Alvarez Sparring Session Sets Stage for Weekend Fight At 2011 GGG

The big boxing news is the middleweight title on the line this weekend when Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez meet in Las Vegas Saturday (Sunday AEST).

Golovkin was born in Kazakhstan, but he has spent the better part of 10 years around California’s Big Bear Lake at various training camps in the area.

One, in particular, that he will not forget is one he was using in 2011, when, just 20 years old at the time, he invited Alvarez to a sparring session, back when both boxers were essentially unknown entities.

Now that both men have ascended to the top of their sport, boxing aficionados cannot help but wonder what happened during the secret sparring session that took place out of the public eye six years ago.

Lamar Russ was there for the GGG – Canelo session and at that time, Russ was an undefeated middleweight contender, so along with seeing what went on, he is indisputably in possession of the knowledge to report on what transpired.

His memory is that GGG might be the one to back. “I saw Gennady cut the ring off and use his power and his weight to his advantage,” Russ told “Gennady started landing power shots, hitting him on the shoulders and to the body and started breaking ‘Canelo’ down.”

It is hard to say, with any level of certainty, that what happened six years ago is any premonition of what will happen this weekend. Six years in the life of a boxer, especially one who was 20 years old back in 2011, brings many physical changes combined with the experience garnered from multiple bouts.

Russ also mentioned that Alvarez seemed the more polished boxer, but 23 knockouts from 24 fights by Golovkin is the sort of power that can make a fight a short-lived affair, which means that pay-per-view subscribers may not receive the full value of their subscriptions.