World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Tuesday promised to deliver an explosive sequel to their epic draw as they faced off ahead of their May 5 rematch.
Hard-hitting Kazakh Golovkin was widely believed to have won last September’s first battle against Mexican star Alvarez, when a bizarre judging controversy dominated the aftermath of the bout.
While one judge scored the fight for Golovkin and another had it even, there was widespread astonishment at the card of judge Adalaide Byrd, who marked it 118-110 in favour of Alvarez.
On Tuesday the two fighters came face-to-face before a crowd of fans in downtown Los Angeles – and both vowed that judges would not be a factor when they climb into the ring again at Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena in what is likely to be one of the fights of the year.
“Everything is ready for an amazing show,” Golovkin told reporters, unsurprisingly adamant that he had won the first bout.
“I felt very comfortable. I felt I won – 100 percent,” added Golovkin, 37-0 with one draw and 33 knockouts.
Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, meanwhile taunted Alvarez’s hit-and-run strategy in the first meeting.
“I definitely think he ran a lot more than we thought he was going to,” Sanchez said.
“I talked to [Michael] Jordan about it and asked if he could make us some shoes so that we can go a bit faster and are able to catch him.
“I hope for the fans that he puts on the fight that he said he was going to do the first time.”
Alvarez, 49-1 with two drawn and 34 knockouts, was unimpressed with Sanchez’s barbs, insisting he had done enough to win the first instalment.
“I went in there, I outboxed him, I went on the ropes, I made him miss, I controlled the centre of the ring,” Alvarez said.
“I’m a technical fighter. I’m not a jack-ass who just comes forward, throwing punches and gets hit.
“I hope [Sanchez] goes home tonight and really thinks about what he says. Because he’s saying stupid, idiotic things.”
Alvarez, however, acknowledged he could have been more aggressive in the first fight, maintaining that he had not taken advantage of openings that presented themselves.
That was something he plans to rectify in the rematch.
“I learned a lot,” Alvarez said. “When I made him miss there were a lot of openings that I didn’t take advantage of. Now I’m going to work in the gym to take advantage of those chances.
“We both want to win convincingly. We both want to erase any doubt. And that’s going to make the fight more interesting – because if we take more risks, there’s going to be more openings.”
Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler meanwhile said his team would pay close attention to the judges chosen for the Nevada fight, and would not hesitate to object to any appointed individual they were unhappy with.
“There’s going to be a lot more focus on the judges going into this fight,” Loeffler said.
“We have the right to object to any judges we think aren’t going to be satisfactory. Hopefully the judges won’t be a factor.”