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Canelo Alvarez: I own edge over Gennady Golovkin with level of opposition

Photo by Josh Hedges / Getty Images
13
Sep

LAS VEGAS – Gennady Golovkin is the slight favorite Saturday, and there are many reasons why Las Vegas oddsmakers tilt it in his favor.

Before Daniel Jacobs survived a fourth-round knockdown and went the distance with GGG in March, 23 opponents failed to hear the final bell.

Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) isn’t just a power puncher who uses brute force, though. He’s also excellent at cutting off the ring – perhaps the best in boxing – and possesses tremendous fundamentals honed over a decorated amateur career that culminated with an Olympic silver medal.

Alvarez, in contrast, competed in less than 50 amateur fights. But he made up for his lack of seasoning in the unpaid ranks with bouts against some of the best fighters around today.

Sure, Floyd Mayweather Jr. easily outpointed Canelo in 2012, but Alvarez no doubt soaked a lot in during a 12-round affair with the best of this generation.

“I learned a lot from that fight,” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) said Wednesday. “I don’t take it today as defeat; I take it as experience. I learned a lot on my style.

” … I believe that I’m still learning and I can learn more. I’m at a good point in my career, but I never stop learning.

Add in close-decision victories over tricky Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara (currently THE RING’S No. 1 junior middleweight) and Austin Trout, along with a clear victory over Miguel Cotto, and Canelo’s caliber of foes is hard to top.

All four fighters are certainly A-level.

Golovkin’s ledger isn’t nearly as impressive, though of course, it’s not fault of his own. Most of his 17 middleweight title defenses have come against B- and C-level opponents.

His lone bouts against the elite level have taken place in the past 12 months: a stoppage win over Kell Brook, who move up two weight classes for the bout, and the hotly contested decision win over Jacobs.

“It’s important to have that level of experience, he has a lot of experience from his amateur days to now,” Canelo said. “He’s had a lot of fights, but I have to say I have the edge when it comes to the level of opposition.”

Perhaps that experience edge — even though Canelo is eight years younger at 27 — will help him trudge through the mud when he reaches the fight’s toughest moments. When you stand across the ring from an athlete the ilk of Mayweather, you have to adjust. Canelo, surely, will be forced to grab several game plans out of his trick bag Saturday.

“There’s going to be moments I have to take risks to attack his body, to attack his head,” the Mexican star said. “I need to be thinking and not be a target for him to just hit.”

Canelo went 12 rounds with all four of those opponents. Triple G? Well, he’s had to last the distance just once, and that came at age 35, in his last fight.

Canelo knows how to adjust and deal with adversity. Will Golovkin be able to deal, too, over 12 rounds given his lack of big-fight experience, even if he may be the better fighter?

Alvarez hopes it never comes to that point.

“Every night before going to bed I visualize the knockout,” Canelo said. “It’s something I prepared for. I trained for the knockout.”

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger

  • learnmore

    What have you done for me lately, overall Canelo has the best names on his resume. He fought Lara in 2014, since then his resume has not got any better. GGG resume has improved over the years especially since he made his HBO debut & since 2015 GGG resume overall is better than Canelo, its not even close. Beating Kirkland (shot), Cotto (WBC MW champion), Khan (welterweight), Liam Smith (WBO 154lb champion), Chavez jr (drained) is not better than beating Murray, Monroe jr, Lemieux (IBF MW champion), Wade (mandatory), Brook (IBF welterweight champion), Jacobs (WBA MW regular champion).

    • Julio

      I am not a Canelo fan, but I even admit that Canelo has definitely much better names on his CV than GGG.

      • learnmore

        Obviously you have not read my comment, I said in the 1st sentence that Canelo has better names on his resume. He fought Lara in 2014, 3 years ago, Kirkland, Khan, Smith & Chavez jr are not better opponnets than GGG have fought since 2015. People may argue Cotto, who knows, I reckon he’s pass his best thats why he’s being clever who he has fought since returning after that lay off. Delvin Rodrigues, one legged Martinez, 157lb drained ghost Geale & journeyman Kamegai, waiting for another big money fight.

        • Ten Count Toronto

          LOL people get carried away by names on a ledger out of context. I guess everbody who’s beaten Roy Jones & James Toney in the last 10 years can claim to have beaten better opposition than Alvarez.

      • Ten Count Toronto

        Really better fighters or just better promoted? Of all the opponents Canelo beat, only Lara had both the top-end talent and was near his prime. Cotto & Mosley no longer mattered, All were too small. And even Lara comes with the asterisk of being the type who gives away some rounds and holds back quite a bit at the best of times.

        • Julio

          Still, that looks noticeably better on a resume than a Geale, Monroe, Wade, etc. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

          • Ten Count Toronto

            Eye candy on paper. I suppose what this point is really all about is not so much who Alvarez has fought, but who Golovkin HASN’T fought. Between the 2004 Olympics and the 2017 Jacobs fight, there has been no adversity and very few real challenges. That can’t possibly be goo for an athletes competitive edge.

          • Julio

            What I am alluding to, is Canelo’s substantial edge in higher profile fights. As seasoned as GGG is, this is his first mega fight and Canelo is arguably his most dangerous foe to date, at least on paper. Not that I am saying all this will impact Golovkin negatively, dude looks very relaxed and comfortable like being in that position was preordained.

          • Ten Count Toronto

            Thats certainly true. And he has good reason to be poised and relaxed – it almost was preordained for him to be here the way the last few years were handled, they have waited for the most optimal moment of advantage possible while the other guy is now in a situation where at 35, there is no time left for a re-launch – fail on Saturday and Golovkin goes down as a hype job – nobody can tune out that pressure completely.

