Cheetos, easily consumed yet unsatisfying.
Golovkin wanted a fight. He didn’t want to waste a camp. Having fought two or three times per year throughout his entire pro career, wanted to stay active. He wanted to give his fans a show on Cinco De Mayo and then finally move on to the next, and more lucrative card his fame deserved. And maybe, as viewers saw, in the two rounds his opponent remained standing, he also needed to remind people just what his job was in the ring: seek, destroy, defend the belts.
It’s difficult for promoters and for media, to hype up a fight when the champion is a soft spoken Kazakh, whose English is limited, who smiles easily, avoids trash talk and can actually be mistaken for an IT guy on a date when he wears Bijan. I am sure it’s not easy to get ‘likes” when your fighter isn’t a charming 19-year-old, predicting a fourth round knockout with a left hook while simultaneously holding promotions on Instagram. And so, Golovkin, the old school fighter, has to make up for all of these shortcomings the only way he has ever known – on fight night.
On May 5th, under the stars and klieg lights, as the now familiar thudding beat of his fight song began and fans roared in anticipation, GGG walked out of the tunnel, in his hooded blue and gold Kazakh fight robe, looking like a royal grim reaper, his left arm on trainer Abel Sanchez’s shoulder and Jack White’s “Seven Nation Army” doing some trash talking for him.
I’m gonna fight ‘em all/A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back/They’re gonna rip it off/Taking their time right behind my back.
GGG spent round one surveying Martirosyan, finding his range, his opponents vulnerabilities. He threw a couple of tentative punches and got caught with a right and follow up left from Martirosyan. The crowd cheered in surprise and support for the challenger who had promised that he would not “run away” from GGG in the ring, as was the effective strategy of Golovkin’s last two opponents. Martirosyan, in his 36 bouts had never been downed. After the bell, Sanchez told his fighter he seemed tight, fight announcer Jim Lampley mused “It does look that way. As if Golovkin had a lot of pressure to deal with. A lot of outside the ring stuff.”
Golovkin had taken a few solid shots from Martirosyan and it seemed, at the start of the second round that it would be a longer night than anticipated. After all, the last time Golovkin fought at StubHub it was 2014 against veteran Marco Rubio and that fight only lasted two rounds before the KO…But we all know what happened. Deja Vu.
12 seconds into Round 2, when Golovkin threw a vicious uppercut to Martirosyan’s chin, that would have brought Martirosyan down had he not literally hung onto Golovkin to avoid a knock down call, the crowd sensed danger. At 1:26 left in the round, Golovkin throws Martirosyan a hard left hook that ultimately puts Martirosyan against the ropes to a barrage of nine, yes nine, punches to his head: a powerful overhead right cross, jab, jab, jab, right cross, right, big left hook, right, big left hook. And down.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions
From my seat I saw Martirosyan’s back against the ropes, his head violently bobbing right and left as Golovkin’s fists met their target. As his opponent collapsed to the floor, Golovkin backed away and looked grimly on as the referee counted.
“Boxing is not easy,” said Golovkin, before the fight. “Boxing is not a game. It’s serious business.”
Golovkin knows his fans. He gave them what they wanted. No hype. A show of pure boxing. Let’s hope Golovkin, in the rarefied world of high stakes fights, finds his way back to StubHub in the not too distant future and that HBO finds a way, and not by accident, to provide amazing non pay per view fights for the masses – for true boxing fans.
HBO Boxing Preview: Braekhus vs. Reis, Golovkin vs. Martirosyan
By: William Holmes
Gennady Golovkin was supposed to face Canelo Alvarez in a highly anticipated rematch this Saturday in Las Vegas, but a positive drug test for Clenbuterol skirted those plans and have placed the legacy of Canelo in doubt, even though the claim is that the positive test was caused by tainted meat.
