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Chavez: Canelo must be perfect to beat GGG

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin Julio Cesar Chavez

By Allan Fox: Julio Cesar Chavez feels that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will need to fight the perfect fight for him to defeat middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chavez likes the energy and youth of Canelo, but he thinks he’s got to be careful with the punching power of Triple G for as long as the fight lasts.

Chavez feels it could be dangerous for Canelo to try and knockout Golovkin because he could get caught with a big shot.

”I think Canelo needs to fight a perfect fight to be able to beat Golovkin, he needs to be careful with Golovkin because of his punching power, but the youth and strength of Canelo can make the fight go his way,” said Chavez to Fighthub.

A lot of people in the boxing world are saying the same thing about Canelo, 27, needing to fight the perfect fight for him to pull off the upset. He’s an underdog still in this fight, as Golovkin is a natural middleweight with superior power, and he’s been fighting at middleweight his entire career. In contrast, Canelo has been fighting at 154 for the last 7 years of his career against mostly weaker opposition.

Canelo has fought several good fighters during that time frame, but he’s been overly impressive in beating the likes of Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout. Canelo lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. Canelo looked good in his last 2 fights, but it was only against Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Those aren’t good fighters in the class of Golovkin or any of the other guys are 154 and 160. Golovkin hasn’t looked good in his last 2 fights, but they were against good fighters in Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs.

”Well it’s good and its bad,” said Chavez when asked about his thoughts on Canelo wanting to knockout Golovkin. ”It’s good to have the mentality that you will win the fight by knockout, but it’s also bad because when you face a fighter that hits as hard as Golovkin you need to be careful.”

For Canelo to shoot for a knockout, he’s going to need to put himself in position to land his big shots. He’s not going to be able to knockout Golovkin with a right hand from the outside like he did against welterweight Amir Khan. Golovkin will walk through Canelo’s power shots and hit him hard to the body.

If Canelo gets hit enough times with body shots, he’s going to wear down and go to the ropes try and play possum. Golovkin does well when his opponents are fighting against the ropes. Canelo will get picked apart if he goes to the ropes like he did against Liam Smith, James Kirkland and Austin Trout. Canelo has likely been told by his trainers to stay off the ropes, but change is hard. When fighters get tired, they fall back into their old habits. I suspect that’s what Canelo will do.

”I saw them well prepared, well focused on the fight and they will not have trouble with making weight,” said Chavez in predicting that Canelo and Golovkin won’t have problems making weight.

Canelo didn’t look weight drained earlier this week at the final press conference. He was in good shape. It’s unclear whether Canelo is going to lose the weight at the last second or if he had his weight already down. He was still big though, and almost the same size as Golovkin.

”What advice do you want me to give him? Simply may the best man win and good luck to Canelo,” said Chavez.

It’s going to be a good fight. We’ll see if Canelo can keep Golovkin from getting his shots off. Golden Boy employee Bernard Hopkins says he was watching Canelo workout during training camp, and he saw that he was working on a strategy that will keep Golovkin from landing his power shots. If Golovkin wants to land, land his big shots, he’s going to need to adapt, says Hopkins. He didn’t say what strategy Canelo will be using. If it’s an offense negating style, it’s like many things he’s already used before in the past. Canelo uses a lot of torso movement, and counter punches to make his opponents think twice about throwing. The torso movement will help him avoid head shots, but not punches to the body.

“What we’ve been hearing is it’s going to be a war,” said Hopkins to about the Canelo vs. GGG fight. “That’s the type of Triple G fight. He wants to have you in position to fight him off; making him fight to survive more than win, then it’ll be another victory. But Triple G will get a surprise, I believe, because Canelo, without giving away any strategy, I was in his camp for a week with Canelo, and I watched it back then, which was 2 weeks in camp. That’s what his strategy was going to be. It’s not going to be what Triple G is used to having. He’s going to have to adjust for him to be able to compete for level that’s not there for him. Triple G is going to have to make adjustments. I don’t think he’s prepared to make those adjustments,” said Hopkins.

Canelo can use one of the following strategies to shutdown Golovkin’s offense:

• Clinch frequently. This is something Hopkins used a lot of during his career. He would punch and then grab his opponents to keep them from getting their shots off. He’d also do a lot of mauling on the inside like Andre Ward.

• Use movement. This will be tougher for Canelo to do, because he doesn’t move well and he’s carrying around a lot of weight. The movement will likely be a failure for him as far as strategies go.

