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Two big winners (Canelo and GGG), one big loser (Chavez): Weekend Review

07
May

THE BIGGEST WINNERS AND LOSERS OVER THE WEEKEND

BIGGEST WINNER

Gennady Golovkin: You had to feel for Golovkin.

GGG is considered one of the most talented fighters of his era but had never had a truly big fight on a truly big stage to demonstrate it, the closest to that being his victory over Daniel Jacobs in March. And time was running out. He’s 35, probably entering the final stages at his peak as a boxer. Some even wonder whether he has started to decline.

He had to wonder with a degree of sadness whether his time would ever come. When asked if he had begun to give up hope, GGG told the RING and Los Angeles Times: “Yes, I think so.’’

And then it came.

The fight that Golovkin has coveted for more than a year – the fight all boxing fans have clamored for – was announced after the big fight Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas: Golovkin will face Canelo Alvarez for the RING middleweight championship and GGG’s sanctioning body titles on September 16.

No site has been selected but the leading candidates are T-Mobile, AT&T Stadium outside Dallas and Madison Square Garden in New York City.

From a business standpoint, GGG just won the lottery. The popular Kazakhstani will earn by far the biggest payday of his career, eight figures in U.S. dollars. That’s one reason he has worked so hard for so long, to provide security for himself and his family.

From a competitive standpoint, Golovkin just won a figurative lottery. This is his defining fight, his opportunity to prove in front of a huge audience – 2 million pay-per-view buys in the U.S.? – that he is truly the great fighter he has been purported to be.

Golovkin knew about a week ago, when he signed the deal to face Canelo, that he had landed his dream opponent but he was still glowing at the press conference immediately after Canelo shut out Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. GGG was all smiles.

The man was profoundly happy. And you have to be happy for him.

 

BIGGEST WINNER II

Canelo Alvarez: Canelo had the biggest night of his career.

First, he embarrassed his countryman and arch rival over 12 pathetically onesided rounds, winning almost every second of every round, delivering a painful beating and emerging with a shutout decision. All three judges scored it 120-108, as did I.

The fight for Mexico ended up being as big a mismatch as you’ll ever see at  this level of boxing.

Canelo (49-1-1, 34 knockouts) was unable to knock out Chavez, who is big, strong and tough if little else. He probably outweighed Canelo by more than 10 rounds on fight night. Junior also took few risks in the fight, which might’ve given Canelo the opportunities he needed to finish the job.

The fight quickly evolved into a showcase for Canelo’s ability at the expense of entertainment, which didn’t sit well with the 20,510 fans in the stands at T-Mobile. They very likely expected Canelo to win but they hoped for at least some dramatic moments, which never came.

Their boos late in the fight instantly turned into cheers moments after the final bell, though.

That’s when it became clear that Canelo would face Golovkin in September, a matchup that serves Canelo on a number of fronts.

One, he’ll earn a crazy payday. $30 million? $40 million? More? Two, this also is his opportunity to prove how good he is. A victory over Golovkin would change the way Canelo is perceived, bringing him closer to the status of great Mexican fighters like Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. And three, it puts to rest the nagging – and absurd – notion that Canelo is afraid of Golovkin.

Canelo reportedly partied into the wee hours the night of the fight. He had reason to celebrate.

 

MOST INTRIGUING

Canelo vs. Golovkin: If this fight had been made even eight months ago, Golovkin probably would’ve been a prohibitive favorite.

Then GGG had some shaky moments against Kell Brook in September and struggled to beat Jacobs in March, which made Golovkin look vulnerable. And, again, he’s 35. That combined with Canelo’s progress as a boxer makes this a fascinating matchup.

My gut feeling is that GGG might be too skillful for Canelo. And the fact he is more accustomed to fighting at 160 pounds could work in his favor. If I had to make a prediction at this moment, I would choose Golovkin by a decision.

A close decision. I believe Canelo could win the fight. He looked strong and comfortable after weighing in at 164 pounds, nine pounds heavier than in any previous fight. He fought 36 minutes without sitting down between rounds. And he seems to have maintained his hand speed, which might be underappreciated.

