The only two bouts Gennady Golovkin has not won during his glittering career have been against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez yet the Kazakh boxer said he was not using that as motivation ahead of their long-awaited trilogy fight.
The bitter rivals first met in the ring in 2017 and fought to a disputed draw. In their 2018 rematch, Mexico’s Alvarez won an even more controversial points decision that many observers thought could have gone the other way.
While 40-year-old Golovkin (42-1-1) now has a chance to exact revenge on undisputed world super middleweight champion Alvarez (57-2-2) in their Sept 17 showdown in Las Vegas, he claims past results are not fuelling his motivation.
“I’m totally looking at the third fight as a brand new fight from scratch,” Golovkin told Reuters through an interpreter. “I don’t draw any motivation from previous fights.”
Golovkin is perhaps the most dominant middleweight of his era and the Alvarez bout will mark the first time the Kazakh has moved up to super middleweight to fight above 160 pounds.
The switch to a heavier weight class has not made training much different for Golovkin, who said the focus is ensuring he does not lose speed and power, but he does expect a different strategy from Alvarez, 32, compared to their previous meetings.
“He’s going to change a lot of things because this fight is taking place in a different weight division and his attitude will definitely change, so there will be a lot of surprises during this fight,” said Golovkin.
While his best years in the ring may be behind him, the powerful Kazakh, who once made 20 successful title defences, still poses a threat given his potent mix of patience, technique and bone-crushing power.
There have been suggestions that a decisive loss in his next fight could send Golovkin into retirement sooner rather than later but the Kazakh fighter said the outcome alone would likely not affect any decision.
“It’s very difficult to point at just one particular factor that might influence my decision to end my career, unless something bad happens,” he said. “But there are a lot of nuances and they might play a role in making a decision to continue, but I am not going to spend a lot of time on those. We’ll see how it goes.”