“To protect the sheep you have to catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf.”
–Alonzo Harris, Denzel Washington’s badass fight fan from ‘Training Day’
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In painting embattled Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34KOs) as a lying ‘Big Bad Wolf’ who will huff and then puff and won’t blow a damn thing down, loquacious veteran trainer Abel Sanchez wasn’t about to act sheepish about the ‘dirty beef’ that exists between Alvarez and his ward, longtime middleweight kingpin Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34KOs).
Mere weeks away from their titanic rematch at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on September 15, Sanchez joined Canelo lead trainer Eddy Reynoso on Wednesday for an international media conference call dipped in bad blood.
It’s been an interesting summer. Having been sequestered in the throes of an artificial intelligence free camping expedition that felt more like a Native safari, it’s almost refreshing to rejoin civilization and catch up on 2018’s superfight.
We learn about a rare stacked card in boxing, which will feature new HBO star Jaimie Munguia, David Lemiuex and a returning Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.
We also learn about HBO’s “Canelo Blog”, released just before the conference call. The modern Golden Boy is pissed – which can be good or bad – and seems primed to give Golovkin a supernatural beating, likening the Kazakhstani menace to “a donkey” while reserving the bulk of his ire flavored ink for “a dumbass [pendejo]” in Sanchez.
“He’s childish. I feel that he’s responding. He’s reading these things and it’s affecting him. But the reason I’m saying these things is that they are facts. Tell me where I’m lying. Did he not test positive? Did he not cancel our fight? Did he not cause an uproar with fans and tickets and reservation as a consequence of what he did? So I’m not insulting him.”
—Abel Sanchez, on Canelo
When you’re guiding a Hall of Fame fighter on the cusp of breaking the record of Bernard Hopkins’ record setting middleweight reign, you know that talk is cheap and can prove expensive. Sanchez even managed to fire shots at B-Hop during the call, mentioning Hopkin’s rematches with Robert Allen and Antwan Echols, in addition to taking him to task for having a No Contest and predominately decision wins.
The Golovkin I witnessed live in Las Vegas against Canelo last September was slower than the freight train that slipped past Danny Jacobs in March 2017. I thought Triple G did win both fights in 2017, but in a way that would set him up to lose this year. It’s difficult to gauge the Cinco de Mayo tilt with Vanes Martirosyan, as a somewhat flat and uninterested Golovkin flattened a tired fighter. In fact, I asked Sanchez if the 36 year-old Golovkin’s tires were going bald, and if much of his gamesmanship since the first fight has been about preserving GGG while aiming to get “Ginger” (as Sanchez as taken to calling what he deems “a runner” in Alvarez) to come forward with aggression. Though Sanchez denied that assertion, he seems keen on inciting Canelo to war, knowing Golovkin’s vaunted power gives him the best chance to win in a speed and youth deficit. It won’t matter according to Eddy Reynoso.
“This is Canelo’s first rematch, just like it is for Golovkin. Abel can say what he wants and play mind games, but he (Triple G) won’t change anything about who he is or what he does. He can’t. We know what we’re dealing with, and that’s a very basic fighter who’s going to be exposed on September 15th. We’re all tired of talking.”
—Eddy Reynoso, on Golovkin
Someone’s sheep clothing, if any, is about to be thrown to the wolves. Word out of Mexico is that Canelo has engaged in epic, middle of the ring wars with rising underground Aussie destroyer Bilal Akkawy (17-0, 14KOs), a powerful super middleweight who approaches things like Golovkin. But as the insults and speculation continue to fly, the rematch is on pace to outperform the live gate of $27 million with a projected $40 million this time around, while PPV sales are expected to exceed the 1.4 million mark submitted last year. So much for tainted beef.