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De La Hoya believes Canelo can withstand Golovkin’s power

By Jeff Aranow: Oscar De La Hoya likes Saul Canelo Alvarez’s chances of handling Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s power to go on and defeat him this weekend in the battle between the 2 best fighters in the 160 pound division.

De La Hoya says Canelo will need to be warmed up for him to be able to take the power shots from Golovkin. De La Hoya seems to rate Golovkin as being more dangerous in the early rounds rather than later on in the fight. It could be that De La Hoya is basing how Golovkin’s threat level based on his last fight against Danny Jacobs. Golovkin looked stronger earlier in the fight than he did in the second half of the contest when Jacobs came storming back and was able to make it a close fight with his rally.

“I believe so. It just depends on what round, it depends if he’s warmed-up enough,” said De La Hoya to”It all depends on how you warm up, it depends because these guys have great chins — both of them. So once you start warming-up, once you get the engine warmed-up it’s like any punch you’re going to take.”

Warming up is a good thing for Canelo to do before the fight starts. It’s unclear whether that will change the outcome of the fight though, as Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez is saying that Triple G will be putting constant pressure on Canelo for the entire fight. Sanchez sees the mental and physical pressure from GGG breaking Canelo by the 10th or 11th round. If that’s how Golovkin plans on fighting Canelo, then it might not matter how warmed up he is in the early rounds of the fight. That’ll be just the beginning part of the marathon slugging attack from Triple G. When you have a guy that has put on a huge amount of weight in just 3-4 months the way that Canelo has packed on the weight, it’s hard to carry that kind of weight around for entire 12-round, fast pace fight. It’s a burden to carry extra weight.

Even if it’s just 10 pounds of new weight, it’s still extremely hard to carry that kind of weight around for an entire fight. Canelo hasn’t had a face paced fight since his fight with Austin Trout in 2013. That was a fight in which Canelo stayed against the ropes resting for the last half of the fight due to fatigue. Canelo was able to win the fight despite eating jabs frequently from the long-armed Trout for the last 6 rounds. It looked like Trout was at a shooting gallery with the way Canelo was moving his head back and forth against the ropes, and not landing much of anything. Trout was shooting out nonstop jabs. A lot of them missed, but he threw so many, he was connecting with a great frequency.

For Canelo to win, he’s got to take the fight to Golovkin like Danny Jacobs was. Golovkin is at his best when he’s fighting someone that is backing up or trapped against the ropes. Canelo has to use the Kell Brook and Jacobs approach to the fight by attacking Golovkin and forcing him to go backwards. In both of those fights, Golovkin covered up for as long as those guys were throwing punches. Golovkin showed no ability to counter. Like a lot of fighters with the European style of fighting, Golovkin would cover up and wait for Jacobs and Brook to stop throwing punches before he would throw his own shots. Jacobs was able to take advantage of this flaw in Golovkin’s game by unloading on him with an avalanche of punches in the last part of the fight. Brook had success with his brief bursts of punches in rounds 2-4 to win those rounds. If not for an eye injury that Brook suffered, it could have been a really interesting fight with a possible upset.

“Move his waist, move your waist. Counter [his] jab and throw your jab right back,” said De La Hoya. ”Or move side to side and counter with right hands and left hooks. Canelo’s a guy who has been learning, every single fight he’s been getting better…his progression has been incredible and he’s only 27 years old,” said De La Hoya.

Caenlo needs to counter after Golovkin misses, and he needs to keep firing shots and not fall into the old pattern he has of needing to retreat to the ropes to get a break from the action. If Canelo starts taking breaks in each round against Golovkin, he’s going to lose the fight. Golovkin will take advantage of each time Canelo backs up to the ropes by landing his shots as hard as he can. With no way of pulling away from the punches to the body, Canelo is going to get hit hard with those punches. He might be able to lean back over the ropes with his head to avoid Golovkin’s head shots, but he’s not going to be able to dodge the body shots in the same way. Those punches will land clean with a lot of force to them.

“The reason why I love this fight so much is because we haven’t seen the best of Golovkin,” said De La Hoya. ”We haven’t! And we haven’t seen the best of Canelo. But these are the types of match-ups that bring out the best in you. And so that’s why on fight night it’s going to be brutal, but it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said De La Hoya.

This should just be the beginning for Canelo if he can get past Golovkin. This would be a good time for De La Hoya and Golden Boy to make just adjustments to how they match Canelo to keep him fighting the best instead of reverting back to matching him against the guys that nobody wants to see him fight like Liam Smith, Amir Khan, James Kirkland, and Alfredo Angulo. Canelo is about to turn 28, and there’s no point in bringing him backwards against lesser fighters. Canelo is obviously big enough to fight the best middleweights. He no longer needs to fight at 155.

“What I’m thinking is that, I’m hoping that it’s a great fight,” said De La Hoya. “Obviously I feel and I know it’s going to be a great fight because of their styles but, look, yeah, Canelo’s our guy, Canelo’s boxing only star now, now that Mayweather’s retired, now that Pacquiao is at the tail end of his career. Canelo is the guy for the sport of boxing that we dearly love, you know. So if he loses, then, you know what, so be it. He’ll live to see another day in the ring — as long as he loses great. As long as he gives us a great fight, that’s all that matters to me. I want to see a great fight, that’s the bottom line,” said De La Hoya.

Canelo is now the sport’s No.1 fighter in terms of money. He may not be the best fighter in the sport, but he’s the biggest money guy right now. Canelo has got to make sure he puts in a great effort against Golovkin. That way if he gets beaten, the boxing fans will still be willing to follow him and purchase his fights based on the entertainment value. The fans will forgive Canelo for losing to Golovkin if he makes it exciting and gives it his best from start to finish. The fans want to see Canelo going out on his shield if he has to. That’s the only way to lose a fight if it comes to that. What Canelo has to do is make sure he doesn’t put in the type of performance he put in for his loss to Mayweather in 2013, because he looked like he wasn’t trying hard to win that fight. It just looked like Canelo got discouraged early in the first 3 rounds and gave up trying to win the fight.

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