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Golovkin: I understand the situation

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 Kos) says he understands the situation at hand for his fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Golovkin and his trainer Abel Sanchez have analyzed the 27-year-old Canelo’s fighting style and limited size and come up with a game plan that he feels will be effective to give the Mexican fighter his second defeat of his career. Some boxing fans argue that Canelo should have an additional 2 defeats on his record from his fights against Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara. Canelo beat them both by controversial decisions.

The worst thing that Canelo can have happen to him in this fight is for Golovkin to get in the trenches and force him into a brawl. Canelo can fight hard for a little while in a toe-to-toe battle, but if Golovkin doesn’t back off, we could see the Mexican star implode in a supernova. The could be over in an instant if Golovkin doesn’t back off and give Canelo his badly needed rest breaks.

Canelo is not made for energetic fighting. He’s a guy that can only fight in brief spurts followed by rest breaks. The late Emanuel Steward noticed that flawed in Canelo’s game many years ago when he was still in early 20s before he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Sanchez isn’t too impressed with Canelo’s power, saying to ESPN Deportes, “As for power, Jacobs is a hornet and [Canelo] is a mosquito. He’s knocked out Amir Khan, who had been knocked out at 135 pounds, [James] Kirkland, who’s been hurt and knocked out at 154 and had not fought for 2 years. Who else has he [Canelo] knocked out with true knockouts, and not that that he beat them because they got tired, like with Liam Smith,” said Sanchez.

Golovkin has his choice in how he wants to fight Canelo. Golovkin can force Canelo into a dog fight and not let him rest or he can take advantage of his short reach and jab from the outside. GGG has more ways to win the fight. However, what limited Golovkin is the popularity of Canelo. Golovkin might not be given a decision if he boxes Canelo for 12 rounds. Canelo is almost perfect in fights that go the distance. He’s hard to beat by a decision. This puts pressure on Golovkin to go after Canelo and make sure the 3 judges that are assigned to the fight don’t take his victory away from him on September 16. Golovkin must KO Canelo to avoid winding up like Lara and Trout. Golovkin’s only true option is to force Canelo into a brawl and not let him rest for a second. If Golovkin can fight Canelo like he did Willie Monroe, Matthew Macklin and Kell Brook, this fight will not last long. Canelo will get worn down from the furious pace and the hard punches from Golovkin.

Sanchez has spotted another flaw in Canelo’s game that he believes Golovkin can take advantage of. When Canelo’s pressured and forced to fight hard, he rushes his punches and starts slapping with them. He wants to get his opponents off of him so badly that he throws shots quickly without getting his weight behind them. If Canelo fights like that against Golovkin, he’s going to have problems.

Golovkin can punch hard even without setting his feet. He’s got the forearm power to connect with tremendous shots without loading up and getting his body behind them. In the Danny Jacobs fight, Golovkin twice hurt him with uppercuts that were thrown without Golovkin used his legs to get in position. He was upright when he threw the shots, and yet they still hit Jacobs with enough force to hurt him badly. That kind of shows you the kind of power that Golovkin has.

Canelo has 2 things he can use to try and beat Golovkin and they are as follows:

– Staying close to him on the inside to smother GGG’s power. Canelo has mentioned that he thinks he can get the better of Golovkin if he stays on the inside and throws to the body. In reality, Canelo is not good inside fighter. He showed that against James Kirkland. Canelo lacks power on the inside.

– Using movement to keep Golovkin from having a stationary target. Canelo and his trainers might choose to follow the Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs blueprint of using nonstop movement to try and outpoint Golovkin. It didn’t work for either of them, but it did keep Golovkin from landing his big power shots in many of the rounds. Jacobs was able to go the full distance by using movement in his fight with Golovkin on March 18. Of course, another thing Jacobs had going in his favor in that fight was his weight. Sanchez estimates that Jacobs could have been as heavy as 185 lbs. when he stepped into the ring on the night of the fight. Jacobs skipped the International Boxing Federation’s mandated same day weight check so that he could rehydrate more. Golovkin had to keep his weight down and delay rehydrating. Jacobs looked like the much heavier fighter when the two fighters started battling. Canelo hasn’t given a tip off whether he’ll use the same strategy that Jacobs did by skipping the IBF’s secondary weigh-in. If so, then Canelo will only be fighting for the WBA title, because he’s already said he doesn’t wish to fight for the WBC belt. It would look bad on Canelo’s part if he doesn’t fight for the IBF belt too, but he might need the edge for him to have a chance of beating GGG. I don’t think the casual boxing fans would be wise to Canelo skipping out on the IBF’s weight check on September 16.

It might not help Canelo no matter what strategies he tries against Golovkin. If Canelo can’t fight hard for three minutes of each round, he’s going to get worn down and stopped by Golovkin. It’s as simple as that.

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