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Fight Picks: Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II

Canelo (left) and Golovkin. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)




10
Sep

On Saturday, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, one of the biggest fights in boxing takes place when Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez finally settle their differences in a hotly-anticipated grudge rematch. At stake will be Golovkin’s WBA and WBC middleweight titles as well as the vacant Ring Magazine championship.

Following the controversial nature of their draw in September of last year, a bout most onlookers felt Golovkin won, the two simply had to meet again. The return bout was scheduled for May, but Canelo tested positive for Clenbuterol and was given a backdated six-month suspension.

What difference will a year make? Will Golovkin’s power prove Canelo’s undoing? Will Canelo’s quicker hands secure him victory? Is the great champion from Kazakhstan getting old? Will the Mexican star be able to hold off Golovkin off in the late rounds? There is genuine enmity between the pair. Who will deal with that better on the night?

Online gambling group bet365.com lists Golovkin as a 4-7 (-175) favorite, while Canelo is priced at 11-8 (+137).

Here’s how the experts see it:

THE RING MAGAZINE/ RINGTV.COM

MICHAEL WOODS: GOLOVKIN MD
A year has passed, is GGG a year older and has Father Time visited upon him, extracted a bit of explosivity there, a touch of his reflexes there? A year has passed, has father time’s cousin ring rust laid a coat on Canelo? Or, are both guys pretty much at the same level as they were last time? That leaves us seeing almost a carbon copy of the first fight, save for Canelo throwing in a bit more, risking trades a bit more than in 2017? I say yes to the last construct…and pick GGG to win a MD. Yes, more controversy, more arguments, more debate. And call for a third fight between the rivals.

LEE GROVES: GOLOVKIN UD
Golovkin didn’t fight his best in fight one — he didn’t cut off the ring well and he didn’t attack the body — and yet he was still seen as the winner by most observers, including me. He has also fought in the year since, albeit two rounds’ worth, while Canelo is coming off the longest layoff of his career (364 days). Additionally, the 28-year-old Canelo may be at the tail end of his prime years considering he has 364 rounds and 52 fights under his belt, a lot of mileage for someone that young chronologically. Yes, Golovkin is 36, but I think he has incurred less wear and tear over the long haul. Moreover, Alvarez is a notoriously methodical worker in terms of pace while GGG can still rev up his trademark high work rate from time to time. Finally, this is a genuine grudge match and Golovkin, in particular, will be primed to invest that one last great effort great fighters have in their back pocket when they are on the other side of their prime. He wants to make a point and I believe he still has the goods to produce it. To me, all the stars point to a GGG victory — and this time it will be made official.

TOM GRAY: GOLOVKIN UD
The early rounds of the first fight were tight, then Golovkin dominated the middle sessions. Intrinsically, Canelo knew that he needed to do something and came on brilliantly in the championship rounds. Regardless of the finale, however, the consensus is that Canelo lost the draw. This time, I expect the Mexican star to take more chances early in an attempt to exact a toll on Golovkin. But that might come back to haunt him. “GGG” is bulletproof and his engine is incredible. A fast start means a slow finish for Canelo, and I think it will be Golovkin getting off the better work down the stretch. The pound-for-pound No. 1 might even secure victory with a knockdown or two.

MARTIN MULCAHY: GOLOVKIN UD
I believe Gennady Golovkin edged the first fight; in the interim Golovkin has turned 36 while Saul Alvarez entered a physical prime at 28. That may be offset by Canelo’s lack of activity and it is very small intangibles such as these that separate who wins. Golovkin’s learning curve from the last fight is the difference as he presses early forcing Alvarez on the back foot. Alvarez could be more open for Golovkin’s precision shots if he moves less, as some anticipate, and not boxing for one year may mean shaking off rust and timing issues in first two rounds. Otherwise, a replay of the first fight with Alvarez taking the middle rounds and Golovkin closing strong. The first three rounds make the difference again, this time going to GGG, earning him a tight unanimous decision victory.

ANSON WAINWRIGHT: CANELO TKO 10
I had GGG winning the first fight 8-4, Canelo won the first two rounds and the last two, and GGG won everything in the middle. I favored Canelo when they were scheduled to fight in May. I’m not sure how a year’s inactivity may affect Canelo. Golovkin has the one fight against Martirosyan and that was without too much coming back so both are well rested since their last battle. I’m a huge advocate of Golovkin and witnessed him train in Big Bear in 2011, which was a real eye-opener. However, I think Golovkin has slipped a little, seems fair to say at 36, while Canelo at 28 is in his physical prime. I’m still siding with Canelo. I think father time may help but Canelo will box well early and pick up the early rounds. GGG will have his successes and the fight will catch fire, but it will be the younger, fresher man who will enjoy the better of the exchanges and shock everyone by stopping GGG in the 10th round.

