Forget last month’s hyped-up Mayweather Jr.-MacGregor encounter, the real fight of the year takes place in Las Vegas on the evening of Saturday, September 16 – Mexican Independence Day.
The winner of the middleweight contest between Guadalajara-born Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan will rightly be able to claim the unofficial title as the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.
Mayweather’s heir apparents had managed to avoid each other over the past few years, despite the clamor from fans eager to see them do battle in the ring. There was a lingering notion that Canelo wasn’t too keen to go up a weight and face a rival known for his devastating punching prowess.
Golovkin, 35, is unbeaten (37-0-0, 33 KOs) as a professional and eight years older than his Mexican rival, but says the age difference in unimportant. At 27, the red-haired Canelo (49-1-1, 34 KOs) should be at the peak of his career. His only loss was to Mayweather Jr. in 2014, and a win for the Tapatio would cement his reputation as the best active boxer in the world. He has won his last seven fights since that loss and claims to be in the best condition of his life.
Whoever comes out on top will join an exclusive list of middleweight “greats” that include pugilists such as Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and, of course, Mayweather Jr.
The fight will unify several middleweight crowns, and the winner will also be presented with a special belt encrusted with chaquira beads made by the native Huichol people of Jalisco.
The fight can be seen around 10 p.m. on HBO PPV, or on various Mexican cable and free-to-air channels.
Boxing experts say this fight should not be missed – expect to witness a close and captivating contest backed by a partisan and patriotic Mexican crowd.