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Thurman: Canelo lost to Golovkin

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin Keith Thurman

By Sean Jones: Welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman says he thinks the popular Mexican star Saul Canelo Alvarez got his backside beat last month in his fight against middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on September 16. Thurman says Canelo was “GIVEN a draw victory against Triple G by the judges.

Thurman calls it a “draw victory,” because getting a draw against a fighter as good as Golovkin was the same as a victory for the 27-year-old Canelo. He came out of the fight with Golovkin with his status in the boxing world with an increased status because he made it close, and avoided getting knocked out. Never the less, Canelo still lost the fight in the eyes of Thurman. He doesn’t say by how many rounds, but he feels that Canelo lost to Golovkin.

The boxing world overwhelmingly saw Golovkin winning anywhere from 7 rounds to 5 to 9 rounds to 3. The score that is mentioned most frequently with boxing fans for the Canelo-Golovkin fight is 116-112, which comes out to Golovkin beating Canelo by 8 rounds to 4 score. I had Golovkin winning 9 rounds to 3. I didn’t see Canelo doing anything at all in the fight after round 3, other than fight hard in the first 45 seconds of each round.

In boxing, you don’t win too many rounds when you’re only capable of fighting hard for the first 45 seconds, but Canelo was given a 12 round draw by the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s assigned judges for the Golovkin fight. There are still a lot of shocked boxing fans about the bizarre scoring by the Las Vegas judges. None of the scores made sense. Even the 115-113 score for Golovkin seemed to be way off from the fight that took place inside the ring on the night.

“I like that Canelo was using his movement,” said Thurman to Fighthub in talking about Canelo’s recent controversial draw against Golovkin. “He was being very athletic. I think it’s a little outside of his character. I do believe he’s been practicing different forms of athletic boxing since the [Floyd] Mayweather fight, since he got schooled with some head movement and ring management. I think his awareness and IQ has risen since then, and he manipulated his way to a draw victory [against Golovkin]. I call it a draw victory, because his [expletive] lost. Now that he got a draw, it’s a victory,” said a chuckling Thurman.

It’s hard not to see Canelo’s performance against Golovkin as little more than a loss. Canelo was only effective in the first 3 rounds of the fight. After that, Canelo turned red in the face, gassed out and was useless except in the first 45 seconds of each round. I don’t know what it was, but after the first 45 seconds of every round from the 4th on, he was completely exhausted and only capable of running, covering up and throwing wild uppercuts when Golovkin would stray too close. I couldn’t give Canelo rounds where he only worked hard for the first 45 seconds. For me, I didn’t have a preference who won the fight. I just thought Canelo was too tired after the first 3 rounds of the fight to deserve a victory. But I wasn’t surprised that Canelo was given a draw though, because I never thought Golovkin would be given a victory over someone as popular as him. Canelo means too much to boxing for him to lose a decision. That’s why I think Golovkin will lose the rematch unless he knocks Canelo out. Canelo will make improvements in the rematch, and even if Golovkin does a better job, I don’t see him getting the win if it goes to the scorecards.

“The fight was a lot less entertaining than it was advertised,” said Thurman. ”I don’t know what it is about Canelo, he just gasses. That boy should just lighten up on the power and put some numbers out there. It’s numbers is what is going to win the fight. That’s why he didn’t win the fight. He didn’t have enough numbers,” said Thurman.

Golovkin made a mistake of playing it safe against Canelo, and he paid for it by failing to get the win. I don’t think Golovkin believed that the judges would take away his victory. He found out for himself that you don’t beat Canelo by a decision unless your name is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Canelo needs to work on his stamina in a major way, and he also needs to lose some muscle weight. I think it will matter though. Canelo has always gassed even when he was fighting at 147. He’s not built for high pace fighting. Canelo is a guy that needs to fight at a slower pace. It’s like taking a short distance sprinter and putting him in an 800 meter race. They’re not going to do well. Canelo fights in spurts, and we saw that against GGG all night long. Canelo fought well in bursts in the first minute of each round, and he would do very little after that.

”He was being very defensive,” said Thurman about Canelo fighting defensively against Triple G. ”I would love to see Triple G push him a little harder too in their fight, but Canelo has youth on his side. Triple G doesn’t. But I heard Canelo doesn’t want a rematch,” said Thurman.

I don’t think Canelo’s youth helped him against Golovkin. With the way Golovkin fought, he appeared to be the younger fighter, not Canelo. Youth only works when the younger fighter has better stamina than the older fighter. Unfortunately, things were reversed in the Canelo-Golovkin fight. Golovkin was the one with the better stamina despite being 8 years older than the 27-year-old Canelo at 35.

”Maybe with Canelo,” said Thurman when asked if he’d like to fight Canelo. ”I would like to. I got this thing with Canelo. I told Golden Boy that I wanted him, before the world really knew about him. He was still on the undercards. He wasn’t the headliner yet. They looked at me like, ‘Not right now. Maybe one day, but not right now…I feel like a lot of fighters haven’t put good hands on Canelo. I know he’s a power puncher. I know he’s got size on me. Now he keeps gaining too much weight. So, it’ll be hard to move up and take that fight. Once upon a time, I was eager to move up to fight Canelo Alvarez. Nowadays, I don’t know what would happen. He’s too big. 160, I’m not about that land. I be about that fight, but we’re not about that. We’re not trying to fight in that weight class,” said Thurman.

It’s unlikely that Thurman and Canelo will ever fight each other. With all the weight that Canelo has packed on now, Thurman would be giving up too much size if he were to face Canelo now. Canelo looked like he was in the 185-lb. region in the Golovkin fight. Thurman rehydrates into the mid-160s for his fights at welterweight. The 5’7” Thurman’s frame is too small for him to pack on an additional 20 lbs. to make him 185 like Canelo. If Thurman goes into a fight with Canelo weighing just 165, he’ll lose on weigh alone. The two will never fight each other. The guys that need to fight Canelo are the Charlo brothers, Jermell and Jermall. Those guys have the hand speed, punching power and courage to bounce right hands off of Canelo’s head. Canelo can take a good right hand, but I don’t know if he’ll be able to take the kinds of shots the Charlo brothers connect with.

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