FRANCISCO SALAZAR: GOLOVKIN
I have played this fight in my head so many times. I can see why each fighter could win. This fight will be tactical at the beginning but will open up in the later rounds. Two key things to look at is if Golovkin will attack more the body and will Canelo throw more punches and be the aggressor in the fight. Something tells me a knockdown will occur that will be the difference in the fight. I have Golovkin winning a razor-thin decision or a majority decision draw.

NORM FRAUENHEIM: GOLOVKIN UD
The words are different. Contempt instead of respect. But hostile instead of polite doesn’t represent a true adjustment, or even suggests that there will be any change of real consequence once the first significant blows lands after GGG and Canelo Alvarez answer the opening bell. Both middleweights are still poised, smart and pretty much who they were when they fought to a controversial draw a year ago. Key adjustment is in the assignment of judges. No Adalaide Byrd, whose bird-brain card last September generated the biggest outrage. No Don Trella, either. Trella’s seventh-round score for Canelo kept GGG from winning a decision. But Dave Moretti is back for the rematch after a reasonable 115-113 score for Golovkin in the first bout. Moretti will be joined by widely-respected Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Feldman. Same fight, but a different panel of judges figures to get it right this time.

GARETH A. DAVIES: CANELO SD
Canelo will have learnt a lot from the first fight, and will be more aggressive this time and win a split points decision in a very close fight. The Mexican will be more aggressive for longer in rounds this time, and Gennady Golovkin will fall to his first career defeat. Younger man wins in another terrific contest. Split points decision Canelo.

RON BORGES: CANELO
I like the younger, fresher guy, which is Canelo. He is the better boxer and he dominated the final three rounds of a close fight. GGG has power but struggles vs. movement and anyone not willing to just stand in front of him to be hit. Alvarez won’t cooperate so should win a less than scintillating decision.

DOUG FISCHER: GOLOVKIN MD
I think we’ll get a replay of the first fight but Golovkin will start a little faster and take more chances whenever he gets Canelo up against the ropes. Canelo will stand his ground a little more in the center of the ring, try not to load up as much with his counterpunches (opting for speed over power) and do his best not to languish along the ropes. I think the rematch will be close – legitimately – and I believe GGG will the get the benefit of the doubt in enough close rounds to edge it (classic “make-up” scores to correct the controversy/ “injustice” of the first bout).

Photo / @HBOBoxing

BOXING INSIDERS

TONY LOPEZ (FORMER TWO-WEIGHT TITLEHOLDER): CANELO UD
I would like Canelo but he’s going up in weight. GGG is kinda like Mike Tyson, where before the bell rings he already won the fight. So maybe Canelo won’t be so hesitant in this fight, move in and street fight GGG. He has to hurt him, hit him with elbows, headbutts, get GGG out of his game. If he does he can win. If not GGG all night. Depends on Canelo, if he goes to war, could be a KO either way. If he boxes, I’m thinking Canelo If he does the same as last time, same result. I’ll pick Canelo.

VICTOR SILVA (TV ANALYST): CANELO UD
We watched a different Canelo in the first fight, boxing backward and doing a great job avoiding Golovkin´s right hand. Golovkin did what he does best; he went out to hunt, but he forgot to punish Canelo´s body. For the second fight, Canelo will do what Pacquiao did to Margarito and what he suffered from Mayweather – he will use speed. Golovkin will also bring something different; he will feint, trying to catch him when Canelo avoids his right hand but, he will stick to what he does best, hunting. For me, we will go to the scorecards, but it could go either way. Because of age advantage, I’ll pick Canelo UD.

RAUL “JIBARO” PEREZ (FORMER TWO-WEIGHT TITLEHOLDER): CANELO
It will be a very interesting fight. I think Canelo will win. He is a better boxer, he thinks a lot and executes in the ring. GGG risks too much and is not well coached when he rushes his attacks. The fight is not going to end in a KO; it’s going to be a decision win for Canelo.

