By Robert Dominguez
Not that it really needs it, but the biggest boxing match of the year is being hyped with a nostalgic look at some old-school showdowns.
Part of the international hoopla surrounding the September superfight in Las Vegas between lineal middleweight champ Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, holder of the IBF, WBA, WBC and IBO belts, is a new documentary that showcases the golden ages — and golden boys — of middleweight prize fighting.
“I am Boxing” will debut Tuesday, June 20, at a red-carpet media event in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, followed by a screening on June 22 in Hollywood.
Narrated by rapper-actor Ice Cube and boxing promoter Don Chagrin, “I am Boxing” chronicles the intense rivalry between Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta, who brawled six times in the 1940s and early ’50s. Robinson won five of the hard-fought bouts against the Bronx Bull, the last in 1951 for LaMotta’s middleweight crown.
The film then delves into what is widely considered the last Golden Age of Boxing, when the sport’s so-called “Four Kings” — Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran — ruled the middleweight class in the 1980s as they fought nine mostly classic bouts amongst themselves.
“I am Boxing” concludes, naturally, with an in-depth preview of the highly-anticipated fight between the two men currently considered the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world: Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KO) and the Kazakhstan-born Golovkin (37-0, 33 KO).
The 12-round bout, on Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions, and can be seen live via HBO Pay-Per-View.