Saturday, September 30, 2023  |


Fight Picks: Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin 3

Fighters Network

On Saturday, undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez will face bitter rival Gennadiy Golovkin for the third time at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The highly anticipated showdown will take place on DAZN Pay-Per-View.

Canelo is rated No. 5 by The Ring in the mythical pound-for-pound ratings. The 32-year-old is a modern day great, having captured world titles at junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight. However, the Mexican superstar is coming off an upset loss to Dmitry Bivol (UD 12).

Golovkin, who is rated No. 1 by The Ring at 160 pounds, is the unified middleweight titleholder. The only two blemishes on his record came courtesy of Canelo (D 12 and L MD 12), however, the consensus is that GGG won the first fight and many believe that he deserved no less than a draw in the rematch.

Canelo (57-2-2, 39 knockouts) was on amazing run before being knocked off the pound for pound No. 1 spot. How will the Bivol loss affect him? Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs), who is now 40, has shown signs of slowing down over the past couple of years. Can he still produce a special performance? Canelo has improved since the first and second fights. What can GGG do to the Mexican that he hasn’t done previously in order to secure a win? Golovkin has been a career middleweight but will be stepping up to super middleweight for the first time. How will he feel at 168 pounds?

Online gambling group William Hill lists Canelo as an 1/5 (-500) favorite, while Golovkin is priced at 10/3 (+333); the draw is 18/1 (+1600).

Here’s how the experts see it:


Photo by Tom Hogan / Hoganphotos


“By the time a trilogy bout comes around, one fighter is usually in a better place than the other. Ali was in a better place than Frazier. Gatti was in a better place than Ward. Pacquiao was in a better place than Morales. For my money, despite coming off a loss, Canelo is in a better place than GGG. The Mexican star is younger, bigger and faster. I think Canelo gets a late stoppage after punishing his rival throughout.”


“They’ve shared 24 rounds together and in some people’s eyes Golovkin is 2-0, not 0-1-1. I personally felt Golovkin deserved the nod in the first fight, but the second was very close and could have been a draw. However, the second fight was four years ago. I still feel it will take a heck of a fighter to beat GGG, but he’s 40, past his athletic peak and he’s facing a younger, better version of Canelo this time. The Mexican is supremely motivated after losing to Bivol, and his dislike for GGG will drive him and bring out that extra fire. I expect Canelo and Golovkin to treat us to another outstanding battle. Both will have moments but I feel Canelo will break Golovkin down and stop him in 10 rounds.”


“Alvarez’s loss to Bivol and GGG’s triumph of Murata add a level of intrigue this match didn’t have when it was originally announced. While some see this as a potential Holmes-Ali scenario of primed champion against aged and decrepit former champion, I believe this fight can be competitive. First, GGG is capable of generating far higher volume than Alvarez, who is notoriously selective with his punches. Second, Golovkin still has one of the best jabs in the sport in terms of connect frequency and accuracy, and he proved in both previous fights that he can land it on Canelo. Finally, GGG has yet to be floored in 350 amateur fights and 44 professional bouts, and because Canelo’s KOs are more the product of attrition, I think this fight will go all the way.”


“I believe Gennadiy Golovkin won the first meeting against Saul Alvarez, and that a draw would have been the best result in the rematch. I also picked GGG to win both fights. Not this time, as Golovkin has aged worse than Canelo and let’s not forget Golovkin is now 40! The first four rounds will be competitive and a jabbing contest Golovkin edges. After that, Canelo takes over and push Golovkin backwards with his usual array of hooks combined with steady bodywork. It takes its toll as Golovkin fades in the championship rounds, where Alvarez earns a points decision by scores around 116-112.”


