Hopkins backs Canelo's intelligence to trump Golovkin's power

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Bernard Hopkins believes the intelligence of Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez will trump middleweight king Gennady Golovkin's power when they clash in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The pair will fight for Golovkin's WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO titles at T-Mobile Arena, with Canelo hoping to stun his undefeated opponent having moved up from welterweight over the course of his career.

Hopkins, who dominated the middleweight division for the best part of a decade, believes the Mexican's ability to adapt will be key, stating the reigning champion has never been truly tested.

He told Omnisport: "I think that Canelo has shown more readjustments in his ability to be able to outbox, counter-punch, deliver and execute. When you look at Triple G's wins, because he's still undefeated ... he's been in the same gear because he hasn't been pushed to do anything different.

"I want to see him do something different. As a matter of fact ... this will bring the best out in Canelo. Triple G will bring out the best in Canelo.

"We haven't seen the best of Canelo, but when Triple G pressures Canelo and Canelo has to go in his trick bag, that's when you'll be like, 'we didn't know he could do that, we didn't know he could move that way, did you see that?'.

"You're going to notice that Triple G is making no adjustments to figure it out. 

"This fight is going to be won on intelligence, not muscle."

Hopkins believes that whoever comes out on top will cement their place as one of the modern greats.

"They become right now, I believe, the face of boxing. They become the superstar in boxing," he said.

"A superstar is defined by some people by who can get more butts in seats and who can get the biggest pay-per-view numbers. I agree, numbers never lie - unless you can't count - but this fight will be, I believe, a stamp of approval for the face of boxing.

"But you have to stand out, you have to do things, you have to make history."

Should Golovkin defeat Canelo he will be one win away from matching Hopkins' record of 20 defences of the middleweight title and the 52-year-old is hoping that does not come to fruition.

"I better have a banana peel ringside then. A nice banana peel," he joked. "But no, listen, records are made to be broken. I'm hoping he never breaks mine. I'm competitive until the end, until I go to my grave.

"Right now my record got a little bruised on its boo-boo, but I'm going to make sure to get a little band aid on it and we're going to go ahead fight until the end.

"That's why I'm speaking so passionately about it ... because I got two things to hold my hat on for Canelo to be victorious."