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Golovkin opens as favorite in Canelo rematch

By Sean Jones: The odds-makers have IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) as an early favorite to defeat Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) in their rematch on May 5.

Despite the 2 popular middleweights fighting to a 12 round draw in their first fight last September, the bettors at Bovada have Golovkin favored by the line -170 over +170 for Canelo for their second fight at a still determined venue in the U.S.


Canelo, 27, is going to have to do something different in the rematch if he doesn’t want to get out-boxed a second time by Golovkin. What Canelo did last time in mostly throwing a few pot shots in the first minute of each round and then running the last 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the rounds won’t work.

The odds-makers don’t see that as a winning formula, which is why they’ve picked Golovkin as the favorite to win. There are things that Canelo can to do try and win the rematch, but it might not be doable unless he has the conditioning. We’re probably going to see Canelo come into the rematch with Golovkin bulked up and looking like a bodybuilder once again like he was last time.

If anything, Canelo might be a little bigger, because he likes to heavier than his opponents. That’s always been Canelo’s ace in the hole. He comes into his fights heavier than his opposition. He then uses his size to win. It worked for Canelo at junior middleweight fighting over-the-hill guys and limited fighters like Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Liam Smith, Miguel Cotto, Kermit Cintron and Austin Trout. But in bulking up to fight at middleweight, Canelo has gotten diminishing returns.

The size that Canelo put on for the Golovkin fight doesn’t for him. If all Canelo can do is fight hard for the first minute of each round, he’s not going to beat too many fighters in the middleweight division, and he can’t make a career out of being involved in controversial decisions. Canelo is either going to need to lose some weight to improve conditioning or he’s going to be beaten repeatedly by guys that have better cardiovascular conditioning than he does, which pretty much is about everyone in the top 10 in the middleweight division.


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I’ve never seen a top middleweight with worse conditioning than Canelo. In Canelo’s fight with Golovkin, he reminded me of a laboring heavyweight with the way he would exhaust himself after minimal effort. Simply put, Canelo is not suited to carry the kind of muscle weight that he had for the Golovkin fight. We don’t know how much Canelo weighed for that fight because HBO didn’t list his weight. But he looked considerably heavier than the 170 lb. Golovkin. It’s possible that Canelo was around 180 on the night. At 5’8”, 180, Canelo is too stocky for the middleweight division. He needs to lose at least 10 pounds of muscle to become more streamline for the weight class. I don’t think Canelo, but he needs to do that if he doesn’t want to gas out every round like he was doing last time.

Canelo-Golovkin negotiations are still being worked by Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions and GGG’s management representative Tom Loeffler. The negotiations are expected to be finalized by next week with the fight being announced possibly at that time.

Golovkin being listed as the favorite over Canelo has to be upsetting for Golden Boy Promotions’ top brass, as they’ve maintained all along that their fighter deserved the win in the Canelo-GGG fight last year on September 16 on HBO pay-per-view. However, if Canelo had truly been the better fighter in that affair, the bettors would reflect that by making him the favorite in the rematch on May 5. The fact that they see Golovkin as the favorite shows clearly that they felt that he should have been given the ‘W’ in the first fight. What that means is Canelo didn’t deserve the 12 round draw he was given by the Nevada State Athletic Commission judges Adalaide Byrd, Dave Moretti and Don Trella. Byrd scored the fight 118-110 for Canelo. Trella had the fight a draw at 114-114, and Moretti saw Golovkin winning 115-113.

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If all Golovkin in the rematch is what he did in the first fight by jabbing the shorter-armed Canelo for 12 rounds, he’ll have done enough to beat him. The only question is will the judges give Golovkin the win by him out-boxing the more popular Canelo. That’s the magic question. If the only way Golovkin can beat Canelo is by knocking him out, then he’ll be wasting his time trying to box him. Golovkin would be better off going after Canelo immediately by turning the fight into a real war to try and tire him out. If Golovkin fights Canelo in that way, it’s going to be a bloody affair, but at least he’ll have a better chance of winning the fight. In an all-out war, Golovkin will either KO Canelo or get knocked out by him. The judges won’t be able to ruin the fight again, which is a good thing.


Of the two fighters, Golovkin has the better chance of making major changes to his game in the rematch than Canelo. The reason for that is Golovkin has the stamina, power and fighting style to switch his game to what he calls the ‘Mexican style’ of fighting to try and score a knockout. Canelo is limited by his poor conditioning to fight harder, and his bulked up physique. If Canelo is going to come in even heavier for the rematch, he’s going to gas quicker in each round. The likelihood of Canelo being able to press the attack on Golovkin for a full 3 minutes of each round is virtually impossible. Canelo won’t be able to do that, and he’ll need to do that for him to have chance of beating Golovkin without controversy. You don’t win fights if all you can do is fight hard for 45 seconds and then scurry along the ropes for the last 2 minutes and 15 seconds of each round like Canelo was doing against Golovkin.








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