By Jose Olmos: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) will do a much better job against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) in their rematch next year and possibly stop him, says trainer Robert Garcia. Garcia agreed with the 12 round draw the judges handed down for the Canelo-Golovkin fight that took place on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That was a fair decision, according to Garcia. For the record, the judges scored the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight 118-110 for Canelo, 115-113 for Triple G, and 114-114. Garcia did not agree at all with the 118-110 score by judge Adelaide Byrd.
The well-known trainer Garcia, who has worked with many op fighters in boxing, feels that Triple G is a shop-worn fighter at 35, who can’t improve the way that Canelo can for the second fight. Garcia says we saw the best of Golovkin in the first fight for the most part, and he’s not going to be able to improve that much. Garcia says the only thing Golovkin can do is apply a little more pressure against Canelo, stay close to him as much as possible, and try and use the Mexican style” that he’s talked about so frequently in the past. Garcia says Golovkin did not use the Mexican style of fighting that we from boxing greats like Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. in the past. Instead of fighting on the inside like Chavez used to do, Golovkin stayed on the outside and let Canelo constantly move to his left along the ropes for the entire 12 round fight on September 16.
“It was a close fight. The draw okay for me,” said Robert Garcia in talking about the results of the Canelo vs. GGG fight. “I think this was his best shot [at beating Canelo]. After 35, at that age, Gennady, even though there are so many fighters that could fight at that age, it’s an age where a lot of fighters are talking about retiring,” said Garcia.
Golovkin had Canelo’s respect going into their fight. Canelo showed the respect by not attacking Golovkin in the first 9 rounds. But by the 10th, Canelo realized there was nothing to fear, so he went the attack and took over the fight against a tired GGG. In the last 3 rounds, Golovkin couldn’t match the punch output, energy and aggression from Canelo, which is why he lost those 3 rounds on the 3 judges’ scorecards.
“He could put a little more pressure,” said Garcia about what Golovkin could do in the rematch to beat Canelo to avoid another draw. “Maybe cut the ring off a little bit better, but that’s about as much he can change. I think the person that can improve and do much better is Canelo. Canelo went in their knowing that he’s in with a monster, against a guy that knocks everybody out cold. So there’s always the question of ‘how well can I take his punch? How much can I get hit?’ He fought a little too defensive,” said Garcia critiquing Canelo’s approach to the GGG fight. “If he would have traded a little bit more, maybe he would have won the fight clearly and not a draw. In the rematch, Canelo takes the fight,” said Garcia.
Garcia brings up a good point about Canelo being able to win the rematch if he can trade more. Canelo with just a little more aggression and pressure than in the first fight, he would have a great chance of beating Triple G. Canelo’s advantage in hand speed, and his cleaner-landing shots will win him a lot of rounds, even if Golovkin lands more shots from time to time. Canelo doesn’t need to throw as many punches as Golovkin. If Canelo is landing the harder punches, and staying off the ropes, he should win. Staying on the ropes is a no-no for Canelo. He can’t do that in the rematch with Golovkin. Fighting on the ropes would allow Golovkin to stand at a distance and pick him apart with his power jab, which is like a power punch when it connects.
“He had moments when Canelo was staying on the ropes, but I think he didn’t go like he likes to call the “Mexican style,’” said Garcia about Golovkin. “If you remember [Julio Cesar] Chavez, he would put his head in there in his opponent’s chest and work the body. He still had the distance and gave Canelo that distance enough to just pivot and move away to his left and make the right moves all night,” said Garcia in remarking about how GGG spent too much time fighting on the outside and not enough time fighting in the “Mexican style” that he often speaks about by staying in close to Canelo. “I think he needs to be more aggressive and cut the ring off a bit more to his right, and then throw more punches,” said Garcia about Golovkin.
At this point, it’s not likely that Golovkin will ever fight with the “Mexican style” against Canelo or any fighter for that matter. I believe Golovkin and his trainer Abel Sanchez throw the “Mexican style” thing around to get Mexican boxing fans to start following them. Golovkin does not fight like a Mexican fighter with his style in my opinion. Golovkin fights more like a typical Eastern European fighter, with the way he stays on the outside, jabs and rigidly throws left hooks and right hands.
In the rematch, Golovkin is not going to fight Canelo on the inside, being that he would get countered all night long and beaten clearly. Golovkin cannot defeat Canelo by fighting on the inside. The only chance Golovkin has in the rematch with the 27-year-old Alvarez is to stay on the outside and continue to jab frequently like he did in their previous fight. Golovkin can help himself by making sure he keeps Canelo honest by throwing more power shots, and throwing to the body every now and then.
If Golovkin doesn’t throw body punches in the second fight, I think he’ll lose. Golovkin should do something to try and weaken Canelo, and the best thing to do that is to throw body shots. The one thing that Canelo has had problems with in his fights in the past is taking body shots. Golovkin didn’t even try and throw to the body. That was his mistake. He can’t afford to make that mistake again if he wants the victory against Alvarez.
