Saunders says Golovkin must take chances to beat Canelo
By Dan Ambrose: WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders says he had Gennady “GGG” Golovkin beating Saul Canelo Alvarez by 3 to 4 rounds in their fight on September 16th. Saunders notes that there were a couple of rounds that were close enough to be scored as even rounds, but for the most part, Golovkin got the better of Canelo in the fight.
Saunders feels that for Golovkin to beat Canelo on a Golden Boy promoted card, he’s going to need to take chances by being willing to lose some rounds for him to land his shots. Golovkin fought a careful fight against Canelo last September, choosing to stay on the outside and jab and pot shot him. Golovkin didn’t take the fight to Canelo to try and wear him down and stop him the way he needed to. It looked like Golovkin was more concerned with not wanting to get countered and look bad in losing some rounds to Canelo.
“Canelo is good at his job, but if he [Golovkin] goes in there in round 1 and doesn’t worry about losing a round here and there, because he has to take a few chances…to get Canelo on a Golden Boy show,” said Saunders to Fighthype. ”Canelo is the golden goose for Golden Boy.”
Golovkin was the B-side against Canelo last September, and he was fighting him in Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s where Canelo frequently fights, drawing huge crowds, and bringing money to the city. Golovkin failed to recognize that he was not only the B-side; he was also fighting a guy that was important to Las Vegas. Golovkin needed to understand his position in that fight. He went into the fight with the wrong mindset in thinking he needed a decision fight.
Golovkin didn’t need that. He needed a knockout, and he failed to try and get one. The result was obvious. The judges scored it a 12 round draw in a fight that Golovkin arguably should have won by 4 to 6 rounds. Boxing News 24 scored it 9 rounds to 3 for GGG. Canelo has nothing left after round 3, once Golovkin figured him out.
There were no tricks Canelo could use to beat Golovkin, because he was doing what Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in jabbing the shorter-armed Mexican star at will from the outside. In this case, the judges weren’t giving Golovkin round after round like 2 of the judges did in the Mayweather-Canelo fight. The judges were all over the place in scoring rounds for Canelo when he wasn’t doing anything at all. One judge gave Canelo the fight by 10 rounds to 2. The scoring was absurdly bad. Golovkin should have realized it was going to be like this going into the fight. If he knew it was going to be a robbery, he could have pushed for the knockout and possibly dropped Canelo 2 or 3 times with body shots. Canelo’s weakness is taking punches to the body and fighting at a fast pace.
“I had him by 3, maybe 4, if I was being kind,” said Saunders. “There was 2 rounds there where I was contemplating giving it 10-10. I maybe gave one of them 10-10 rounds to Golovkin. I’m not telling you it was a daylight robbery, but listen, let’s face it, 7 out of 10 people had Golovkin winning that. For some reason, Golovkin started a little bit slow in the first fight, but maybe that’s because he’s 35-years-old now. Age catches up with us all.” said Saunders.
Saunder’s score of 8 rounds to 4 was a pretty wide one for GGG, but it’s also a score that a lot of boxing fans agreed with. Canelo disappeared after round, so it was impossible to give him anything after round 3. In reality, it was impossible to give Canelo anything after the 2nd round. Golovkin took over the fight in round 3, and he never looked back.
Saunders sees Canelo as having a lot of miles on him despite his age. At 27, Canelo has a lot of miles on him, as he’s been boxing for a long time for someone that young. Golden Boy has done a good job of steering him around the dangerous fighters for the most during his career. They even waited until Golovkin was 35 before they finally let Canelo fight him.
Golden Boy never matched Canelo against the Charlo brothers, Julian Williams or Jarrett Hurd. That doesn’t mean that Canelo wouldn’t have beaten them, but those would have been tough fights for him. Golden Boy didn’t make those fights, and you can only guess why they didn’t. When they had the choice of matching Canelo against Jermall Charlo and Jermell Charlo, they put him in with Liam Smith. When they had the choice of matching Canelo with Hurd or in a rematch with Erislandy Lara, they matched him against Miguel Cotto.
“Canelo isn’t as fresh as people think he is,” said Saunders. “He’s young, but he’ got a lot of miles on the clock. He hasn’t taken a lot of pounding, but he still goes through tough training camps, putting his body through it. It’s still a big age margin there,” said Saunders about the difference in age between the 27-year-old Canelo and 35-year-old GGG. “If you’ve got a young, fresh man making him miss and making him pay, but when he got halfway through, he was making him miss, but he wasn’t making him pay as much,” said Saunders.
The training camp punishment that Canelo obviously has taken during his career likely has worn him out just the same as if he’d been in a lot of hard fights. It’s that way for a lot of fighters, not just for Canelo. The sparring that the fighters have to take during training camp is hard on them.
“To beat Golovkin, you can’t go in there thinking you’re going to knock him out,” said Saunders in stating the obvious. “You have to go in there with the mindset that you’re going to make him chase you, and land 2 or 3 punches and slide away. But you’ve got to keep the volume up for 12 rounds, which is very hard to do. I want to test myself against the best,” said Saunders.
Saunders is describing the same game plan that Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs used on Golovkin in which they would land 1 to 3 shots, and then slide away from him to avoid getting hit. It worked for Brook until he was injured and couldn’t fight any more in the 5th. It didn’t work for Jacobs, because he didn’t land enough, and he was eating power jabs from GGG the entire fight. Jacobs was also knocked down in round 4, and that hurt his chances of winning the fight.
Jacobs definitely followed Brook’s game plan. Jacobs used another strategy to try and win, and that was to skip the International boxing Federation’s mandated secondary weigh-in on the same of the fight. Jacobs skipped the weigh-in so that h would have extra time to rehydrate. Golovkin had to withhold fluids until after the IBF’s weight check on the morning of the fight. After the weigh-in, Golovkin then fully rehydrates. Jacobs looked very big inside the ring against Golovkin. Some think Jacobs was from 185 to 190 lbs. after he rehydrated. Jacobs wasn’t weighed in by HBO Boxing before he stepped inside the ring to fight Golovkin on the night.
Canelo could face Golovkin in May of next year. We’re going to find out soon if the rematch will take place in May or September 2018. If Canelo doesn’t fight Golovkin next, then he’ll likely fight David Lemieux on May 5.
Saunders could get his wish and fight Golovkin if Triple G beats Canelo in their rematch, and if there’s not an immediate third fight.