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Roach: Canelo could have trouble making weight for GGG

Freddie Roach Gennady Golovkin Saul Alvarez Canelo vs. Golovkin

By Sean Jones: Trainer Freddie Roach thinks it’s a mistake on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s part for him to have bulked up so much for his fight against Gennady Golovkin this Saturday night for their Las Vegas based fight at the T-Mobile Arena.

Roach says an old school trainer, and he sees the weight that Canelo has put on as something that could slow him down during the fight with Triple G. Moreover, Roach worries that Canelo (49-1-1, 34 KOs) will have a hard time making the 160 pound weigh-in limit for Friday’s weigh-in.

Golden Boy Promotions hasn’t said anything about how much the weight penalty will be for the Canelo-Golovkin fight, but if it’s not too stiff of a fine, then it’s always possible Canelo will come in over the 160 lb. limit on purpose to gain an advantage with his weight. In addition to Friday’s weigh-in, there is also an IBF mandated secondary weight check on the day of the fight this Saturday at 9:00 A.M. The two fighters cannot be heavier than 170 lbs.

For Golovkin, who usually weighs around 170 to 173 lbs. fully rehydrated for his fights, it won’t be an issue to keep his weight to within the 170 lb. weight limit. It could be a different story for Canelo, as he’s looking like he’s well into the 180s if not the 190s. It’s going to be real nightmare for Canelo to keep from going over the 170 lb. limit. I don’t think Canelo will ever bother.

That’s my prediction. Canelo forget about the IBF’s weight check and just try and beat Golovkin without having the chance to win the IBF title. It would be a ruthless move on Canelo’s part to skip the IBF’s weight check, but I doubt that he’ll lose much sleep over it. He stands to gain a lot more if he just beats Golovkin, regardless of whether he games the system and gets an advantage over him.

“It’s a great fight and a great match-up,” said Freddie Roach to ESPN’s First Take about the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight. “Canelo was a little bigger and stronger going into the fight before now though. But now that we’ve seen the new look for Canelo, he’s very bulky and big. He put a lot of weight on. He might have trouble making weight. He put on a lot of strength,” said Roach.

Canelo and his 2 trainers seem to believe that the extra size will help them get past Golovkin. Canelo was obviously too small before he started bulking up. When he stood next to Golovkin inside the ring after his win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6th of this year, he looked a lot smaller than Triple G. The thing is, that was Canelo bulked up already for his 164.5 lb. catch-weight fight against Chavez Jr. Canelo had put on at least 7 to 10 lbs. of weight for that fight, and yet he still looked small when standing next to Golovkin. But since then, Canelo has really packed on the weight, and he looks to have gained another 10 to 15 lbs. on top of what he already had. I think a conservative estimate for Canelo’s weight right now is 185 lbs., but he might be as high as 190. Taking that weight off is going to be a nightmare.

During the Grand Arrival in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Canelo still looked very heavy, and it makes you wonder if he’s got some way of losing the extra weight in the next 2 days to get down to the 160 lb. limit for Friday. Canelo didn’t look drained at all yesterday. He looked like he was still in the 170 lb. region for his weight. But with the huge money Canelo will be making for the GGG fight, he can afford to pay whatever the weight penalty it is for the fight.

Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions obviously negotiated whatever weight penalty there will be for the fight. It would be interesting to know if they set it low for the GGG fight in order to gain an advantage. That would be sad if that were the case, but this is boxing. Fighters try to gain any advantage they can to beat their opponents, especially if they’re moving up in weight to face the biggest puncher in the middleweight division in Gennady.

“It’s a really tactical fight,” said Roach. ”The body punches are really going to be coming and affecting this fight a lot. I’m from an old school trainer. We never lifted weights, because weights stiffen you up and make you a bit slower. It was good for the heavyweights for inside fighting, but for the smaller guys, speed was much more important than strength. But the game has changed quite a bit and he’s going in with a big puncher,” said Roach in talking about Canelo going in with the hard-hitting GGG.

