By Michael Mulvey – The highly anticipated middleweight rematch between Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (38 – 0 – 1, 34 KO), and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (49 – 1 – 2, 34 KO) on September 15, 2018, is rapidly approaching.
The IBF, WBC and WBA World Middleweight Titles are on the line in this fight, with the victor likely to subsequently face the winner of the WBO World Middleweight Title match-up on October 20, 2018, between Britain’s undefeated Billy Joe Saunders and undefeated American, Demetrius ‘boo boo’ Andrade. This potential unification clash is the chance for the fighters to claim ultimate supremacy in the middleweight division worldwide.
Canelo has competed in fifty-two professional fights, with forty-nine victories, two draws and his only loss coming to one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of all time, Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2013.
The 28-year old Mexican fighter turned professional in 2005 at the tender age of 15, after forty-six amateur contests, in which he lost only twice.
Despite being the younger fighter in the clash with Golovkin, Canelo is the more experienced in the professional ranks; due to turning over at such a young age, he has accumulated vast amounts of experience throughout his professional journey since 2005.
On the other hand, Golovkin – Triple G – has competed in thirty-nine fights as a professional, maintaining an undefeated record, with thirty-eight victories, including thirty-four knockouts, and only one draw. The draw came after the first encounter with Canelo on September 16, 2017 which caused controversy and debate amongst fight fans and the general public.
The 36-year old fighter from Kazakstan also previously competed in 350 amateur contests before he embarked on his professional journey.
The first fight between Canelo and Golovkin ended in a controversial draw that has been debated ever since. It was a close, mostly cagey affair that was very difficult to score and could have arguably gone either way depending on what you like to score.
Triple G pressured Canelo from the outset in round one, cutting the ring off and trying to back Canelo up against the ropes throughout. Conversely, Canelo tried to box on the back-foot, trying to pick Golovkin off as he progresses. Canelo wanted to avoid exchanging with Golovkin, especially close up ‘inside’, as he knew that would favour and play into Golovkin’s game plan.
Golovkin has shown he is undoubtedly one of the best in terms of chin durability in the game; he has never been stopped, knocked down or rarely even shown any slight signs of trouble throughout career, amateur or professional.
Canelo has clearly shown he is heavy-handed throughout his career, with thirty-four knockouts to his name, including recent devastating knockouts over the likes of American, James Kirkland (May 9, 2015) and Britain’s, Amir Khan (May 7, 2016).
Despite Canelo’s proven power, it must be considered that Canelo landed his heaviest shots on Golovkin in their first fight; the same powerful right hand that knocked Kirkland and Khan into unconsciousness, conversely caused no trouble to Golovkin. Triple G continued the fight untroubled, showing no emotion as he was clearly unfazed by Canelo’s power.
“In the last fight I did not feel any real power from Canelo. Just slaps. He is not the hardest puncher I have fought,” said Golovkin.
Therefore, the claims Canelo has made to knock out Golovkin in the build-up to the rematch are difficult for fight fans to genuinely believe, as the past suggests Canelo has a limited chance of defeating his counterpart Golovkin by knockout.
“I know that I can hurt him. I hurt him in the first fight, and I’m going to hurt him even more in the second fight. My objective is the knockout and I’ll be looking for that from the opening round,” claimed Canelo.
There has been heightened animosity between the pair since Canelo failed two drug tests, which delayed the rematch between the pair. Canelo was banned for six months, claiming he ate contaminated meat in Mexico that jeopardised the test results. Nevertheless, Canelo has lost significant support and respect worldwide amongst boxing fans, as many now categorise him as a cheat, including Golovkin himself:
“Canelo, he is not a champion. He is a liar who has no respect for the sport of boxing or its fans,” Golovkin said.
The two fighters look in a tremendous condition in the build-up to the fight, with both clearly leaving no stone unturned, as would be expected. Taking all arguments into consideration, the most logical conclusion to this contest seems to be a Canelo points victory, or alternatively a stoppage victory in favour of Gennady Golovkin.
On one hand, I think Canelo has a worthy chance of winning the clash if he keeps the fight on the ‘outside’, out-boxing and out-manoeuvring Triple G. But, if Canelo gets drawn into a close-up ‘inside’ fight, I can only see one winner; Golovkin.
I think this will be the case. Golovkin will begin the contest at a high pace, maintain relentless, educated pressure on Canelo and subsequently wear him down, down the stretch of the twelve-rounds. He will force Canelo to exchange at close quarters and ‘fight’ when he wants to rest.
Therefore, I believe Gennady Golovkin will force a late stoppage with the referee calling off the contest during the ‘championship-rounds’.
Regardless of the winner, if Canelo is a man of his word and searches for the stoppage from the outset, I am sure we are guaranteed a big drama show, as Golovkin proclaims.
Triple G, at thirty-six years of age, is aware that he is at the tail-end of his boxing career, approaching his final few fights. I see him leaving absolutely everything in the ring, with the mindset of winning by stoppage being essential, to prevent leaving the decision in the hands of the judges. He will undoubtedly have left nothing to chance in training and will leave nothing to chance in the ring against Canelo.
A Gennady Golovkin victory would inevitably set up an ultimate unification ‘big drama show’ against the winner of Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade; the final decider to determine who the best global middleweight definitely is.
But as with any contest at any level, it must be remembered that fights are not won on paper. People and fight fans across the world will have varying opinions on the outcome of this contest, but ultimately all predictions are irrelevant. The deciding factor is which fighter successfully puts all of the collective effort and experiences from throughout their careers into action, to perform better in the thirty-six minutes of the fight. So, until the final bell on fight night, all we can do is speculate.