Golovkin and Álvarez start the hard sell for middleweight title defence in Vegas

• Kazakh champion undefeated in 37 bouts, 33 of them by knockout
• Both fighters dismissive of Mayweather ‘business’ at same venue

In the somewhat incongruous surrounds of the ballroom of a central London hotel on a blistering summer’s afternoon Canelo Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin made their first scheduled public appearance in support of a long-anticipated Las Vegas meeting for the world middleweight title on 16 September. These were the opening skirmishes of a fight scarcely less important than the main event: for the attention and pay-per-view pounds of fans also being beguiled by the meeting between the Irish UFC fighter Conor McGregor and the freshly un-retired Floyd Mayweather, which takes place tat the same venue, the T-Mobile Arena, hree weeks earlier.

Golovkin, who brings to the fight an unblemished record of 37 professional wins, 33 of them by knock-out, insisted the Mayweather fight is a mere sideshow. “That’s not a fight, it’s business,” the champion said. “I think people understand. Do they want a true fight, a boxing fight? That’s mine with Canelo. Or a big show, maybe a funny show, a circus show? Conor is no boxer. If you want to watch a show, watch that one. If you want to watch boxing, watch mine.”

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