“Triple G, his power is always been there, and I think all these past years he was knocking all these guys out,” said Garcia in slamming the past competition from GGG. “I think it was more about him not having that one opponent that would test him. A lot of the time it was a guy from Europe they would bring in, and they’re coming in thinking they’re going to get knocked out. I think that has a lot to do with it. He wasn’t at the time to fight the best middleweights out there,” said Garcia about Golovkin being too late to face some of the best middleweights in the past. “Now that his time has come, it maybe a little bit too late with [Danny] Jacobs and Canelo. Him already being 36, if he was catching them at 30, 31, he probably would have knocked all of them out,” said Garcia.
In fairness to Golovkin, he did already beat Daniel Jacobs. Garcia is a little off by saying it’s too late for Golovkin to beat Jacobs, as he already did beat him last March by a 12 round unanimous decision. How well Golovkin does against Canelo and Jacobs in the inevitable rematches remains to be seen. Will GGG’s age be too advanced for him to beat those 2 excellent fighters, or will his punching power and jab enable him to out-box them? We’re going to find out. If Golovkin loses to Canelo on May 5 in their rematch, then he could face Jacobs after that. Canelo might face Jacobs first though, because there’s no point in Golovkin fighting Jacobs again at that point. Golovkin would need to rebuild his career if he can’t get a third fight with Canelo.
“Canelo’s young and Triple G is the veteran that everybody fears,” said Garcia to Villianfy Media. “Canelo came in with no fear and the right moment for the fight to happen. I think the draw was good. I was happy with the draw. That way they’ll get a rematch. But watching it again on TV, I saw someone winning. I don’t want to say who. I thought Canelo was going to win. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, because Triple G hits tremendously hard, and has the power, and he’s been knocking everybody out. Canelo is the younger guy. I think in the rematch, Canelo clearly wins, and maybe stops Triple G,” said Garcia.
Canelo must be seen as the favorite against GGG in the rematch. After 9 rounds, Canelo solved the GGG puzzle in the last 3 rounds to get the better of him in rounds 10, 11 and 12. In the rematch, the fight will start from round 13, with Canelo using what he learned in the tail end of the previous fight to get the better of Golovkin. These are the things Canelo needs to do for him to beat Golovkin more conclusively in the rematch:
• Stay in the center of the ring. Don’t go to the ropes
• Walk Golovkin down. Keep him backing him. Golovkin does not fight well when he’s being backed up
• Fight hard in the middle rounds. Canelo gave up a lot of rounds in the middle portion of the fight by staying on the ropes, and not attacking Triple G
“I totally agree,” said Garcia when asked if Golovkin is ‘shop worn.’ “Canelo is younger. Canelo went into the fight knowing he’s in with a monster, the guy that’s knocking everybody out. So when I watched the fight again, there were moments where Canelo could have done a little bit more, but he didn’t take the chance. He fought a little too careful. I think in the rematch, he already felt the power. He always felt it and it didn’t hurt him. So I think in the rematch, he can take a lot more chances, and be more successful. He landed beautiful combinations. So in the rematch, I think Canelo clearly wins and even stops Triple G,” said Garcia about Canelo.
Canelo has a great chance of winning the rematch with Golovkin if he improves his work rate, and makes sure he attacks him at all times. Golovkin seems to lose his confidence when he’s being backed up. If you run from Golovkin, he’ll chase you. But if you stand your ground or attack him, you can beat him, as Canelo, Kell Brook and Jacobs all showed.
“I think his defense was beautiful. Look at all those right hands he made Triple G miss,” said Garcia. “Even those few times Triple G landed his right hand, Canelo was trained to avoid that shot. Canelo always fought that defensive way of rolling with the punch. I think his defense was good. I think he needs to spar tough too. He needs to train with sparring partners that are trying to beat him up to get you in shape, and to get you alert. Canelo has a big name, he’s superstar. For his trainers and managers team, he’s the only guy they have, so they want him to be happy. They want to treat him nice. I trained with Oscar De La Hoya when we were growing up. I remember sparring partners were told to take it easy on Oscar, because Oscar’s the ‘Golden Boy.’ Whoever was training Oscar at the time, they didn’t want to get Oscar hurt or make Oscar look bad. I’m not saying that’s the case with Canelo, but that’s possible,” said Garcia in speculating why Canelo gasses out in his fights. “They need to spar hard to be able to beat Triple G. You got to get tough in there training,” said Garcia.
Garcia is correct that Canelo needs to spar harder for him to improve his stamina. Canelo’s conditioning can easily be improved if he trains harder. Canelo looks like his sparring partners have been fighting at too slow of a pace against him to improve his stamina.