By Sean Jones: With Andre Ward hanging up his gloves a week ago, it has led to Ring Magazine replacing him as the pound-for-pound king with IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs).
Being put into the No.1 spot in the pound-for-pound ratings means Golovkin is now considered the best fighter in boxing. That’s the significance of being put into the top spot in the ratings. Golovkin is now the king of the sport. The winner of the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight was considered to be a shoe in for the top spot to replace Andre Ward as the new pound-for-pound king.
It’s good news that one of the 2 fighters was still able to take the No.1 spot in the pound-for-pound ratings. Canelo likely lost his chance to become the new pound-for-pound king by fighting so negatively for the full 12 round fight against Golovkin. Instead of looking to go to war, as Canelo had made it appear that he was going to do, he moved constantly, and only fought in short spurts against Golovkin.
It looked like Canelo was in the survival mode for the last 9 rounds of the fight against GGG. Canelo didn’t fight like a winner. He fought like a guy that was trying to conserve as much energy as possible so he could make it to the 12th round. The fact that the Las Vegas gave Canelo a draw out of the fight is disturbing to say the least. Many in the boxing world saw Canelo lose to Golovkin by a 116-112 score, which could come out to 8 rounds to 4 defeat.
Golovkin being elevated to the new No.1 pound-for-pound spot in the Ring rankings was a no-brainer, as he put in master class performance against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) in their huge fight 11 days ago on September 16 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Golovkin surprised many boxing fans and members of the media by reversing the roles and becoming the boxer against the slugger.
Golovkin beat Canelo at his own game by out-boxing him, and forcing him into the slugger’s role, which he was nearly as profiecient with for him to win the fight. For the record, the judges the Canelo-Golovkin fight a 12 round draw, but the court of public opinion viewed the fight as a clear – and impressive – win for Triple G. Golovkin was outstanding in confusing Canelo and limiting what he could do on offense to an occasional pot shot. Canelo was no match for Golovkin.
Light welterweight champion Terence Crawford slides from the No.3 spot to No.2 in the pound-for-pound ratings. Some people in boxing believe Crawford deserving as the No.1 guy in the pound-for-pound rankings, but he hasn’t fought anyone yet that is talented enough to put him at the top spot. Crawford looks good beating the likes of Julius Indongo, John Molina and Hank Lundy, but he still doesn’t have a signature win on his resume like Golovkin does with his victory over Danny Jacobs and his incredible performance against Canelo.
Here are the NEW Ring pound-for-pound ratings:
1. Gennady Golovkin
2. Terence Crawford
3. Vasyl Lomachenko
4. Guillermo Rigondeaux
5. Sergey Kovalev
6. Saul Canelo Alvarez
7. Mikey Garcia
8. Naoya Inoue
9. Errol Spence Jr.
10. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
It might be difficult for Golovkin to keep the No.1 pound-for-pound rating for long, as Lomachenko and Rigondeaux will be facing each other on December 9 in Madison Square Garden, New York. The winner of the Lomahenko-Rigondeaux fight will have a good chance of supplanting Golovkin for the No.1 spot as the pound-for-pound king. It’s still has to be viewed as a honor for Golovkin to be the new pound-for-pound king after what he just went through in getting a draw against Canelo.
It’s obviously a disappointment for Golovkin that he wasn’t given a victory in the biggest fight of his pro career against the 27-year-old Canelo, as this was finally the Kazakhstan fighter’s coming out party after 11 years as a pro. Golovkin was looking forward to a big win to propel his career to the upper stratosphere of boxing. Instead, Golovkin was given a 12 round draw by the Las Vegas judges. Golovkin will now have to wait and see when or if he can get a rematch against Canelo.
The Canelo-Golovkin rematch will obviously happen, but it’ll be when and where Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy want it. Read: Las Vegas on May 5, 2018. Not getting the decision in the Canelo fight didn’t hurt Golovkin as much as one would think, as the boxing world has come out to support him as the winner of the fight with Canelo. Where it does hurt Golovkin is in getting a better deal in the rematch with Canelo.
A win for Golovkin would have meant a better financial deal for the rematch with Canelo. It also would have put Canelo in a position where he would need to make the rematch as quick as possible so he could avenge his loss to Triple G, and reestablish his credibility in boxing as a star worthy of replacing Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the big money maker. We might have seen Canelo rush to fight Golovkin in a rematch in December rather than him pushing the second fight 8 months into the future for May of 2018.
The draw hurt Golovkin in that respect, but it also hurt Canelo. It made him look like a pampered fighter, who gets controversial draws when he should have been given a loss. That’s not a good look for the redheaded Mexican star’s career. When Canelo gets outclassed, as he was against Golovkin, he should be getting defeats. That’s unquestionably the major reason why Canelo was booed by his own boxing fans after the Golovkin fight. They didn’t see him as the winner, and they felt he should have been given a loss.
When a highly popular fighter isn’t given a defeat when they’ve been outdone by their opponent, the boxing fans expect them to be given a defeat. When that doesn’t happen, it makes a lot of boxing fans feel as if the fighter has been given preferential treatment by the judges to save him as a money maker. It’s unfortunate that the judges scored the Golovkin vs. Canelo fight a draw. The scores by two of the judges made no sense. One judge had Canelo winning by 10 rounds to 2 over Golovkin, whereas the other judge scored it 114-114. That score was confusing because the judge gave Canelo round 7, a round where he was batted around the ring like a baseball by Golovkin for the full 3 minutes.
Golovkin has been unimpressed with the pound-for-pound ratings. He sees it as a subjective thing that can’t be proven definitively by competing against a top guy. Golovkin views the ratings as based on the whim of the guys that make the determination in the pound for pound list. The guys that the Ring Magazine staff picks as the No1 fighter are highly talented fighters that have earned the top spot. Andre Ward was a somewhat controversial pick recently in the pound-for-pound ratings, because he was elevated to the No.1 spot after a controversial 12 round unanimous decision win over Sergey Kovalev in their first fight in November of last year. It wasn’t the ideal time for Ward to be placed into the No1 spot.
Golovkin will likely need a good win over Canelo in their rematch for him to hold onto the top spot in the pound-for-pound ratings. Canelo and his trainers Eddie and Chepo Reynoso will have some tricks up their sleeves to try and beat Golovkin. It wasn’t expected that Canelo would move so much, and fight off the ropes for 12 rounds against Golovkin. For the rematch, Canelo will likely try and take the fight to Golovkin and stay in the center of the ring as much as possible.
The limiting factor for Canelo is his built in stamina problems. There’s no point in Canelo trying to take the fight to Golovkin if he doesn’t possess the engine to brawl with him for 3 minutes of every round. Golovkin has fought his entire career as a brawler, who pushes a fast pace. Canelo would be playing to Golovkin’s strengths if he went right after him at center ring in an attempt to out-slug him. Canelo is more likely to use an in and out attacking mode, and hoping that he can win a decision by landing the better shots in each round. Canelo can’t stay in the pocket the entire fight due to his poor stamina, which has been a problem for him since he turned pro in 2005. At 27, isn’t likely to show improvements in his conditioning. He’s as good as he’ll ever be in his conditioning department. The only thing Canelo can do is work around his deficiencies and try and beat Golovkin by attacking him in spurts the way that Kell Brook attempted to do in his 5th round stoppage loss last year in September.