Gennady Golovkin takes a shot at Canelo Alvarez over opponent comparisons

As boxing fans and experts close in on the next big fight, there's a natural tendency to compare the most recent performances of the two fighters as a means to determine who has the advantage. 

Unbeaten unified titleholder Gennady Golovkin says not so fast when it comes to his Sept. 16 middleweight showdown against lineal champion Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas (HBO PPV, 9 p.m. ET). 

Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), who might be the sport's most gracious gentleman when it comes to the respect he shows when talking about opponents, broke character to a degree this week during training camp in Big Bear Lake, California. 

Likely annoyed at the constant mentioning of how close his decision win was over Daniel Jacobs in March, a fight which saw GGG reduced to labels of "human" and "exposed" in the aftermath, Golovkin finally had enough. The native of Kazakhstan looked to set the record straight on not just the Jacobs fight but Alvarez's one-sided victory over a lifeless Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May. 

"I am not Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and Canelo is no Danny Jacobs," Golovkin said. "There are no survivors in my fights. Boxing is a business. If I look great against Jacobs … if I knocked him out, I would not be getting this fight with Canelo now."

There are many within the sport who share GGG's take that Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) never would've consummated his two-year flirtation with fighting Golovkin had the 2004 Olympic silver medalist been able to dominate Jacobs. 

Not only did Jacobs become the first fighter to last the full 12-round distance against Golovkin, he snapped the champion's 23-fight knockout streak. In fact, there were many who felt Jacobs, who got up off the canvas early, deserved at least a draw in what was a close and exciting fight. 

"Jacobs was a very good fighter and gave me good learning experience going 12 rounds," Golovkin said. "I have never done that before. I felt amazing going 12 rounds for the first time.  Jacobs gives everyone problems." 

Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez, who calls Jacobs "the second-best middleweight in boxing" agrees with how important the fight was in securing Alvarez. He was also quick to point out how much larger Jacobs was than Golovkin upon entering the ring. 

"Not getting the knockout may have been a double blessing for us," Sanchez said. "It showed that Gennady was capable of going 12 rounds with an elite fighter and it gave us the fight with Canelo. If Gennady had knocked Jacobs out there is no way [Alvarez's promoter] Golden Boy would have the confidence to put Canelo in with us this year. 

"Jacobs also gamed the system by skipping the IBF's mandatory fight day weigh-in where the fighters are only allowed to gain 10 pounds from the previous day's official weigh-in. Gennady, as defending champion, honored the IBF's rule and weighed-in the next morning. Who knows how heavy Jacobs was the night of the fight?"

Six weeks after Golovkin, 35, hung to defeat Jacobs, the offer from Golden Boy's Oscar De La Hoya was presented his way, along with a request to appear in the ring after Alvarez's fight with Chavez to announce the superfight.

While Alvarez earned nothing but praise for beating Chavez like he was a punching bag for 12 dominant rounds, Sanchez wasn't willing to give full credit. 

"Chavez hasn't fought under 167 pounds in five years. He was drained and barely threw a punch," Sanchez said. "If that same Chavez fights Gennady, there is no question Gennady knocks him out. Chavez was a sitting duck. There is no debate on who had the better win against the better opponent. Watching Canelo's performance against Chavez gave us a lot of confidence too."  

CBS Sports Insider

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

Our Latest Stories