        • Emeka Nnaji Jr.

          Lara’s inability shouldn’t be a negative mark against Canelo lmao.

    • Emeka Nnaji Jr.

      Lmao Monroe Jr. and Wade are nothing notable. Brook was a welterweight champion. The only B+ fighters on Golovkin’s resume are Lemieux and Jacobs. Alvarez has face three A level opponents and a B+ level opponent. There is no comparison. Really you tried to use Monroe Jr and Wade. Your credibility is crushed for that nonsense.

  • learnmore

    Canelo also said that he would of stopped GGG’s opponent, I think thats a load of rubbish. He could not stop Cotto or Chavez jr in recent times. I would put money on that Canelo would not stop Murray, Monroe jr, Lemieux or Brook.

    • Julio

      Canelo has to look for any possibly imaginable edge (he will need it) come fight night. Canelo has good power, but he has knocked some dudes out in dramatic fashion with precision, not power. They left themselves wide open and freckled face made them pay. GGG’s chin is not usually left sticking out begging to get hit, thus Canelo will need to look for ways to keep GGG off of him just enough, and that is the million dollar question.

      • learnmore

        I just think GGG is on a different level to Canelo & he will school him on Saturday, but if Canelo make me eat my words. I’ll give him all the credit for the win.

        • Julio

          Don’t sell freckled face short. The kid has improved immensely in the last couple of years and I am sure that he will bring it on Saturday. This fight can dissected in a myriad of ways, but to me is very simple. Canelo has to earn GGG’s respect, or simply will get steamrolled.

        • wayne reid

          And $50 bucks for me……….

      • Ten Count Toronto

        If GGG’s doesn’t leave his chin (and midsection) open for lots of power shots, then he’ll be showing up just to sell his title and unbeaten record. If alvarez goes the distance without hitting the ground, he wins the fight. Golovkin needs a minimum of 7 dominant rounds and preferably 2 knockdowns (and maybe an anesthetic injection to the groin) to have any chance of winning, that will involve taking the much greater risks.

        • Julio

          What I am saying is that hitting GGG with flush shots is not that easy it seems. Dude always keep that chin tucked in, thus even if he gets nailed hard, most of those shots land anywhere but not on squarely on the chin. Let’s see instead what Canelo can do to nullify Golovkin’s jab for starters. It has given every opponent nightmares. I do agree, however, that GGG needs to be dominant in most rounds and that include a knockdown or two, or put a serious hurt on Canelo.

          • Emeka Nnaji Jr.

            That is the million dollar question, can Canelo get past that piston like jab? If he can he will have a chance. I can see Alvarez baiting GGG on the ropes and countering. Maybe he will fall into his shots to get on the inside and use his strength to keep him there. It will be very interesting. I actually think a slugfest favors Canelo. I see GGG fighting with respect and displaying a night like the Lemieux fight.

          • Julio

            Staying on the ropes might seem beneficial for Canelo in theory, just keep in mind that GGG picks his spots while the opponent is pinned on the ropes. He won’t throw mindless bombs just to see what happens and hope to land the ONE.

    • left hook

      How do you know GGG can stop Cotto and Chavez Jr. Canelo might be able to stop Monroe or ishida.

      • learnmore

        Hopefully Monroe jr wins vs BJS on Saturday, then we may have an opportunity to see if I’m right or not. Monroe jr v Canelo can happen even if Canelo wins or loses. Monroe jr is with Banner promotion. Ishida’s retired we wont be able to prove that. We also have a chance of GGG v Cotto if GGG wins. In other words we have a slim chance to see who is right with a possible match up of Canelo v Monroe jr & GGG v Cotto. But until then its our opinions.

        • left hook

          U didnt answer the question..U said Canelo would not stop Murray, Monroe jr, Lemieux or Brook…how do u know he can not stop them?

          • learnmore

            I did answer the question its my opinion, just like its your opinion he cannot. We have chances that my opinion will ge proof right or wrong. Canelo could fight Lemieux, Monroe jr in the future & GGG coud fight Cotto in the future. Best of luck to both fighters tonight

          • left hook

            That’s was not what u said. u said u would put money on it canelo can not stop the guys u mentioned…u sounded sure. Ok no problem.

  • Ten Count Toronto

    Oh yeah? Why wasn’t in Alvarez fighting Lemieux & Jacobs? Canelo’s fights are big enough that Golden Boy could easily have offerd Lemieux & Jacobs much more money than K2 did.

    Drop the act already, TIME, not opposition or experience, is what Golden Boy was playing for, and they pushed it as far forward as they possibly could. Same thing as Don King tired to do with giving Trinidad the best possible odds against Hopkins, but it didn’t work because Hopkins was fresher and hungrier than most 35 year olds having only taken up boxing in his mid 20’s.

  • Joey Junger

    Canelo has the bigger names, but they’re smaller men. And one of those big names was a loss, while the other two were close calls (Lara and Trout). The game of day-before weigh-ins can only mask the obvious for so long: Canelo is bigger than Golovkin and has been beating up smaller and sometimes faded names (Khan was a sitting duck). That said, this is pick ’em time, because neither man has faced someone like the man he’s facing this Saturday. Golovkin has a very strong cult (outside of Mexico, at least) so I’ll get flamed for saying it, but I think Canelo wins. People called me crazy when I said the Jacobs fight would go the distance, and maybe I am crazy. We’ll see after Saturday.