Canelo lvarez barely hid his contempt for rival Gennadiy Golovkin during media tour stops in Los Angeles and New York for their September 17 fight for the undisputed super middleweight title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Alvarez, who tied for their first fight in 2017 and won their second in 2018, called Golovkin “an asshole” during interviews in Los Angeles. His anger is largely in response to Golovkin’s comments about him in 2018, shortly after Alvarez tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol, delaying their second fight.
Alvarez said the positive test resulted from eating contaminated meat. And an anti-doping official confirmed in 2018 that the values on Alvarez’s positive test matched that.
Golovkin was highly critical of Alvarez at the time, saying: “He proves that he gets benefits from everyone and that he can get away with it. The commentators, committee, doping committee, this is a very bad thing, [it is] do not exercise. 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 then.
Speaking to Yahoo Sports on Tuesday, Golovkin didn’t back down from his criticism of 2018.
“I stand by my words,” said Golovkin. “I take full responsibility for everything I’ve said. But we’re not talking about some allegations. We’re talking about real facts. He’s the one who tested positive and he’s the one who tries to come up with excuses, to make other people aware.” That behavior is, I’d say, like a clownish behavior. I’d say they might say, ‘Well, one or two or three tests positive, it doesn’t count.’ Maybe because I’m not a member of the pajama club, that’s why they’re mad at me.”
Golovkin calls Alvarez and members of his team, including trainer Eddy Reynoso and promoter Eddie Hearn, “the pajama club.”
The fight is sold on DAZN PPV and promoted by Hearn’s Matchroom Sport. Golovkin did not hide his disdain for either of them because he believes they favor Alvarez.
Hearn was constantly by Alvarez’s side during the press stops and walked the red carpet with him.
Golovkin grinned widely when asked about it, expressing his frustration at what he believes to be a lack of support. But his comments also expressed contempt for them.
He said of his questioner: “You analyze the situation and come to the right conclusion.” But then he shrugged, essentially saying he disrespected them.
“I don’t really care,” he said. “I would use the words a prominent athlete once said, ‘He just doesn’t know anything about boxing.’ That’s what I believe about them I hope an opportunity will come our way to work together and meet to help them come together and find common ground and that will take them to a new level of understanding of bring this sport.”
Golovkin felt that he won each of the first two fights with Alvarez. The first was a draw, but Golovkin wasn’t as upset about that result as the second. As reigning champion, he did not lose his title in the draw.
But he felt he had won the rematch and let it take it from him. That cost him his titles and propelled Alvarez to the top of the sport.
Despite their personal differences, Golovkin respects Alvarez as a fighter. Alvarez loses to Dmitry Bivol in a light heavyweight title fight in May. Golovkin said he hasn’t seen the whole game yet, but said he’s not sure he can make anything out of it.
He meant that as a compliment to Alvarez.
“Canelo has shown that he learns from his mistakes,” said Golovkin. “He’s not the kind of fighter who will make the same mistake twice. But at the same time, [the Alvarez-Bivol fight] must be analysed.”