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Lampley: Canelo likely to go down if he trades with GGG

Image: Lampley: Canelo likely to go down if he trades with GGG

By Dan Ambrose: HBO commentator Jim Lampley says Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is the more likely one to go down if he starts trading power shots with IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs). Lampley rates GGG’s punching power to be better than Canelo’s, and he sees him as potentially too strong for the red-headed start when they get in there fighting on September 17th on HBO PPV.

Lampley feels there’s some important questions that we hae to ask about Golovkin in this fight starting with his age at 35. Golovkin is 9 years older than Canelo, and Lampley isn’t sure whether Golovkin has started to slip a notch in his last two fights against Danny Jacobs and Kell Brook. Both of those fighters gave Goilovkin trouble at times. Golovkin came out of both contests with the wins, but he wasn’t as dominant in those fights has he’d been in the past.

“This is a seek and destroy classic between the extremely aggressive counter puncher Canelo Alvarez and the extremely aggressive attacker Gennady Golovkin,” said HBO commentator Jim Lampley to Fighthub. “If I have to give an advantage to one guy it’s Gennady, because he’s fought his entire career at 160 pounds. This will be the very first time that Canelo will be weighing in at 160 pounds. He went up to 164 for the Chavez fight. He looked really good at the weight obviously against a deficient opponent,” said Lampley.

What Lampley doesn’t say is Canelo’s power didn’t travel up with him from the junior middleweight division in his recent fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6. Canelo did not look powerful at all in that fight. To be sure, Chavez Jr. was likely in the 180s on fight night, but Canelo did not look powerful even for a middleweight. Canelo has got the weight of a middleweight. He probably weighed in well over 170 pounds before stepping foot inside the ring, but he doesn’t punch like someone powerful for that weight. Like always, Canelo didn’t have his fight night weight revealed. He stopped doing that a long time ago.

Canelo’s lack of power was very real against a fighter that was just a punching bag in Chavez Jr. Canelo should hhave been able to knockout Chavez Jr. easily if he had power. He doesn’t have the power. Trainer Virgil Hunter pointed out that Golovkin would have knocked out Chavez Jr. if he had him in the same weight drained and helpless state that Canelo had him in. Chavez Jr. was just a shell of his former self due to the catch-weight of 164.5 lbs. that Golden Boy Promotions implanted for the fight.

“You can make an argument that there’s been slippage in Gennady in the last couple of fights against Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs,” said Lampley. If this is real slippage that could make him vulnerable against a guy that is at his peak right now. There’s a 9-year difference between them. Gennady is the older guy. Who knows? At 35, is Gennady on the diving board or off the diving board? We’re about to find out.

I think the Golovkin that the boxing fans saw in the Danny Jacobs and Kell Brook fights was the same one that existed before those fights. The difference is that those guys were trying to be elusive, boxing, moving and not standing and trading with Triple G. Brook initially tried to stand and make it a fight in the 1st round, but he quickly gave up on that idea when he was staggered by a left hook from GGG. From that point on, Brook was mostly fighting in brief flurries of activity.

Brook was trying to win the rounds based on landing quick combinations. It worked with the three judges that were assigned to the Golovkin-Brook fight, but for the most part, Golovkin was seen as winning the fight at the time the contest was stopped in the 5th. Jacobs was punching and moving, and trying not to get hit. Jacobs changed things around a little bit in the second half of the fight in taking the fight to Golovkin. The power jab that Golovkin was constantly pumping out kept hitting Jacobs in the face, causing him to back off from attacking the way he needed to for him to have a chance of winning. Golovkin hasn’t lost a step. He’s facing guys that aren’t willing to stand in one place.

”I do think Gennady is the favorite in the fight. He has to be the favorite just because he’s the guy that has been weighing in at 160 all his life, and I think most people would agree that Gennady has more face to face punching power than Canelo,” said Lampley. ”If they stand and trade shots with each other, the one that’s more likely to go down under that circumstances is Canelo.”

It’s going to be difficult for Canelo to make it a dog fight against Golovkin, because he doesn’t have anything to keep Golovkin off of him the way Jacobs did. Canelo is like a weaker version of David Lemieux. He doesn’t hit as hard as Lemieux, and he’s not quite as tall or as heavy. Golovkin took care of Lemieux without too many problems by jabbing him and connecting with well-placed body shots at certain points in the fight.

Golovkin wasn’t willing to put his chin on the line during the fight like we’d seen from him in other fights. Golovkin respected the power of Lemieux from start to finish. If Golovkin has the same trepidation about Canelo’s power, then were likely going to see him elect to jab frequently like he did against Lemieux and Jacobs. The fight might be boring if Golovkin chooses to box Canelo. GGG’s trainer Abel Sanchez has already stated that he won’t be jabbing and playing it safe in the fight like Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in his win over Canelo Alvarez in 2013, because Triple G doesn’t want to make it boring for the boxing fans. He wants to make it exciting.

We’ll see whether Golovkin will box or slug on the night. Golovkin was honest and upfront with the fans before his fight with Danny Jacobs on March 18. Golovkin told the fans ahead of time that he would box Jacobs and go 12 rounds for a decision. That’s exactly what Golovkin did. He went 12 rounds. He made up his mind ahead of time that he was going to go the distance with the New Yorker. This time around, Golovkin is saying he wants to make it a real drama show. That means he wants to knock Canelo out.

“Canelo has got great hand speed and good polish. He knows how to work both inside and outside. He’s got a good jab and he’s an outstanding body puncher. Because of Gennady’s power, Canelo is less likely to go to the body. If he’s worried about being counted upstairs when he goes downstairs, then that’s another advantage for Golovkin,” said Lampley.

Canelo is going to try and go to the body if he can get away with it. But if Golovkin starts countering Canelo with his shots when he goes to the body, you can expect him to give up on that idea quickly to work the body. It would be too risky for him to do that.

“I think it’s a 50-50 fight,” said trainer Virgil Hunter to Fighthpe about the Canelo vs. Triple G fight. “I’ve got to be honest. You only see improvement when you beat the best,” said Hunter when asked if Canelo has improved since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. “If you beat guys that you’re supposed to beat, where’s the improvement? You have to beat the best to get the improvement. But to say that he’s been in competitive fights with [Austin] Trout and [Miguel] Cotto, fights like that, you have to ask yourself would Trout have gone the distance with Golovkin or Cotto would have gone the distance with Golovkin. I don’t think so. Even in the [Julio Cesar] Chavez fight, if you’re going to be honest about it, he beat a Chavez who wasn’t at his best. He had to make all the concessions, Chavez did. You can only say you beat him when you beat him at his best. If you had come up to a weight that Chavez was comfortable at, then we might have a different fight. I don’t see Golovkin in a fight with Chavez that had those physical issues letting it go the distance. I think he would have stopped him,” said Hunter.

Hunter is right about it being impossible to know whether Canelo has improved in a significant way since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. You can only say for sure whether Canelo has gotten better if he’d been fighting good opposition that was a threat to beating him. Canelo has been fighting good quality guys, but he’s not been opposition that was a threat to beating him. He’s playing it safe for the most part. Canelo’s recent fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is an example of him playing it safe.

“Addressing whether he’s improved, as he years go by you improve, but the major leap you only get that by beating somebody that’s a real serious threat to you,” said Hunter in talking about whether Canelo has improved in the last 4 years of his career. “He was throwing 2 to 3 punch combinations, and the man really didn’t want to fight back, because he was physically handicapped in a sense that he was weight drained,” said Hunter about Chavez Jr. being weight rained for his fight against Canelo last May.

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