Thursday, February 22, 2018  |


Canelo-GGG won’t look like Mayweather-Pacquiao in the slightest


LAS VEGAS – The last superfight (real fight, not Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor) turned out to be a dud. I don’t see how that can happen in this one.

Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin is a near-perfect blend of timing and styles, which has raised hopes that the middleweight championship fight Saturday at T-Mobile Arena could be a modern classic.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, the last superfight, pitted the two biggest stars in the sport against one another but it happened too late. Pacquiao had lost the step he needed to compete with Mayweather, which resulted in a one-sided snoozer.

This fight? Canelo, 27, is in his physical prime. And while Golovkin is 35 he seems to have very little wear and tear on his body.

Perhaps more important, prevailing wisdom is that Canelo is ready for the challenge. That might’ve not have been the case when talk of the matchup first surfaced after Canelo outpointed Miguel Cotto to win the RING and lineal middleweight championship in November 2015.

Golovkin would’ve been a prohibitive favorite had the fight taken place the following May. At the time, Canelo had never fought above 155 and was still evolving as a boxer. And GGG was in the midst of a knockout streak that would reach 23. He seemed inhuman.

A lot has changed since then.

Canelo (49-1-1, 34 knockouts) seems to have continued his development, particularly on defense. He learned a great deal against talented opponents such as Erislandy Lara, Cotto and Mayweather and has continued to develop against overmatched foes such Amir Khan, Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. since the Cotto fight. He is universally regarded as a fine boxer.

The only loss of his career came against Mayweather, who easily won a decision, but, Canelo said, “I learned a lot from that fight. I don’t take it today as defeat; I take it as experience.”

Also, Canelo allowed his body more time to mature in the face of criticism. He responded to the notion that he was ducking Golovkin by saying he wasn’t yet a full-fledged middleweight, the implication being he’d fight GGG when he was ready.

He was able to make what became a typical catchweight of 155 pounds for him, but just barely. The catchweight for the Chavez fight was 164.5 pounds, which made Canelo’s life a lot easier.

“Canelo has always been a big, strong junior middleweight,” said Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions. “He had to really sacrifice, really watch his diet. A lot of times when fighters move up in weight they get the advantage of their muscles feeling fresher and stronger. Sometimes they are stronger.

“… People don’t understand the strain it puts on a fighter when they have to shrink themselves, because they’re really shrinking muscle.”

One fight has changed the perception of Golovkin, whom many now see as the underdog on Saturday. I conducted an informal poll of elite boxing writers the past few days in Las Vegas and the majority of them picked Canelo to win.

“It’s the Jacobs fight,” Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, said when asked to explain the experts’ opinions.

Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) was able to get past Daniel Jacobs in March but the fight had no resemblance to the previous 36 of his career. Jacobs was able to land consistently and, while he went down in the fourth round, he was never seriously hurt and finished the fight on his feet.

GGG was awarded a close unanimous decision – 114-113, 115-112 and 115-112 – but many believe Jacobs deserved the nod.

One possible explanation is that Jacobs is a very good, athletic fighter and naturally bigger than Golovkin. Of course he gave Golovkin trouble. Another possible explanation is that Golovkin isn’t quite as good as many people had thought.

Sanchez offered no excuses.

“If Jacobs would’ve fought Canelo that night and we fought Chavez, I think you know the outcome of both those fights,” he said.

Whichever theory is closest to reality, the perception among most observers is that this is now a 50-50 fight.

“I’m extremely happy about that,” said Sanchez, referring the increasing number of those leaning toward Canelo. “That’s what our sport needs, two sides, not a fight where there’s no interest because it’s one-sided.

“I’m happy people are picking Canelo. Those same people will be rooting for whomever is doing best (in the fight). The fans are just going to see a good fight.”

One reason Mayweather-Pacquiao fell flat was Mayweather’s ability. No one doubts his ability but many of his fights were dull because, in general, he carefully outboxed his opponents without taking risks.

That’s what happened in the Pacquiao fight. Mayweather did enough to win a decision but that’s it.

“I think with Floyd, and unfortunately some other guys with that style, a lot of fans went away from the sport,” Sanchez said.

Neither Canelo nor Golovkin are cautious boxers.

Canelo is a counterpuncher in terms of his style, meaning he typically reacts to what his opponent does, but he’ll take the fight to his foe if he has to. His goal is to wreak havoc one way or another, not win boring decisions.

And Golovkin, mild-mannered outside the ring and nasty in it, is a hard-punching hunter whose nature is to destroy his opponents. That’s why he stopped 23 in a row. And that’s why many fans love him.

Those styles and mentalities – combined with where the fighters are in their careers – have many fans looking forward to Saturday.

