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Gennedy Golovkin: Feud with Saul Alvarez will become respect after fight

The bad blood between two fighting men known as Canelo and Triple G is flowing so freely down this Strip in the desert that the notion of them sharing a few Coronas and fond recollections seems as likely as Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton kissing and making up.

Hell, Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin have not spoken one word to each other in the seven months leading up to their world middleweight title hate rematch here this Saturday night.

Nor is either of them promising to shake hands once they have buried a cesspit of controversies, though hopefully not one another, under a barrage of vengeful blows. 

Gennady Golovkin is looking forward to sharing mutual respect with rival Saul Alvarez

Rather, each wants to inflict as much physical harm as inhumanly possible within the laws of boxing.

Yet, at the eleventh hour before the first bell in the T-Mobile Arena, Golovkin is foretelling a future which will slowly emerge from all the murderous threats and malign insults into a karma of mutual respect and admiration.

How is that possible?

‘Old school,’ says Golovkin. That and the waging of a ring war so violent that it will define a glorious legacy for both himself and Canelo.

‘I have seen it often in the past,’ he explains. ‘Great champions, legends, happy to bump into each other at fights and conventions down the years following their own great fights.

‘Many become close friends. A bond comes from sharing a great fight. I believe Canelo and me will become close in the future. OK, not best friends but we will come to understand each other better.

‘It is not easy. This is only for special people. I watched Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler. That was a huge fight, a history fight. Now this fight of our is similar. A history fight.

‘Maybe my son and young people like him will watch us and then, later, at times in the future ask each other ”Do you remember the night Triple G fought Canelo?” ‘If we do this right, if we both reach out for victory, we will have our history fight. The winner will be the pound-for-pound champion. If I beat Canelo it will be one big step closer to being a legend. But we can both define our legacy.’  

The pair will fight their middleweight rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday night

The pair will fight their middleweight rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday night

That includes the way he expects their potential epic will be regarded by the public. He says: ‘Yes, boxing is a business. But in a fight this huge we can open the eyes of the world that in the end a huge fight is still about the boxing and only the boxing ‘

As I say, old school.

‘A history fight is not about business. It is about boxing. People will not be talking about how much money this fight makes, only about who wins it.’ 

These are noble sentiments which can change the image of boxing and alter the perspective of this fight as it is beamed via television satellite to 160 countries around the world.

Still, the irony is that Golvokin would already have his place in the loftiest pantheon of the ring had the Nevada judges of their first fight not seen fit to contrive a draw for Canelo. 

Alvarez has become a long-term rival of Golovkin as they both seek dominance

Alvarez has become a long-term rival of Golovkin as they both seek dominance

The sole consolation of that travesty was that Triple G kept his WBC, WBA and WBO titles, thus remaining boxing’s longest-reigning unified world champion.

All but one of the local officials last September – the one who resisted the pressure of Alvarez being a cash cow for Las Vegas and scored it for Golovkin – has been replaced.

Golovkin says: ‘I respect the process, as I respect boxing. So no, I do not believe I have to knock out Canelo to win. Although if he comes trying to win I should have the chance to do that.’ 

What Triple G has not forgotten is that after their first fight Alvazez failed two drugs tests for the performance enhancing substance clenbuterol.

Neither does he believe Canelo’s plea that he unknowingly ingested contaminated meat which is common in Mexico. In turn, Alvarez has become increasingly angered by Golovkin’s broadcasting of those suspicions.

Canelo says: ‘If tested, more than half the population of Mexico would be positive for clenbuterol.’ It seems as if at least a third of his fellow countrymen and women have crossed the border to fill Las Vegas and the arena with the sounds and fervour of on this Mexico Independence Day.

Those emotions may well spur the Cinammon Kid to super-human efforts but Golovkin, having spent his entire – and notably unbeaten – professional career campaigning outside Kazakhstan will not be fazed by boxing in a hostile atmosphere abroad.

It is other, prize-fighting elements on which Canelo must rely.

The clenbuterol controversy has been reignited by his leaner, lighter, less-muscular appearance now.

Even though he still insists that it was he who should have had his hand raised in victory last September, Alvarez claims: ‘I have trained for a different fight, for speed.’ Canelo also draws our attention to their age difference, which is not a delicate matter in boxing. He is 28, Golovkin 36.

Has the intervening year aged Triple G? Not to look at hm. Facially this is still the deceptively baby-faced assassin with all those knock-outs to his record.

Unless the gym is a liar, the hand speed is still phenomenal.

The legs? That is the question, especially if Canelo boxes evasively again and Golovkin has to do the chasing.

But the punching power is the last thing a fighter losers and if Triple G does catch up with him it could be buenas noches, Canelo.

Both men hit with the kick of a mule, yet each insists he was unaffected by the other’s punches last Independence Day.

If the Mexican goes for the knock-out he is predicting, they will both be required to prove that unlikely assertion of being impervious to huge hits..

The Vegas casino odds-makers make the Kazakh the favourite, clearly on points with the chance of a KO.

So do I. But hopefully not before they deliver unto boxing the fight for the ages they have promised their sport.

Golovkin v Canelo will be televised in the early hours of Sunday UK time on BT Sports Box Office.

Their last fight, in September 2017, ended in a split draw with an initial rematch cancelled

Their last fight, in September 2017, ended in a split draw with an initial rematch cancelled

Tony Bellew will challenge Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed world cruiserweight title at Manchester Arena on November 10. Former WBC champion Bellew is stepping back down a division after two heavyweight victories over David Haye.