Instead Golovkin will get a new opponent in a new venue on Saturday night and the fight will no longer be on Pay Per View. Vanes Martirosyan has offered to set up to the plate to face Golvokin on short notice. The co-feature of the night will be a woman’s bout between Cecilia Braekhus and Kali Reis for Braekhus WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Welterweight Titles.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions
Boxers such as Ryan Martin, Bredis Prescott, Nam Pham, Ruslan Madiyev, and Brian Ceballo will be competing on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the two planned televised fights.
Cecilia Braekhus (32-0) vs. Kali Reis (13-6-1); WBA/WBC/WBO/IBF Women’s Welterweight Titles
Cecilia Braekhus is one of the best women boxers that is currently competing. She’s undefeated, has held a major world title since 2009 (WBC and WBA Titles) and is considered a legend in the sport of women’s boxing.
However, she is thirty six years old and is nearing the end of her athletic prime. Her opponent is five years younger and will have a slight half an inch height advantage, but Reis has never defeated an opponent near the caliber of Braekhus.
As an amateur, Braekhus is a former World Silver Medalist. Reis does not have any notable amateur accomplishments to discuss.
Braekhus is 12-0 against former world champions. She has defeated the likes of Makela Lauren, Eva Bajic, Anne Sophie Mathis, Mia St. John, Oxandia Castillo, Myriam Lamare, Ivana Habazin, Jennifer Retzke, Chris Namus, and Erica Anabella Farias,
Reis is a former middleweight world champion, but none of her past three opponents had a winning record. Two of them had a losing record and one had an equal number of wins and losses.
Neither boxer is known for their power. Braekhus has nine stoppage victories while Reis only has four stoppage victories. Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. Reis fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Braekhus fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016.
Braekhus will make history as the first woman to compete on an HBO televised female boxing match. This will only be her second fight in the United States, but she does not have an opponent in front of her that should present a major challenge.
Age will catch up to Braekhus soon, but she should have a good showing on Saturday night in her American debut.
Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1) vs. Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1); WBA/WBC Middleweight Titles
Gennady Golovkin was hoping to rematch Canelo Alvarez and get a definitive win, but instead he has to face the determine but heavy underdog Vanes Martirosyan.
Golovkin is thirty six years old and will be four years older than Martirosyan on Saturday night. Golovkin is already showing signs of slowing down. He has thirty three knockout wins on his resume, but his opponents in his past two fights were able to go the distance. Martirosyan will also have a slight one inch height advantage. Their reach is the same. Martirosyan is not really known for his power, he only has twenty one knockouts as a professional.
Golovkin was a 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist for Kazakhstan and Martirosyan competed for the United States in 2004 in the Olympics but failed to medal.
Golovkin has been fighting what is now considered a normal schedule for a top tier fighter. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016. Martirosyan has not been very active and it should be a concern for his camp. He’s fighting arguably the best middleweight in the 21st century and he only fought once in 2016 and did not fight at all in 2017. In fact it will be nearly two years since he has stepped in the ring.
Golovkin has defeated the likes Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Martin Murray, Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, Gabriel Rosado, and Kassim Ouma.
Martirosyan has defeated the likes of Ishe Smith, Willie Nelson, Saul Roman, and Kassim Ouma. His losses were to Erislandy Lara, Jermell Charlo, and Demetrius Andrade.
Martirosyan has been known to do better than expected in big fights, but fighting a current top five pound for pound boxer after not competing for two years will be a tall task to overcome.
However, if Martirosyan makes it to the final bell, the bigger question will be how much longer does Golovkin has left as one of the world’s best?
The Defenders, Contenders and Prospects: Four Undefeated Fighters to Watch This Weekend
By Vishare Mooney
Cinco De Mayo is upon us bringing with it a fantastic weekend of boxing as four undefeated fighters take to the ring to defend their records or the right to keep their championship belts. There are some interesting storylines, here’s what to watch.
