Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin (37-0 record in boxing) had some strong words for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (49-1-1 record in boxing) ahead of their middleweight title fight.
Golovkin will defend his middleweight title against the Mexican on Saturday (16 September) as he looks to not only defeat his toughest opponent yet, but also go one step closer to tying the record of 20 consecutive title defenses, being two defenses shy.
The Kazakhstan native's last fight was a unanimous decision win over Daniel Jacobs back in March, which notably ended a nine-year run of consecutive finishes.
Golovkin was criticized for his performance with some feeling that he lost the bout, as others went on to say that the 35-year-old was slipping.
Meanwhile, Canelo dominated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in May, with the middleweight title fight announced soon after the contest.
In response to the criticism, Golovkin retaliated with a rare form of trash talk, implying that Canelo, who was expected to fight him years ago, would have never agreed to the title fight if he had knocked Jacobs out.
"I am not Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Canelo is no Danny Jacobs. There are no survivors in my fights," Golovkin said, as quoted on ESPN. "Boxing is a business. If I look great against Jacobs -- if I knocked him out -- I would not be getting this fight with Canelo now."
"Jacobs was a very good fighter and gave me good learning experience going 12 rounds. I have never done that before. I felt amazing going 12 rounds for the first time. Jacobs gives everyone problems."
Meanwhile, Golovkin's head trainer Abel Sanchez, who recently claimed the winner of Saturday's bout could be considered the best boxer in the sport, agrees with his student that Canelo would have never faced him.
Sanchez also adds that Golovkin's win over Jacobs was more impressive than the 27-year-old's win over Chavez Jr.
"Jacobs was easily one weight division heavier than Gennady," Sanchez added. "Not getting the knockout may have been a double blessing for us: It showed that Gennady was capable of going 12 rounds with an elite fighter, and it gave us the fight with Canelo."
"If Gennady had knocked Jacobs out, there is no way Golden Boy would have the confidence to put Canelo in with us this year.
"Now let's look at Canelo's last fight. Chavez hasn't fought under 167 pounds in five years. He was drained [to get to the contract limit of 164.5 pounds] and barely threw a punch. If that same Chavez fights Gennady, there is no question Gennady knocks him out. Chavez was a sitting duck.
"There is no debate on who had the better win against the better opponent. Watching Canelo's performance against Chavez gave us a lot of confidence too."