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Canelo Alvarez agrees to May 5th rematch against Golovkin

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Dan Ambrose: Saul Canelo Alvarez has agreed to the rematch with IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO 160lb champion Gennady Golovkin for May 5. The fight contracts are close to being completed, according to the LA Times.

There isn’t a rematch clause in the contract this time around, according to Canelo’s promoter Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions. However, it doesn’t matter. A third fight between Canelo and Golovkin is going to very likely going to happen. Neither of these 2 fighters have any place to go that will bring them more money than they can get fighting each other.

A third fight is a very real option whether there’s controversy or not in the second fight on May 5. If Floyd Mayweather Jr. was still around, he would be someone that could step in and face the winner. Mayweather doesn’t want to mix it up with Canelo and Golovkin, which is understandable given how he looked in his recent fight with Conor McGregor.

The venue for the rematch has been narrowed down to these 2 sites: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and Madison Square Garden in New York. The T-Mobile is where the first Canelo-Golovkin fight was staged, and that fight ended in a 12 round draw. Some think Canelo was given a huge gift by 2 of the judges that scored it 118-110 for Canelo and 114-114. The last score would have made sense if not for that judge giving Canelo round 7, which was viewed by many as Golovkin’s best round of the fight.

“I know Canelo’s going to win. I think Canelo figured him out in the last three rounds,” said Golden Boy president Eric Gomez to the ”Look at that fight. Canelo handled [Golovkin] those last three rounds. And this time around, Canelo’s going to have an easier time with him. Not an easy fight, but he has the experience now and he wants this fight,” said Gomez.

Canelo was landing pot shots only in the last 3 rounds of the fight. There was no dominance. It was a few pot shots that Canelo landed. Golovkin walked through Canelo’s occasional pot shots and out-landed him in the last 3 rounds. If the last 3 rounds are what Gomez is boosting his hopes on for Canelo win the rematch with Golovkin, he might be grasping at straws. There wasn’t much there from Canelo. It’s going to be risky for Canelo to fight aggressively against Golovkin in the rematch. Canelo used movement and stayed Golovkin for majority of the fight. Even in the last 3 rounds, Canelo didn’t pressure Golovkin all the time. Canelo was fighting in spurts. If Canelo comes forward and tries to slug with Golovkin from the outset, we might see the Mexican fighter get knocked out. He’s not build as strong as Golovkin, and he’s not used to getting hit by someone that powerful.

Canelo has been fighting most of his career against welterweights, not middleweights. If Canelo is going straight ahead into the teeth of Golovkin’s offense, it could be end badly for him. I don’t think that would be a smart move for Canelo, especially if he gets tired from exerting too much energy. Canelo needs to get his weight right for the rematch. He looked like he was in perfect condition for the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight last May in their catch-weight fight at 164.5 pounds. Oddly enough, Canelo looked lighter for the Chavez Jr. fight than he did for the Golovkin match-up. Canelo really bulked up a great deal for the Golovkin fight, and that added weight hurt him with his speed and his ability to fight hard.

There’s room for both fighters to improve in the rematch. Golovkin didn’t do much in the first 3 rounds against Canelo. In the rematch, Golovkin will likely start a lot faster and put more pressure on Canelo. That means that Canelo won’t be able to win the first 3 rounds by default like he did last time. If Canelo comes forward to attack Golovkin like he did in the last 3 rounds of their previous fight on September 16th, it’s going to be risky for him. Golovkin is dangerous in the early rounds. Canelo was able to take advantage of Golovkin’s fatigue in the last part of the fight. I personally had Canelo winning the 11th and losing rounds 10 and 12. I didn’t give Canelo rounds in which he didn’t put out effort beyond the first moments of the rounds. Golovkin looked like he took rounds 10 and 12 by working harder than Canelo. The judges liked what they saw from Canelo in the last part of the fight. Of course, one of the judges seemed to be watching Canelo in scoring it 10 rounds to 2 in his favor. That score made Canelo look bad.

“We’ve exchanged contracts,” said Gomez. ”We’ve gone through three revisions. I’m hoping for the last revision [Thursday night or Friday] and we’ll see. All the major points have been worked out. There’s some details that are important, but they’re not the major points,” said Gomez.

Getting the deal done is important right now. Golden Boy and K2 have a little less than 4 months to promote the fight to make it a bigger money match on HBO PPV than the last September. There’s a great deal of money that can made on fight between Canelo and Golovkin. But it’s going to be important that the judges don’t foul of the fight by scoring it in an odd way that the casual boxing fans don’t agree with. The fans did not see Canelo winning the fight. As much as you want give credit for Canelo’s defensive skills and his foot movement, he didn’t do enough after round 3 to win it.

Canelo looked lazy and less than brave with the way he fought. After getting a pep talk by his trainer Eddie Reynoso following the 9th, Canelo started to put more pressure on Golovkin. But it wasn’t effective pressure. Canelo would come forward, get hit in the face with jab from Golovkin, and then stop. Canelo landed 2 or 3 hard shots in each of the final 3 rounds, but he was so many times with power jabs to the head while coming forward. It was impossible to give Canelo the final 3 rounds because he didn’t have the arm length to reach Golovkin with his punches. Canelo looked a lot like how David Lemieux looked when he was trying to hit the taller Billy Joe Saunders in their fight last month on December 16. Lemieux was trying hard to hit Saunders, but his arms were too short to reach him.

Canelo had the same problem against Golovkin. He couldn’t reach him even when he was pressing in rounds 9-12. Canelo’s lack of height and reach wasn’t a problem for him when he was fighting in the 154 lb. division, but at 160, he’s really handicapped by his inadequate size. It doesn’t matter how heavy Canelo gets. You have to have a certain amount of height and reach to be effective in the middleweight division. That’s one reason why Canelo is going to have problems in the rematch with Golovkin. When Golovkin moved up in weight, Canelo will have same kind of height and reach problems against the other top middleweights. Once Golovkin retires or moves up to 168, Canelo will struggle with the natural size of bigger middleweights like Billy Joe Saunders, Daniel Jacobs and Jermall Charlo. Those guys gave a longer reach than Golovkin does, and they move better than him. It’s going to be a problem for Canelo long term in the 160 lb. division. It’s not just Golovkin that will give him issues with size and reach. He’s just one of many. If Canelo loses to Golovkin in the rematch, he might want to think about moving back down to his catch-weight division that he was using from 2013 to 2016.

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