Canelo and Golden Boy are clearly banking on him being able to beat Golovkin with the extra muscle sie that he’s put on for the fight. If they made the right decision, then Canelo will beat Golovkin to take his middleweight titles. But if that extra weight that Canelo has packed on in a hurry ends up slowing him down and causing him to wear out quickly on Saturday night, then Golovkin will likely knock the red-headed Mexican star out and send his career skittering downwards. A knockout loss for Canelo will cause a lot of finger pointing and second-guessing about the logic of packing on 15 lbs. of muscle in just 4 months.

On the face of it, I think Canelo has goofed with this decision to add that kind of muscle weight in one training camp. However, you can understand why he would think that it might work. It worked for Juan Manuel Marquez before his fight with Manny Pacquiao in 2012. Before Marquez started hitting the weights, he looked like a fairly slender fighter with a decent amount of muscle, but afterwards, he was a lot bigger and stronger. Marquez wound up knocking Pacquiao down twice and knocking him unconscious in the 6th round. You could see ahead of time that Marquez’s power had improved from watching him hit the speed and heavy bag. Marquez looked incredibly powerful. In contrast, Canelo doesn’t like he’s hitting with more power than before. He just looks bigger and slower, but not more powerful.

“He’s very solid if you catch him on the mitts,” said Roach about Golovkin. “He hits really hard. He is a very solid puncher. Triple G is a very good puncher.

Golovkin has already been a huge puncher. When he connects with a solid shot, he’s devastating. Going into GGG’s last fight against Danny Jacobs last March, he’d knocked out 23 opponents in a row. You don’t do that if you can’t punch with major power.

“He needed to lift his game a little bit and be as big a puncher,” said Roach in talking about Canelo. “He does have that knockout punch. I don’t think the weight is going to slow him down that much to eliminate that. I think he’s going to be okay. But again, I’m old school. I wouldn’t have put him on the weight program and the bulk, because that’s too much; maybe in the middle somewhere,” said Roach in discussing his feelings about Canelo bulking up so high.

I disagree with Roach. I think the extra weight is going to slow down Canelo a lot against Golovkin. He looks a lot slower, and he’s going to have to carry that weight around for a fast pace fight. Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez has already hinted that they’re going to push a fast pace fight on Canelo and see if he can keep up.

“He does fight well off the ropes, and he’s a very good counter puncher off the ropes,” said Roach about Canelo. “If you turnaround, the thing that Triple G does best is keep people on the ropes, and he keeps their backs against the ropes. He keeps them kind of limited to what they can do. This is going to be the biggest part of the fight. Triple G is going to trap him against the ropes. Is he going to be able to counter punch him or is Triple G going to get off first? I would definitely [advise Canelo to stay off the ropes], because he is a master of the ring generalship. Ring generalship is really not taught much anymore in boxing. I really think the ropes and corners are bad positions,” said Roach.

Canelo is usually very good at fighting off the ropes, but he didn’t look good against Austin Trout, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Liam Smith and Erislandy Lara. Those guys worked Canelo over when he was against the ropes. Lara and Trout were arguably robbed in their fights against Canelo, and Mayweather schooled Canelo. After getting worked over by Mayweather against the ropes, Canelo went back into the center of the ring and stayed there for the remainder of the fight. I think there’s a good chance that Canelo will adapt and stay off the ropes if he gets worked over by Golovkin. Canelo isn’t going to stay against the ropes if he’s getting pummeled by Triple G.

“It’s very difficult because that’s always going to be in the back of your mind,” said Roach about Canelo getting worked over in the past during his 2 sparring sessions with Golovkin. “They did spar together and Triple G did get to him a little bit. He was a little bigger, stronger, more mature, but Alvarez has matured quite a bit since then. He’s become a better fighter. When I trained Miguel Cotto for that fight, he was a lot better in that fight than I’d ever seen him, and he’s gotten better since then. Him and his team have really put it together. They’ve put the boxing together. He’s a much better fighter now, and I think his improvements will be enough to chance what happened in the sparring,” said Roach.

I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on what happened during the sparring between Canelo and Golovkin. That was a long time ago. The only thing we know is that Canelo did well at first, but then he got hurt with a body shot and later on he was staggered by Golovkin. After that, Golovkin didn’t go for the kill because it was sparring. None of this matters now though. It’ll be the real thing on Saturday.

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