Pick Em

PICK EM FRIDAY | GENNADY GOLOVKIN VS. SAUL ‘CANELO’ ALVAREZ

Paul J Daley – TopClassBoxing – Golovkin PTS12 Canelo – The word that springs to mind when talking on the subject of Golovkin Vs. Canelo is controversy, rife still with suggestion and accusation that has carried on from a fight in which many thought Golovkin had done enough to seal the victory, only to be denied by the judging at ringside, it was enough to whip the community into a frenzy, add to that the failed Canelo drugs test for the banned substance ‘Clenbuterol’ and suggestion from Abel Sanchez of illegal hand wrapping in a procedure called ‘stacking’ I think we can all agree it wasn’t good reading for boxing’s Goldenboy.

Canelo has taken his rap to the knuckles for his/his camps part in the test, serving a six-month suspension, returning with renewed vigour which a quick look through his Instagram will find a fighter transformed looking in the best shape I have seen him in for quite some time, not looking bulky but lean in readiness for war.

Gennady with a renewed hatred for his opponent has made the comments to the media of his thoughts that Canelo has disrespected the sport, hellbent on making the Mexican see the error of his ways through a firestorm in which he hopes to rain down on him this coming weekend.

The first fight showed us the blueprint in which this will follow, in reality, both fighters need to do more, Golovkin for all the talk of him being a master of cutting off the ring, followed Canelo around aimlessly, giving him an easy escape route everytime he closed the gap.

Canelo for his part, allowed Golovkin to take rounds with the pressure he exerted, only really coming to life at the halfway stage, rallying late on to secure the draw on the scorecards.

I predict this fight to follow a similar pattern as the first, Golovkin’s team have baited their hooks with talk of Canelo unwilling to stand and trade with them, questioning his Mexican heart which has got Canelo biting but come fight night I very much doubt he will provide a static target which would play into the hands of Golovkin who’s record of knockouts mixed the statistic of never being knockdown either as an amateur or professional is perfect for a rock em sock em kind of fight.

Canelo looks to have put in the hard miles and the hours in the gym, showing as much from a leaner version which could be telling of a fighter that may be preparing to counter off the back foot again but to do so with more activity, allowing him to win close rounds.

If the fight is close at the final bell, you can stick a fork in GGG reign at Middleweight because I can tell you now that Vegas won’t rob the house favourite, corrupt I know but thats boxing, we’ve seen it countless times.

That being said, GGG is seeking vengeance for an injustice done to him just over a year ago, I feel he is the fighter who will make the necessary adjustments the better of the two and be able to cut off the ring enough to unload body shots to sap the leg strength of the younger fighter, I also and this may be surprising to some, fell Golovkin will score a knockdown which will aid his points victory after an absorbing twelve round firefight.

Hey, but what do I know?


Mark Dormer – TopClassBoxing – Canelo PTS12 Golovkin – So here we are, just a day away from the rematch of a fight which signalled the start of a rollercoaster ride of a 12 months. Saturday night will be 364 days since Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin fought out the tightly contested battle in Vegas which culminated in a controversial draw.

Since then there have been times where the rematch looked impossible to make, there has been a huge doping scandal, and an overall feeling that the two fighters will be stepping into the ring to face each other with far more animosity than we saw in the first fight.

So where does that leave us picking a winner? On one hand, you could look at the first fight and say GGG might have marginally pinched it, he definitely took one of Canelo’s best shots with seemingly little effect. Maybe he will use the frustration of the last 12 months to drive him to higher levels to ‘teach’ Canelo a lesson? I am not so sure….. for me, the result of this fight may be swung by one factor that catches up with all boxers….father time. GGG is now 36 years old, is a whole year older than his last fight, and has already shown signs of his ageing in previous bouts.

Canelo looks strong, focused and ready, he doesn’t seem to have let the distractions of the last 12 months impact on his training or self-belief. If you look at his only defeat (which was dealt with him by the hands of none other than Mayweather Jnr) he showed a great ability to learn and adjust from it and for that reason I believe that we are going to see something special. The Mexican has a point to prove……….

