Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KO’s) and Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KO’s) fought to a controversial split draw before a massive crowd of 22,358 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in September. The first portion of the bout, as expected, was nail bitingly close, while the second half appeared to be controlled by Golovkin. However, judge Adelaide Byrd shifted the attention from the biggest fight of the year to herself after she turned in perhaps the worst scorecard in the history of boxing with a 118-110 score in favor of Canelo.
Canelo announced after the fight that he would sit out the rest of the year and return in May 2018. Cinco De Mayo falls on a Saturday next year, which would make that the logical date for a rematch.
One major question heading into the sequel is Golovkin’s age. He will be 36 by next May and he has showed signs of aging in his last few fights against the likes of Daniel Jacobs and Canelo, respectively. Although he appeared to have defeated Canelo by two or three rounds according to most boxing experts, he struggled at times to land significant punches on his opponent, and his footwork was also a bit off.
The Kazakh fought at least three times in 2013, 2014, and 2015, but fought just two times in 2016. However, Canelo, who has fought in 14 more professional bouts than Golovkin, has also fought just twice a year since 2012.
Although he is just 27 years of age, Alvarez has been in a lot of fights, and is also susceptible to aging just as much as anyone else in the sport.
Canelo, though, deserves a lot of credit for his performance regardless of the judging. He offset Golovkin early on with decent head movement and landed the better punches to the head and body overall. However, Golovkin was busier, more consistent, and backed Canelo up throughout the second half of the fight. FightNights.com scored the bout 116-112 for Golovkin and predicted a 115-112 victory for GGG.
As previously reported by FightNights.com, Canelo fought Golovkin with Winning gloves instead of his usual Everlast MX. Winning gloves are more padded with foam for extra hand protection, and is recognized as one of the best training gloves on the market. Sources close to the situation reached out to FightNights.com and said Canelo had injured his right hand during training.
Depending on how serious the hand injury was, the nearly eight-month resting period between the first and expected to be second fight, should allow Canelo to rest his hand significantly longer than a December date would have allowed. FightNights.com has put together an early, but condensed round-by-round prediction.
Round 1: Both fighters know each other now. There’s no need to feel out. This will be a very explosive and action-packed round. Golovkin lands the harder and crisper punches, but the judges may give this one to Canelo.
Winner: Canelo 10-9
Round 2: Golovkin out-jabs Canelo and lands with the right cross.
Winner: Golovkin 19-19
Round 3: Very even round. Canelo dances around the ring and forces Golovkin to miss a few times, and counters him with a left hook to the body. GGG backs up Canelo with the jab.
Winner: Golovkin 29-28
Round 4: Both fighters are flailing away, but Golovkin is landing with the more authoritative punches. Action-packed round.
Winner: Golovkin 39-37
Round 5: Another action-packed round. Canelo lands a terrifying left hook to the body, but Golovkin lands an authoritative right cross with Canelo against the ropes. It’s playing out a lot like the first fight, with more action.
Winner: Canelo 48-47
Round 6: Action-packed round. Canelo starts off the round strong, but Golovkin rallies late and catches Alvarez with a wicked left hook to the head.
Winner: Golovkin 58-56
Round 7: Canelo out-boxes Golovkin, who has to take a breather from the previous round.
Winner: Canelo 67-66
Round 8: A hard combination sends Canelo down for a flash knockdown.
Winner: Golovkin 77-74
Round 9: Golovkin scores to the head of Canelo and scores with a hook to the body. Alvarez seems more content on surviving and fighting in spurts.
Winner: Golovkin 87-83
Round 10: Canelo lands a solid combination to the head of Golovkin at the center of the ring. The Mexican also lands a sizzling cross as the Kazakh came in with a lazy jab. Canelo is feeling a sense of urgency. Golovkin comes back at the end of the round to hurt Canelo, but the judges will likely lean towards Alvarez.
Winner: Canelo 96-93
Round 11: An action-packed round. Very tough to score. Advantage Canelo.
Winner: Canelo 105-103
Round 12: Golovkin gets in a few punishing jabs to the head of Alvarez and stays on the outside as Canelo rushes in looking for the KO. GGG hurts Canelo late in the round with a body shot.
Winner: Golovkin 115-112 by unanimous decision or controversial draw
Although the rematch will have more action than the previous installment, Golovkin should still win. However, without a knockout, it carries the possibility, once again, of another controversial outcome.