Canelo vs Golovkin: The wait has made the anticipation greater. Finally, on Saturday night it will happen. Billed as the fight of the decade, two of the best boxers in the World (in any weight division) will meet for all the marbles at Middleweight. The lineal Champion will emerge from the inevitable fireworks that will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, America on the 16th.
At this point, it’s the only question worth asking: Who will win Saturday night’s fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin? Our experts make their picks.
The unbeaten Kazakhstani professional Golovkin is the favorite-but not an overwhelming one. Nevertheless, with the same knockout ratio held by Mike Tyson when his career was at this stage he is an acknowledged ferocious puncher with devastating power in each hand. He also has a chin like stone which has enabled him to make errors, get hit, and still win and it could do so again on Saturday. He will have no fear of Alvarez, for Golovkin, its business as usual-seek and destroy.
Canelo in contrast must fight the perfect fight in order to win. He is only recently fighting at Middle Weight having moved up from 147 pounds over a couple of years. He needs to stick to a well thought out game plan, show plenty of lateral movement to stay out of trouble, throw fast combinations while simultaneously using elusive head and body movement ‘bobbing and weaving’ combined with indefatigable stamina if he must go 12 rounds to win on points. He is only 26 so he’s young enough to put in such a performance but can he take the punches of a true, seasoned middleweight? Golovkin is a youthful 35 and has never been on the floor in more than 380 fights so it’s is difficult to imagine Alvarez hurting or stopping him. He must therefore clearly hit Golovkin more times than he gets hit and make it to the final bell. He must also not just get a debatable decision but win convincingly if he is to avoid the controversy of last year’s ‘pound for pound’ fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. Ward won on a split decision which left a bitter taste in the mouth for many and even when Ward did a real job on his opponent and stopped Kovalev in a rematch earlier this year flimsy accusations of low blows blemished the victory for some so overall it was a less than satisfying experience even though the better man won. This has to be different if greatness is to be achieved by whoever proves to be the better man on Saturday.
This is a true test of fire for Alvarez and Golovkin. GGG’s power can not be denied; 89 percent of his victories have come by way of KO. Nevertheless, that power was somehow neutralized by Daniel Jacobs, who used his ability to walk the ring, using the angles and change of stance, with an impeccable physical condition to put Golovkin in check and revealed his defensive flaws. Against Canelo, Gennady will have to use all the tools acquired in his extensive amateur boxing experience. GGG will have to honor his motto and put on a “big drama show” while bringing his best version of “Mexican style” boxing to the ring. Canelo, with 12 years of experience, is not the same fighter who faced Carlos Baldomir seven years ago. Alvarez is a boxer with 51 bouts in his record, with excellent work ethic and very patient. At age 27 and with physical maturity, Canelo has developed an explosive and effective hook. I expect a fierce fight, both chins will be tested. Alvarez will take the win by split decision. Alvarez and Golovkin will give us an electrifying night in Las Vegas. Golovkin and his devastating power will test Canelo’s resistance and heart, but Alvarez also knows he has the boxing skills, the counterattack and defense to neutralize GGG. Canelo wins unanimous decision. There is no doubt Alvarez will be in great condition, but I don’t think that could be enough to defeat Golovkin, who is a natural middleweight, very powerful and has a huge heart. It will be a great battle between two Mexican boxing style boxers where power would be the big factor. I see Golovkin prevail by KO in the 10th round.