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GGG vs Canelo: It’s Getting Ugly

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  • GGG vs Canelo: It’s Getting Ugly

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    By David A. Avila

    LOS ANGELES-Crowds surrounded the eastern side of the new soccer stadium built on the old L.A. Sports Arena site, waiting to see middleweight champions Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and super welterweight champion Jaime Munguia on Sunday afternoon.

    A 220 yard-long Conga line formed along Figueroa Street waiting to get into the Banc of California Stadium.

    One reason: Triple G and Canelo are about to get it on and they don’t like each other. They brought along little brother Munguia to serve as a buffer between the middleweight division’s two baddest bad boys.

    Less than three weeks remain until Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) and Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) meet at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the middleweight belts. HBO pay-per-view will telecast the Sept. 15 event promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions.

    It’s the rematch of the 12-round slugfest that took place nearly a year ago in Las Vegas that ended in a majority draw. A lot has transpired since then.

    Alvarez and Golovkin were scheduled to meet this past May but the Mexican redhead failed a PED test in February and was subsequently suspended. Golovkin fought Vanes Martirosyan instead and annihilated the Californian in two rounds.

    Words and accusations were slung like spitballs by each camp since that cancellation. A once friendly rivalry has now turned ugly ever since Golovkin’s camp accused Alvarez of not fighting “Mexican style” and for a number of other things.

    “I am happy to get at Canelo again. It is another big chance to beat him again,” said Golovkin, 36. “Of course I want to knock out Canelo. It would be nice if Canelo came to fight this time.”

    One of the stark accusations flung by Golovkin’s camp was Alvarez not fighting like a Mexican.

    “There is no defined Mexican style,” said Alvarez, 28, who was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. “There is no typical style. I’m a Mexican and that’s what is important.”

    Neither fighter saw the other face to face.

    “I did lose all respect for him,” said Golovkin who once shared a training camp and sparred with Alvarez several years ago in Big Bear. “Canelo is not the biggest name in boxing, just the biggest scandal.”

    Alvarez feels that some of the accusations are not merely from Golovkin’s camp but also from the media. He keeps a sharp eye on all who question him.

    “This fight is personal because of all that's been said, and it will be difficult to regain the respect that we once had,” said Alvarez about any future friendship with Golovkin. “The statements that have been made about me have given me more motivation to train harder.”

    Split Support

    Golovkin smiled throughout the media day event, content with seeing so many supporters in a city dominated by a Latino population. There are roughly 10 million people in the greater Los Angeles area and more than 60 percent are Latino. Of those, more than 70 percent are of Mexican descent. Many support Golovkin as was evident at the media day.

    But Alvarez still maintains a strong hold on fans as demonstrated by the loud cheers from his fans. Even Munguia got a piece of their cheers on the moderately warm afternoon.

    It was the very first time any boxing related event was held in the spanking new stadium located on Figueroa and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

    Blue and gold Kazakhstan flags mixed with “Triple G” hats dotted the crowd that easily exceeded 3,000 fans for those in favor of Golovkin. Others had Mexican flags and Canelo hats for the Mexican fighter.

    Both fighters were interviewed on the makeshift boxing ring and also shadow boxed. Alvarez was the last to appear in front of the fans. He was blunt about the upcoming clash.

    “Like I've said many times, the first fight gave me the guideline for the second fight. I know that I can do many things in the ring against him. I know that I can hurt him. I hurt him in the first fight, and I'm going to hurt him even more in the second fight,” said Alvarez. “My objective is the knockout and I'll be looking for that from the opening round.”

    Meanwhile, Munguia watched the entire drama unfold in front of him with keen interest through the tunnel at the stadium. The tall WBC super welterweight world champion from Tijuana, Mexico has a fight date against little known Brandon Cook of Canada. But he was spellbound watching the bigger middleweight rivals.

    “Maybe, in a couple of years,” said Munguia, hinting toward fighting one or the other.

    But on Sunday, the smiling champion from Mexico was the buffer to the middleweight giants who return to settle their differences on Sept. 15.


    Limited tickets still remain for the world title card. Prices remaining are $5,000, $2,000, $1,500, $800, $700 and $500. For more information call (888) 929-7849.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    The fighters here genuinely do not seem to like each other. Not sure yet how that will make things play out in the ring.

    The promotion for this fight has been quite lacking. The way this rematch is being promoted is in a way similar to that of Ward-Kovalev II. There is a story line (controversy from the first fight) and compelling event but those involved for the most part seem to be hoping it sells itself. Ward-Kovalev II was pretty much a PPV bust. We will see if the promoters are right and Canelo-Golovkin II does not need much hyping. And very quietly, the PPV price has been bumped to $84.95 for HD for the rematch.