Is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez seething with anger and burning with a desire to not only beat arch-rival Gennadiy “Triple G” Golovkin this coming September 17, but to, literally, end his career? Listen to those close to the matter and read the proverbial room and the answer seems to be a great big “yes.”
To be honest, it’s a minor miracle that this third meeting is even happening. The bad blood Alvarez had for his Kazakh rival was very real and so intense that, at one point, he had vowed to never put another penny into his pocket by meeting him in the ring again. After a controversial draw in their first meeting and an Alvarez decision victory in their second go, it appeared that the rivalry would end there.
But streaming service DAZN, which currently has dibs on the next couple of Canelo fights and is in the middle of a multi-fight deal with Golovkin, has been persistent in pushing for this third fight to happen and they eventually got their wish. The money was right and the time was right for Canelo-GGG 3.
Still, though, the Mexican star is ticked off and, apparently, using that rage as motivation.
"Honestly, he’s focused on GGG," promoter Eddie Hearn recently said on the DAZN Boxing Show. "This fight week is going to be electric because these guys [Canelo and Golovkin] can’t stand each other.
"I’ve never seen Canelo Alvarez train with this kind of intensity before to make a statement after his defeat, but also to end the career of Gennadiy Golovkin on September 17th.
"That’s his own words. The only thing he’s interested in is knocking this guy out and finishing his career."
And why the intensity from Alvarez, why the animosity?
Some of it dates back to before the two first met, when Team Golovkin went around implying that Alvarez was a coward for not fighting him. But most of the really bad blood came about when Alvarez tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, months prior to his second bout with the Kazakh KO artist.
Golovkin railed against Alvarez in the media, brutalizing his image and essentially destroying his character by calling him a cheater and a disgrace.
"Canelo, he is not a champion," Golovkin said in one interview. "He is a liar who has no respect for the sport of boxing or its fans."
In another interview, conducted through a translator, Triple G got even more brutal and accusatory.
"This is Canelo. This is his team. This is his promotion…Canelo is cheating. They’re using these drugs, and everybody is just trying to pretend it’s not happening
"It was pretty obvious when (Alvarez’s) muscles were all (enlarged)…and with the traces of injections, which were visible."
He would even accuse the Mexican star of popping pills in an effort to stack the deck against him.
“Have a look at the pictures they post when he uses some pills," Golovkin said, referring to YouTube videos of Alvarez taking some pills of unknown origin. “Let him explain what kind of pills they are."
All of this enraged Alvarez to no end and he’s been publicly open about what he thinks of Golovkin, calling him a "little b***h," a "sh**ty" person, a two-face, and vowing to shut him down when the two meet again.
Make no mistake about it, this is not just "boxing" bad blood, where two fighters speak mean to one another in the lead-up to a bout and then become besties after the fight is over. This is real, legitimate bad blood between one fighter who thinks the other cheated his way to glory and another who feels that his legacy, reputation, and his character have been assaulted.
All signs point to Canelo-GGG 3 being a real, intense grudge match. Oh boy!