The biggest boxing match of the year is here—and it has nothing to do with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.
On Saturday, September 16, Gennady Golovkin will take on Canelo Álvarez for the middleweight world championship in Las Vegas.
Alvarez comes in with a 49–1–1 record, but Golovkin, aka “Triple G,” will put his 37–0–0 undefeated record—and his historic 89.8% knockout rate—on the line. Although the lead-up to the fight hasn’t been as loud or brash as Mayweather-McGregor, true boxing fans have anticipated this fight as much as any event in recent memory, and Golovkin is ready for that spotlight.
“It will be a pivotal day in my career,” Golovkin tells Men’s Fitness. “All the knockouts, all the training, all the hard work, all the sacrifices have been built toward this exact fight. I couldn’t be more excited but I just have to stay focused. Hopefully it will be a defining night for boxing and for all of us.”
The 35-year-old is coming off of a unanimous decision victory against Daniel Jacobs, but Álvarez will present a new challenge: He’s seven years younger and has a slightly bigger reach than Golovkin.
“If I can beat a proven champion like Canelo, that will take my career to a different level,” Golovkin says. “We give Canelo a lot of credit, he’s a very special guy, but I am training extremely hard to be well-prepared and am ready for the challenge.”
Golovkin has partnered with Chivas Regal for the fight and helped introduce The Chivas Fight Club, where fans can get a behind-the-scenes look at his training and more exclusive boxing-related content.
“The Chivas Fight Club stands for the things that I believe in and represents the heart and soul of the fighter in all of us,” Golovkin said. “When I wrap my hands, I do it for my family. I owe my courage to them and also my success. That’s why I fight.”
Golovkin spoke with Men’s Fitness about his training methods for the fight, his favorite foods to fuel his fitness, and his excitement about stepping into the ring against Álvarez.
What has your mindset been like as you get closer to the fight?
I’m very excited for this fight. I feel good and overall, I’m ready. At the end of the day this is my job—it’s work, but it’s work that I truly love and enjoy. I’m all business inside the ring but I’ve been genuinely happy and enjoying the training. Obviously, all great fighters are always in shape, but the mental part of it is so important because you have to be motivated for a fight, and I am without a doubt feeling motivated by this one.
What are some of the training techniques and exercises you’ve used apart from fight training to prepare for the fight?
I’ve been using rigorous isolation drills to strengthen my whole body. We’ve also done a lot of weighted neck crunches and chin pushups. The best is when my brother, Max, comes to train with me before almost every fight. We work out together and he pushes me. Family is the most important thing to me.
Have you used any new training methods while preparing for this fight?
I’m always looking for new ways to improve my skills. Since I arrived at Big Bear for training, it has been nonstop workouts. My trainer Abel continuously brings new techniques and challenges to keep me prepared mentally and physically. This is about being the champion of the world and I know that means working my very hardest and going out of usual comfort zone.
This is one of the most anticipated fights in boxing in many years. How does it feel to be a part of an event so many people want to see?
It’s very exciting, but the most important thing is to stay focused. My coach always says to me before the start of each fight, “patience, just be patient,” so I’m not going to let myself get distracted by the big event, I’m just going to fight my fight. I know Canelo is training just as hard but this fight is huge for me.
What is your daily diet like when you’re preparing for a fight like this? What’s your favorite cheat meal?
My trainer Abel wants me to eat what I normally eat, just not overeat. I am small for a middleweight so I eat a little more than others in my weight class. I love eating Mexican food. There is a restaurant in Big Bear, Hacienda. We eat there several times every week. I like the red salsa, the ribs, shrimp, and chicken. I will eat steak once or twice every week. I won’t eat bread, sweets or junk, and no sodas. When I am not training I love steak—lots of steak.
What have you enjoyed most about your partnership with Chivas Regal heading into the fight?
The partnership with Chivas Regal is a natural fit. I believe in and live the Chivas philosophy every day and it’s an honor to be working with the brand on Chivas Fight Club. The program embodies the heart, mind, and soul of the fighter inside me and inside all of us.
What has it been like bringing a fun experience to fans of boxing?
Through Chivas Fight Club, I’m able to connect with my fans and inspire the fighter in all of us. With the Chivas Fight Club, fans are able to participate in unique experiences and get a behind-the-scenes look at my training and access to special activities and events.