By Marc Livitz: Even the announcement of a contest between two fighters of different disciplines could not railroad the excitement surrounding September 16. Historically speaking, the Saturday evening which falls closest to Mexican Independence Day often plays host to a truly significant contest between two high profile competitors. Just a shade over six weeks separates the boxing world from the showdown between Mexican megastar Saul "Canelo Alvarez and Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (37-0, 33 KO’s). Collective sighs of relief were exhaled in early May when we learned that provided Canelo (49-1-1, 34 KO’s) got past Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., then a contest between he and his undefeated opponent from Kazakhstan would have the green light.
It only took one year, give or take to materialize as opposed to half a decade or more, which is in some instances the illustration of boxing’s "business first" model. Just a few days were needed for the bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to officially be declared a sold out event. As we’ve seen in the past, tickets to watch the fight on a closed circuit basis at a number of hotel ballrooms in Sin City have been made available, as is the case with cinemas nationwide. This one’s big and plainly stated, it’s for all the proverbial marbles in the middleweight division.
On Tuesday afternoon from his home base in San Diego, California, Canelo took part in an international media conference call to discuss the titanic matchup slated for the 16th of September. In tow with the former two-division world champion were CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya as well as his manager, Jose "Chepo " Reynoso and head trainer Eddie Reynoso.
Selected Highlights Listed Below
Opening Statements from De La Hoya: "This is by far the biggest fight of 2017 and this will be an all action event between two great fighters. The response has been incredible and the tickets sold out very quickly.
Opening Statements from "Chepo" Reynoso: "We’re excited about this fight and it’s coming up close. The training has been going as planned. We’ve been preparing for an intense fight."
Eddie Reynoso: "We’re marching towards this fight and everything has been going as planned. We’re very excited as the date gets closer."
Greeting from Canelo Alvarez: "Hello, everyone. I’m ready for this fight that’s in front of me. I’ve prepared well and I’m ready to give everyone a great fight."
Canelo on Seeking a Knockout: "This is a fight where both fighters possess lots of power. I don’t think they’re underestimating my power. We have styles where each could win by knockout and this is what makes it so exciting. Any fighter dreams of winning by knockout and that what the fans want to see. Of course, I would like to win that way."
"In boxing, anything is possible. Even a fighter who doesn’t have lots of punching power can connect with that perfect shot and change the fight."
On the history of Mexican Boxing and his place in it: "This can be one of the best fights in history. On paper, it can rival some of the big fights of the past but it really all depends on how it turns out. I know I’ll do my part. There’s been many historic fights with Mexican fighters. This one is certainly of that caliber. The ingredients are there for this to be a great fight."
Eddie Reynoso on passing the time during camp: "We do a little bit of everything. We do some singing. We do what we like. We go watch baseball. We’ll be ready. There’s no fear. We asked for this fight."
Canelo on what he’s learned since his loss to Floyd Mayweather: "I have learned a lot and I feel more confident. It wasn’t just that fight, but also the ones after it. I have much more experience now. He beat me because of experience and he had more fights under his belt. This fight is different because I am more confident now. I’m much more of a complete fighter now."
De La Hoya’s take on the same: "Canelo is ambitious. Yes, he took that fight too soon but the progress he’s made has been incredible. His jab has improved and so have his punches. It’s a testament to him wanting to become the very best."
Canelo on feeling the pressure of the event: "I asked for this and I like this. I’ve often pictured myself being among the best. I’ve always wanted the biggest fights and the biggest challenges. There’s really no pressure. Whatever it takes to win and make it memorable, that’s what I’ll do."
"This will be a very hard fight but I will guarantee that because of the styles, this will be a great night."
If he feels an advantage fighting in Las Vegas: "Fighting in Vegas is not an advantage when you fight a veteran like Golovkin. He’ll be ready to fight no matter where we are."
If previous sparring sessions with Golovkin are a plus: "I was able to pick up a bit but you can’t really compare a sparring session to an actual fight. Yes, I picked up a bit but this doesn’t tell you everything and I’d never base my training on that."
Eddie Reynoso’s Opinions on GGG’s Weaknesses: "There’s a few things that we’ve noticed. We’re looking to exploit them on September 16. They’re weaknesses he’s always had."
De La Hoya on the fight’s place in middleweight history: "We have to wait for the actual fight to see what takes place. In terms of magnitude and the attention that it’s received, this is very big. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s one of the best in the history of the middleweight division."
On Competition from Mayweather vs McGregor 2 Weeks Prior: "We’re concentrating on our fight and our event. We have the real fight and the real event. I think the fans have recognized that.
Canelo’s answer if he’d fight Conor McGregor should he win: "If that miracle happens, then it’s a different conversation but I doubt it very much."