History in the making: Challenges for two boxing giants Gennady Golovkin and Cecilia Breakhus
This is not the big drama show a Canelo rematch would have brought, but the Golovkin v. Martirosyan is still a challenging fight for the undefeated champion, Gennady Golovkin (36-0-1, 33KO); all his belts are on the line as he goes up against two-time world title challenger Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 23KO). Though Martirosyan is going up a weight class to fight Golovkin, promoter Tom Loeffler has called the matchup “a dangerous fight” while Golovkin humbly suggested “one punch can change everything.” At Wednesday’s press conference, Don King, Martirosyan’s promoter, struck a foreboding tone, predicting that the stars above the StubHub Center will be aligned for the champion’s first loss. He addressed his remarks to Golovkin, “The inimitable words of Mohammed Ali says, you have to lose to be a whole champion, there’s no disgrace in losing.” And of his fighter, Martiroysan, King said, “This may be the opportunity that Vanes is waiting on because yesterday’s nobody, becomes tomorrow’s somebody.” Pre-fight hype? Not for Golovkin, “I understand my situation, this is not an easy fight, this is a huge fight for us. I promise, we bring amazing show, amazing event.” This fight is without doubt not one to miss.
If there is an active fighter with more titles and accolades than Golovkin, it is Cecilia Braekhus (32-0, 9 KO and 22-0 in championship matches.) The Columbian-born boxer who fights out of Norway, is embarking on the 22nd defense of her titles IBF-WBA-WBC-WBO. She has heen the welterweight world champion for the past nine years. And yet, this fight, set as a co-feature to the GGG-Martirosyan, and having the distinction of being the first live broadcast of a woman’s bout on HBO, is not necessarily a walk in the park for Braekhus. Her opponent, former world WBC middleweight champion, 27-year-old Kali Reis (13-6-1, 4 KO) will still have a size and youth advantage as she goes down two weight classes to fight the 36-year-old Braekhus. Says Braekhus, who continues to hone her skills as she matures, “I am definitely another fighter today than I was ten years ago, and I always have to adapt to that, I always have to adapt to stay sharp.” She added, “I feel the young girls, you know, they are breathing down my neck, I always need to be sharp.” Boxing legend Lucia Rijker, who has been training Braekhus for this fight will be in her corner Saturday night. The moment in history is not lost in Rijker, who said to boxinginsider.com at a recent interview, “ I know my place as a coach, this is the time for the new generation and I’m honored to be a part of it with a humble heart.” All the women will have the platform at StubHub, under the stars to show the world, women’s boxing belongs on primetime along with men’s. Challenger Kali Reis, understands the the opportunity and the significance of this bout, “It’s not just live boxing on HBO, its the co-main event, that is huge. Not only for myself, not only for Cecilia, but for women’s boxing as a whole…We’re in it to fight and we can fight.” Tune into this one, it will likely be the best fight of the night.
Golovkin v. Martirosyan and Braekhus v. Reis, May 5, HBO, 8pm PT
Boxers On the Rise: Ryan Garcia and George Kambosos Jr.
It’s likely ESPN’s 2017 Prospect of the Year, 19-year-old Ryan Garcia (14-0, 13 KO), from Victorville, CA, with meticulous grooming of his boxing career by Golden Boy Promotions and supported by Garcia’s fast growing 800k Instagram followers, needs little more highlighting. On May 4th, the junior lightweight may actually have a worthy contest in the seasoned 30-year-old Puerto Rican fighter, Jayson Velez, (26-4-1, 18 KO). Garcia will want to feed his ambition of fighting Gervonta Davis and being the youngest pay-per-view star, as well as his growing fan base, with another decisive win. With such heightened media exposure at such an early time in his professional career, it seems Garcia is defending his fame rather than ascending to it. Nonetheless, fans shouldn’t miss out on watching this fighter’s impressive ability to “see and catch” his opponent’s next moves and launch a powerful and fast knockout punch. He described his technique to boxinginsider.com, “I see where he (the opponent) goes, and once he makes a little tiny mistake, my punch is there and I deliver my full ability” Coming off the lightning fast first round knockout of Fernando Vargas, just six weeks ago, boxing fans get another chance to see KingRy impress. May 4th, 7:30PM PT on ESPN2 and ESPN Desportes.
