For the past couple of years, boxing fans across the world have craved nothing more than to see Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin face off. This coming weekend at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas fans will get their wish as the two battle it out in a true 50-50 contest.
Aged 27 from Guadalajara, Mexico, Canelo is an extremely experienced fighter having turned professional some 12 years ago at the tender age of just 15. Having fought the likes of Shane Mosley, Austin Trout, Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara, James Kirkland, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Canelo holds a highly impressive 49-1-1 record.
Canelo has showcased hugely underrated technical skill that allows him to throw combinations with real accuracy and power. He is a huge star of the sport with a massive Mexican fan base and appears to be a man improving with every fight.
The one loss on his record came against the greatest fighter of his generation in Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2013. Looking back Canelo was really too young and lacking in truly top level opposition at the time to be fully prepared for the fight.
He was largely ineffective on the night and Mayweather was to produce one of the most impressive performances of his career.
Like true champions do, Canelo seems to have improved from the defeat and looks hungrier than ever to prove himself as the best the sport has to offer.
In order to be in with a chance of being labelled as the best, he has to defeat the huge punching Gennady Golovkin.
Aged 35 from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, Golovkin holds an undefeated 37-0 professional record containing an astonishing 33 wins by way of knockout.
Golovkin is a come-forward, thunderous puncher who has bad intentions in mind every time he throws a shot. He is fantastic at cutting off the ring and placing his opponent exactly where he wants them to be.
With all of his knockout power, it is sometimes forgotten that he is a technically very good fighter who had over 350 amateur fights and won an Olympic silver medal.
There are times though in which Golovkin appears to forget about his boxing skills and gets hit with shots that he doesn’t need to. It is suggested that he does so as he has no respect for the power of his opponents and knows that they cannot hurt him.
Golovkin is a man who has never been put down as an amateur or professional and knows that he has the ability to take heavy shots well.
Perhaps his most impressive performance to date was against the then IBF champion David Lemieux in 2015. Lemieux is a very good fighter with dangerous punch power but he was made to look rather average on the night in a dominant display by Golovkin.
Golovkin has created such a fearsome reputation for himself that other top level fighters have seemed unwilling to step in the ring and face him. He has been one of the most avoided boxers of the past decade.
The likes of Miguel Cotto and Canelo himself have clearly avoided Golovkin in the past and some suggest that the only reason the fight is now taking place is due to signs of weakness being shown in recent displays against the likes of Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs.
There is a general feeling that Canelo has waited for Golovkin to show some weaknesses before deciding to jump in with him. There is, however, the argument that Canelo has been allowing himself to grow into the middleweight class properly.
Heading into the fight opinion as to who walks away victorious seems to have changed. When the fight was first talked about Golovkin was seen as the big favourite as he was demolishing opponents with relative ease.
He looked like an absolute fighting machine and nearly all experts were backing Golovkin to come away victorious but given Canelo’s hugely impressive performances against the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Golovkin’s lacklustre display against Jacobs, there seems to have been a change of heart.
A whole host of boxers and analysts are now backing Canelo to claim the victory with his accuracy, combination punches and youth just about seeing him through to victory.
In terms of breaking down the fight itself, Golovkin will look to be the aggressor. He is going to come forward looking to put Canelo under huge pressure. He will be aiming to knock Canelo out emphatically.
Canelo will look to use his boxing skills to land combinations on Golovkin and slowly break him down. He will aim to counterpunch when pushed back against the ropes and generally use his sharpness to outbox the Kazakh.
This is a true 50-50 fight in which serious, legitimate arguments can be made for either man to walk away from the winner and that is why it is such a good fight. Both men are world class at what they do and many are changing their opinions on a daily basis.
When it comes to putting my neck on the line and predicting a winner I edge in favour of Canelo. I see Golovkin as a very hittable fighter and given the sharp, accurate work of Canelo I can see him being outboxed.
A close points win in favour of the Mexican is my prediction but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Golovkin win either.
This is a fantastic fight that has sadly been somewhat overshadowed by the hype that surrounded the Mayweather versus McGregor event a few weeks ago. This fight deserves huge media publicity but unfortunately, it isn’t receiving the level of media coverage that it should.
The fight should be a hugely entertaining one with the styles of the two fighters gelling to create a classic night of boxing.
If you are a boxing fan then you have to tune in to watch this fight as it is about as big as it gets. Two world class fighters putting it all on the line to achieve greatness.