After stepping on the scales, Gennadiy Golovkin and Eddie Alvarez locked cold eyes.
Alvarez and Golovkin were both surrounded by cheery people Friday outside T-Mobile Arena on The Strip, where they will face off Saturday (8 p.m. ET, DAZN PPV) in a trilogy battle for the undisputed super middleweight belt.
Following an unexpected loss to Dmitry Bivol in May when he competed for a 175-pound belt, Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) returns to 168 pounds, where he retains all four titles. The 32-year-old is ranked as the fifth-best fighter overall by media.
“I want to finish it inside 12 rounds and I’ll be looking for it from the first round,” said Alvarez, who was wildly cheered by a large contingent on hand for Mexico’s Independence Day weekend. “I know it’s not going to be easy, he’s a great fighter.”
After a storied middleweight career in which he still owns two 160-pound titles, Golovkin, 40, will make his 168-pound debut.
“If you’re really boxing fan, you know who’s the real champion,” said Golovkin, an Olympic silver medalist from Kazakhstan.
In a contentious all-action fight in September 2017, Alvarez and Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) battled to a draw. After the bout, Golovkin was resolute in his conviction that he had prevailed.
Alvarez prevailed in the rematch by majority decision a year later, although the result was far from convincing.
They’ll finally cross paths again four years later, likely bringing an epic boxing trilogy to a close.
Regarding the undercard, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, the front-runner for Fighter of the Year, weighed 114.8 pounds before making his first junior bantamweight title defense.
Israel Gonzalez, his rival, weighed 114.6 pounds.
Rodriguez, 22, has had a breakout year with two stoppage wins over former champions Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (16-0, 11 KOs).
Gonzalez (28-4-1, 11 KOs) is well known for his competitive loss to Roman Gonzalez (future Hall of Famer) in 2020.