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Boxing: Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez hate each other

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Even though the third fight between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez took four years, Saturday night’s showdown still seemed inevitable and necessary.

It’s because the first two fights between these transcendent talented boxers didn’t really resolve one of the most beautiful rivalries of this era.

At the traditional weigh-in, in front of thousands of people on an outdoor stage, Golovkin tipped the scales to 167.8 pounds while Alvarez was at 167.4 pounds.

Their first two fights ended in a draw and a close win for Alvarez, but many observers believe Golovkin deserved the win in one or both fights. It’s the nature of the sport inaccurate, but nearly everyone agrees that neither fighter was clearly superior to the other in their 24 rounds.

“We had two great fights and we shook hands,” Golovkin said via an interpreter. But we still have some business to settle. “

This relationship will take place at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, where a rowdy crowd on Mexican Independence Day weekend hopes to see a fitting conclusion to a trilogy that clearly brings out the best of two well-matched champions.

Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) has been the best middleweight in the world for most of the last decade, while Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) is a four-division world champion with a huge fan base and a reckless reputation for taking on any opponent in multiple weight classes.

Alvarez is the betting favorite and popular choice for this third bout, even as he is coming out of his second career defeat, a one-sided defeat to light heavyweight Dmitry Bivol.

Alvarez and Golovkin meet this time in the super middleweight, with Golovkin dropping from 160 to 168 pounds for the first time in his career. Alvarez has won all four major 168-pound world titles in a year that ended late last year and his comfort in the higher categories is a factor in his favor.

“I have a lot of motivation for this fight, but I’m hungry for every fight,” said Alvarez. I don’t like this guy and what he says about me, so that’s good for my motivation. I am ready to end this (the rivalry) and prove that I am the best. “

Golovkin’s defeat in the first fight in 2017 infuriated him after he strafed his opponent with quick combinations for 12 rounds, and even Alvarez acknowledged that the judges’ scores were generous. Alvarez was feeling better for his second performance, while Golovkin still thought he had shown enough tactical skills and done enough damage to win again.

Four years later, it’s hard to tell if either fighter is still on top as they showed in 2018.

Golovkin, 40, has only fought four times since his single career defeat, while Alvarez’s defeat at light heavyweights in May sparked rumors that the 32-year-old superstar had reached the pinnacle of a busy career.

Alvarez clearly doesn’t like Golovkin, who was understandably furious when their second fight was delayed by Canelo’s positive test for a performance-enhancing substance. According to most reports, Alvarez was less interested in a third bout than Golovkin, which resulted in a long delay between fights.

“My dream would be to win this fight and retire him,” Alvarez said last month. This would be the end result for me, so I’ll try. “

Golovkin said he has no plans to retire and is focused on revenge for the only defeat of his professional career, which first turned heads at the Athens Olympics for Kazakhstan, then eventually became a world star after moving to California.

Outside of the actual fight, there are indications that a four-year interval may have been too long. Incidentally, not all tickets have sold out for the event this week and the general buzz that accompanied the first two fights this time around is at a lower level.

Given the high stakes in this third fight, both fighters recognize the possibility of both technicians giving in to the overwhelming impulse to fight. If Golovkin or Alvarez decide his legacy is at stake, they both say they won’t hesitate to do anything to win.

“This is just how I feel during the fight,” Golovkin said. If I see that I can dominate using my power, I will. If I see that I have to rely on my speed, I will. I’ll do whatever it takes. I think he will too. “

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