Said Canelo: “Those are the ingredients to be one of the best fights ever.”


    SHM. You people always taking potshots at Floyd and just like Floyd.

    • The Parrfection

      Imitation was the brother of all fuck-ups, right? Something like that anyway

  • Ten Count Toronto

    Gomez: “… People don’t understand the strain it puts on a fighter when they have to shrink themselves, because they’re really shrinking muscle.”

    Um, Eric, who’s choice was it to remain in the lower weights all these years??

    In one breath they tell us he needs to grow into a full fledged Middleweight, in the next they claim he was sacrificing to make weight!

    Can we at least settle on one spin?

    • Orca

      Ha, exactly. What a cheek.

  • Ten Count Toronto

    If there is any memorable drama or fireworks, it will be because Golovkin understands he needs a KO to win and decides to force the issue regardless of the growing gap in handspeed and reaction time favoring Alvarez.

    Otherwise they’re both measured & methodical boxers. Golovkin used to be less so, but with age and an apparently slower trigger, he’s moving closer to fighting at Alvarez’ pace.

    As for Canelo, the Chavez fight dashed my hopes that a comfortable weight would unveil an Alvarez with a greater willingness to step on the gas pedal. Instead that performance only cemented the impression that he’s just not busy enough to legitimately beat the Golovkin I saw from 2011-2015. But today, it’s not out of the question unless GGG can get back to that form.

  • chickenstock

    GGG-Jacobs was competitive. But Jacobs did not do enough to win. that’s that.

    And let’s make no mistake about this whatsoever… Oscar and Canelo are only taking the fight because they are gambling that GGG has declined just enough for them to win AND for them to get credit for it. I really really hope they get the shock of their lives and GGG absolutely batters the shit out of Alvarez, because everything about HOW and WHY this fight was made illustrates why boxing is such a frustrating sport to watch. They stood no chance against prime GGG, and i still think this peaked version is too strong, too good for them.

    • Ain’t no dinos in Holy books

      Completely agree with every single word. This post deserves an upvote from any reader with the ability to think.

    • Fist_ti_cuffs

      And if he loses, what will you say?

      • chickenstock

        i will say well done to canelo for beating a very good fighter.

        • Fist_ti_cuffs

          But not a great one. -_-

          • chickenstock

            Probably not.

          • Julio

            The term “great” gets tossed around like candy. It is no longer relevant in this day and age.

    • Luis Rivera

      Oscar and Canelo are only taking the fight because they can’t find a place to hide anymore. Better to be KOed by Golovkin a result that much fans expect anyway than being KOed by Lemiueux, Jacobs or Charlo.

      • Wade Wilson

        That may well be the thinking. To me, at least, he didn’t seem all that broken up about his Mayweather loss and he seems to now look at it in a similar way as to what you’re saying. It would be A LOT easier to rebuild after a Golovkin loss and they could always say he still isn’t a middleweight. After all, he did recently win a 154 lbs belt!

      • Orca

        I think Canelo is extremely confident in winning this. Oscar on the other hand…..well Saturday night will be squeaky bum time.

        • Julio

          Yes, Canelo sounds really pumped up for this one, but again, let’s see how he absorbs a couple of hard shots to the head. Then we will see how confident he remains afterwards.

          • Jafred Boatwright

            real shit lol

      • Teddy Reynoso

        It seems Oscar and Canelo are really forced to put all their chips in as in poker but what if the bluff or gamble succeeds and Canelo beats GGG fair and square? That would mean that Canelo will still be boxing’s premier cash cow and PPV king and woe to the paying boxing fans who will continue to shell out money to see him fight. This is the reason I want to see a GGG decisive victory this weekend.

      • Jafred Boatwright

        yep cause david jermall and danny dont have the crossover he needs.

    • Ten Count Toronto

      Jacobs ddn;t do enough to win, but keep in mind Canelo probably doesn’t HAVE TO to as much to win as Jacobs would have had to…

      • chickenstock


      • Orca

        Good point.

      • Ross Turner

        Exactly, if it goes to the scorecards, good luck to GGG getting a fair decision.

        • Jafred Boatwright

          well thing is it aint going to the cards cinnamons going out on a stretcher lol.

    • Jafred Boatwright

      ggg looked like stirred fried shit against danny he couldnt cut the ring off kept getting tagged and was bruised tired and unsure he even fucking won lol.

  • chickenstock

    Here’s my prediction for the fight…

    Alvarez, fast start. Takes first two, maybe three rounds but at the end of the third round, GGG catches him nice and clean. Rounds 4-7 GGG stalks him hard and puts it on him. Rounds 8-10 GGG beats him until the corner stop it.

