Gennady Golovkin and Saul "Canelo Alvarez" face off at a press conference. Photo: Reuters / Henry Browne

LAS VEGAS - Gennady Golovkin has said that he expects the toughest test of his career when he steps into the ring with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez next month for their eagerly-anticipated middleweight unification fight.

The undefeated Golovkin, who has won 33 of his 37 fights by way of knockout, is ranked as the best middleweight in the world by BoxRec and the second best pound for pound by The Ring, behind only light-heavyweight champion Andre Ward.

Golovkin has never been knocked down or knocked out in a total of 387 fights at amateur and professional level and holds the highest knockout percentage in middleweight history, at 89.8 per cent. But the 35-year-old says he is expecting the toughest test of his career when he makes his Las Vegas debut on September 16.

“It is the biggest fight of my career,” Golovkin said at a news conference in Los Angeles. “Canelo is the biggest champion and the biggest name out there. Everyone will remember this fight as he is the number one in Mexico, a country known for great fighters. He is very special.

“He has looked good and looked strong in his last few fights. That is why we have worked so hard in training camp. We have worked on new things. This is my biggest fight. I worked hard to become champion of the world. I worked hard with Abel to stay champion of the world.”

Alvarez, a three-time world champion in two weight classes, was in an equally respectful mood this week, as the pair continue to market their forthcoming fight as the pinnacle of boxing after Floyd Mayweather’s much criticised bout against Conor McGregor earlier this month.

The Mexican, whose sole defeat came against Mayweather back in 2013, praised Golovkin’s legacy but insisted that he was ready to become the first man to defeat the reigning WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight champion.

“I know what I have in front of me. I know he's a strong fighter. He is the most dangerous opponent of my career, but I'm ready for him and what's next to come,” Alvarez said.

“That's why we prepared, and to give the fans a beautiful fight. This fight's for you; this fight's for all the fans who have been asking for it. We know that in fights, it takes two to tango. I'm ready, and you know what you'll get from me. Let's just hope he brings it as well.

“I'm excited and happy that the fight is almost here. I've been focused like always with my training this camp. I'm going to do and use whatever I need to be one step ahead of Gennady in the ring. Without a doubt, our fight on September 16 will be one of the great fights in the history of boxing. Golovkin will bring out the best in me.”

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