If you want a chance to see a future title contender in his first US fight, watch George “Ferocious” Kambosos, Jr. (13-0, 7 KO), the undefeated 24-year-old Greek-Australian prospect. Kambosos Jr. is currently ranked #5 by the WBA , #11 by WBO and holds the WBA Oceania lightweight title. Kambosos Jr., recently signed with powerhouse promoter Dibella Entertainment. He will headline the Broadway Boxing event at Foxwoods Resort Casino and fight against Jose “El Tigre” Forero (13-6-1, 11 KO). Kambosos Jr. moved from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles earlier this year to train under renowned coach, former heavyweight contender and long time Pacquiao cornerman Justin Fortune. His sights are set firmly on making a name for himself here in the U.S. “America is the mecca of boxing, to become world champion and to become recognized, you gotta be here.” Kambosos Jr., in addition to holding title belts, has sparred with Manny Pacquiao for over 50 rounds and brings shades of Pacquiao’s fast and furious high volume punching to the ring along with some impressive footwork. When asked what fans can expect of him in the ring, Kambosos Jr. told boxinginsider.com, “I’m an action packed fighter..fans can expect fireworks from round one.” Kambosos Jr. said he’s had a hundred rounds of sparring to prepare for his US debut and is ready for anyone. “We’ve left no stone unturned, we’ve had an awesome camp, if they pulled him (Forero) out today, and brought in a world champion, we are ready to go, we are ready to fight and ready to win.” May 5th, 9PM ET at CBS Sports HQ and Live.DBE1.com
Vanes Martirosyan’s Goal: “To Beat The Baddest Man On The Planet”
By: Sean Crose
“Ronda’s going to come to the event on Saturday,” promoter Tom Loeffler said during a Monday conference call promoting this weekend’s Cinco De Mayo bout between middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin and ring vet (and Ronda Rousey pal) Vanes Martirosyan. Loeffler also added that “Chris Cyborg,” another MMA star, “is supposed to come.” Whether such well known fans will add buzz to a fight that is essentially a quick replacement for a failed megabout between Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez remains to be seen. This Saturday’s match was supposed to be a rematch between Golovkin and Canelo of their 2017 bout, which ended in a controversial draw. Canelo, however, famously tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance, back in February, causing the high profile event to be cancelled.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/GGG Promotions
“He was very frustrated when the positive test first was announced,” said Loeffler. “Gennady really is the party that’s the most affected by this (the Canelo situation).” Loeffler also made it clear that Golovkin is not only eager to move on, but is taking his replacement opponent, Martirosyan, very seriously. “This is a very unique situation,” said Loeffler, who added that “Gennady just kept training” throughout the Alvarez scandal. Likewise, Martirosyan is said to be well prepared. “We just got ready for Golovkin,” the California fighter said when I asked what tweaks were made to his training in preparation for the feared Kazakh.
“Styles do make fights,” he added. “GGG’s style and mine fit very well.” Martirosyan has complained that some of his more notable opponents have avoided him in the ring. Unlike slicksters such as Erislandy Lara, however, Martirosyan feels Golovkin will show up on Saturday to fight. “It’s a perfect fight for Cinco de Mayo because it’s going to be two guys going head to head,” Martirosyan said. Martirosyan also claimed that “this is what we dream about. I’ve always wanted these fights.” He’s only been set to face Golovkin for a few weeks, but Martirosyan is exuding complete confidence.