“GGG is a highly skilled, well respected former champion nearing the end of a great career. Canelo is coming off a surprisingly one-sided defeat and back down from a weight he proved not the equal to. Point being, there are questions on both sides. So, who wins such a matchup? History says don’t bet against youth and Canelo has that on his side. He is also in with a familiar opponent against whom he is 1-0-1. Many believe he didn’t win either. I’m not one of them. He won a close decision once and will do so this time but the margin will be clearer. The calendar is undefeated. This time GGG learns that sad fact of athletic life.”


“On the calendar, this fight is past due. On the clock, Gennadiy Golovkin is past his prime. The timing appears to be perfect in almost every way for Canelo to make a decisive statement in his first fight since losing to Dmitry Bivol at light heavyweight. Canelo is back at what is now his natural weight. Defeat is also an opportunity to re-awaken the motivation and the student in Canelo, who never quit learning in his ascent to stardom before Bivol. But timing can deliver the unpredictable, especially against a proud fighter with GGG’s credentials. GGG wouldn’t be the first 40-year-old to turn back the clock. Don’t be surprised if the younger version of the great middleweight shows up late. The question is how Canelo reacts when he does. Guess here: Canelo will have just enough energy to protect a scorecard lead in a decision that ends the controversy and the rivalry.”


“It was a close affair when they first fought (I had GGG two points ahead from ringside, but I saw some of the wildest and most divergent scorecards ever from my colleagues), and it was just as close in the rematch, when a few more people were convinced that Canelo got it right (or at least considerably better than in the first fight). Their third encounter will be equally close, and Canelo will prevail once again. What could make this fight more interesting is that Golovkin could really go for it instead of trying to earn Canelo’s and the judge’s respect with a display of boxing skills. But Golovkin’s age and the fact that he’ll be fighting at 168 pounds virtually for the first time will make this an impossible task for the all-time great Kazak knockout artist.”


Canelo Alvarez (right) vs. Gennady Golovkin. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Canelo Alvarez (right) vs. Gennady Golovkin. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images


“The writing must surely be on the wall for GGG, who was once considered the pound-for-pound king. Not your average KO artist, there was a silky-smooth way in which he went about his business. Long gone are the days where nobody wanted to fight him. Unfortunately, they’re queuing round the block and the wolves smell blood. Canelo must surely be chomping at the bit for an opportunity to look brilliant against his old foe. He has far less miles on the clock. Canelo can win this one with a compassionate act from GGG’s corner, who pull their man out of this one-sided affair inside 10 rounds.”


“To be honest, I’m not very excited about this fight. I think we have all seen what these two boxers can do together. In a somewhat competitive fight, I see once again Saul Alvarez winning.”


“As close and competitive as the first two fights were, it’s difficult not to favor Canelo in this one. Not everyone is Bernard Hopkins, and it’s unrealistic to think that Golovkin can fight at his highest level at age 40. Plus, he looked vulnerable early in his most recent fight. Canelo by comfortable decision.”


“I must go with Canelo here. I think he is the type that comes back stronger after a loss and learns from his mistakes. I think GGG is a great fighter, but I think, unfortunately, age is going to be a factor here. It happens to the best of them.”


“After 24 close rounds, I truly feel that this will clearly show who the better fighter is. I am hearing a lot of questions: GGG fighting at 168, his age. Let’s not forget that Canelo had to move up to fight GGG and that GGG is the naturally bigger man. Age? OK, but he has rested his body from wars, where Canelo has more wear and tear from so much activity and more fights. In the end, let’s not start with excuses, lets enjoy a great fight of two very evenly talented fighters and two champions that do not like each other. I see the key for Canelo being the jab and working the body early, keeping the fight in the center of the ring and inside. GGG also will need to work off the jab and not allow Canelo inside. The pressure is on Canelo to win and leave no doubt. I feel like GGG will retire win, lose or draw, while Canelo needs the win after his last bout. I see a very competitive first half of the fight where Canelo can win a round and GGG wins the next one – back and forth in scoring. The second half begins to show the effect and where Canelo will take over. Canelo TKO 10.”


