Baby's birth doesn't stop Golovkin training for big fight

Associated Press
Baby's birth doesn't stop Golovkin training for big fight
Canelo Alvarez, left, and Gennady Golovkin pose for photographers during a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, in Las Vegas. The two are scheduled to fight in a middleweight title fight Saturday in Las Vegas (Sunday Manila time). | AP Photo/John Locher

LAS VEGAS — Not even a baby could interfere with Gennady Golovkin's training for his middleweight showdown with Canelo Alvarez.

Golovkin was getting ready to put the final touches on his training camp last week in the Southern California mountains when word came from Los Angeles that his wife was going into labor with their second child. Trainer Abel Sanchez urged him to go to the hospital, but Golovkin wasn't about to interrupt preparations for what could be the defining fight of his career.

"He said, 'Coach, the baby is going to come whether I'm there or not. I have to train," Sanchez said.

The baby did come as Golovkin was wrapping up his training session Friday in Big Bear. He was able to be with his wife and newborn daughter the next day, though he declined to answer questions Wednesday about the birth.

"Please, do not ask about my family," Golovkin said Wednesday (Thursday Manila time). "Just boxing questions."

There were plenty of boxing questions to keep Triple G occupied as he met with a contingent of media to talk about a fight that many in boxing are already comparing to the great middleweight clashes of the past. The former Olympic silver medalist from Kazakhstan and Mexico's biggest boxing star meet Saturday night (Sunday Manila time) in a 160-pound battle that has been years in the making.

For Golovkin the fight is a chance to finally break out as a superstar outside the core of boxing fans who believe he is that already in the ring. But it's also shaping up as the toughest fight of his career, one that leaves no room for distractions, baby or not.

"It's not game, it's a fight," Golovkin said. "You can go back home or go to the hospital. It's dangerous and everyone understands that."

Golovkin was in a jovial mood while meeting with reporters, something Sanchez attributed both to becoming a father for the second time and knowing the biggest fight of his career is only days away. He laughed easily, made a few jokes, and talked about what he expected from a fighter he has been pursuing for more than two years.

"It's not an easy fight for him or me," Golovkin said. "I think the second half will be much crazy, like a street fight."

Both fighters were at their professional best later at the final pre-fight press conference, a low-key affair for what is expected to be an all-action fight. The fight matches a big puncher in Golovkin, who has 33 knockouts in winning all 37 of his fights, against Alvarez, whose only loss in 51 fights came against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Boxing purists have salivated over the matchup in styles, with Golovkin always coming forward and Alvarez being a devastating counter-puncher.

"The styles have the ingredients to make a fight that can go down in history for many years," Alvarez said through an interpreter.

The expectations have helped the fight gain traction, despite coming just three weeks after Mayweather and Conor McGregor met in a 154-pound match featuring a boxer against a mixed martial artist. That fight sold more than 4 million pay-per-views, driven mostly by the curious and UFC fans.

Alvarez is already an established superstar in his native Mexico and a proven pay-per-view draw. Golovkin has the middleweight titles and 18 defenses, knocking out all but Danny Jacobs, who went the distance with him in a close fight his last time out.

The fight from the T-Mobile Center on the Las Vegas Strip will be televised by HBO pay-per-view, beginning an hour earlier than the normal 9 p.m. Pacific start time.

Alvarez can't wait.

"For the people who said this fight wasn't going to happen and for the people who said I was going to get knocked out, we'll see Saturday night," Alvarez said.

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