“We’re ready,” he said. “You can wake me up in my sleep and I’d be ready to fight.” With just days to go before the fight, Martirosyan let the media know that he’s still prepping. “I’m in the gym right now,” he said. “I just go done sweating my butt off.” Although he’s eager to engage in an action fight, Martirosyan comes across as a pleasant individual who’s not afraid to engage in humor. As he said good naturedly during the call: “Most of my fans are also GGG fans.” Not that they won’t support Martirosyan during the fight.
As the clock ticks ever closer to the weekend, Martirosyan, who is a huge underdog, has a singular goal in mind:
“To beat the baddest man on the planet.”
Quotes from Gennady Golovkin and Vanes Martirosyan
Fellow 2004 Olympians and soon-to-be opponents GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN and VANES “THE NIGHTMARE” MARTIROSYAN met with the media — and each other — on Monday at Martirosyan’s gym, the Glendale Fighting Club. It was the first time the fighters addressed the media, and each other, since announcing their Cinco De Mayo world championship rumble. Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, boxing’s longest-reigning world champion (since 2010), will be defending his World Middleweight Championship crown for the 20th consecutive and record-tying time, against former two-time world title challenger and current No. 1 contender Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), from Glendale, Calif. They collide on Saturday, May 5, under the stars at StubHub Center. The fight will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Promoted by GGG promotions, in association with Don King Productions, and sponsored by Tecate, Chivas Regal, Jordan and Hublot, remaining tickets to the Golovkin vs. Martirosyan world championship event are priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100 (sold out) and $50 (sold out), and may be purchased online at https://www.axs.com/events/353331/golovkin-vs-martirosyan-tickets?ref=edp_twpost, by phone at (888) 9AXS-TIX, or by visiting the StubHub Center box office.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/GGG Promotions
Here is what the fighters had to say:
“I am glad to be back in the ring and giving a fight to my fans. I am happy that Cinco De Mayo will still have boxing. It is good for the sport. I want to stay active. I would like to fight four or five times every year. Cinco De Mayo is a big night for a fight and for a Mexican-Style fighter like me. It is very important to me to be fighting again, to be fighting on Cinco De Mayo. I didn’t want to disappoint the fans who wanted a fight on a Mexican holiday. I am grateful to the Mexican fans who support me and who supported me after the fight with Canelo and during the past two months.
“When my fight with Canelo was canceled I never stopped training. I wanted a fight on Cinco De Mayo. I stayed in Big Bear working hard with Abel hoping I would still be able to have a fight.
“Canelo? Right now he is over. Do I want to have the rematch in September? We’ll see. It’s a different deal. The boxing business is crazy. I’ll fight Canelo again. Ask him if he wants to fight me.
“I no longer think about Canelo. I am only focused on this fight. I just want to fight Vanes. I remember him from the 2004 Olympics. I know he is not easy. Vanes is a strong and active fighter in the ring. He is a good fighter . Vanes is a real guy. A real fighter. He is tall and strong. In 2004, I thought Vanes was the best boxer on the U.S. Olympic team.
“I have watched some tapes of Vanes’ fights. His fights with Lara. The minute the fight was signed Abel brought new ideas to the gym workouts. And no, I am not going to tell you those new ideas. The fans at StubHub Center will be watching two Mexican-style fighters from the area.
“I am still comfortable at 160 pounds. There are no big money fights at 168 pounds and besides, I am small at 160.
“I only ask for fights. I want more big fights. Huge fights. Title unification fights. I want to stay champion. It should be a clean sport. That is important to me.
“This fight is very important for boxing. Fans should not have to miss having a fight on Cinco De Mayo. This is my gift to the sport. Thank you to everyone for watching me and supporting me.”
“This fight is the biggest test for me. It will show where I belong in this sport. I was able to take advantage of this opportunity because I never left the gym, even when previously scheduled fights kept falling through. I would take a week off and then return to the gym. It was hard but I never lost faith. A good fighter stays ready, stays in shape. How many times have we heard that about an opponent falling out and a replacement getting that golden ticket to fight for a world title?
