We are just days away from the mega-fight between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. The fight has been two years in the making. As the days dwindle down, Canelo, a guy that two years ago many felt didn't stand a chance against Golovkin, is starting to become a common pick. It's common for this to happen. Fans love to flip flop as well as find excuses as to why one fighter, who may at times be completely outmatched, can win the fight. They start to overthink the match-up looking at ways the underdog can pull through. But in this case, it's the perception of their past couple fights that have brought about the people that now think Canelo is going to win.
Two years ago Canelo didn't stand a chance. Five days away from the fight and that perception has changed. The main reason behind this has been their last couple of opponents. Despite knocking out Kell Brook in 5 rounds, Golovkin was touched more than usually in that fight, and many felt that Brook, who was moving up two weight classes, shouldn't have been in the fight at all. After that fight people began to bash Golovkin saying that he was a "hype" job and it was only a matter of time. Next up came Danny Jacobs, who was just coming off a 1st round KO victory over the undefeated and very good Peter Quillin. It was a fight that Jacobs was the underdog in. However, Jacobs had been dropped before by a lackluster puncher in Mora, and knocked out years ago by Dmitry Pirog. The perception going into the Golovkin-Jacobs fight was that Jacobs had no shot because his chin would not hold up against the power of Golovkin. That perception was wrong. Jacobs fought an intelligent fight, moving, boxing, and not allowing Golovkin to get off more than a few punches at a time. It was brilliant, and Jacobs is a A class fighter. But, people bashed Golovkin after that fight. Some felt he lost. Even in winning they were not impressed. Quotes like "He's getting old", "He's been exposed", and "He just doesn't have it anymore" began to surface as the invincible aura around Golovkin started to fade.
On the other side Canelo Alvarez had a sensational knockout victory over Amir Khan, destroyed Liam Smith, and had his way with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Canelo has looked unstoppable. Canelo has been on the warpath. Canelo did what he was supposed to do against guys that had no shot against him while Golovkin had trouble with guys he should have had as easy time with.
The interesting theory here is that one fighter has looked vulnerable and the other has looked unstoppable therefore the unstoppable fighter has the better chance to win now. But if you go back into this article, and switch the opponents for the last year or two, that theory can be debunked quite easily. Had Golovkin had to fight Amir Khan, Liam Smith, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, the result would have most likely been the same as Canelo's, maybe even worse. And had Canelo faced Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs, he would have had a hell of a time even winning those fights. Many would argue that Jacobs would beat Canelo.
Perception is everything in the boxing game. The winner is picked by the perception of three judges. Both fighters are very game in this fight. However, it's not because of they way they have looked in their last couple fights. It's because they are both world class A level talent fighters. Maybe Golovkin is feeling his age, maybe Canelo has gotten better over the last two years. Maybe it's all a big illusion and Golovkin will dominate Canelo like every expected him to two years ago. Saturday night should answer those questions and everyone is excited to see. That's really all that matters.