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Golovkin still favored to defeat Canelo

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Sean Jones: Despite the many athletes and boxing fans that are coming out of the woodwork to pick Saul “Canelo Alvarez to defeat IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) on September 16, the odds-makers remain unconvinced that he can do that.

The odds-makers still view the bigger, stronger, taller and more experienced Golovkin as the guy that will win the fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bovada has Golovkin as the favorite by the line -155 to Canelo’s +125.

Golovkin is using Julian “J-RocK” Williams, Dashon Williams, Kenneth McNeil and Kyrone Davis as sparring partners to get him ready for the fight. Those are speedy guys with hand speed similar or better than Canelo, and they’re also taller guys than Canelo.

It’s going to be tough on the 27-year-old Canelo to win the fight, as he’s not very tall at 5’8”, and he’s put on a lot of weight recently that is going to make it hard for him to fight hard for the full 12 rounds unless Golovkin lets him fight at the same snail’s pace that he fought against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6. Chavez Jr. was so weight drained for the Canelo fight that he was unable to muster up more than a handful of punches in each round. It was smart of Golden Boy to pick Chavez Jr. for Canelo’s recent opponent. Chavez Jr. never had a chance. He started training camp well over 200 pounds, and it was too much weight to take off to get down to the 164 ½ lb. contract mandated catch weight for the fight.

Golovkin is going to be pushing a fast pace, and looking to force Canelo to fight as hard as possible for the full 12 rounds. The extra weight that Canelo has put on is likely going to slow him down, make him require more rest breaks, and keep him from maneuvering around the ring the way that Golovkin’s last 2 opponents Danny Jacobs and Kell Brook were able to do.

It’s going to interesting to see if the odds will continue to even out as the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight draws closer. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fight is even by the time the two fighters step foot inside the ring. However, the bettors want to make sure they pick the guy with the best chance of winning the fight on September 16. They’re not going to pick Canelo as the winner just because he’s highly popular and well-connected by being part of Golden Boy Promotions’ stable.

The bettors want to make sure they pick the best guy that has a chance of winning the fight without controversy, and that appears to be Golovkin right now. Golovkin is just much bigger and more powerful than Canelo, and his jab is going to make it a real nuisance for the popular Mexican fighter to get near enough to throw his left hooks and uppercuts. Those are weapons that are designed to be thrown at close range, not long distance.

Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez isn’t too concerned with Canelo’s body punching that he’s been hinting that he plans on using in this fight. The way Sanchez sees it, if Canelo starts throwing body shots, he’s going to leave his head unprotected from GGG’s power shots. Canelo might be able to get away with throwing some body shots, but sooner or later, he’s going to get caught with a shot and badly hurt. That’s one of the reasons why Golovkin’s opponents don’t try and throw body shots against him. He catches them with big punches when they lower their head to throw to the body.

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Marco Antonio Rubio tried to throw to Golovkin’s body, and he was nailed with a big shot to the top of his head and taken out quickly in 2 rounds. Rubio made a mistake of trying to throw to the body against Golovkin. With all the experience that Rubio had going into the fight, he should have realized that he would have been better off using movement, and his jab to keep from getting nailed by GGG’s big power shots.

”Canelo vs. Golovkin was the fight that boxing fans have long called for, the best vs. the best,” said promoter Frank Warren to the “This is a fight that will undoubtedly go down alongside the legendary middleweight fights of the past. Marvin Hagler, ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Tommy Hearns all made their mark on the sport. Next week will be the chance for Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin to stake their claim to join such revered company. This is going to be something very special.”

Canelo will need to show something that he’s never shown before in order for him to pull off the upset. The way that Canelo fought in his last 2 fights against Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., he won’t have enough to get past Golovkin. Canelo doesn’t appear to be as good as he was when he fought Miguel Cotto in 2015. Canelo looks slower, and not quite as youthful. That’s what happens sometimes when fighters pack on weight. It slows them down and makes them more vulnerable.

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WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders will also be fighting on September 16 against former Golovkin foe Willie Monroe Jr. at the Copper Box Arena in London, England. The winner of the Saunders-Monroe Jr. fight could face the Canelo-Golovkin winner if the two don’t decide on making an immediate rematch.

Canelo has a rematch clause on his contract with Golovkin that allows him alone to decide if he wants to fight Golovkin in an immediate rematch. It’s an upside down rematch clause, as usually it’s the champion that inserts a rematch clause in their contracts against challenger. In this case, Canelo has the rematch clause that he can evoke against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC 160 lb. champion Golovkin. If Canelo decides he doesn’t want to fight Golovkin again, then the winner of the Saunders vs. Monroe Jr. fight has a good chance of facing the winner of that fight.