“Regarding Canelo, you have to ask, ‘Why did he flunk two drug tests. Why did he withdraw from VADA? I don’t believe him. I don’t buy his excuse about tainted meat. If, God forbid, I had tested positive because of accidentally eating something, I would have myself tested every day to prove I was clean. No one wants to see someone cheat his way into a fight.
“That’s why fans love Triple G. Because he is so good in the ring and because he is clean. He has always been tested. He wants boxing to be a clean sport as do I.
“I have been counted out before and I have shined. This is my time. Fate has reached out to me and I am ready to seize the moment. You can never plan for something like this, but you can be prepared, and that’s why I never left the gym.
“I am excited to show everyone how good I can be. I feel so fresh and strong. Fans and Gennady will be amazed . We may not be Mexican but I guarantee you it’s going to feel like two Mexicans are going to war on Cinco De Mayo.
“I’m not afraid of Gennady. I’m psyched to fight him. This is why I became a fighter. I’m not the only one taking this fight on short notice. Everyone has a soft spot. I’ll find his. I have no fear. We are going to war — Mexican Style. Two trains colliding. We both love the Mexican Style of fighting. We’re both hard headed and heavy handed. To me, it’s not a REAL fight without a lot of Mexican fans. I’m not fighting to survive. I’ll be fighting to win!
“I don’t run like the guy who pretended to eat a bad steak. Let’s see how Gennady reacts to a fighter who doesn’t move away after being hit. Gennady’s chin hasn’t been tested the way I’d like to test it.
“Canelo is an easier fight than Gennady. Gennady has a fan-friendly style. Canelo ran from my mandatory challenge. That says a lot about him. That tells you everything about him.
“When I got the call from Don King, I was laying in bed with the kids. ‘Hey, man, there’s this guy they call Triple G or something like that, you want to fight?” I said, ‘Of course.’ That’s how I found out I got the fight.
“Before I knew I had this fight, I asked my wife who her favorite fighter was, besides me. She told me Gennady Golovkin. So now I have to beat his ass for that (laughing).”
Martiosyan On Golovkin: “Everyone Is Beatable”
By: Sean Crose
“Everyone is beatable,” says middleweight title challenger Vanes Martirosyan. “Everybody.”
The 37-3-1 Californian, known for his friendship with former UFC star Ronda Rousey, is scheduled for what is unquestionably the biggest fight in his career when he faces 37-0-1 multi-titlist Gennady Golovkin on May 5th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Golovkin was expected to rematch superstar Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas that evening in a pay per view spectacular, but Canelo got popped for having Clenbuterol in his system and subsequently dropped out of the match before receiving a six month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
“Every time I talked to my promoter Don King,” says Martirosya, “I would tell him my passion. I would tell him ‘give me a fight, let me show you what I can do.’ I knew he had been working hard to get me a fight then he got me this fight.” Martirosya makes it clear he was quick to answer the call from team Golovkin, which was looking for a May 5th replacement for Canelo. “When they asked me if I wanted it I said ‘of course.’ They asked me if I could be 176 by Friday and I said I am 176 right now. Thank God we were training and in such good shape. King got me the biggest fight and now it’s time to go.”
Martirosya is also eager to face down talk that he’s an unworthy opponent for the fighter known as GGG. “The fights that I didn’t look good in are against the people that ran from me,” he says, “like Lara and Andrade. They just try to run and outbox. I couldn’t make them fight. But GGG is coming to fight and that’s what I’ve been looking for – to show the boxing world what I can do.”
The veteran fighter exudes nothing but confidence in the lead up to the title match. ““Everybody has a chance to tell their story,” he says. “This is my story in boxing and it’s going to start May 5th.” Martirosya also admits that, aside from himself, Golovkin is his wife’s favorite fighter. “So, you know,” he says kiddingly, “I gotta kick his ass.” On a more serious note, Martirosya understands that Golovkin is one of the most feared men in boxing.
