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Golovkin getting ready for Canelo fight

By Dan Ambrose: Gennady “GGG” Golovkin has started his training camp to begin getting ready for his title defense against challenger Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The unbeaten Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) will be defending his IBF, IBO, WBA and WBC middleweight titles against the popular redheaded Mexican star Canelo. The 35-year-old Golovkin will be working with his long-time trainer Abel Sanchez in Big Bear, California.

This is where Golovkin trains for all of his fights. Canelo-Golovkin is a HUGE fight that the boxing public is looking forward to. It could easily the best fight of the year for 2017. That’s not a knock on the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor fight on August 26. Canelo and Golovkin are two of the best fighters in the middleweight division. It’s a fight that has fireworks and explosions written all over it. In contrast, Mayweather-McGregor has mismatch and disappointment written all over it due to Mayweather’s superior boxing skills.

Sanchez sees this as an easier fight for Golovkin to prepare for than in getting ready for his last fight against the super middleweight sized Danny Jacobs. Sanchez had to bring in fighters from the 168lb division to help Golovkin get ready for Jacobs, who is rumored to have rehydrated to 190 pounds on the night of the fight against GGG. Canelo, 5’8”, is more of a small junior middleweight in size.

Canelo is probably not cut out for the middleweight division. Unless Canelo gets a late growth spurt, he’s never going to have the size to match-up well against the bigger middleweights. Size does matter in boxing. If Golden Boy Promotions are going to steer Canelo around the bigger and more dangerous middleweights like Jacobs and Jermall Charlo, then he might do well at 160. I don’t know how Golden Boy can keep Canelo away from Jacobs and Charlo without the boxing public getting wise to what they’re doing. Canelo didn’t fight the Charlo brothers, Demetrius Andrade or Jarred Hurd at 154 when he was fighting in those weight classes. Canelo can’t be steered around Charlo and Jacobs at 160 without it becoming obvious what’s happening.

Some believe this fight will be the toughest of Golovkin’s 12-year pro career. I’m not sure if Canelo is a better fighter than Golovkin’s last opponent Danny Jacobs. Canelo seems to have a lot more hype behind him than Jacobs, but he might not be as good. Jacobs would likely have beaten everyone that Canelo has fought during his career with the possible exception of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Golovkin is going to need to make sure that he doesn’t over-train for the Canelo fight, as he looked like he had overdone it in his last fight against Jacobs. There’s a point where older fighters need to back off so they don’t leave their best in the training camp. Golovkin needs to learn that, as he looked like he did too much in getting ready for his last fight against Jacobs on March 18. That’s a fight where Golovkin didn’t have his usual strength.

There’s a great deal of interest from the boxing world between the Canelo and Golovkin fight. The bout will be televised on HBO PPV, and it’s expected to bring in a lot of PPV buys. However, it’s not expected to pull in record-breaking PPV numbers like the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor fight that takes place 3 weeks before their fight on August 26. That fight could smash the existing PPV record of 4.6 million buys set by the Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight in 2015. Canelo-Golovkin might see their PPV numbers hurt by the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight taking place before there fight. Some in the boxing world believe that the Canelo and GGG fight will see fewer PPV buys, because of the expensive Mayweather-McGregor fight, which will sell for $89 to $99 on Showtime PPV.

“I’ve been waiting 20 years to be in a fight like this,” Golovkin said to “Canelo is a different guy than anyone I have ever faced. He is a huge fighter and a great champion. On Sept. 16, we will both put on a great boxing show.”

Canelo has better punching power than Golovkin’s recent opponent Kell Brook, but definitely not the kind of power that Danny Jacobs’ possesses. Canelo doesn’t have a lot of power at middleweight. He can hit with good power, just above Kell Brook in my estimation. Canelo doesn’t move as well as Brook and Jacobs. He’s more flat-footed and stationary. It’s going to be a bad night for Canelo if he falls back into his old habit of leaning with his back against the ropes.

Golovkin will take full advantage of that if Canelo makes that mistake. Canelo’s trainers need to make sure he doesn’t resort to fighting off the ropes. Canelo Alvarez was able to get away with that against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith and Austin Trout, but he’ll pay a heavy price if he does that against Golovkin. It’s likely that Canelo’s trainers will be drumming into his head to stay off the ropes at all costs. Canelo will need to find a way for him to take his normal rest breaks without going to the ropes. I don’t think it’s going to be possible for Canelo to rest while he’s in the center of the ring. He needs to rest his legs. The ropes seem to be the only place that allows Canelo to do this.

If Canelo can’t rest once or twice in each round like he normally does, then it could be early night for him. Golovkin will knock Canelo out if he gets tired or if he backs up against the ropes.
Sanchez said that he would pick out smaller sparring partners than the ones he used for Golovkin’s last fight against the hulking Danny Jacobs. Golovkin used super middleweight David Benavidez as his main sparring partner for that fight. That was tough sparring for Golovkin, as the 6’1” Benavidez is guy with knockout power in either hand. He’s a far bigger puncher than Canelo. Golovkin had a full camp of hard sparring with Benavidez last time out.

This is a fight where Golovkin could knock Canelo’s career down a peg, potentially exposing him as not being the fighter that many boxing fans think he is. Canelo (49-1-1, 34 KOs) doesn’t possess the same punching power, size or the amateur experience that Golovkin has going for him. What Canelo does have is the superior hand speed and the popularity. As we’ve seen in the past, you cannot overlook how important Canelo’s popularity is when it comes to him winning fights by decision. Canelo had major problems against Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara, but he was still given decision wins in both of those fights. Popularity is definitely important.

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