He also seems to get better every time out, although he hasn’t faced a meaningful test since he outpointed Miguel Cotto in November 2015. As Golovkin pointed out at the press conference that followed the fight Saturday: “I’m not Chavez.”

Indeed, he isn’t. Neither is Canelo. We’ll see who is better on September 16.

 

BIGGEST LOSER

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.: Junior earned a guaranteed $3 million for his fight against Canelo, which is roughly 300 times the average annual household income in Chavez’s native Mexico.

That has to ease at least some of the pain of what occurred on Saturday. I’m not talking about physical pain, although there seemed to be plenty of that. Chavez’s body took a pounding and his face was badly bruised, including a left eye that was almost closed shut.

I’m talking about emotional pain, damaged pride. Chavez (50-3-1, 32 KOs) was humiliated with the eyes of countrymen upon him, as TV ratings in Mexico were expected to be through the roof.

Those who supported Chavez and/or don’t like Canelo for whatever reason were hoping that his size advantage would be an equalizer against a more-talented opponent. It wasn’t. Chavez did nothing else but serve as a 6-foot-1 heavy bag for his arch rival, which wasn’t what he had in mind when he agreed to the fight.

To his credit, Junior accomplished more in his career – including winning a middleweight title – than many believed he would. He became more than merely the son of a famous fighter. And he seemed to be prepared on Saturday, at least physically. He made weight.

However, it will be hard for Junior to live down the beating he took on Saturday, which put all of his many limitations on display for everyone to see. It was cringe worthy.

At least he finished the fight on his feet. That’s something. Not much, but something.

 

RABBIT PUNCHES

Marcos Reyes (35-5, 26 KOs) would’ve been better off if he had been knocked out by middleweight contender David Lemieux (38-3, 33 KOs) on the Canelo-Chavez card, which is what most of us expected. Reyes, a natural super middleweight, managed to stay on his feet but took a brutal beating from Lemieux. The French-Canadian, who won a wide decision, is a viable opponent for Canelo if he beats Golovkin. Lemieux would love another crack at GGG but it’s difficult to get excited about that prospect after the beating Golovkin gave him in 2015. … Lucas Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) gave an impressive performance in his first fight in 19 months, stopping capable Emanuel Taylor (20-5, 14 KOs) in five rounds on the Canelo-Chavez card. Matthysse , fighting as a welterweight for the first time, put Taylor down twice. Taylor had never been knocked out. Matthysse still has that power. He would like to fight Manny Pacquiao. Interesting fight. … Featherweight contender Jo Jo Diaz (24-0, 13 KO) fairly easily passed a significant test when he nearly shut out previously unbeaten Manuel Avila (22-1, 8 KOs) at T-Mobile, winning 100-90, 99-91 and 99-91. Diaz boxed beautifully. He is hoping the victory will make him the mandatory challenger to either WBO titleholder Oscar Valdez or WBC titleholder Gary Russell Jr., the latter of which seems unlikely given promotional alliances. I like the Diaz-Valdez fight, which could come down to Diaz’s ability to take Valdez’s power shots. … It’s always sad to see a once-good fighter fall apart in the ring, which happened to 35-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa on May 5 at the MGM Grand. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist was put down twice by Robinson Castellanos (24-12, 14 KOs) and quit on his stool after the seventh round of a scheduled 10-round lightweight bout. Gamboa (26-2, 17 KOs) had nothing. If he is finished, he will have had a decent pro career that peaked from 2009 to 2011. He beat in succession Jonathan Victor Barros, Orlando Salido, Jorge Solis and Daniel Ponce de Leon and held two 126-pound titles. Not bad. It seems he could’ve accomplished so much more, though.

  • Giuseppe

    I vow not to watch any hype shows for this canelo ggg fight. The spin machine is a distraction.

