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Tommy Hearns: Canelo has good chance of beating GGG

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin Thomas Hearns

By Dan Ambrose: Boxing great Thomas “Hitman” Hearns is saying Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) has a “good chance of beating IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) in their fight in less than 2 weeks from now on September 16 on HBO pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Nevada.

Hearns, 58, says Golovkin gets hit a lot in his fights, and Canelo is good at landing shots and escaping punishment in return. Hearn sees Canelo as winning if he gets his shots off without getting hit in return by the 35-year-old Triple G.

Hearns, a former 5 division world champion, didn’t touch on the size difference between Canelo and Golovkin, and the fact that Canelo has struggled in the past when he’s fought guys that jabbed him from the outside. Further, Hearns didn’t talk about Canelo’s controversial wins over Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara. Hearns also didn’t mention the poor opposition Canelo has fought in the last 2 years of his career against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland. Cotto is a decent fighter, but he’s not nearly as good as the top guys at 154 at this point.

“(Canelo-Golovkin) is a fight that people will talk about for a long time, people have been waiting a long time for something and I too, I cannot wait any longer,” said Hearns to ESPN Deportes. “People come to see a show, so if you give them a good show, they will remember it for a long time, and people want to see them fight,” said Hearn.

The boxing world has been waiting for Canelo vs. Triple G for a long, long time. That’s the whole problem. Golden Boy Promotions waited 3 years to make the fight. Golovkin was ready to fight Canelo in 2014 along with Miguel Cotto. The fight was left to marinate for 3 years when it didn’t have to. If Golden Boy had let Canelo face Golovkin in 2014 instead of at the tail end of 2017, the two fighters could have faced each other 3 times by now easily. Canelo would be a bigger star today.

Golden Boy has been feeding Canelo lesser fighters that the boxing public didn’t care about. I’m talking about Kirkland, Khan, Liam Smith and Alfredo Angulo. Even Chavez Jr. and Cotto were lesser fighters compared to Golovkin. You can’t put Cotto and Chavez Jr. in the ring with Golovkin and expect a good outcome for them. It would be a crime to have Golovkin fight little 5’7” Cotto and the slow as molasses Chavez Jr.

I think it was a mistake on Golden Boy’s part to wait until Golovkin was 35-years-old before putting Canelo in with him. They said they wanted to wait for Canelo to grow into middleweight, but he was always rehydrating into the 170s back in 2014. Canelo was as heavy as Golovkin is now. Canelo has put more weight since the Chavez Jr. fight last May, but the weight doesn’t seem to have helped him. It makes Canelo looked like a dangerous fighter at middleweight, but it didn’t result in him having more punching power. If Canelo had more power, he would have knocked out Chavez Jr. and impressed the numerous boxing fans that ordered the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight on HBO pay-per-view on May 6.

“GGG is a strong fighter, can fight with anyone, but does not get away from blows and if Canelo does what he has to do, boxing, staying out of danger, and if he does that when he let’s go of his punches, he has a good chance of winning,” said Hearns.

Hearn doesn’t quite realize what kind of opposition that Canelo has been getting fed in the last 3 years by Golden Boy. If Hearns took a close look at the fighters that Golden Boy HASN’T been matching against Canelo, he’d probably take a difference stance in the praise he’s giving him. As the saying goes, ‘All that glitters isn’t gold.’ I think that fits Canelo to the tee. He looks good from the outside, but when you look at the guys he’s been fighting for the last couple of years, you start to understand that he’s not been matched against the best. Miguel Cotto is a good fighter, but he’s also the same guy that was easily beaten by Austin Trout in 2012. Trout did a better job beating Cotto than Canelo did in 2015. The reason for that, you can argue, is Trout is a better fighter than Canelo.

I don’t see how Canelo is going to be able to stay out of danger against Golovkin. The only way Canelo can stay out of danger against Golovkin is if he were to keep on the outside, jab and move for 12 rounds. Looking at how heavy Canelo is right now, it’s painfully obvious that he’s NOT going to be able to do a lot of moving in the fight. Short, heavy guys like Canelo aren’t made for moving.

They’re made for trading power shots and knocking guys out early. They’re not made for being mobile, racing around the ring, and staying out of danger. The short, heavy fighters aren’t good at fighting hard for 3 minutes of every round for a full 12 rounds. Whether you want to admit it or not, there’s a lot of Conor McGregor in Canelo in terms of his stamina.

Canelo gasses out quickly in his fights, and he then needs to go to the ropes to rest and catch his breath. The difference between Canelo and McGregor is Canelo knows what to do when he gets tired. He goes to the ropes and turns into a turtle, looking to throw left hooks and uppercuts while resting. Canelo gets away with that because he’s not been facing opposition since his controversial win over Erislandy Lara. When Canelo went to the ropes to catch a breather in the Mayweather fight in 2013, he was punished badly in taking big shots to the head that turned his face red. It was embarrassing to watch. Canelo was getting clowned badly by Mayweather. Finally, Canelo got off the ropes, but only after he was pummeled by Mayweather. That’s the difference. Canelo couldn’t go to the ropes against a good fighter in Mayweather, as he was punished. But in Canelo’s recent 5 wins against mediocre opposition [Khan, Kirkland, Cotto, Smith and Chavez Jr.], he was able o go to the ropes against them due their weak skills. Liam Smith was exhausted after just 4 rounds. It was sad, especially given that Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya had been saying before the Canelo-Smith fight that they had picked Liam Smith out as an opponent for Canelo because he’s the the best fighter in the 154 lb. division. Liam Smith was probably the 15th best fighter at 154, not the No.1. it was just another soft touch that Golden Boy put in with Canelo in a showcase fight for him to look good.

Hearn didn’t think about what will happen in the Canelo-Golovkin fight if the 5’10 ½” Golovkin stays on the outside and spears Canelo with jabs all night long for the full 12 round. That’s how you beat Canelo. You jab him so he can’t land his counter shots. Mayweather did that to him and easily beat him. Lara did the same thing to Canelo, but found himself on the receiving end up a controversial decision. Trout did that to Canelo and he too lost a controversial decision. Golovkin has a better jab than all three of those guys.

If Golovkin decides he wants to turn Canelo into David Lemieux on September 16, it’s going to be too easy, because is even shorter than Lemieux, and he shorter reach than him. I see the fight as not being even fair due to Golovkin’s size advantage. Canelo does not belong at 160 facing the best. He should be back at 154 fighting guys like Yoshihiro Kamegai and Miguel Cotto. I don’t think Golden Boy will ever match Canelo against either of the Charlo brothers, which is why I believe Canelo decided he doesn’t want to fight for the WBC middleweight title in his fight against Golovkin.

My prediction for the Canelo-GGG fight is an easy win for Golovkin. I see this as another Golovkin vs. Lemieux type of fight, but even easier because Canelo lacks the size and the power that the 5’9 1/2″ Lemieux had going for him. Guys like Hearns will wonder what he ever saw in Canelo to make him think he would beat Golovkin. Canelo will still be a good fighter after Golovkin beats him. The thing that will be revealed is how small he is for the middleweight division. Adding 15 pounds of muscle weight isn’t going to turn Canelo into a legitimate middleweight. That’s not how it goes in boxing. Adding weight will turn Canelo into a pumped up junior middleweight. It won’t increase his power, his tendon strength and make his bone structure into the bone structure of a middleweight. Canelo isn’t designed for the 160 lb. division. He was made to be a 154 lb. fighter. Adding muscle will do nothing for Canelo other than cause him to gas out quicker and take a beating from Golovkin.


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