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Andre Ward leaning in Canelo’s direction for GGG rematch

Image: Andre Ward leaning in Canelo’s direction for GGG rematch

By Dan Ambrose: Andre Ward is leaning slightly in Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s direction in saying he’ll have the advantage over Gennady ‘GGG” Golovkin in their rematch on May 5th. Comparing Canelo to himself and Golovkin to Sergey Kovalev, Ward thinks that the red-headed fighter’s “greater imagination” will enable to him to get the better of Golovkin in their fight on HBO PPV on May 5th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Of course, Ward isn’t infallible when it comes to picking fighters. He was very complimentary of Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras last Saturday night during the HBO SuperFly2 broadcast, and both of those fighters wound up losing. It might be the kiss of death for Ward to be leaning in Canelo’s direction now. The last thing Canelo needs is to be jinxed by Ward smothering him with compliments and comparing him to himself.

“On paper you, in some cases, you favor the guy with the greater imagination, the guy that has more tools in the toolbox, and that’s Canelo,” Ward said to Fighthub in analyzing the Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 rematch. ”Similar to me and Kovalev; we had a close fight the first time, the guy with the imagination took it to the next level. So you kind of assume that’s what’s going to happen,” Ward said.

Canelo is definitely more like Kovalev with his power stamina. He’s not like Ward, and Golovkin is definitely nothing like Kovaelv. Ward needs to do a little more research on Golovkin, so he find out how he fights, because he’s nothing like Kovalev.

You can assume that Canelo is going to get tired early each round like he did last time he fought Golovkin in September of last year. Canelo’s “great imagination” will likely see him perch himself against the ropes to get a breather, and then start moving around to keep from being skewered by Gennady.

Canelo’s greater imagination won’t fix his stamina problems. It might help him keep from getting finished off when he tires out in the early going, but it might not help him. Canelo will try and trick Golovkin to intimidate him to keep him from attacking him. That’s what Canelo was doing last time. He was trying to intimidate Golovkin by making him wary of attacking by shaking his head when he would land something. When Golovkin finally did start attacking Canelo hard in the later rounds and staying close to him, he found out that Canelo’s power was not good on the inside and he would tire and his form would break down.

Canelo would then take off running to get away. Canelo’s greater imagination, as Ward says, was very limited. It was more of a guy trying to survive and there was nothing brilliant about it. It was just a scared and tired fighter trying to survive. Canelo wasn’t fighting like Ward. We didn’t see Canelo grabbing Golovkina and wrestling with him like we saw with Ward. I don’t think that would work for Canelo. It would probably make things worse for Canelo, because he would get tired himself if he copied Ward’s blueprint for the GGG 2 rematch.

There wasn’t imagination involved in Ward’s 2 wins over Sergey Kovalev. In the first fight, Ward mauled Kovalev on the inside, holding and wrestling him until he got tired. Even then, Kovalev appeared to do enough to win the fight, the judges gave Ward a controversial 12 round decision. In the rematch, Ward was struggling again with Kovalev until hurting him with a right hand to the head in the 8th. Ward then landed some body shots that looked low in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. The referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight. Tony Weeks says he saw the body shots and he felt they weren’t low. Many fans that saw the replay in slow motion on HBO felt they were low blows. There wasn’t much imagination involved. We saw Ward hurting a tired looking Kovalev with a right hand to the head, and then hitting him with body shots. It wasn’t something that took a lot of imagination to do. Kovalev’s poor stamina and weak chin betrayed him against Ward. We never got a chance to see if Ward could do the same thing against Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev or Adonis Stevenson, because he retired without fighting any of them.

“I think Golovkin has a lot to prove and Canelo has a lot to prove,” Ward said. ”I want to see it and hopefully it’s clear cut whatever happens.”

Canelo is going to have to figure out a different way to conserve energy against Golovkin than the tactics he used last time in moving and resting with his back against the ropes. Golovkin is not going to let Canelo move around the ring unmolested like he did last time. He’s also not going to let him fight with his back against the ropes without having to deal with getting hit with power shots. Golovkin primarily jabbed Canelo when he was backed up against the ropes. Canelo took a lot of head shots, but they were from jabs and he was willing to take those shots so he can catch his breath. If Golovkin chooses to attack Canelo with power shots when he’s against the ropes and when he’s trying to run to his left, it’s going to be hellish for the Mexican star. It means there won’t be any rest periods for Canelo. He won’t be able to run, and he’ll be getting pelted with power shots instead of jabs each time he backs up to the ropes. The “greater imagination” that was attributes to Canelo will be useless. If Canelo doesn’t have the gas tank or the punching power to stand in the pocket and fight Golovkin, then it’ll be him that is more like Kovalev and Golovkin more like Ward. Golovkin would be like a better version of Ward though. He wouldn’t need to wrestle Canelo to beat him like Ward did against Kovalev. He would beat him the old-fashioned way by wearing him down with power punches and a fast place until he falls apart in a heap on the canvas.

It was clear cut last time Canelo fought Golovkin. Ward didn’t say who he felt won the first fight, but press row saw Golovkin winning a clear decision over Canelo in their fight on September 16th. If Ward thinks Canelo won the first fight, then it might explain why he’s leaning in his direction to win the second. I don’t think you can pick Canelo to win the rematch if you saw the previous fight.

“You can’t adapt. Boxing is more than just coming forward and throwing punches,” Canelo said.

Golovkin wasn’t just coming forward last time he fought Canelo. He was boxing him from the outside. Golovkin had to at least come forward enough to engage with Canelo while he was resting against the ropes in round, because Canelo was rarely moving forward to engage with GGG in center ring. Golovkin was jabbing Canelo.

“He now has a draw on his record and that’s something he wants to avenge,” promoter Tom Loeffler said to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports News about GGG. “I think we’ll see an even hungrier Triple G coming out to make a big statement. Canelo says he wants to come out for the knockout. Golovkin out-landed him in 10 out of the 12 rounds. Primarily he was landing his jab, but Gennady’s jab is as powerful as most people’s power punches. In the rematch, Abel (Sanchez) and Gennady will be better prepared for the movement from Canelo. I think you’ll see them cutting off the ring. It’s one thing to trap someone in the corner, but when Canelo is on the ropes, (it’s difficult), especially with his upper body movement that he showed, that’s something hard to negotiate. We didn’t see fireworks. It was a high level boxing IQ (type of fight) we saw. In the rematch, I think we’ll see a little bit more of the knock down drag out fight between both guys. It was over 1.3 (million pay-per-view buys on HBO for Canelo-GGG last September). Mayweather-McGegor significantly (hurt PPV sales for Canelo vs. GGG),” Loeffler said.

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