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Saunders says Golovkin must KO Canelo in rematch to win

Billy Joe Saunders Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin Canelo vs. Golovkin


By Sean Jones: WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders says Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin has only one way of beating Saul Canelo Alvarez in their rematch on May 5, and that’s by knocking him out. Saunders thinks Golovkin won’t be given the decision against Canelo even if he appears to have won the fight.

Saunders believes the judges will never give Golovkin a win over a popular fighter like Canelo, which is why he must knock him out for him to get the victory in the rematch. Saunders says he had Golovkin beating Canelo by at least 2 rounds in their fight on September 16. Saunders didn’t agree at all with the scoring by 2 of the judges, who scored it 118-110 for Canelo and 114-114.


“If it goes to points, Canelo will get it even if Golovkin wins,” said Saunders to Behind The Gloves. “Golovkin has got to knock him out.”

It’s important for Saunders who wins the Canelo-Golovkin rematch, because it’s believed by many boxing fans that he stands a better chance of getting a fight against Golovkin than he does against Canelo. Golovkin wants to unify the middleweight division. Golovkin holds 3 of the 4 titles in the 160-lb. division. He needs only Saunders’ WBO title to round out his collection of belts before moving up to super middleweight to go after the top names in that weight class.

Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions might not want to match him against Saunders due to his highly mobile style of fighting. Additionally, Saunders beat one of Golden Boy’s fighters last weekend in David Lemieux. That was arguably a bad omen. If Canelo ignores it and takes the fight with Saunders anyway, he could wind up just like Lemieux in being made to look clueless and limited.

It doesn’t matter how fast Canelo’s hands are. Saunders is so hard to hit with slick movement, jabbing and with his pot shots. Saunders doesn’t leave many openings to be countered. He might pull Floyd Mayweather Jr. job on Canelo and wind up clowning him. That’s why Golden Boy Promotions might not ever give Saunders an opportunity to fight Canelo. It’s important for Saunders that Golovkin wins against Canelo if he wants to take one of the 2 popular fighters in 2018. But, Saunders might be right about Golovkin needing a knockout to win against Canelo.

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Saunders openly admits that he doesn’t see Golovkin being able to knockout Canelo. He thinks it’s too hard to hit Canelo with head shots. So, in other words, Golovkin will lose to Canelo on May 5, and Saunders will end up being passed over by the Golden Boy fighter. Saunders can still fight Golovkin if he loses to Canelo. I don’t know if that’s going to interest the British boxing fans as much.


If Golovkin is perceived to have been robbed by the judges in the Canelo fight, then the hardcore boxing fans in the UK will still want to see Saunders fight him. The casual fans won’t like the idea of Saunders fighting Golovkin coming off of a loss to Canelo. If Golovkin is the only option for Saunders, then he’ll have no other option but to fight him. There’s no money for Saunders fighting Danny Jacobs or any of the other middleweights in the division. The only popular middleweights are Golovkin and Canelo.

“Golovkin has to jump on him from round 1 and not let him get away with the first 4 or 5 rounds, and really make him work, because if you let Canelo get in his stride a bit, he’s world class,” said Saunders.

Saunders is right about his advice for Golovkin. It’s too bad Saunders isn’t working as a trainer for Golovkin, because he would have done a lot better against Canelo last September if he had him giving him advice in the corner. Golovkin DID start too slowly against Canelo in that fight. By the time Golovkin got his offense revved up, he was already behind 3 rounds to 0.

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Golovkin can’t afford to do that in the rematch. He’s got to do what Saunders says, jump on Canelo from the get go, force him to work harder than he wants to, and wear him down. Canelo will put on a lot of size once again and look like a mini-body builder inside the ring on May 5. All that size will hurt Canelo’s cardiovascular system by causing him to gas out.

It doesn’t matter that Canelo will be big in back to back fights. His conditioning is not going to be any better than it was last time, because he’s not meant to carry around that kind of size for athletic contest that requires a lot of movement activity. Canelo was moving a lot last time he fought Golovkin, and he’s probably going to do the same thing in the rematch. When Canelo wasn’t moving, he was getting speared by Golovkin’s jabs against the ropes. Canelo didn’t have the reach to counter Golovkin when he was jabbing him from the distance. Canelo’s arms were too short for him to reach Golovkin.

“I’d rather fight Golovkin, because Golovkin is the unbeaten man,” said Saunders. “You’d get more credit from beating Golovkin than from beating Canelo.”

When Canelo would try and move forward to land his shots, Golovkin would jab him in the face and back up so he couldn’t get to him. The fight played out the way from rounds 4 to 12. I couldn’t give Canelo any of the rounds after the 4. I had Golovkin edging the 3rd round, and then sweeping the remaining rounds. Canelo tried to attack Golovkin in the 12th, but he got the worst of it during a wild exchange in the final seconds of the fight. Golovkin had Canelo looking helpless in the final 10 seconds.

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Golovkin’s natural size and power advantage really showed itself at that moment in the fight. Canelo had really bulked up in adding a ton of muscle weight during training camp for the fight, but the muscle weight didn’t translate to increased power. It was like taping a rocket to a skateboard. Without Canelo having the frame to carry the weight, he couldn’t do anything with the added mass that he put on for the Golovkin fight. Canelo wasn’t meant to be that big, and it hurt his performance.

I think Canelo would have been better if he’d not bulked up and came into the fight the same size he was for the Liam Smith and Amir Khan fights. If you look Canelo’s physique in those 2 fights, it was like looking at another person. He wasn’t really bulked up, and his muscles didn’t look defined like a body builder. I don’t know how Canelo changed his physique in one training camp to get so muscular and carved up, because he’d never looked like that before ever in his career. I suppose Canelo can get his body to look like that again through hard work and lots of weight training, but I don’t think it’s smart for him to do it. Canelo needs to work on his cardio. The only way Canelo legitimately beats Golovkin is with speed and conditioning. He’s never going to outsize Golovkin with natural size. Canelo has to use what brought him this far in his career, and that’s his speed.

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