Canelo to win by way of a closely battled points decision…but here is the most controversial bit….I think we may see GGG having to get up off the floor for the first time in his career……


Paul Hortop – TopClassBoxing – Golovkin PTS12 Canelo – On the eve of the biggest fight of 2018 which it quite some feat after some of the fights that have happened this year. For me the chaos surrounding the drug ban given to Canelo in the aftermath of the first fight which I think we all scored in favour of Gennady Golovkin – I think come fight night we are going to see a different Golovkin to that of the past – Golovkin will be out to make a major point this time and I think when you have the motivation of which Gennady will possess I think we see a clearer win this time around for Golovkin. Hope everyone enjoys the fight this weekend!! #CaneloGolovkin2


Dan Foley – TopClassBoxing – Golovkin TKO Canelo – All the bad blood and recent controversy have made this rematch an absolute must-see event.  Like their first encounter, I feel this will be a very tough fight to predict.  Canelo seems to have developed a real hatred for GGG after the drug testing episode and he seems to be coming into this fight intent on proving a point and making a real statement.  I feel he’ll be a lot more aggressive from the outset in this rematch, which may not work to his favour.  Both fighters proved to have solid chins in the first encounter however, I think GGG seems to possess a slight edge in this area along with his power.  If Canelo is as aggressive as I think he’ll be I can see GGG catching him with a lot more shots in this fight which will lead to an eventual stoppage in the later rounds.  I could be completely off track and Canelo may look to use his superior speed to stick & move and pick GGG apart on his way to a judge’s decision, which is what makes this fight so great as it really can go either way.  I’ll stick with my gut feeling though and say GGG wins this via TKO in the later rounds.


Jamie Bourne – TopClassBoxing – Golovkin UD12 Canelo – I am predicting Golovkin to claim the win that was taken from him in the first meeting. I think Golovkin is intent on making an impression in the rematch to prove that he is the better man and was robbed of a victory in the first match up. I anticipate a fast start from the Kazakh, working Canelo’s body whilst maintaining high, consistent work-rate. As the rounds progress and the Mexican tires, I expect GGG to begin throwing heavy bombs in an attempt to end proceedings inside the scheduled distance. However, Canelo is made of tough stuff and it would take something spectacular for him to give over in the ring. After 12 brutal rounds, I see the judges making no mistakes this time, with Golovkin taking home a unanimous decision victory.


Richard LewisTopClassBoxing – Golovkin PTS12 Canelo – The rematch that we’ve all been waiting for is finally happening this weekend, a day short of a year on from their first contest and at the scene of the crime of the first fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, as the two current best Middleweights in the world meet again in what I hope is a fight that this time isn’t courted with controversy.

The well publicised questionable scoring from Adelaide Byrd in Canelo’s favour last time left a bitter taste in the mouth, as did I’m sure the contaminated meat that Álvarez supposedly ate that contained Clenbuterol a performance-enhancing drug which he tested positive for after the first fight which led to a ban meaning the rematch has taken a year to happen.

In that time we’ve seen Golovkin dismantle late replacement Vanes Martirosyan in two rounds and show no signs of slowing down at 36 years of age. From what I’ve seen Canelo looks in even better shape than he did for the first fight and he’ll have to be to withstand the power of Golovkin once again and potentially go the distance with the Kazakh monster.

It’s a fight you can’t help but get excited about, and although I picked Canelo to win on points last time, having seen their first encounter several times over, and the fact that he took everything that came his way and still kept coming forward then I’m going to go the other way this time and predict GGG to win by a close points decision and some good to finally come of this ‘big drama show’ to quote the man himself.


Steve Haigh – TopClassBoxing – Canelo PTS12 Golovkin – I’ll be mighty surprised if all the talk from Canelo and his team on going all out for the KO materialise, I’m expecting more of the same from both sides but with a few tweaks.

Golovkin needs to take more risks and be aware of the second phase of the attack after initiating the first. His combinations have to end with more focus on the midsection of Alvarez. In fact, more bodywork is crucial and to turn the screw when Canelo needs to rest.

Canelo knows after hitting Golovkin with his best shots and the kitchen sink for 12 rounds that a stoppage on his part is unlikely, to say the least.

I expect him to roll with the shots and to keep his head to the side of the crease. He will be taking big shots but his team will have drilled the point of taking the sting away and picking up on any counter opportunities that catch the eye of the officials as much as he can and using the ring -so pretty much more of the same from him.

And if VADA has done their job correctly then make no mistake about it his edge from juicing in his past fights will be noticeably absent.

Golovkin is a year older and Canelo could well be clean going into the next fight.
I don’t see a knockout but in Vegas, the house near always wins. I see The Mexican picking up a decision that he doesn’t deserve and it pains me to say it !!


Dean Berks – TopClassBoxing – Canelo TKO Golovkin – First things first: Golovkin won the first fight. It was close but the spoils should have gone to GGG. But it was also a highly revealing fight for both men.

Golovkin no doubt is very heavy-handed, particularly against second-tier opposition, but against Danny Jacobs and Alvarez, that power became less evident. And, if anything, Alvarez seemed to carry the harder punch more in the first fight. It may well have been a case of Golovkin being overly cautious and taking his time, but in the rematch, he needs to assert this from the start to gain the respect of his opponent. As for Alvarez, he showed his speed and ability in spurts but spent too much time being backed up, again maybe with too much respect for GGG. However, this time both men have promised to pursue a knockout, taking the power away from the judges. Golovkin knows he needs to put even more pressure on Alvarez this time. A master of cutting off the ring, he allowed Alvarez too much space to manoeuvre. He needs to suffocate him here whilst going to work on his body. Alvarez found out that he could stun Golovkin the first time round. Now more accustomed to 160, he needs to back GGG up and combine movement to come at angles. I picked the younger man first time around and I’m sticking with him again. I think Golovkin isn’t the fighter he was or maybe even flattered to deceive, a bold statement I know, but I think there’s still more to come from Alvarez. Alvarez late round TKO.


Barbara Pinella – TopClassBoxing – Golovkin KO Canelo – Why are these never easy for me? I will keep this short and sweet. I think both men will come into the fight in great shape and both feel they will prove something with a victory. Canelo is younger and very strong, and one can make the argument that he is in his prime. Golovkin is on the down side of his career, but can fight smart and as his record shows, has punching power of his own.

What it might boil down to is who really wants it more, and who will have more control of their emotions. And if that is what it actually comes down to, I would then have to lean towards Gennady. Actually, my money is on GGG anyway. I think he is the smarter fighter and is always cool under pressure. I also don’t think either fighter wants this one to go to the judges. I look for the elusive GGG to take Canelo into the later rounds, wear him down, and win by KO.


Lee Thorton – TopClassBoxing – Golovkin SD12 Canelo – The rematch between Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez features experience vs youth.

Gennady Golovkin appeared to win the first fight when the judges shocked many fans with a draw.

Going into the rematch I feel Canelo must effectively counter Golovkin’s aggression as he did well many times throughout their first fight. Canelo also landed very nice uppercuts and bodywork. Alvarez impressed this writer with his performance even taking some great shots from a vicious puncher like Golovkin.

A massive key in this rematch will be Golovkin establishing bodywork. A missing factor for him in many fights recently, Alvarez’s counters will not make it any easier in the second fight. Golovkin had a lot of success as the fight proceeded his jab was accurate all night long.

Picking a winner for this fight, I am going to go with Golovkin via split decision as Canelo fights in bursts and I feel Golovkin’s pressure and jab will allow him to score enough to win a close fight.


Craig MorganTopClassBoxing – Golovkin PTS12 Canelo – Canelo v GGG, the most anticipated rematch of 2018.

A fight that needed to happen, due to the controversial scoring in the first fight, back in September 2017. A terrible 118-110 scorecard, in favour of Canelo, from Adalaide Byrd, was outrageous. It was a close fight & the decision could have gone either way but an 8 point difference, for either man, is beyond comprehension.

The general consensus from the first fight was that GGG had won. I predicted a GGG win in the first fight & actually scored it a draw when watching it but if either man had been given the decision, I wouldn’t have argued with it.

The controversy of Canelo’s drug test failure before the planned rematch in May has been a big talking point & it remains to be seen if this plays a factor in his performance. I generally side on that he was caught out & the test failure wasn’t due to ‘contaminated meat’.

GGG has presented a more determined demeanour in the lead up to the fight & has been visibly irritated when the drug test failure is brought up. He feels that Canelo was caught out & looks to be fired up more than ever.

I can’t wait for the fight & due to the bad blood between both men, feel that it can’t not be a great fight. Canelo seems riled that GGG is questioning his integrity when he says that he was caught out with his drug test failure.

They both landed big shots in the first fight but neither ever looked to be wobbled or in serious trouble.

Both men are world class & are the top 2 middleweights in the world.

It’s such an intriguing fight but I predict that GGG will edge out a close points win.


Jonathan Harris – TopClassBoxing – Golovkin TKO Canelo – The rematch of the century is just a day away and boxing fans are losing their minds! The first fight was already built up enough through pure excitement of the best fighting the best, but through a chain of extraordinary circumstances the fight has taken a different path to what we expected, of course, the first upset was the ghastly scorecard from judge Adelaide Byrd, but not only the rematch was “tainted”. Canelo’s failed drug test from the Mexican meat has turned boxing fans opinions upside down and inside out, the first fight was a spectacular show of boxing but now the rematch seems to be more all eyes on Canelo and whether it is evident that he was purposely taking performance enhancing drugs by his performance declining or whether the distinctive weight loss is more about improving stamina.

After the failed drug test was announced I lost Interest in the rematch, I didn’t want it to happen and I felt Canelo didn’t have reasonable punishment for his violation. As it stands now I have never been more excited for a fight, the state of affairs has put the rematch in a blaze of fire. Canelo and his team are determined to clear the Alvarez name by putting on an unforgettable performance, Canelo is also pretty sure he can KO the stone chinned Khazak which seems to me an almost impossible task after what we saw Golovkin walk through in their first outing, In the opposite corner we have one hammer fisted GGG locked and loaded with ferocious determination to punish Canelo for his little clenbuterol stint.

What a combination we have, but there is no room on either men’s record to fit in another draw. This time fans need a winner and predicting that winner is proving rather difficult.

This fight is based on the what ifs, so I’m going to break down my prediction by personal thoughts rather than facts, it’s no secret that I’m cynical about the whole account of Canelo’s meat tale, I believe that Canelo purposely took clenbuterol to get the unfair advantage and now that has been stripped away from him it’s a question of whether he can replicate former performances of his best, based on this opinion I see the fight starting off pretty much the same as the first, Golovkin walking down Canelo snapping the powerful jabs in face of Canelo but often getting answered with sharp counters from the Mexican, as the fight goes on to the middle rounds that is when I assume the signs of fatigue will start to show from Canelo, in the later rounds both fighters being tired, will drag to a centre of the ring toss up of toe to toe action and bad news for the golden boy promotions. I predict GGG will not leave any dispute this time around and give everything he has to get the knockout, he has already felt the shots from Canelo and will take more reasonable risks to break down Canelo and get more of his power shots off.

Overall we know that a historical fight is in the making and all the talk, and debates will soon have an answer. In the words of Gennady Golovkin, we indeed have a Big Drama show.


Rob Day – TopClassBoxing – Golovkin TKO Canelo – I’ve struggled to get hyped about the rematch. The dodgy scoring last time, Canelo’s meat scandal and the negotiations have dimmed the lights. It looks like a cracking card and I’m interested to see how the tactics look compared to the first fight. I think Golovkin will be more aggressive this time and look to get a KO. He’s slowing down but I think he can unlock Canelo’s defence and get a stoppage late on.


Darren Wilson – Boxing TrainerCanelo on Points


Sean Jones – Boxing Trainer – Canelo TKO Golovkin – I got a sneaky feeling Canelo could pull it off with a body shot


Stephen Robinson – Boxing Trainer – It’s hard to pick mate I think GGG


Gary Lockett – Boxing Trainer/ Manager – Canelo PTS12 Golovkin – Can’t really decide, was a close fight last time, GGG winning it on work rate but I thought Canelo was the more dynamic and eye catching puncher of the two. Could be a similar affair, I can’t really see how GGG can change but I think Canelo will. I’ll put my neck on the line and say Canelo on points


Dewi Powell – Boxing Wales – Golovkin UD12 Canelo – It’s a shame that the judges’ cards (especially one in particular) from the first fight have unjustly blemished Golovkin’s record and led to Alvarez receiving so much criticism that the obscene guts he showed to survive Golovkin once the Kazak gained thunderous momentum is now being overlooked. If the judges had been fair, it would have been remembered as a classic. Golovkin’s tactics in the opening two rounds and final two rounds were questionable. He seemed very naive and he let Alvarez take the initiative when it mattered – first and last impressions. Everything in between was fantastic and Golovkin was clearly the more effective fighter from rounds three to 10. I expect that to continue throughout the rematch and I would be amazed if he didn’t learn from the first fight, where although deserving the win, he had more room to improve. Abel Sanchez will advise GGG to be just as relentless but this time for the full fight and he will work the body more, something he neglected before, meaning his head shots will be better disguised.


Shawn Cameron – Former Boxer – Canelo PTS12 Golovkin – Yeah I’m going with Canelo this time, Even though on paper he has everything against him, He just has more tools

GGG does the same thing over and over and over. Fight smaller guys and come forward throwing wild punches to overwhelm the opponent, This is why he hasn’t moved up in division


Ricky Wright – Ring Announcer – Golovkin PTS12 Canelo – I believe Golovkin won the original contest and was unlucky to get the draw. This time Alvarez, having signed up to the VADA testing program, will come into this contest more natural than the previous one, losing his illegal advantage over GGG. I predict a good CLEAN fight with the Kazakh coming out on top after 12 rounds.

I've been in the boxing industry for over 16 years but been a fan for almost double that figure. I'm the proud owner of TopClassBoxing which continues to go from strength to strength as we strive to give fight fans a voice to be heard amongst the community. I've also had several articles published by reputable magazines and you can usually catch me around ringside.

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