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Floyd-Connor duel is showtime, not showdown

NEW YORK (AP) – Think about this as the real fight.

Forget that “event” three weeks earlier that is making such a splash. The middleweight bout in Las Vegas on Sept. 16 between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez is all about boxing.

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Showdown, not showtime.

Sure, Floyd Mayweather is coming out of retirement to face mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor on Aug. 26 in a matchup that has generated tremendous buzz. But for true fans of the “sweet science,’’ Golovkin-Alvarez is the most anticipated fight since Mayweather outpointed Manny Pacquiao two years ago.

One that figures to be a lot more of a fight than Mayweather-Pacquiao, too.

“Conor is not a boxer, he’s a UFC fighter,” Golovkin said Tuesday. “That is a big commercial show, it’s show business. It’s not boxing and people understand if they want a true boxing show, a classic, it is Sept. 16.”

That would be when the undefeated Triple G (37-0, 33 knockouts) puts his middleweight belts on the line against Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs, the loss to Mayweather in 2013).

“The fact it’s three weeks before the major boxing holiday of Sept. 16 and a classic fight between two great champions doesn’t affect it a bit,” adds promoter Oscar De La Hoya.

“If people want to see a real fight, then tune in on Sept. 16.”

Golovkin-Alvarez has been a long time in the making. There were claims the fighters (and their promoters) were ducking each other, or that top money wasn’t there. But after Golovkin outpointed Danny Jacobs – his first fight going 12 rounds – and Alvarez destroyed Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. earlier this year, the bout was made.

At 35, Triple G is nearly nine years older than Alvarez. He doesn’t see that as significant.

“I feel like 25,’’ Golovkin told The Associated Press. “I believe on Sept. 16, I will have my peak. It will be amazing for boxing.’’

Alvarez, who wasn’t quite ready for a tactical master like Mayweather in their 2013 fight, believes he’s matured now. Of course, Mayweather never has punched like Triple G does.