Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 | 2 a.m.
The real megafight is almost here.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will step into the ring Saturday at T-Mobile Arena to decide the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
The bout hasn’t been preceded by continuous jawing between the fighters, or backpacks of money being thrown in the air, or expletive-lined suits. Alvarez and Golovkin respect each other and know this fight is about deciding who is the very best in the sport.
“I don’t like to talk too much," Alvarez said. “I just want to say that I’m prepared. I know it will be a tough fight. I just want you all to enjoy it like I’m going to enjoy it.”
The fight won’t break the pay-per-view records set by either of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s fights with Conor McGregor or Manny Pacquiao, but Golden Boy Promotions did sell the arena out in less than two weeks.
It does, however, pit two of the sport’s best against each other while they are in the prime of their careers — something neither of the two highest grossing fights of all time did.
Golovkin will be defending his IBO, IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles against Alvarez, who is eight years younger.
“This event needs no hype whatsoever,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “This is a fight that’s a can’t-miss event. That’s the bottom line. It’s going to be a great fight because of what is at stake: pride and fighting for your country and boxing fans. This is a fight for the sport of boxing, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”
Alvarez, who enters with a 49-1-1 record (34 knockouts) and fresh off his impressive unanimous decision win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6, has knocked out eight of his last 13 opponents.
“I’m really, really excited to get in and fight,” Alvarez said. “The excitement is there. The adrenaline is there. I have nothing to say to him. They know what kind of fighter I am. I’m prepared. I’m ready. All I want to tell him is, 'Look, let’s give the fans a great fight.'”
But Alvarez has fought above 155 pounds once in his career (his win over Chavez Jr. earlier this year), while the undefeated Golovkin has never fought below 158.5 pounds.
The fighters will weigh in at 160 pounds, and there are no rehydration limits preventing Glolovkin from ballooning up for fight night. Golovkin stands only an inch taller than Alvarez, but he will be much larger in the ring Saturday night.
“I feel comfortable,” Golovkin said. “I see that Canelo is ready. He is ready for serious business, a serious fight. This fight will be the biggest gift to the people.”
The 35-year-old from Kazakhstan brings a 37-0 record into the fight with 33 knockouts, and had finished 23 straight fighters before Daniel Jacobs was able to go the distance with him in March.
“I don’t want to talk too much,” Golovkin said. “I am ready. I respect Canelo’s team. This is a big day not only for us, but for boxing and this era. This will be a huge, historic fight at T-Mobile Arena.”
The HBO pay-per-view begins at an early start time of 5 p.m.