Canelo vs. Golovkin: Inside the LA Presser

By Raymundo Dioses on June 29, 2017
Canelo vs. Golovkin: Inside the LA Presser
The crowd cheered as De La Hoya un-retired his trademark left hook. (Raymundo Dioses)

The undefeated fighter from Kazakhstan gingerly made his way through the proceedings as freckle-faced Canelo slowly followed behind… 

The Avalon in Hollywood, California was presented as the final destination for the Canelo Alvarez/Gennady Golovkin: Supremacy mega bout set for September 2017. 

Set right in the heart of La-La Land, across from Capitol Records where heavy hitters Frank Sinatra and The Beatles belted out musical classics, fans lined up many hours in advance to see two of the sport’s biggest names apply their finishing touches to their three-stop international presser, which began in London at the Landmark on June 19, flew across the Atlantic to New York City the next day, and two days later finally climaxing in the heat-wave filled confines of Southern California and its most glitzy metropolitan area. 

In what could easily be described as one of the busiest boulevards on the planet, fans gathered on the side parking lot of the Avalon which was set with a catwalk/red carpet fusion of sorts that both fighters used to sign autographs, take pictures and answer the same inquiries ad nauseam just in different form from the media huddled in-between the catwalk and red carpet. 

Beating all fighters to the punch was none other than former fighter and promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who fielded those ad nauseam interrogations like a champ and even took a swipe at Tecate’s electronically controlled speed bag machine. In true fighter form, the eight-time world champion initially tapped the bag as to provide proper rock-back resistance to improve maximum punch. The crowd cheered as De La Hoya un-retired his trademark left hook for a night. Also lingering around was former DLH foe-turned business partner Bernard Hopkins, who like De La Hoya, was attempting to sell the fight and was unafraid of the ad nauseam from the So Cal boxing media. 

Hopkins also took a swipe at the Tecate speed bag, as did actors Michael Pena and Omar Miller, who also walked the catwalk/red carpet fusion. GGG would later throw an open handed swipe at the concoction; Canelo also elected not to have his punching power recorded, setting his fist on the bag for a photo-op then slyly slipping away in his Gucci suit and into the Avalon. 

Hitting the carpet first was Golovkin, and the unified middleweight champion was dapper in music mogul Suge Knight colored red jacket combined with a with a white shirt-black tie combo. Chants of GGG erupted from the fans as the undefeated fighter from Kazakhstan gingerly made his way through the proceedings as freckle-faced Canelo slowly followed behind.  Chants of Canelo then ensued and a fan from the Los Angeles area braving the blistering heat, Marco, who was wearing a GGG shirt and Canelo-red bandana, described himself as a fan with mixed emotions heading into September 16.

“My heart’s with Canelo, but my mind is with GGG,” which served as an apt reflection of fight fans who over the years gravitated towards GGG’s exciting prizefights and the self-ordained “Mexican style” which has garnered Golovkin 33 knockouts in 37 wins for an incredible 89% KO ratio, yet still kept adoration and loyalties to Kid Cinnamon, himself in possession of a 67% KO ratio with one more knockout on his ledger (38) in his 51 professional contests. 

In appreciation of their presence, the fans in possession of free fight posters and souvenir cups, some of which the fans were lucky enough to get signed by the fist throwers, were ushered in first ahead of the media into the small confines of the Avalon. Still photographers, of which there were only two, were let in first, then the thrush of LA media members were permitted inside. 

The house DJ blared out fight-themed music as fans and media threw down on the complimentary drinks and food provided by sponsors Tecate and Hennessey. The setup featured an orchestra-balcony ensemble with promotional material for the fight were displayed along the hallowed walls of the 90-year-old Avalon that at one point served as headquarters for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and Jerry Lewis’ weekly Saturday night television program. 

Los Angeles rap icon Ice Cube served as lead narrator in the Golden Boy Promotions produced docu-special “I Am Boxing” which was shown after an introduction to the film from a still behind-the-scenes yet armed with a mic promoter De La Hoya. After the 13-minute movie was played, (which can be found on GBP’s YouTube channel here: Team Canelo and Team GGG, with Saved By The Bell alum Mario Lopez set center stage, took part in a panel that would soon field questions directly from fans in attendance. 

The panel included the incomparable Don Chargin, who reflected on his time around the original Sugar Ray, that being of the Robinson variety. Robinson, as well as the Four Kings (Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns) were prominently featured in “I Am Boxing” and alluded to Canelo-GGG, another great middleweight contest for the ages. Chargin labeled the GGG-Canelo fight as an affair that carries the sport through history and motioned that “the fight is here, Canelo and GGG, what could be better, two great fighters, one great fight” before chronicling his time around Robinson. 

Chargin took a bus every day from San Jose, California to Oakland, California to watch the true GOAT work out in preparation for his bout with Earl Turner. One day while training, Robinson presented Chargin a front row ticket to the fight.  At one point during Robinson vs. Turner, in the third or fourth frame, Robinson threw a “How am I doing?” type wink to a ringside-seated Chargin. Thus began Chargin’s love affair with the sport of boxing. 

As we move from the Summer into the Fall and the September showdown countdown for Canelo-GGG begins, perhaps boxing followers can up the excitement factor all the further by reminiscing on Chargin’s emphatic words captured in the “I Am Boxing” featurette that was served as the cornerstone of the New York and Los Angeles press conferences. 

