Canelo Alvarez barely hid his disdain for rival Gennadiy Golovkin during media tour stops in Los Angeles and New York to promote their Sept. 17 bout for the undisputed super middleweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Alvarez, who got a draw in their first fight in 2017 and won the second in 2018, referred to Golovkin as “an a**hole,” during interviews in Los Angeles. His ire is largely in response to Golovkin’s comments in 2018 about him shortly after Alvarez tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol, forcing postponement of their second bout.
Alvarez said the positive test was as a result of eating contaminated meat. And an anti-doping official confirmed in 2018 that the values on Alvarez’s positive test were consistent with that.
Golovkin was highly critical of Alvarez at the time and said, “He proves he gets benefits from everyone and he can get away with it. The commentators, commission, doping commission, this is a very bad business, [it is] not sports. Check him on a lie detector and then we can find out everything.”
The professional respect between them ended at that point and has only gotten worse since.
Speaking to Yahoo Sports on Tuesday, Golovkin didn’t back away from his 2018 criticism.
“I stand by my words,” Golovkin said. “I take full responsibility for everything I said. But we are not talking about some allegations. We are talking about true facts. He is the one who tested positive and he is the one who is trying to come up with some excuses, trying to blame other people. That behavior is, I would say, like a clownish behavior. I would say that maybe they’re saying, ‘Well once, or twice, or three times testing positive, it does not count.’ Maybe because I’m not a member of the pajama club, that’s why they are upset with me.”
Golovkin has taken to referring to Alvarez and members of his team, including trainer Eddy Reynoso and promoter Eddie Hearn, as “the pajama club.”
The fight will be sold on DAZN PPV and promoted by Hearn’s Matchroom Sport. Golovkin didn’t hide his disdain for either of them as he believes they’re favoring Alvarez.
Hearn was at Alvarez’s side constantly during the press stops and walked the red carpet with him.
Golovkin grinned widely as he was asked about it and expressed frustration for what he believes is a lack of support. But his comments also expressed disdain for them.
He said of his questioner, “You analyze the situation and reach the correct conclusion.” But he then proceeded to shrug the apparent slight off as he essentially said he didn’t respect them.
“It doesn’t bother me much,” he said. “I would use the words that one prominent athlete once said, ‘He just doesn’t know anything about boxing.’ That’s what I believe about them. I hope that an opportunity will come our way to work together and meet to help them come together and find a common ground and that will bring them to a new level of understanding of this sport.”
Golovkin felt he won each of the first two fights with Alvarez. The first was a split draw, but Golovkin wasn’t as upset about that outcome as the second. As the reigning champion, he did not lose his belt on the draw.
But he felt he won the rematch and had it taken from him. That cost him his titles and helped propel Alvarez to the top of the sport.
Despite their personal differences, Golovkin respects Alvarez as a fighter. Alvarez is coming off a loss to Dmitry Bivol in May in a light heavyweight title fight. Golovkin said he hasn’t watched the entire bout yet, but said he’s not sure there is anything he can take from that.
He meant that as a compliment to Alvarez.
“Canelo has shown he learns from his mistakes,” Golovkin said. “He’s not the kind of fighter who will make the same mistake twice. But at the same time [the Alvarez-Bivol fight] needs to be analyzed.”