    If i’m wrong, i’ll go ginger.

    • RayK

      I was thinking pretty much the same.

      • vladimir de leon

        Same opinion few rounds to canelo then GGG by TKO. something like brooks!

    • chickenstock

      saying that… all the chatter that GGG ‘has slipped’ has put doubts in my mind. Perhaps i am over influenced by footage of a muscled-up Canelo pounding the pads with bodyshots?

    • Ignition1

      I believe Canelo by clear UD or TKO. Doubt he’ll be able to KO GGG, but I think there will be a stoppage and Canelo win. I don’t think GGG has slipped or anything, but I feel the hype in him is what I felt for Kovalev – but when he got into the ring with Ward, he was undone. I see the same going down with this fight – Canelo seems too slick for him.

      • chickenstock

        Hi mate, fair enough. the reason i don;t compare the two guy comes down to dedication: GGG is obsessed with boxing and training. He takes instruction and defers to his coach. Kov is the exact opposite so when he came up against it he was hollow. but ggg has the amateur pedigree and dedication to the sport that means he can tap reserves that just aren’t there for someone like Kovalev.

        • Floridastorm

          The major difference between GGG and Canelo is that GGG fights because he loves it. Canelo fights because of the money. GGG comes from a dirt poor childhood in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. He used to fight the bullies in the street until they all left him alone due to fear of him. I think you’re going to see the same GGG that dismantled so many other opponents, including much tougher opponents like Curtis Stevens, David Lemieux, and Daniel Jacobs. Canelo will try his best. But his best is far from enough.

          • chickenstock

            I think they both show a passion for the sport tbh. Canelo may have taken three weak fights in a row but his run before that was good.

      • Luis Rivera

        What about the hype in Canelo?

      • Larry Connor

        I agree

    • D Johnson

      Good analysis. That’s how I see it as well. Stoppage maybe a little later than that though IMO.

  • Bar Kokhba

    “Sanchez offered no excuses.

    “’If Jacobs would’ve fought Canelo that night and we fought Chavez, I think you know the outcome of both those fights,’ he said.”

    That’s a really sharp observation from a really sharp guy.

    Picturing those fights, I can easily see Jacobs putting the hurt on Canelo and hustling to a wide decision. And I don’t think Chavez Jr. makes it to the eighth round against Golovkin.

    I have to admit, I’ve been a bit swayed by the fight-week hoopla and the increasingly popular notion that Canelo can pull off the upset (a notion furthered by this very article), but Sanchez’ analysis has helped me put it in focus: Golovkin is coming off of a relatively-unimpressive win because he fought a top contender in his prime; Canelo is coming off of an impressive win because he fought a weight-drained, unmotivated, part-time boxer. There’s some cosmetic matchmaking at work here.

    I think by the fifth, Alvarez is going to wish he’d chosen a tougher opponent than Chavez for his springboard into a Golovkin fight. Canelo’s tough and he’s got spirit, but I think Golovkin breaks him down and takes him out by the 10th.

  • Larry Connor

    As far as Floyd doing just enough to win which causes his fights to be a snooze fest. I always put the pressure on the opposing fighter. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! Don’t cry that Floyd is boring or whatever the excuse is after the fighter loses. You had 12 rounds to do something about it then.

    I have my money on Canelo winning. I do not want to hear any chocalito type excuses if and when Canelo beats ggg.

    • D Johnson

      I wanna know if you’re going to give triple G credit for the victory on Saturday?

      Seriously, if you want to throw some money down on it, I’ll gladly take your money?

      • Larry Connor

        Of course I will ggg credit if he wins the fight Saturday. Im not in them business of discrediting fighters like a lot of people did Ward. A victory is a victory. A win is never a guarantee for any fighter who faces another fighter whom fight for a living.

  • Larry Connor

    I have a feeling that if ggg loses this fight, some how, some way, ggg will start chirping about Ward meeting him at 168 for one last pay day

    • Orca

      Nah, I see him screaming for the rematch. I can see Alvarez winning but surely it’d be a competitive, entertaining loss. Good enough for a rematch. Way more money in that than a fight against Ward.

      • Larry Connor

        I can see that scenario as well.

  • Harry

    It’s hard to bet against a man who has never lost and who has been fighting his whole career in MW. Bookies are slick – they put their money at stake and they still have GGG as a 2:1 favorite.

  • Guy Grundy

    Really tough one to call…a genuine 51/49 fight but to whom? Changed my mind several times in the last few days and can make a case for either fighter winning but….A genuine super fight.

    So……Alvarez wins on points in split decision or GGG by KO in later rounds.

