Canelo Alvarez has revealed he went into Saturday night’s fight with Gennadiy Golovkin carrying an injury.
The Mexican superstar has torn the cartilage in the wrist of his left hand and he admitted the pain it caused him was “really bad”.
“It hurts everywhere. I had these issues since the Caleb Plant fight. I was like it’s okay, it’s okay, later, later, then it started [to get] really bad. I need surgery,” Alvarez said.
Despite the injury he roundly outboxed Golovkin over 12 rounds to bring an end to their rivalry, win a unanimous decision and defend his unified WBC, IBF, WBA and WBO super-middleweight titles.
“With my hand problems I outjabbed the best jabber in the world in Gennadiy Golovkin,” Alvarez said.
“I think towards the end of the fight I obviously started to get a bit fatigued and that’s because we’ve not been able to work explosively in the gym. But despite all the problems that we’ve had, I was really happy with my performance tonight,” he added.
“I wanted to get that KO but it didn’t come because he’s a great fighter. That’s why there are 12 rounds in a fight. So you can show and display who’s the best. So I’m really happy with what I’ve done tonight.”
He was clear that the fight he wants is a rematch with Dmitry Bivol, the light-heavyweight WBA titlist who beat Alvarez earlier this year.
But first he must recuperate.
“I’m going to take my time. My body needs [it]. Last year I fought four times in 11 months so that’s why. I need to take my time a little bit maybe. May, September, I don’t know. But I need to take my time,” Alvarez said.
‘Our rivalry has ended’
Golovkin too has drawn a line beneath the vicious rivalry he and Alvarez shared over the course of five years and three fights.
“He was the one who said it was personal. My response to that was why has he waited so many years for this fight to happen,” the Kazakh said.
“But after the fight when we looked each other in the eye we had no claims towards each other any more. We congratulated each other, we said excellent fight and we moved on. Because we realised at this level this sport is so dangerous and we were very content with how this fight played out and our rivalry ended.”
Golovkin lost this fight to Alvarez at super-middleweight, but he remains the unified WBA and IBF champion at middleweight.
“I still have this fire burning within me, I have this passion for boxing,” Golovkin said.
“I feel great like I said. I did not allow any serious shots and I’m not tired, I’m fresh. I feel the strength, I feel the power within me, and of course if a big opportunity comes I’ll be looking to continue to return to the ring.”
Britain’s Chris Eubank Jr was quick to call out the Kazakh. He took to social media to say: “GGG you had a great run. Come back down to middleweight and let’s fight for those belts you still have in December.
“Or just pass them over and I’ll look after them for the next couple years while you enjoy retirement… You earned it, champ.”