Gennady Golovkin faces Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Las Vegas on September 16
For many boxing fans, it is the fight they have been waiting for all year
Golovkin is unbeaten but Canelo is seen as the next big pay-per-view draw
Boxing fans have been spoiled for choice in 2017.
In almost every weight division, in every corner of the globe, there’s been something for everyone – be that the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor circus act, Manny Pacquiao’s controversial loss to Jeff Horn, the bulldozing brilliance of Andre Ward, Anthony Joshua’s coming-of-age at Wembley and so much more.
But the best is yet to come.
Because next Saturday night, in the wild desert of Nevada, two of the sport’s most entertaining stars come face-to-face.
For boxing purists, this is the fight of the summer – a chance to see how the undefeated, 37-0 Gennady Golovkin compares to the Mexican eight years his junior.
Golovkin has pledged to make the event ‘a fight boxing can be proud of’, while Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has gone one step further, predicting ‘one of the great fights in the history of boxing’.
SO IS IT REALLY THAT MASSIVE?
Well, if the enthusiasm of fee-paying fans is anything to go by, the answer is an emphatic yes.
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is sold out, according to promoters Golden Boy and K-2 Promotions, and has been since July.
Remember, Mayweather-McGregor still had tickets available on the morning of their meeting in the same venue last month.
Furthermore, the promoters have suggested that the gate will hit $30million, making it the third largest in Vegas history – after the May-Mac shenanigans and Mayweather-Pacquiao in 2015.
WHY IS IT SO POPULAR?
Well, unlike the last big boxing event to be staged at the T-Mobile, this match features two top-pedigree boxers at the pinnacle of the sport.
Despite being significantly younger than his opponent, Alvarez has a wealth of experience under his belt – with 51 fights to Golovkin’s 37.
Though he has yet to prove himself fully at middleweight – the level at which the pair meet this month – the combative Guadalajaran has not lost in the division, his only defeat coming at welterweight against Mayweather in 2013.
There’s also incredible popular appeal in the fight being staged on Mexican Independence Day, which should help the pay-per-view demand.
Throw into the mix the fact that boxing fans have been wanting to see Alvarez take on the challenge of Golovkin for more than two years and you start to understand just why this is capturing the imagination.
SO IT’S BEEN IN THE OFFING FOR A WHILE?
Alvarez had been seen to be running away from Golovkin when he vacated his middleweight title in 2015 after being ordered to fight the Kazakh having comfortably disposed of Amir Khan.
Instead – with promoter Oscar de la Hoya saying the match-up needed to ‘marinate’ further – he dropped to welterweight, beat Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr before finding himself stewed sufficiently to agree to Golovkin.
BUT IS IT GOING TO BE ANY GOOD?
If the two fighters’ recent comments are anything to go by, we should be in for a cracker.
‘This is our Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend gift to boxing and to boxing fans,’ promised Golovkin.
‘The fans have been asking for this fight for years. Canelo vs Golovkin Fight We are going to give a great battle. I am very excited to be finally fighting in Las Vegas, but I am more excited that it is against Canelo.
‘The energy will be off the charts. Let me repeat… this is a fight boxing can be proud of.’
Alvarez added: ‘I know what I have in front of me. I know he’s a strong fighter. He is the most dangerous opponent of my career, but I’m ready for him and what’s next to come.
‘That’s why we prepared, and to give the fans a beautiful fight. This fight’s for you; this fight’s for all the fans who have been asking for it.
‘We know that in fights, it takes two to tango. I’m ready, and you know what you’ll get from me. Let’s just hope he brings it as well.’
DO THEIR STYLES LEND TO AN ABSORBING CONTEST?
These two have all the tools to turn this into an epic.
Alvarez’s fierce uppercut vs Golovkin’s jack-hammer jab; GGG’s intensity vs Alvarez’s staying power; the Mexican’s combination work vs his Kazakh opponent’s defensive nous.
If there’s one fight to stay up for in Las Vegas this year, it’s most certainly this one.