JOHN SCULLY (TRAINER): GOLOVKIN
Canelo fought a really good fight last time and seemed to be in a zone to a certain degree when it came to his defense. My big question is whether he can find that zone again, especially in the face of what promises to be a more determined GGG this time out. My guess is no. To hit that kind of rhythm twice in a row is difficult to do, especially at that level. I also think the steroid issue plays a major role in the psyche going into the fight. I think GGG is in a much better mental position than Canelo is. I’ve got GGG winning a much clearer decision this time

BRAD GOODMAN (MATCHMAKER): GOLOVKIN
The first fight I thought Golovkin won 8-4 or 7-5 but both guys could’ve done much better. Golovkin showed too much respect early which is very uncharacteristic of him, but I think it was due to the magnitude of the fight being so BIG. It was his first real BIG fight. Canelo on the other hand has been on that stage but his respect was due to Golovkin being a great puncher. Canelo can obviously do more things and can just box and be cautious again, but I have a feeling that the hatred that both these guys have towards each other will make it an interesting fight. I see the fight going back and forth and both guys having their moments with Canelo getting buckled a couple times. My heart says Golovkin but my brain is saying Canelo but I’m going with my heart. Golovkin by decision.

TONY TOLJ (MANAGER): CANELO UD
Canelo v GGG is a hell of a fight. I was at the last fight and I believed a draw or a round either way was acceptable and those people around me thought the same thing. I believe the story of the previous fight was GGG came forward but there wasn’t enough effective aggression. I thought Canelo landed the more telling blows. I’m a massive fan of both fighters. I love the best fighting the best. In saying that, father time waits for no man and GGG is a year older and Canelo is the franchise of North American boxing. Boxing always finds a way for the young lion to come through and this could be Canelos definitive fight. UD To the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez

RODNEY BERMAN (PROMOTER): CANELO
I see Father Time catching up with GGG, so while my heart says him, I believe that Canelo, second time around, will have the beating of Golovkin – probably on points. The possibility of a stoppage is not out of the question.

JOLENE MIZZONE (MATCHMAKER): CANELO UD
Canelo UD12. I think that Canelo will make adjustments from their last fight. I am not sure that GGG will make any adjustments. With Canelo making those adjustments that he needs, he will come out victorious in the end.

JOHN BENINATI (MATCHMAKER): GOLOVKIN
GGG majority decision. It will live up to the hype, great give-and-take action. GGG a lil long in the tooth but will do enough and people will talk about it for a long time.

RON KATZ (MATCHMAKER): CANELO
I liked Canelo in the first match and like him once again to win a decision. I think this fight will have more intensity than the first one and it has become personal for both fighters. I’ll usually lean towards the younger fighter in these types of matches and once again I am doing that.

STEVE FARHOOD (TV ANALYST): CANELO
I favor Canelo. Golovkin appears to be on a gradual decline, and Canelo had more to gain from the experience of the first fight. I think it will be a distance fight, and while I’m not guessing that the decision will again be controversial, I believe it will be another close one. Canelo on points.

SERGIO MORA (FORMER WORLD TITLEHOLDER/TV ANALYST): GOLOVKIN SD
GGG is going to need his jab too win. Pressure and a smart jab. Canelo is faster in exchanges, but if GGG can start and finish with a good jab, it’ll leave an impression on judges in close rounds. Boxing has a way of making up for controversial decisions. I expect more close rounds to go to GGG than Canelo. GGG by SD.

CAMERON DUNKIN (PROMOTER): GOLOVKIN
I know I’m in the minority but I like Golovkin to win a decision. I think he will keep the pressure on Canelo in a very entertaining bout. I think it will be close but Golovkin will find the way.

KATHY DUVA (PROMOTER): CANELO UD
I think that Canelo is likely to win. I don’t think that Golovkin can show Canelo anything that he didn’t see last time out. And, as Golovkin is now 36 and a year older than the last time they met, I think that Canelo’s relative youth, at only 28, will serve him well.

DUKE MCKENZIE (FORMER THREE-WEIGHT WORLD TITLEHOLDER/TV ANALYST): GOLOVKIN
Let’s look at the two boxers first fight. GGG never took a backward step and landed the more telling punches and with no obvious signs of deterioration. I fail to see how Canelo can improve on his previous performance. Had he decked, cut, or clearly beaten GGG, then he would start favorite. But given the controversy surrounding their first fight, this will make the difference. A points decision or late stoppage in favor of GGG.

FINAL TALLY

13-12 in favor of Golovkin

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright

 

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