“I feel like people are scared of him because of his power,” he says. “We’re gonna go to war. It’s not going to be Mexican style fighting there but it will feel like it.” As for jumping up in weight to battle Golovkin: “The weight is not an issue,” says Martirosyan, whose most recently fought as a super welterweight. “I think it’s a benefit for me. I get to eat a little bit.”
And how surprised is he to be facing GGG on the night the titlist was supposed to be facing Canelo?
“I didn’t even think I would get the call,” Martirosyan says.
Jermall Charlo and Gervonta Davis Ask For Golovkin and Lomachenko
By: Ken Hissner
After Saturday’s quick knockouts on Showtime two of the winners shot their mouths off after destroying lesser opponents and asking for something they may regret in the future. In other words “Watch what you ask for!”
Houston’s Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (21) won the interim WBC World Middleweight title knocking out Hugo Centeno, Jr., 26-2 (14), of Oxnard, CA, in the second round. Charlo only had one fight in 2017 against a much overrated Jorge Sebastian Heiland, 29-5-2 (16), from Argentina in the 4th round.
The former IBF World Super Welterweight Champion called out Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 37-0-1 (33), of KAZ and L.A., CA. who on May 5th will be defending his title or title’s against the WBC No. 1 Super Middleweight against Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan, 36-3-1 (21), of Armenia and Glendale, CA., who has lost to twin brother Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 30-0 (15), back in March of 2015 via a 10 round decision. Martirosyan has never been stopped in his 40 bout career. He was the USA 2004 Olympian at welterweight.
The other winner Saturday night was Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 20-0 (19), of Baltimore, MD, but having moved out to Las Vegas, NV. He stopped Jesus Marcelo Andres “El Jinete Cuellar, 28-3 (21), former WBA World Featherweight Champion in the 3rd round to win the WBA Super World Super Featherweight title.
Interviewer Jim Gray brought up the name WBO Super World Super Featherweight Champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 10-1 (8), of the Ukraine now living in Oxnard, CA. He will be fighting WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge “El Nino de Oro Golden Boy” Linares, 44-3 (27), of VZ now living in Tokyo, Japan May 12 at Madison Square Garden.
This writer considers Lomachenko P4P No. 1 and Golovkin P4P No. 2. Both are former Olympians with Lomachenko winning Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012. Golovkin won a Silver Medal in 2004 after defeating Andre Dirrell losing in the final to Russian Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov who never turned professional.
My thoughts are Charlo meeting the Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 33-2 (29), of Brooklyn, NY, and Maciej “Striczu” Sulecki, 26-0 (10), of Warsaw, Poland, winner on April 28th at the Barclay Center. Sulecki stopped Centeno in June of 2016 in the 10th round.
I’m sure that though under suspension for six months Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-2 (34), of Guadalajara, MEX, and Golovkin will meet in sometime on or around September pending on the length of the suspension. That controversial draw that Golovkin got ripped off on should be changed to a NC or ND.
This writer felt that Golovkin could meet WBO World Champion Billy Joe Saunders, 26-0 (12), of Hatfield Hertfordshire, UK, with all the titles on the line. He will meet Martin Murray, 36-4-1 (17), on June 23rd in the UK, whose only stoppage loss was to Golovkin in June of 2015 in Monte Carlo in the 11th round.
If Charlo and Davis get “WHAT THEY ASKED FOR” I’m sure it will not before 2019.
What’s Beef? Golovkin and Canelo
By: Kirk Jackson
Renowned Hip-Hop legend Notorious B.I.G. once posed the question in the form of a song, “What’s Beef?” from his Life After Death album.
While the conflict between Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez presents different context and thankfully nothing to the extremes of what unfortunately unfolded between Tupac Shakur and The Notorious one, there is obvious animosity between the two camps.
