Joe Cortez is a Hall of Fame boxing referee and an analyst for ESPN. Cortez has been the third man in the ring for some the sport’s biggest events and with some of it’s greatest fighters. In my interview with Joe Cortez, I discuss with him Alvarez vs. Golovkin and get his views on what fans can expect. Joe also talks about the strengths of both fighters and gives his early breakdown. Additionally, Cortez talks about the return of Manny Pacquiao and what fights he sees for Pacquiao towards the end of his career. Here is what Joe Cortez had to say.
(Click play to hear Cortez’s view on Spence vs. Brook and more!)
Robert Brown: Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin was officially made for September 16th, what do you think the fans can expect from that fight?
Joe Cortez: They’re going to get two warriors in there because Gennady Golovkin is a tough, aggressive, hard punching fighter and he’s fighting Canelo Alvarez who is a very aggressive, hard punching fighter himself. I think the fans are going to get a good night of boxing, you can almost guarantee it with that one on September 26, 2017.
The fight will most likely be in Las Vegas, but I understand the United Kingdom has interest in that fight, Jerry Jones in Texas wants the fight, everyone wants the fight now because they know this is going to be a guaranteed war between two champions. The pay-per-view is going to go through the roof, it’s going to be bigger than Pacquiao vs. Mayweather.
The boxing fans who know boxing know that Gennady Golovkin is not a runner, and people know that Canelo Alvarez is also not a runner. They’re both good punchers, they both will come in one hundred percent prepared for this battle.
Robert Brown: You believe that it will beat the Mayweather-Pacquiao pay-per-view record?
Joe Cortez: I believe so because it’s that kind of a fight. In Mayweather-Pacquiao, you knew that Pacquiao was going to come forward to fight and slug it out and you knew that Mayweather was going to fight the same style he’s always fought, he was not an exciting fighter to watch, he was just a fighter that came to hit you and don’t get hit. The fans don’t want to see that kind of a fight, they want to see a war, and you’re guaranteed to get a war with Golovkin and Canelo.
Robert Brown: Who do you think will win that fight?
Joe Cortez: It’s a little early still. We like to study these fighters but we got some time to go. The good thing about this is that Canelo Alvarez did not get cut, he didn’t get hurt, so that’s a good thing in his favor. Had he had a cut or some kind of a concussion, he would be going into the fight like damaged goods, but he wasn’t hurt at all, he barely got hit with any hard punches. It’s too premature right now to make predictions, but either way I go, it’s going to be a favorite with the fans. I think Gennady Golovkin is the harder puncher, even though Canelo has a great knockout record himself.
Robert Brown: Manny Pacquiao is talking on Jeff Horn in my country of Australia, do you think it’s possible that we could see a Buster Douglas kind of upset if Pacquiao is taking Horn lightly?
Joe Cortez: It can happen, stranger things have happened in boxing. Pacquiao looked good in his last fight, but he’s getting older and older. One day it’s going to catch up to him, like with Wladimir Klitschko. They don’t know when to retire, retire when you’re still on top, don’t retire with a nasty defeat because people will remember that last one and forget all the great fights you had throughout your career because they remember the last one. I think that Pacquiao better be ready and prepared for this unknown fighter who can shock the world.
Robert Brown: Do you think they are just keeping Pacquiao busy until he cashes in against a big name, maybe even a Mayweather rematch?
Joe Cortez: He may end up fighting Crawford, or he may come back and give Shawn Porter a shot, you never know. There’s a bunch of fighters that are out there that have been struggling and waiting for the opportunity to fight Manny Pacquiao. I think those fighters that have been waiting and struggling and have been fighting the best, they want to get a shot. Shawn Porter definitely wants to get a shot at Manny Pacquiao, so Pacquiao may be setting himself up for one of these fighters. Keith Thurman would be very dangerous and Shawn Porter too, so maybe that’s why he’s picking guys like Horn.
Robert Brown: If Pacquiao did fight someone like Terence Crawford or Keith Thurman, what do you think would happen? Can Pacquiao still beat these guys?
Joe Cortez: Everybody thought Pacquiao was down and out in his last couple of fights and he surprised the whole world. After getting knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, the guy came back like a lion. He still has his style, he still has it all, but we have to remember that in boxing sometimes the fighters get old overnight. Think about Klitschko, all of those years and all of the sudden a guy comes out of nowhere and he stops him. Here in the United States people aren’t too familiar with Anthony Joshua but he did a great job and now they are talking about him. Joshua is great for boxing, he’s young, he’s strong, he’s talented. Let’s put him in with Deontay Wilder for a heavyweight unification fight. This is what boxing needs to bring the sport back up where it belongs.