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Canelo vs. GGG 2 live updates: Genuine animosity leading up to boxing’s fight of the year

This post will update with analysis after each round of the main event.

Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

When: Main card starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time

Watch: HBO pay-per-view, $84.95

PPV main card:

  • Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 knockouts) vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) for unified middleweight championship
  • Jaime Munguia (30-0-0, 25 KOs) vs. Brandon Cook (20-1-0, 13 KOs) for WBO junior middle weight championship
  • David Lemieux (39-4-0, 33 KOs) vs. Gary O’Sullivan (28-2-0, 20 KOs), middleweights
  • Roman Gonzalez (46-2-0, 38 KOs) vs. Moises Fuentes (25-5-1, 14 KOs), junior bantamweights

LAS VEGAS — Almost one year to the day of their first meeting, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are set to renew what has become a bitter rivalry on Saturday night at sold-out T-Mobile Arena — with Golovkin’s World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council middleweight championship belts on the line.

So often in boxing, pre-fight hostility between the combatants comes off as a contrived tactic to sell pay-per-view orders. This time, however, there appears to be genuine friction. At Friday’s weigh-in, the two had to be separated after Alvarez charged at Golovkin and bumped heads with him during what was supposed to be a standard photo op.

Golovkin has been vocal in his belief that Alvarez was doping before the first bout. The originally scheduled rematch on May 5 had to be canceled after Alvarez tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol, for which he received a six-month suspension.

Alvarez has maintained that the positive test was the resulted of contaminated meat he consumed in his native Mexico. The talk from the Golovkin camp, he says, has fueled him for the rematch.

“I’m bothered by all the stupid things they’ve been saying,” said Alvarez, 28. “I don’t know which one to laugh about or get angry about at this point. But their statements are all excuses for the loss they will take.”

Golovkin has generally been affable in promoting past bouts. But this time, the 36-year-old Kazakh fighter has shown an intensity many observers have not previously seen.

“I want to punish him,” Golovkin said. “I want to have a fight and punish him for all the bad things that he and his team have done.”

The first fight ended in a controversial draw, with one judge pegging Alvarez the 118-110 winner of a fight almost universally deemed to be much closer. This time, both are seeking clarity.

Tactically, Golovkin figures to try to get off to a quicker start — after giving away the first two rounds in the 2017 meeting. Alvarez, meanwhile, has said he will look to engage more in this fight. Golovkin has criticized Alvarez for fighting defensively the first time around, and avoiding exchanges in the pocket.

It is, without question, boxing’s biggest fight of 2018. And judging by the list of celebrities expected to be in attendance, the stars will be out.

Here’s a list of those on hand, provided by a spokeswoman:

  • Antoine Fuqua
  • Adrian Gonzalez
  • Bernard Hopkins
  • Cedric the Entertainer
  • Charles Barkley
  • Chuck Liddell
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Daniel Jacobs
  • Daniel Ponce De Leon
  • Dave Chappelle
  • David Benioff
  • Don Cheadle
  • Donovan Carter
  • Evander Kane
  • Fernando Vargas
  • George Lopez
  • Jay Ellis
  • Jojo Diaz
  • Jorge Linares
  • Kit Harington
  • LeBron James
  • Luis Miguel
  • Maverick Carter
  • Miguel Cotto
  • Mike Tyson
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
  • Omar Benson Miller
  • Prince Royce
  • Q-Tip
  • Ricky Romero
  • Rosie Perez
  • Ryan Garcia
  • Tito Ortiz
  • Tommy Hearns
  • Triple H
  • Will Smith

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