LAS VEGAS — Saul “Canelo” Alvarez says he has dreamed of knocking out Gennady “Triple-G” Golovkin when they meet Saturday night for boxing’s middleweight championship at T-Mobile Arena.
“Every day and every night I visualize the knockout,” Alvarez said. “It’s something I train for. It’s not something I can predict. But it’s something I visualize.”
It says here Alvarez, of Guadalajara, Mexico, will have his hand raised, but his victory won’t come from a knockout, but by a close decision that will be controversial enough to demand what could be an even bigger rematch.
Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) is a slight underdog to the hard-punching Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs), of Kazakhstan. It’s a valid assumption considering Golovkin, the unified world champion, has made 18 straight title defenses of some version of the middleweight crown and owns the highest knockout ratio in the division’s history. But his invincibility was cracked a bit last March when Brooklyn’s Danny Jacobs went the distance with Golovkin, who earned a 12-round decision at Madison Square Garden.
The Golovkin camp viewed it as an assurance Golovkin could fight for 12 hard rounds. The Alvarez camp saw vulnerability as Jacobs was able to hold his own after an early knockdown.
“He has flaws,” Alvarez said of Golovkin. “They’re there. You just have to know where to find them and how to attack them. You’ll see Saturday night.”
Most view Saturday’s matchup as a 50-50 fight that will go one of two ways. Golovkin’s power and relentless attack ultimately will overwhelm Alvarez and lead to a middle to late-round stoppage. That’s how Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez sees it.
“I think it’s a difficult fight for three or four rounds,” Sanchez said. “I think the tactics will be determined at that point; what one guy’s going to do and what the other guy’s going to do. I think that Canelo’s is going to succumb to the physicality of Golovkin. I think…