Team Golovkin firing off shots. And ‘Canelo’ for his part, reminding Golovkin, “Mexicans don’t fuck around,” amply responded.
Look at what we have here. Genuine disgust and dislike between two parties. Drama unfolding in a dynamic storyline full of controversy with the potential for an even more provocative ending, dependent on a few variables.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission had its monthly meeting this past Wednesday, voting to uphold Alvarez’s suspension for failing two drug tests to six months.
The suspension kicks into effect the date of the initial failed drug test Feb. 17, lifting the suspension Aug 17, theoretically leaving just enough time for their highly anticipated rematch for September.
September also marks the anniversary of their initial encounter last year and September is a huge date for Golden Boy Promotions – fighters of Hispanic background featured to coincide with Mexican Independence weekend.
Alvarez underwent surgery to fix a minor ailment lingering in his knee, which makes sense given he has the free time now to do so.
“He had a cyst taken out of his knee,” Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez clarified to ESPN on Friday night.
“It’s not an injury. Since the fight [with Gennady Golovkin] was canceled, now was the time for him to take care of it. It was something that has been bothering him. And so now, since he isn’t fighting, it was time to take care of it. But he would have been ready to fight on May 5 if there was a fight. There is no structural problem with his knee.”
Leaving room for September. If only Golovkin can manage to get past his opponent; Canelo’s replacement for May 5.
“Vanes Martirosyan is now the most important fight of my career,” Golovkin said.
“He has my respect, and I am training hard to defend my titles against him. I am happy to be back on HBO and fighting at StubHub Center because they have great boxing fans. I will give my fans another big drama show.”
By all appearances, this looks like a cherry-pick; granted this is a fight on short notice, but it’s not like Golovkin is without viable options.
The intention is not to discredit Martirosyan, as he is pitted in an impossible scenario, albeit a situation he volunteered for.
Martirosyan hasn’t fought in two years, his last fight a defeat to Erislandy Lara in the junior middleweight division. Martirosyan is now asked to face the best fighter pound-for-pound according to ESPN.
Other talented, qualified fighters are available for Golovkin.
IBF mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko 12-0 (10 KO’s) is a hungry contender and will be in prime position for the IBF strap if the sanctioning body strips Triple G of the title.
Undefeated former junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade 25-0 (16 KO’s) was another option, but unfortunately phased out of the equation.
The route for Golovkin appears to be the path with least resistance; a road quite familiar for one of boxing’s best fighters.
In spite of past success and earning three world titles, Triple G’s level of opposition was average until last year.
As Golovkin enters the final stage of his professional career, many questions remain.
Triple G is chasing the middleweight title defense record belonging to Bernard Hopkins and questions remain whether if he will surpass the record held by Hopkins, if he will travel the same path in regards to his ascension towards higher weight classes and if he’ll take on the young challengers aiming for the throne.
The middleweight division endured a lapse of overall talent for most of the decade, only recently experiencing a resurgence of talent with the emergence of Daniel Jacobs, Billie Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo, Alvarez, Derevyanchenko and Andrade.
As we enter a burgeoning period of renaissance for the historic middleweight division, will Golovkin remain in the division to thwart off challengers and fellow champions alike?
Will he ascend to the higher weights, facing new challenges as the previous middleweight king before him?
Or is he on his way towards retirement, seeking one or two large paydays, aiming for further financial security?
If the latter option is the answer, securing one or two more fights with Canelo is on the menu for Triple G.
Fights with Alvarez will draw the most interest from the public because there is legitimate dislike between the camps. Controversy is involved and controversy sells.
Consequences from the ‘PED Scandal’ will incite interest, potentially magnifying the polarizing effect for Alvarez.
The drug test results along with the results from their fight dating back to last September created strong division amongst spectators and the narrative of good battling evil so-to-speak between two fighters (which is good theater).
Emotions continue to stir, will Golovkin and Alvarez meet in the ring again?