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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

With Golovkin v Alvarez rematch confirmed Cinco de Mayo promises to be explosive

Second fight to take place in Las Vegas on popular Mexican holiday, while Tony Bellew and David Haye lock horns in London on the same night

Canelo Alvarez, right, connects with a right to Gennady Golovkin during a middleweight title fight on Saturday, September 16, 2017, in Las Vegas. The pair will do battle again at the same venue on May 5, 2018. John Locher / AP Photo
Canelo Alvarez, right, connects with a right to Gennady Golovkin during a middleweight title fight on Saturday, September 16, 2017, in Las Vegas. The pair will do battle again at the same venue on May 5, 2018. John Locher / AP Photo

"This is the fight the world wants. This is the fight boxing deserves."

Never have truer words been spoken. On Monday it was announced that Gennady "GGG" Golovkin and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will lock horns again in May, adding dynamite to the "Cinco de Mayo" weekend in a rematch of their epic draw last September.

That bout had everything, Canelo edged the early rounds, Golovkin the middle sector and the championship rounds were back and forth, with many concluding that the pendulum had just swung back the Mexican challenger's way.

In the end Golovkin retained his IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight championship belts via a draw, the first time the big-hitting Kazakh had failed to see his arm raised in 37 contests. A quite frankly laughable decision by one of the ringside judges - Adalaide Byrd scored it a one-sided, 118-110 in favour of Alvarez - threatened to overshadow the result. A personal view is that the overall outcome was the correct one - Golovkin was no worse than Canelo, Canelo no better than Golovkin.

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"I didn't agree with some of the judges' decisions in the first fight," Golovkin said. "This time there will be no doubt. I am leaving the ring as the middleweight champion of the world." Canelo added: "This time, Golovkin won't have any excuses regarding the judges because I'm coming to knock him out."

It's a safe assumption Byrd will not be one of the ringside judges for the sensational sequel.

It is only right the sport's two finest pugilists take up the cudgels again, but GGG-Canelo II is by no means the only exciting match-up on May 5.

Across the Atlantic, on the same night, two British fighters will set foot in the ring to face each other for a second time. Tony Bellew and David Haye were slated to meet last December before the latter suffered a torn bicep in the build up.

Tony Bellew, right, won the first contest against an injured David Haye in March 2017. Nick Potts / PA
Tony Bellew, right, won the first contest against an injured David Haye in March 2017. Nick Potts / PA

The fight at London's 02 Arena will take place more than 12 months since the first meeting between the two, when Bellew claimed an 11th round stoppage after Haye suffered a ruptured Achilles in Round 6 of their heavyweight contest that severely restricted his movement.

Bellew, 35, says he has concerns whether Haye's body will hold up to the rigours of training for an elite-evel bout, with the Englishman having pulled out of four of his last eight scheduled fights with various injuries.

“It does worry me. But saying that I know he has no way to go. I know he will do everything possible to get in the ring on the fifth of May," Bellew told reporters last week.

But Bellew may do well to hope Haye's body deserts him again. Haye was a sitting duck from the middle of the sixth round onward in their first fight. My scorecard had Haye ahead four rounds to one before his Achilles blew up. The fact Bellew kept urging Haye's corner to throw in the towel says as much about the Liverpudlian's lack of killer instinct as it does about Haye's health.

Haye's professional record reads 28 wins, 26 by way of knockout with three defeats to Bellew's 29 wins (19 KOs), with two losses and one draw. With WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua taking on the WBO belt holder Joseph Parker in Cardiff on March 31, a win for Haye will catapult him right back into the championship reckoning. But given how many times his body has let him down in the past, Haye, 37, knows another defeat will rule him out of the title picture for good.

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