  • IanF69

    It will come down to who wants it the most, and who has the tools to overcome what is in front of them…GGG wins for me…but he needs to knock Ginger out….Oscar holds all the judges cards.
    Time to shine Gennady.

    • Orca

      Excited! Can’t believe how much closer I have it now than I did 12-18 months ago. I’m going with Golovkin but feel it will be close.

      • IanF69

        The closer it gets and seeing the shape Ginger has himself in it will indeed be close…..I hope the little bit of hate in GGG for the treatment Oscar has dished by the marinating bullshit will give him that extra pop in his punches….Enjoy m8.

      • Jafred Boatwright

        close? hell no ggg gonn busy his face open like a mexican pinata

    • Jafred Boatwright

      ggg gonna have to keep his jab pumping and cutting the ring


    GGG will smack that hipster beard and hairdo right off of Canelo. Haha!

  • Jim Parkinson

    So you’re going to pretend that Mayweather-McGregor didn’t happen, so you can set the entertainment bar for this one at Mayweather-Pacquiao? Really going out on a limb there.

    • Teddy Reynoso

      Floyd’s last real fight happened two years ago against Manny Pacquiao. But you have a point about the entertainment level of his last bout versus MacGregor.

    • Larry Connor

      Of course they will pretend it did not happen

    • Jafred Boatwright

      nobody tops floyd period. he leaves 50-0 $300 mill richer and a living legend in good health.

  • Teddy Reynoso

    One good thing for the boxing fans most especially should Gennady wins decisively is that it will finally and effectively end the era of pricey pay per view fights which Oscar through Canelo is trying to perpetuate long after the true and truly deserving PPV superstars like Tyson, Oscar himself, Floyd and Manny have left the center stage. I doubt it if Gennady has any intention to be PPV king not because of his surprising lack of drawing power despite his qualities and capabilities but that is simply not his goal. However, should his marketability rises tremendously in the aftermath of this fight, it will be a bonus. But I don’t see a scenario of him turning into a prima donna asserting himself as the A side and dictating terms and conditions upon his opponents and even the organizers.

  • Wilfredo Vega

    My prediction on September 16 is “Canelo” Alvarez wins two (2) middleweight titles (between both boxers, the WBC title is not at stake and the IBF title holder is B.J.Saunders) over “GGG” Golovkin by hard fought 12 rounds close Decision. Canelo’s defensive elusiveness and hand speed, this two (2) important factor in this fight will put Canelo over the top in winning two (2) Middleweight titles, after this bout is over on 9/16/17 you all (Boxing Fans) will say ‘Wilfredo Vega’ , you are the man!

  • Teddy Reynoso

    By so be it, Oscar is saying that if Canelo loses, especially if he loses big, it will be the end of their long PPV joy ride. But if he wins, the sky is the limit as the joy ride continues.

  • Jay

    nor will it be nearly as intriguing or make as much money. While both fighters are exciting and skilled. Neither is a super star. Ring really needs to stop with the paid propaganda. I know the promoter writes your checks, but stop slandering all time greats.

    • D Johnson

      ” nor will it be nearly as intriguing or make as much money “. How the hell was that fight intriguing? The winner was never in doubt. I’ve never had an easier time picking the winner of a fight before in my ENTIRE LIFE. Why would you dick ride someone else’s bank account? Who the fuck roots for paychecks unless it’s getting deposited into your account? And yet it’s YOU, who accuses someone of propaganda? I’m honestly perplexed…,,,

  • Kiowhatta

    I disagree with this revisionist justification for the ‘marination’ process as it was called back then, and boxing scribes everywhere are claiming that in hindsight it now somehow is tantamount to match making genius.
    Those of us who don’t have easily washed brains know that Canelo was ready back then simply because who did he fight in the interim? Amir Khan, Liam Smith and Chavez Jr. Can one really say they were fights that readied him for Golovkin? How were they in ANY way a resemblance of a process of preparing for GGG?
    We all know, Oscar and Co were waiting and winding down the clock closely watching for chinks to appear in the armour of Golovkin.
    And arguably they did.
    As Golovkin himself stated ‘If I had Ko’d Daniel Jacobs, I would not be getting the Canelo fight.’
    Those of us who are familiar with the refined art of the Mayweather model, which is not exactly cherry picking, but picking your opponent when they appear to be on the wrong side of a bell curve, just.
    it’s incredible how many people who were furious back when Saul flexed his guns and said ‘I’m ready’, then lead us all around the garden path are now backwards rationalising the story which is cynical to the core as some piece of perfect timing. ‘GGG has slipped up enough for it to be a 50/50 contest for Canelo???’
    That doesn’t sound like the best basis for an era defining fight.