GENNADY GOLOVKIN was given a taste of what to expect tonight when he was shouted down by thousands of fans at the official weigh-in as Canelo Alvarez warned: “I’m going to knock you out.”
The undefeated Triple G might be defending his four world middleweight titles but is still having to take second billing for the fight they are calling ‘Supremacy’.
Even though Alvarez is billed as the challenger, it was Golovkin who was forced to be first onto the scales in MGM’s Grand Arena.
And it will be the same story tomorrow night, when Alvarez will be last to enter the ring at the T-Mobile Arena.
Both fighters looked in awesome condition as they stripped off to weigh in exactly on the middleweight limit of 160lbs.
But Golovkin could barely be heard as they tried to interview him, with his words being drowned out by boos from the overwhelmingly partisan Mexican crowd.
The bitter rivals are due back on the scales tomorrow morning, when they will not be allowed to top more than 170lbs on the day of the fight to meet IBF requirements.
But there are suggestions that Canelo might give up his claim to the IBF belt in order to bulk up by as much as 20lbs in his efforts to inflict the first defeat of Golovkin’s remarkable career.
That is exactly what happened in Triple G’s last fight, when Daniel Jacobs was believed to have weighed as much as 185lbs when he finally stepped into the ring.
But even that massive weight advantage was not enough to topple Golovkin, although he was taken the full 12 rounds for the first time.
Unbeaten Golovkin, who is putting his three world middleweight titles on the line at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, knows victory will confirm him as a boxing legend.
The champ declared: “I’m very excited because my biggest opponent is finally coming. It’s like going to meet with a new girlfriend. There’s going to be a lot of craziness.
“I look at his strategy and he looks at mine and it will be like a street fight, a bank job. Nobody will be taking a step backwards.”
Colin Hart’s verdict: Alvarez to win on points, 2/1
I HAVE the distinct feeling Golovkin has passed his peak.
So it is poker-faced Alvarez on points for me. But he is wise enough to know if he should lose concentration for a second he will end up flat out on the canvas.
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Even Alvarez’s promoter, the former six-weight world champion Oscar De La Hoya, admits his man is taking the biggest risk of his career.
Alvarez is a two-weight world champ whose only defeat in 49 fights was to Floyd Mayweather.
The red-haired Mexican started punching for pay at the age of 15 — and at 27 he is eight years younger than Golovkin.
But he is up against an opponent who has won 33 of his 37 pro contests by KO and who has been avoided by a string of top fighters.
Since Golovkin won his first world title seven years ago, 22 different men have worn versions of the middleweight crown — but only three have been brave enough to step into the ring with him.
Even Alvarez vacated his WBC belt when the Kazakh destroyer was nominated as his mandatory challenger last year.
Golovkin, the WBC, WBA and IBF king, added: “I’ve wanted this guy since he beat Miguel Cotto two years ago and they said he must fight me.
“But all my career I’ve been put in the same position. I’ve had it with Sergio Martinez, Cotto, Julio Chavez Jr, Felix Sturm and Canelo. They all put off fighting me.”
Golovkin believes the fact he was taken the distance for the first time in nine years in his last fight against Daniel Jacobs, has encouraged the Canelo camp. De La Hoya declared: “I’m going to call this fight as eight to nine rounds of hell for both guys. But this is what Canelo wanted.
“I’ve been asked why this fight wasn’t made three years ago, but only last year Canelo was at junior-middleweight and Golovkin has been middleweight all his life.”
But Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez insisted: “Canelo would have gone up to middleweight two years ago if Gennady wasn’t here.
“Canelo is going to get hit in the face and he’s going to get hurt. If he can’t keep Gennady off him it’s a matter of time before he’s finished.”
Alvarez admitted: “It will be a big risk to work close quarters with him, but if you don’t take risks you don’t win fights. I risk everything in every fight, and so does he. I was paid 800 pesos (about £40) for my first pro fight but boxing has made me the man I am today.”
Golovkin has never taken a count and claimed: “I don’t feel the power of my opponents. But one punch can change your life for ever.”
No one appreciates that risk more than Canelo’s trainer Jose ‘Chepo’ Reynoso, who warned: “It’s dangerous when you face a fighter in his prime who can punch like Golovkin.
“They’ve handed us a stick of dynamite and we have to be careful that it doesn’t explode on the night.”
Canelo v Golovkin is live tonight on BoxNation Box Office. Press the Box Office button on your Sky remote or buy online at www.boxnation.com