Canelo Alvarez is a world boxing superstar, a multi-weight champion and a veteran of more than 60 professional competitions.
But he admits this weekend’s game against Gennadiy Golovkin will be the most personal battle of his career.
“Yes, I think so,” said Alvarez. “It would be very sweet to me.”
Alvarez and Golovkin had fought twice in the middleweight unification matches. Their first contest in 2017 was a controversial draw. A rematch was delayed as Alvarez was suspended for six months for an adverse finding in a drug test that he blamed on eating tainted meat.
When the second battle finally took place in 2018, the Mexicans won by majority decision.
As far as both warriors are concerned, their business is far from complete. When he arrived in Las Vegas for his third match, for the super middleweight title, where Alvarez is now the undisputed champion, Golovkin declared, “This isn’t just for me, [it’s] for sports. I want to bring back the status of boxing, I want a clean sport. “
The comments questioned his integrity infuriated Alvarez, who said: “The history we have, after the second battle, he said a lot of things about me, so that’s why why I take this personally.
“It means a lot because people will remember this trilogy, so it means a lot to me.”
Their enmity runs deep. Even his mother “hated Golovkin so much”.
“You’ll hear a lot of bad talk from my mom in the arena,” Alvarez said with a smile. “But what is it, it’s my mother.”
Although Golovkin was never stopped, Alvarez would have made it to the knockout stage. “Look, that’s my goal,” said the champion.
“But you never know in boxing. That’s my goal. I’m prepared for that. But you never know. I’ll jump into the ring and fight with my head. That’s the goal. My goal, I’ll try all my fighting to finish the fight before round 12. But you never know.”
The Mexican boxer is a boxer of terrible form and will aim for Golovkin there. “I think he has a lot of pain in his body so that’s why I’m going to work a lot on Saturday,” he said of the Kazakh.
“He’s still going strong and it’s going to be a good fight,” Alvarez added. “I think this fight will be the best of the three.”
Although he still holds all four major super-middleweight belts, Alvarez is on the decline. In May, he moved up to light-heavyweight and was knocked out and overtaken by WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.
“Everything matters. I want to win every fight. That’s important to me, to my legacy,” he said. “I learned a lot [from the Bivol defeat]. I just learned what I don’t need to do in my training camp and a fight. I learned a lot, you learn from everything. “
He fought regularly before that match. One of the lessons he learned from the last fight was not to be too aggressive. He will not return this year after Golovkin.
“I’ve been fighting four times in 11 months so I think my body needs a little rest between matches,” he explained. “I need to slow down. My body needs a little rest so I’ll slow down a bit this year.”
However, Alvarez insists that the loss to Bivol did not hurt his standing in the sport.
“I have nothing to prove. In my position, no one takes risks like me,” he claimed.
“In my position, I don’t have to take risks. But I take risks because I love boxing. I love what I do and I love challenges. I don’t need to prove anything. .”