Gennady Golovkin believes Canelo Alvarez's avoidance of media shows lack of courage

LAS VEGAS -- For all of the bad blood between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin ahead of their Sept. 15 middleweight title rematch, fans won't have the pleasure of seeing the two fighters face off until the week of the fight.

Alvarez (49-1-2), who tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol in February and is currently serving a six-month suspension that postponed their original May 5 rematch, has chosen to lay low during training camp in Mexico. He also decided against a worldwide press tour to promote the fight, choosing instead a clunky split-site satellite interview last week on Facebook that was sleep-inducing at best and revealed next to nothing. 

Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs), a unified champion at 160 pounds who shares the division record for title defenses at 20, believes he knows why. 

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"He understands the situation he is in right now and doesn't want to feel the pressure from people watching because he is not stupid," Golovkin said through a Russian interpreter. "He will face uncomfortable questions from people and doesn't have the courage to look truth in the face and answer the question. Maybe it's all for the better so people will have a better fight and enjoy."

GGG spoke with media members on Saturday at the MGM Grand during a solo promotional trip which also saw him appear at UFC 226 inside T-Mobile Arena -- the site of his rematch with Alvarez -- where he gave interviews to mixed martial arts reporters. 

While the 27-year-old Alvarez has remained quiet, Golovkin can't stop talking to anyone who will listen about his displeasure and distrust for Alvarez, not just in the fallout of the failed drug test but during the contentious negotiations for the rematch in recent months that saw Golovkin stand firm multiple times regarding his financial split, even if it meant risking the fight falling apart. 

The turn in personality has been surprising for Golovkin, who has spent the last six years since his American debut smiling at every turn with a happy-go-lucky persona that perfectly belies the killer mentality he shows inside the ring as one of the sport's most feared knockout artists. 

Among GGG's many catchphrases over the years was the broken English term of "respect box" and it has become clear through the intensity of his words how much it bothers Golovkin that Alvarez doesn't show the sport the same respect.

"I don't think much about him," Golovkin said. "I think he has lost a lot of respect. I'm still very surprised at people who support him and support his team after all this that has happened. I, myself, don't care much. 

"I don't know if it's drugs or what the commission said is not legal. He is a smart guy, he knows he is at fault. That's why I lost respect for him. Of course we look at him different right now because of what happened from his doping and drugs. There has been a lot of damage for boxing itself and it's really something bad."

Speaking of respect, Golovkin admits he gave too much of it to Alvarez during their first meeting last September, which ended in a controversial split draw. Most felt GGG had done enough to win despite some minor criticism he has endured for not stepping on the gas pedal more when he had Alvarez repeatedly cornered in the middle rounds. 

Golovkin and his trainer, Abel Sanchez, have also repeatedly called out Alvarez for running in the first bout and refusing to exchange for long periods at close range in the "Mexican style" that GGG openly employs. For the rematch, Golovkin is hoping to do everything in his power to keep the judges away from affecting the outcome.

"We know each other better so the second fight will be much more interesting," Golovkin said. "He was able to run around me the first fight but we will make it more difficult the second time."

Golovkin admits he has learned his lesson regarding Alvarez's character and mentioned on multiple occasions his surprise about how the Nevada commission handled suspicions he shared regarding Alvarez's body before the first fight. 

"I pointed out a certain thing which was evident," Golovkin said. "There was marks from injection on his body. It was obvious that he was taking something. I was really surprised that it took so long for the commission to make their decision about this because it was obviously very evident that he had some marks on his arm. But for me, it was not that important. I was just surprised the commission didn't do anything. For me, I would've fought him anyway if he was allowed to fight."

With the much-anticipated rematch quickly approaching, Golovkin believes this time it's much more personal, not just because of Alvarez's failed test but how the delay caused him to be stripped by the IBF after he fought late replacement Vanes Martirosyan in May.

"It's very different right now," Golovkin said. "For me, it was not personal at first but for the boxing team and somebody like him who made a bad mistake and continues to work with the same people and work with the same team who actually brought him to the situation where he ended up, that shows that he didn't recognize things."

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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