“These two have already been in two very close fights, so skill-wise, they are pretty evenly matched. However, GGG is now 40 years old and has only fought once since 2020. Canelo is coming off a loss to Bivol, so we don’t know how or if that will affect him mentally. But he has lost before, to Mayweather, and bounced right back. I am going to assume that Canelo has the capacity to deal with that. The Bivol fight was pretty punishing for Canelo, but he is only 32, and this will be his fifth fight since 2020. The combination of GGG’s advanced age and relative lack of activity gives Canelo a big edge in my estimation. And the fight will take place in Las Vegas, where the judges are always kind to Canelo. Also, a very vocal crowd will be on his side. It is true that Bivol outpointed Canelo in Las Vegas in May, but Bivol clearly outboxed and outclassed him in nearly every round, only to win by a mere two points. I am going to assume that the judges in Las Vegas still love Canelo. All of the intangibles point in Alvarez’ direction. I don’t believe that either of these guys can stop the other. In a close fight, I have to go with Canelo by decision.”


“Without doubt and unsurprisingly, there are cracks appearing in Golovkin’s game; he’s appeared uncomfortable at times lately against opponents he would have completely dominated previously. The pace of a Canelo fight will help GGG navigate those moments perhaps and while I was really impressed with Canelo learning and adapting between their first two fights, it might be close again. I do think that if Canelo went after GGG, he might stop him late on but that would require an entirely different and more aggressive version of the Mexican. More likely we get another close, competitive and maybe disputed fight where relative youth is ultimately the difference.”


“I will have to assume Canelo has more left than GGG does at this point. I think he will come back strong from his loss to Bivol and really do some damage in this fight. I wouldn’t be surprised if he stops GGG late in the fight or at the very least wins a clear unanimous decision.”


“The first fight I thought Golovkin won. I also had Golovkin winning the second fight 116-112, but I’m not complaining that Canelo won 115-113 – it was close. The third fight, there’s going to be a big difference. Canelo is stronger, faster and younger. There’s nothing that Golovkin brings into the third fight that Canelo won’t be able to handle. I see that fight as one-sided in favor of Canelo. Father time waits for no one. I truly believed that GGG was one of the greatest in today’s boxing era. I see Canelo stopping GGG within eight rounds. Canelo needs this win and needs to make a BIG statement, otherwise it won’t look good.”


“The two fellows have been a joy to watch. Their first two fights showed them as evenly matched fighters at the highest level. This time one of them is 40. Forty-year-olds don’t win evenly matched fights. I like Canelo by decision, even though Canelo is starting to slide as well. I thought Canelo won the rematch (GGG definitely won fight number 1) and he’ll improve on his performance here. GGG is still a dangerous dog, but he no longer can put on constant pressure. He has to marshal himself for his attacks and Canelo won’t wait. Years from now, people should remember this pair as two of the greatest middleweights who ever lived.”


“I think the fight with Canelo and GGG will go the distance, again. GGG didn’t look great in his last fight although he got the win. Canelo walked away with an upset loss in his last fight. In my opinion, they both showed signs of getting old. Canelo should have enough left in the tank to outbox GGG, but GGG will always be in the fight and I expect the rounds to be close. Canelo by decision.”


“Whilst I thought GGG won both their previous battles, in 2017 and 2018, he’s too long in the tooth to win this one at 40 years old. Golovkin looked good in his stoppage win against Ryota Murata, but it was noticeable that he stopped a lot of punches from the Japanese fighter. Canelo may have suffered his second defeat to the brilliant Dmitri Bivol, who moved and boxed beautifully in May this year, but that style of box/fighting is not something Golovkin can do. What’s more, Alvarez has got GGG to step up to 168 pounds – not even a catchweight of 165. Saul has all the advantages in this fight, just the way he likes it. I see a commanding points decision win for the Mexican or quite possibly a late stoppage.”


“It’s a good fight – better than most people think – but a hungry Canelo is a dangerous Canelo. Canelo by late stoppage.”



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