Vegas Strip lowdown

Super-middleweights prepare for battle.

The final press conference for the massive 168lbs (12 stone) trilogy fight between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin took place today without any of the usual fireworks this close to fight night. Both fighters have shared twenty four of the finest rounds witnessed in boxing in the last five years. Saturday promises to be more of the same.

Mexican, Alvarez and Kazakh, Golovkin exuded confidence, but respect was the order of the day. Canelo to this point had referred to his adversary as a “fraud”, not specifically for his fighting ability but for his perceived view that GGG was different when face-to-face than in his posts on social media. Golovkin has had similar contempt for his opponent on the basis of making comments to clean up the sport by emerging victorious on Saturday.

On the dais today a sense of realisation may have kicked in but both oozed confidence. Golovkin’s ever present smile only diminishes when he’s inside the ropes, or in this case nose-to-nose with Canelo. This continued today.

Both fighters know they’re in a fight. Golovkin, first up said “We are both professional athletes. His strategy is more aggressive. My strategy is more experience. In the ring we’ll show who is better. This is the biggest fight for us.”

Alvarez had spoken over the last few weeks of ending Golovkin’s career, of ending it by knockout. When quizzed today he responded “The pressure I’ve put on myself is to win this fight inside the distance, it’s going to be tough, but I’m ready”.

Discussion on weight is ever present in the build up to this fight. Can Golovkin be as strong and powerful moving up ? Will he carry the one punch power which he’s renowned for ? His KO record is phenomenal at this level. Now aged 40 he will be relieved by not having to shed the extra poundage.

Will Canelo comfortably slip back to 168lbs after losing his last fight to Dmitry Bivol at 175 ? Is it harder to move up, or move down. Who is most comfortable with this at their respective ages ? All key questions that will be answered on Saturday.

As they stood nose-to-nose the height differential is obvious. Golovkin towers over Canelo and looks lean compared to the compact figure of the Mexican. For Canelo it presents lots of body to work against, for Golovkin the jab might be decisive. Both are exceptional at either.

Tomorrow’s weigh-in will give us a glimpse of each fighter’s preparation and although both are completely bored with it by now, that final face-off may be a bit tasty.

The battle is close to commencing to determine the 160-168 pounder of this generation and all of boxing, 20,000 in attendance at the Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena and those watching on DAZN will be transfixed. A victory for either shouldn’t define the legacy of each, but Vegas is cruel and has no place for losers.

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