EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Canelo foe Rhodes talks Golovkin rematch, agrees with Khan

Ed Mulholland / HBO

After two huge build ups, the highly anticipated rematch between ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin takes center stage on Saturday night.

The pair of middleweight juggernauts collide in front of a sold out crowd at the T-Mobile arena.

Giving his own opinion on how the fight goes, former opponent of Canelo, Ryan Rhodes spoke to WBN on Friday.

“It’ll be a little bit different this time. I think there’s more pressure. Canelo will have a little bit more to think about. Obviously, failing the drugs test, his reasons; whether he was or wasn’t taking it,” Rhodes exclusively told World Boxing News.

“Canelo knows what kind of a tough and hard fight he was in. If he was taking the PED and now won’t because they’ll be on top of him with the drug testing. If he’s not then there’s a massive pressure thinking I needed that for such a tough fight but now I’m not able to take it, the pressure is really on now.”

Amir Khan in a recent Toe2Toe podcast session stated his own similar opinion on the fight, which Rhodes touched on.

“I listened to Amir Khan’s interview on Sky Sports podcast with Spencer Fearon. I couldn’t agree more although I usually don’t agree with Amir Khan and his comments and his excuses but that’s one thing that I did agree with him on. That the pressure is on Canelo now.”

The first fight lived up to its expectation with both fighters who belong at an elite level delivering an unmissable night of action. Fans expect to see nothing less in the rematch.

When asked by WBN on how the fight plays out, Rhodes replied: “Golovkin has got a lot more of a chance now, I think he was so upset about Canelo failing the drugs test. I think now he’s bit between his teeth and wants to make a massive statement.

“He’s not going to leave anything to chance this time, a lot of people were divided on the last fight, I’ll be honest I thought a draw was fair.”

Although being a very close fight, Adelaide Byrd’s scorecard of 118-110 for Canelo spurred a criticism of boxing judging. GGG was seen by most as a winner, but only just with most experts revealing scores of 116-112.

“I thought Canelo won the first three rounds. GGG won the next six rounds and Canelo finished well in the last three rounds, I thought the draw was fair.”

“It leads into a massive rematch but the circumstances with the drugs tests and again – a six months ban was an insult.”

BAN

Rhodes expressed heavy feelings on the subject of Canelo failing a drugs test earlier this year.

The former European champion hopes athletes taking banned substances are give harsher punishments.

“It was ridiculous, giving Canelo just a six month ban for something like that. It didn’t do boxing good at all, if you get caught using PEDs it should be a lifetime ban,” he said.

“A minimum of 3-4 years (is what he should get). It left boxing with a bad taste in people’s mouths. They all say that money talks and it proved it in that case.”

The first fight showed great durability for both fighter’s handling each other’s power.

Fans and fighters now predict the fight to end differently with Rhodes falling into that category as well.

“I see GGG proper wanting to make a statement this time. He may even try and get Canelo out of there with a late stoppage. But if you look at it, it’s either going to be GGG late TKO or Canelo on points.

“If I’m honest I think we’re gonna get a late Golovkin TKO in this fight.”


AGING

A general query which has surfaced with the boxing community recently is Golovkin’s age. Now 36 years old, it has been brought to question whether it plays a big factor in the rematch.

“Golovkin has not had tough fights, he just seems to take these fights in his stride. He’s not in any wars and he’s not been bashed up,” pointed out Rhodes.

“The one thing about Golovkin is he doesn’t allow his opponent to take him into the deep trenches.

“Canelo was his toughest fight to date but it weren’t ‘for the love of a fight’. It was a good technical fight.

“GGG isn’t in those wars where he’s been banged up and gotten cuts, he’s just not in those type of fights,”concluded the Sheffield man.

Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller