The fans have been clamoring for this fight for years, and it’s finally here. Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo Alvarez will meet on September 16th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to determine who’s boss.
Golovkin (37-0, 33 KO’s) currently holds the WBA, WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight titles, while Canelo (49-1-1, 34 KO’s) is a two-division world champion, and briefly held the WBC middleweight world title before vacating it in May 2016 following a brutal knockout victory over Amir Khan.
FightNights.com has already released a round-by-round prediction, and we encourage you to check that out as well. However, there are many ways to break down a bout.
Canelo appears to be in the best shape of his life and stronger physically and mentally. Golovkin defeated Daniel Jacobs in March on points, but it was a tough and competitive fight throughout. This has led many to believe that the Kazakh has lost a step, but is that true?
Golovkin has dominated the middleweight division for quite some time, and his 23-consecutive knockout streak was snapped against Jacobs, but there are levels to champions, and although ‘Triple-G’ was wiping guys out, he wasn’t facing the kind of an opponent with the pedigree of Jacobs, who notably won four New York Golden Gloves championships.
Most ringsiders had Golovkin ahead by two rounds, and the fourth-round knockdown also played a factor. Whether he has lost a step remains to be seen.
But another question must be asked. Have Canelo’s last two fights prepared him for what he is about to face?
Canelo defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May in a battle for Mexican supremacy at a catch-weight of 164 pounds. It was not much of a fight as Chavez didn’t even try and went through the motions as Alvarez pitched a shutout. Immediately following the bout, Canelo-GGG was announced inside the ring.
With the way Chavez was fighting that night, Golovkin would have likely knocked him out. Now, Canelo is going to face a hungry and determined middleweight; not a Chavez Jr., and it appears his power did not coincide with the increase in weight. The drop from 164 to 160 could make a slight difference in his favor. Canelo also fought Liam Smith last year and although he injured his right hand early, he still knocked him out to claim the WBO super welterweight world title last year.
Of course, Liam Smith is no Gennady Golovkin. Any injury or handicap against the champion could be very detrimental. Hand health is important to the longevity of any boxer and this is guaranteed to be an all-out war. If his hands aren’t 100 percent, that might also become a factor. Golovkin is no spring chicken, either, at 35 years of age with a long and distinguished amateur record.
Canelo is the better boxer and is known for his sharp, accurate body work, and phenomenal counter-punching. If he wants to beat Golovkin, he’ll have to take the wind out of him, and a consistent body attack does just that. However, Golovkin is very underrated defensively, and of course, you can never underestimate the colossal power in his hands. If Canelo gets too aggressive early and gets caught, the fight changes entirely.
If the bout gets into deep waters, as we expect it will, the harder it will get for Canelo, who tends to get tired by the eighth round. That gives a tremendous advantage to Golovkin.
When the best fight the best, the variables go all over the board like a calculus student studying for their final exam. This is what boxing is all about and the fans are going to get what they deserve.