  • Boxing guru

    hmmm, not sure a win would change the way ginger is perceived all that much. Olivares and Chuchu didn’t take too much time ‘marinading’ their fights, nor Barrerra and Morales, Izzy and rafa. Sal Sanchez really would fight anyone anyplace anytine. Same deal with Chavez sr, Finito etc. Yeah I know this is a business but gingers career and the timing of this fight don’t seem completely compatible with the behaviour of the true MEXICAN GREATS.
    #
    Any neutral fan who really knows boxing really knows that Oscar was keeping ginger away from GGG until decline started to set in. And it seems to be maybe the case, so only now are they taking their chances.
    Gingers good, real good and matches GGG for size. and I figured since the Cotto fight he could have some moments against GGG but a win was a step too far unless GGG slips and I still feel that way.
    if GGG looks real sharp in September and ginger whups him, i’ll give him his due big time, but of all the possible outcomes possible, that’s probably one of the least likely imo.
    #
    still favour GGG cuz ginger isn’t as big or as mobile as cruiser Jacobs, and GGG’s got that tough nut to crack. Good competitive fight though.

    • Giuseppe

      A fair assessment i think. GGG may have topped out but he is still great. Canelo is on the rise BUT look at his opponents. Still looks super sharp and stronger than ever at the weight

      • Ten Count Toronto

        It’s become almost a 50/50 fight now form a 80/20 fight a couple of years ago. The birth certificates alone dictate so. Beyond there is only so much you can read into Alvarez performance against Chavez. Yuri Forman dominated Daniel Santos, said more about Santos than it did about Foreman.

    • Ten Count Toronto

      heck, never mind GGG, they kept Canelo away Chavez in 2012 & 2013 because even though Chavez would still have been in poor shape, late to camp, and crashing down to weight, at least he was fairly active during those years and his mid-20’s body was more forgiving of the mistreatment than it is now. That’s why the fight happened now. Just like that’s why they’re fighting (allegedly) GGG now. They modeled themselves after Mayweather to wait people out. With Andrade it will be another 4 years,. They can’t do it with Charlo because he’s the dame age, so that fight will never happen.

  • Giuseppe

    Is it totally unreasonable to consider that Chavez threw the fight and that it was basically a 3m pay day to hype the “main event” – the Canelo v GGG fight?

    • Rick

      I can’t imagine he would agree to make himself look THAT bad. I’d think if it was a set up they would’ve made it at least slightly entertaining. But who knows.

      • Giuseppe

        he’s not clever though, is he.

    • Stephen M

      Hindsight being what it is, is it unreasonable to think that Oscar knew that Junior would have nothing left on fight night, the same as Oscar had nothing from making weight against Pacquiao? I think that may be why the scheduled the big announcement after the fight.

    • Ten Count Toronto

      He didn’t need to agree to throw the fight. In addition to being the lesser boxer to begin with, the weight & timetable he agreed to virtually guaranteed he would be unable to make contest of it. Signing for the strictly enforced 164.5lbs having fought only once in the past 23 months was basically capitulating in exchange for the $3M, and since I suspect he mentally checked out of the sprot some time ago, it made sense to grab this money now.

      • Giuseppe

        has to be said, too: what a chin! could have taken him even further if he had better skills/ brain.

        • Ten Count Toronto

          He could have made more money and fans from 2011-2014 if he was in shape and fighting more regularly. He couldn’t have beaten Martinez or Golovkin, but since he beat Rubio, Manfredo & Lee, he could also have beaten any of the other contenders in that period.

    • Mauro Hermida

      Its not. He threw 10 punches a around. I know compubox said 20, but that was bs to me. Im sure Canelo recognized really early that he wasnt going to get any kind of resistance. He had no regard for Chavez returning fire. It looked that way because he was throwing wide hooks, uppercuts, everything he could think of without worry. Chavez should retire and give his paycheck back. He forgot to bring his nuts.

      • Giuseppe

        He won the lottery.

        • Mauro Hermida

          Praise Jesus!

      • Giuseppe

        Question is… Does this make liam Smith ATG???

