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Golovkin, Alvarez don't talk trash, or much else, before fight

Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Boxing

Alvarez's promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, became a mainstream sports star thanks to his fighting skill and bilingual ability, and he's been urging Alvarez to speak more English.

"I don't know how many Rosetta Stones we bought for him already, but quite a few," De La Hoya said. "He would connect with America. If that fan hears you speak English and make the effort ... it goes a long way."

Alvarez stars in a national Tecate ad, but his English words are few and Sylvester Stallone was needed as a co-star. Manny Pacquiao, in contrast, has added to the promotional weight of his bouts by singing American love songs on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

"You can go out there and speak to corporate America," De La Hoya said. "You can go on these shows and speak English. It just adds an extra value to who you are. It's very, very important."

Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez has spent hours talking to reporters this week, providing the best quotes about the fight, but Sanchez wishes his fighter was the one delivering the sound bites.

"I think it is important for them to be here, not me," Sanchez said. "It is unfortunate ... but it is their choice. It is the way they are. They are quiet."

 

Sanchez forbids the use of Russian in his Big Bear, Calif., training camp, where Golovkin has his twin brother, Max, and Russian cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev near him frequently.

"I try every day to make sure that I don't hear Russian in my gym," Sanchez said. "I try every day to make sure that they talk the (English) language. I ask them questions about stupid things -- about cars, their families, Gennady's first girlfriend -- just so he can talk to me."

Though neither fighter is good at promoting the fight verbally, the promotion now appears pleased to reach 1.5 million pay-per-view buys -- less than the 2.2 million who paid for Alvarez's bout four years ago versus Mayweather.

"He understands (English) completely, 100 percent," De La Hoya said. "And he can actually speak it. He is just embarrassed. He is embarrassed about how he sounds."

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