There are some boxing fans who believe that Canelo will be able to counter Golovkin’s jabs with right hands and left hooks. I don’t think that’s going to happen. Jab is thrown from long distance. Canelo doesn’t have the arm length to land his left hooks and rights from long range. He’s not much taller than 5’7” Miguel, and he can’t fight a guy like Golovkin from the outside. That’s why Caneo has reputation for doing well against guys that come forward and come at him. The reason for that is Canelo doesn’t have the reach for him to fight on the outside. He absolutely requires his opponents to get in close so that he can land his round-winning shots.

In Canelo’s fights against Floyd Mayweather, Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara, those fighters stayed on the outside and jabbed him all night long. Canelo only landed 31 head shots in the entire fight against Lara. Canelo was helpless in that fight to land any of his power shots or counters. Canelo was given a victory over Lara, but it was a very dubious decision. It was one of those decisions that make you shake your hair and have doubts on the sport of boxing.

For Canelo to land his speedy combinations and uppercuts, he’s going to need Golovkin to draw in close and make it a war. There’s no question that’s the only way for Canelo to win the fight without another Lara-type of decision. If Canelo is going to win by a clear cut decision, he’ll Golovkin to get in the trenches with him and trade shots.

Canelo’s chances in a fight like that will rest on whether he can handle the red-hot pace that Golovkin will be fighting. You can be sure that if Golovkin is going to get in the trenches with Canelo, he’ll have a go of forcing him to fight at such a fast pace that he’ll be weary by the 6th round, feeling sick from exhaustion and wanting to throw-up. All that extra weight that Canelo has packed on in a real hurry will do that, which is why you don’t want to bulk up the way Canelo has done before an important fight. You don’t tinker with your natural body size before an important fight. Some fighters get away with packing on 15 to 20 lbs. before an important fight and are able to fight well enough to win, but I think those are rare cases.

Mostly, fighters that pack on tremendous amounts of weight the way Canelo has done tend to tire out quickly, lose whatever power they have, and then get knocked out. Canelo can land with good power with uppercuts, but that’s his only real power shot in his repertoire. Caanelo is a speedy slapper type of fighter, who uses his fast combinations to win rounds in 10-second bursts of activity. Canelo lands his shots, then backs off for a rest break. He’s not someone that can stand and throw nonstop shots like Aaron Pryor. That’s not physically possible for Canelo to fight in that manner.

Golovkin, 35, has a big advantage of knowing that he’ll probably need a knockout for him to get a win over the highly popular Canelo. Golovkin and his trainer Abel Sanchez are well aware that it might be very difficult for him to get his hand raised against Canelo due to the popularity of the Mexican star. Lara and Trout are examples of what happens to fighters that don’t knockout Canelo and allow the fight to go to a decision.

Having that knowledge will surely help Golovkin, because he’s obviously planning on pushing a fast pace against Canelo to make sure he knocks him out to avoid having to deal with the judges. That’s a real positive for Golovkin. If Triple G didn’t know that, he might make the mistake of trying to box Canelo to see if he can win a 12 round decision against him. That might be a mistake, given the history that has taken place involving fights with Canelo.

Golovkin seems to have a knack for knocking guys out. He knows how to break them down and get stoppage. Golovkin has it down to an art with the way he knocks his opponents out. Going into his fight against Danny Jacobs last March, Golovkin has knocked out 23 straight opponents. Golovkin looked like he wanted that fight to go to a decision though to test his ability to win a decision.

The way that Golovkin fought Jacobs is likely going to be much different to how he’ll go about fighting Canelo. Golovkin and his trainer Sanchez obviously believed they could win a decision over Jacobs. I don’t think they have the same belief that they can win a decision against a popular fighter like Canelo. There are some fighters that are impossible to beat by decision.

Canelo is one of them, as is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Those guys can only be beaten by knockout in this writer’s opinion. Mayweather was given a decision over Canelo, but that was an instant where Canelo was fighting a superstar greater than himself. If that had been Lara inside the ring with Canelo on that night in 2013 instead of Mayweather, I think that he would have been given a loss to Canelo. Golovkin knows that he’s got to make sure Canelo doesn’t see the 12th round. That’s why Sanchez keeps repeating his believe that Triple G needs to “destroy” Canelo when he gets him inside the ring. Sanchez does not have confidence that Golovkin will be given the decision over Canelo.

In the best possible world, the judges give the win to the right fighter if it does go the distance. If it’s a one-sided fight with Canelo dominating Golovkin like he did against Chavez Jr., it would be the best situation. A one-sided decision makes the fight result something that can’t be second-guessed. A knockout would also be perfect for this fight. It would remove the judges and let the winner move on without controversy.

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