“I think it’s the greatest sport on the planet, and I mean the whole planet,” Chargin waxed nostalgic. 

Indeed, Don. Indeed.

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  1. Buster 07:20pm, 07/01/2017

    I just wasted five minutes of my life reading this say nothing puff piece.

  2. Pete The Sneak 12:13pm, 07/01/2017

    Koolz, great points. Whatever it is, this fight isn’t going the distance. My thinking is both Canelo and GGG are known for starting slow and ramping it up as the fight progresses. I would tend to think that one of them has to come out firing early and taking it to his opponent, and I believe that will have to be Canelo. He has to make GGG feel uncomfortable right away. GGG is very skilled in cutting off the ring and it’s in those circumstances where I believe he will be able to score his best and most devastating punches. Does Canelo have the beard to take those kinds of shots from GGG? Therein lies the question. But it will be fun finding out…Peace

  3. Koolz 01:13pm, 06/30/2017

    Canelo always seems to be trying to convince himself of something.  Golovkin always just seems to be at ease but with a deadly grin on his face.

    I Mean he must be licking his chops because of this fight.  Two years of waiting and finally he getting it.

    Sad part is that the Mayweather MCGragor exhibition will effect the sales of GGG vs Canelo.

    Obviously more serious boxers are going to be watching GGG vs Canlo.  As a side freak show the MM fight has some potential entertainment.

    I see Golovkin really hurting Canelo in this fight.  using his reach and using his foot work to move Canelo where he wants him in the ring, he will unload when he get’s Canelo on the ropes or in a corner.  Golovkin won’t take a power shot till he knows it’s landing.  I just don’t know what Canelo can do if anything to even keep GGG off him.

    I don’t have it 50/50 at all.  Canelo never fought anyone at 160 that is a top fighter and he going to be fighting the Unified Middle Weight Champion of the World.  A guy who has freakish power(look at Jacobs face after the fight)
    Canelo is over his head to me.

  4. Anonymous 10:47am, 06/30/2017

    FMJ/McGregor = STING

    Canelo/GGG = Genuine

  5. Pete The Sneak 10:20am, 06/30/2017

    Absolutely excellent breakdown nonprophet. Your analysis and thoughts on why you have this as a 50-50 fight is why I feel this is a certain can’t miss from a boxing fans perspective. Just about every knowledgeable boxing fan I know (not including me in that) has pretty much told me their take on this and at the end of the day, no one can give me a clear cut reason as to why they think the other will win. Like you, they tell me what could happen and the possible factors that can cause it, but there is still that what if factor, which basically tells you that this is going to be one heck of fight. Great stuff!...Peace.

  6. nonprophet 09:04am, 06/30/2017

    Totally on board with you regarding the Mayweather-McGregor “exhibition,” Pete.  I simply can’t call that a boxing match.

    But as for GGG/Canelo, I think this fight will be way more competitive than it might have been just a year ago.  Back then, I had no interest in this matchup because I considered it a blowout for GGG.  Many others seemed to feel the same way based on comments about this fight back then.  At the time, I couldn’t figure out why there was so much clamor for this bout by so many who felt the Canelo had no chance.

    But how things have changed.  I’m thinking that Canelo perhaps has shed some of the trepidation he might have had after watching GGG’s last two performances in which Gennady seemed to show signs of slippage.

    By contrast, Canelo has enjoyed some pretty spectacular successes over the course of his last few fights.  The only caveat however, would be that his success came against either smaller, glass-jawed fighters (Amir Khan); poor boxers coming off long layoffs (James Kirkland), or clearly overmatched opponents (Liam Smith and Chavez Jr.).

    But those victories probably did a lot to help Canelo overcome any fear he might have had.

    Right now, I have this as a 50-50 fight.  Either Canelo will blast GGG out in four rounds or less, or GGG wins in about the seventh round due to Canelo’s inability to withstand the potential punishment GGG would deliver.

    GGG, based on his fight with Jacobs, seems leery of quick counter punchers if GGG knows that puncher has pop.  Canelo is a very good counter puncher.  If Canelo can keep GGG wary of popping the double jabs needed to land that right hand of his, there is a good chance that Canelo might be able to ward off some of the punishment and maybe even take it to the 12 round. 

    But even if that happens, I’m thinking that GGG is the better boxer and should win a UD.

    But if Canelo catches him flush with a good counter….who knows, we might be seeing a Canelo-Lemieux match-up made in the aftermath of a GGG knockout loss.  Especially since Canelo has made it clear that he has no desire for a GGG rematch (at least at this point anyway).

  7. Pete The Sneak 04:15am, 06/30/2017

    Nice write up Raymundo and thanks for providing that link to ‘I am Boxing.’ This fight, if promoted properly (and thus far looks like it is), will be huge, no doubt about it. And the fight, I believe will live up to the hype (unlike the Pac/FMJ fiasco). These 2 guys are can’t miss offensive fighters who after all is said and done just want to fight. For anyone contemplating spending their hard earned ducats on that upcoming ‘Boxing’ Circus, er, I mean match with FMJ/McGregor, save your money for a real fight that I truly feel will be a Hearns/Hagler-esque (is that a word?) type of affair…Peace.

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