By Marc Livitz: The clock continues to tick downward in the direction of one of the most significant championship contests in recent memory. Just moments after Saul "Canelo" Alvarez coasted to a resounding win over Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. last May, the one fighter who could give the evening in Las Vegas a resounding finale made his way to the ring to openly challenge the lineal middleweight champion from Mexico.
Much to the surprise of the boxing media as well as fans, fear of a long awaited, drawn out saga between the respective promotional camps of Alvarez and middleweight king (WBC, WBO, IBO & IBF) Gennady "GGG" Golovkin would be quickly put to rest. The showdown for perhaps the biggest claim in boxing today
was to be a reality on September 16 in Las Vegas. Canelo (49-1-1, 34 KO’s) didn’t have it in him four years ago to beat Floyd Mayweather, but then again, no one has. Nevertheless, he’s taken on all comers and hasn’t wavered much leading up to his clash with Gennady at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 KO’s), the knockout machine originally from Kazakhstan has managed to endear himself to fans worldwide, much due to his come forward, heavy hitting style of fighting. Many argue, however that his last outing in the ring (vs Danny Jacobs) did a bit to expose his tactics, if not more than a few signs of vulnerability. "GGG" was awarded a unanimous decision victory, so no more blocks stood in the way of an eagerly awaited contest with a certain redheaded champion from Guadalajara.
An aspect of the epic battles in the ring associated with Golovkin and Alvarez which can often be overlooked is the guiding hand of the people who work their corners. To that end, Abel Sanchez (trainer of Golovkin) and Eddy Reynoso (Canelo) have clearly worked wonders in regard to the success of the two men. In a head-to-head fashion, Sanchez and Reynoso took part in an international media conference call to discuss the upcoming showdown in Nevada. As they fielded questions from the press, each trainer gave a glimpse of what hopefully can be expected in a handful of weeks from now.
Selected Highlights Listed Below
Opening Statements, Tom Loeffler of GGG Promotions: "We couldn’t be more excited about this event. It’s the biggest in boxing. There’s no other way to describe it. Everything has gone smooth working with Golden Boy. I’ve visited Gennady’s camp up in Big Bear (California) a few times. We’ve never had so many media requests to go there."
Opening Statements, Abel Sanchez: "Training is going great and we’re looking forward to September 16. I think that these are the two best fighters in all of boxing. If these are the two best boxers, then these are the two best trainers, also. The winner on the 16th is the best fighter not only that night, but also in boxing."
Sanchez’s Outlook and Thoughts on Canelo & Camp: "I see both guys being aggressive and Gennady being more physical. Canelo has proven he’s a warrior and always looking for a tough fight. I think we’ll be treated to a throwback fight like in the 80’s with the "Four Kings". I have respect for Eddie and Chepo (Reynoso) doing some things to counteract what we’ve been doing. I think that once the first few rounds are completed, the chess match will end and they’re going to go at each other."
Eddy Reynoso’s Reply: "The most important thing for us is that our fighter wins. With the results come all the recognition but the most important thing is for us to win on September 16th."
Sanchez on Mexican Boxing Heritage: "I’m proud of the two Mexican trainers who are guiding the two best fighters in the sport. I am glad that the fans recognize that it’s not only a Mexican fighter who’s fighting a man who fights like a Mexican, but also that there’s two proud Mexican trainers with them. "
Reynoso on the Same: We’re happy for what we’ve achieved and we’re doing what we loved. We want to keep this up so that one day, we can be considered the best in the game."
On Whether Golovkin is a True Mexican Style Fighter: "It’s obvious that he has some parts of the Mexican style, but let’s not forget that he’s from Kazakhstan and that’s where his roots are. He can fight like one and in that style but he can never truly be that."
Abel Sanchez’s Reply: "I think what lots of Mexican fans have liked about Gennady is that he fights so aggressively and in the style of great fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez and Ruben Olivares."
If the winner on Sept. 16 is boxing’s best, pound-for-pound: "I don’t think that’s for me to say. I think the fans and the media will decide."
On Gennady’s Focus: "He’s looking forward to this. He sees Canelo as his biggest challenge. His anticipation level for this fight is as high as I can remember."
Abel’s Thoughts on Canelo: "I’ve seen tremendous improvement. When he had him here in camp when he was 19-20 years old, he looked like he could be great and the fights he’s been in since then have made him a great fighter."
Reynoso on neutralizing Golovkin’s strategy: "It’s not just the jab. It’s a lot of aspects. He’s a very aggressive fighter. We’re making the adjustments in camp to be ready for that. I truly believe that Canelo is a more complete and more intelligent fighter. Putting this all together will help us win on September 16th. Golovkin has a style that makes fights pleasing. It will adapt to Canelo’s style but we of course have to be ready for his power."
"Without a doubt, this is the most dangerous fight of Canelo’s career. In a country as big as America, for every one fan who supports Golovkin, there’s nine who support Canelo."
Sanchez on if Golovkin took the night off w/ Danny Jacobs to get the Canelo bout:
No, you’d never take a chance at losing a fight or having the judges seeing it another way. There was no intent on our part to look bad. We did what we needed to do to win, but by no wins did we slack off in any way."