  • Ten Count Toronto

    These two sisters should have had this slumber party in 2012 or 2013 while at the same time Golovkin should have been fighting Martinez for the real title which would have spared boxing the ensuing 3 years of bullshit in the Middleweight division.

    Alvarez performance was just OK considering he had no resistance or defense in front of him. Not exactly Holyfield-Douglas was it? For other examples of ho ELITE fighters dispatch part-timers who are faking it, check out Bowe vs.Gonzalez, V.Klitschko vs. Johnson & Williams, Arce vs. Rosendo Alvarez & more recently Bradley vs. Rios.

    Wonder what Wladimir Klitschko feels reading this gushing over Alvarez performance and remembering all he years he was being savaged for being “boring” and taking too many rounds to get rid of guys like Botha, Shufford,, McCline and more recently Thompson & Chambers.

  • Juan Manuel Valverde

    3000 times the average household….

  • Michel Desgrottes

    I gotta be honest, I don’t see this fight doing over 700k buys, I don’t think it’s as. If as we claim it is to be or want it to be, it won’t be a top 5 sporting event of the year, it’s all overblown, it’s big amongst our niche community of boxing fans and participants, but it doesn’t permeate pop culture, the boxers themselves don’t have that reach, real heads, real athletes and pundits know, but it’s not the hot topic of barbershop USA, and it won’t be, sorry

    Plus the whole delivery was corny, WWE style, it’s funny, they hated on Floyd for years for being more business than warrrior, mayweather was about the circus more than being a gladiator

    But on Saturday instead of just simply announcing the fight with ggg ringside, they make a big spectacle, grand entrance and titantron video collage, like cmon dude “this is boxing, I’m not a businessman” but you are willing to be a part of the circus even tho u critique others, like it’s all hypocritical bullshit

    I’m not here for it

  • Ten Count Toronto

    BTW say what you want about Chavez – no doubt his attitude and work are an insult the effort & sacrifices of thousands of legit fighters – but even so he took his beatings against both Martinez & Alvarez and he did so without an ounce of defensive & survival skills.

    Also Chavez at least had the balls to face Martinez at a time when neither Mayweather, Pacquiao, Cotto, and least of all Canelo would not have got in the ring with him.

    • Mauro Hermida

      At least with Martinez he was at the peak of his powers and gave some resistance. I think he was lucky that Sergio was on the downside. If Sergio was more at his peak, I could have seen him stop Chavez. Against Canelo, not so much.

      • Ten Count Toronto

        It was the beginning of Martinez’ slide and the 12 rounds of Chavez 175 lbs bearing down on him leading to the knockdown & knee injury speeded up that decline. Martinez also injured his hand when he rocked Chavez with a big left near the end of the 5th otherwise he may well have stopped him in the next few rounds.

        However also suspect that if Chavez had spent 2 or 3 years really training and learning like a full time fighter, he might have made himself into a poor man’s Carl Froch and had a near-50% chance of getting his own stoppage of the 2012 version Martinez.

        I certainly think Canelo could have forced a referee or corner stoppage if had unloaded the way Lomachenko did on Sosa or like Joshua closed against Klitschko but he just doesn’t seem to have the temperament or imagination to create an ending entirely of his own initiative.

    • Don Badowski

      As a Pacquiao fan, I can say with all honest that Martinez, at the full 160, would have killed Pac. At 154, interesting bout.
      BTW, I used to be a Martinez fan, until I paid for his fight against Cotto. “Oh, my knee is fine. Just fine. Buy my fight. I need the money to retire on.”

      • Ten Count Toronto

        The Martinez of 2008 – 2013 would have probably have been too much for Pacquiao and I;m not sure 154 ir 160 would make much difference , however by the time of the Cotto fight, Martinez would have been toast against Pacquiao & Mayweather – anything Cotto can do they could do better & easier – in hindsight he would have lost to the Charlos, Lara, Canelo and maybe Brook&Thurman as well. But because of Pacquiao’s style, he would have dispatched the crippled version of Martinez in especially spectacular fashion (like Morales 3) They were all foolish to let Cotto scoop that fight out form under them when he did.

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