• Use torso movement. Canelo always uses this, so it won’t unexpected for Golovkin. Hopkins is talking as if Canelo has a new trick up his sleeves. Torso movement is an old strategy.

• Throwing jabs. This isn’t going to work. Golovkin has the better jab.

• Counter Golovkin’s jab. This would be effective if Golovkin’s game plan is to stay on the outside and jab Canelo like he did with Danny Jacobs and David Lemieux. I don’t think Golovkin is going to use that plan against Canelo, because he knows he needs a knockout for him to get the win.

• Throw lots of speedy punches. This would play into Golovkin’s hands if Canelo fights like this, because he wants him to slug. Golovkin wants a fast pace, as it favors him. He’s used to carrying the weight for the middleweight division, and he’s the bigger puncher. Canelo put on a lot of weight, so it’s going to be hard for him to fight at a furious pace and throw lots of punches.

“I lean towards Canelo,” said Kelly Pavkik to ES News Reporting. “Canelo looked really well in his last 2 fights. Triple G in his last couple of fights against Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs, faded towards the end of the fight. Against Kell, he was shaking his arms and looking stiff. I think if Canelo can get past 4 or 5 rounds, he’s got a great chance of taking the fight by decision,” said Pavlik.

Pavlik is assuming that Golovkin will gas after 4 or 5 rounds based on 1 fight against Danny Jacobs. That was the only fight where Golovkin sort of looked tired. He obviously wasn’t too tired, since he was able to stagger the bigger Jacobs in round 10. He had Jacobs hurt and on the run during round 10. Pavlik included Brook as a fight where Golovkin faded. He didn’t fade against Brook. He stopped him in the 5th round after breaking his eye socket. Jacobs is the only fight where Golovkin looked a little tired, but it’s still something you can’t predict whether it’ll happen again because it was a one-time thing. It didn’t happen before the Jacobs fight.

”He’s got to fight a great fight though,” said Pavlik about Canelo. ”He’s got to use angles, get out of the way, don’t expend too much energy. But the problem with that is Triple G has got power. 1 good shot. Canelo has experience and fought a lot of top guys, but until you get in there on fight night, you don’t know. That could change the game plan. But if he fights the right fight and gets past the 4th round, he can win,” said Pavlik.

It sounds like Pavlik is describing another fighter apart from Canelo. The fighting style that Pavlik describes isn’t Canelo. He’s not someone that uses a lot of angles. Canelo has lead feet. He’s slow moving, but he has fast hands and good torso movement. Canelo’s torso movement isn’t always effective in helping him dodge shots. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Erislandy Lara both picked off Canelo with punches no matter how much head movement he used. It was embarrassing to watch at times, because Canelo was trying so hard to make them miss. The only thing he was doing was wasting energy in moving his torso. He should have been attacking instead of trying to copy Mayweather. Attacking is what Canelo does best.

”Work his jab, use a lot of feints and use the right movements,” said Pavlik. ”Canelo hasn’t got fast feet, but he makes the right movement. He uses angles really well. If he can get out of the way of Triple G’s punches, he could win. I think Triple G is going to have to come out and bring it early on and get him out. Hit him with the body shots. Triple G is such a good counter puncher with that hook, and when he reaches to the body, he can leave himself open to be hit,” said Pavlik.

I think it’s safe to say that Golovkin will bring it early against Canelo. The reason for that is because Golovkin won’t want to fall behind early in the fight, and have to deal with Canelo coasting on him. That’s what Canelo could do if he builds a lead. Stall out the fight by using movement or going back to the ropes for brief periods of time to try and survive to win a dull decision.

”He couldn’t stop a drained Chavez Jr. It’s not that Canelo doesn’t have power,” said Pavik. ”Canelo hits hard at junior middleweight and welterweight. The weight makes the difference. When you move up in weight to fight a naturally big middleweight like Triple G, you’re going to have respectable power in your punches, but it’s nothing that Triple G isn’t going to be able to take,” said Pavlik.

Canelo’s reputation for being a knockout puncher was built on knocking out guys like Amir Khan, James Kirkland, Liam Smith, Alfredo Angulo and Kermit Cintron. Canelo knocked most of those guys out by throwing lots of punches that wore them down. Khan and Kirkland were the exceptions to that rule, as they didn’t have the punch resistance to handle Canelo’s hard shots.

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