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Loeffler: Canelo can’t knockout Golovkin going backwards

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Sean Jones: Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler has serious doubts whether Saul Canelo Alvarez is going to be able to back up his tough talk about knocking Triple G out in their rematch on May 5th due to the way that he was backing up most of the first fight last September.

Loeffler says Canelo fought to survive and not to win against Golovkin, and that even his own Mexican fans ended up booing after the fight was over. Loeffler states that Canelo’s fans were not booing the results of the fight, but also the way that he had chosen to fight GGG. The fans had never seen Canelo move for 12 rounds like that before.

”Canelo this time around, he’s promising a knockout,” Loeffler said to ”You can’t knockout Triple G going backwards, so we’ll see if he really holds to what he says.”

Canelo might stick with the style that he used last time against Triple G. It worked for Canelo to last the entire fight without getting knocked out or hurt. Canelo knows what he’s capable of doing, and he likely understands that if he pushes the throttle all the way down as hard it will go, he won’t last long against GGG.

The rematch will be one of the best ever if Canelo does go a knockout of Golovkin. That means that Canelo won’t try the same spoiling tactics that he uses last September in landing shots, and then running away from Golovkin along the ropes. That was really boring to watch because it limiting the action in the fight. Canelo was copying the Mayweather style, but he was eating jabs and getting outworked by Golovkin. Mayweather was able to stay in the pocket and beat his opponents. Canelo couldn’t do that against Golovkin. It’s more likely that Canelo is just talking about knocking Golovkin out in order to sell tickets and pump up the PPV buys to get more boxing fans interested in purchasing the fight. Like Loeffler says, he sees the Canelo-GGG rematch playing out like the first fight with Golovkin doing a lot of stalking to wear Canelo down. Loeffler doesn’t see that pattern changing in the rematch.

The judges scored the Canelo-Golovkin fight a 12 round draw on September 16th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Loeffer says the fight was a win for Golovkin by an 8 rounds to 4 score, but the next time around there’s going to be more pressure from GGG that he’ll be putting on Canelo from the star.
Despite the bold talk by the 27-year-old Canelo (49-1-2, 34 Kos), Loeffler sees the rematch being just like the first fight with Golovkin stalking Canelo all around the ring. Loeffler says Golovkin’s punching power will force Canelo to fight defensively to survive because he won’t be able to battle him.

”He’s the younger guy. A lot of people say it favors Canelo in the rematch, because he’s the younger guy, and Gennady is a year older,” Loeffler said. ”But with Gennady’s punching power, I think the way he just stalks his opponents, I really see a similar blueprint, and it’ll be interesting.”

The people that favor Canelo in the rematch are assuming that he’s going to be able to fight harder against Golovkin like the 12th round when he emptied his tank. The thing that boxing fans remember about Canelo mostly was how he fought the 12th. They believe that Canelo can fight all 12 rounds like that and not just the 12th. However, many fighters that are on the verge of losing a fight tend to go all out in the 12th. They don’t fight like that the previous rounds, because they aren’t as desperate. The boxing fans that that think Canelo will fight harder and better are basing their opinions on round 12. If Canelo can fight like that for all 12 rounds, then he has a chance of beating Golovkin without controversy. But that’s a going to be a tall order, because Canelo didn’t fight hard like that in the other rounds.

”This was the first time ever I saw Canelo get booed, and they booed not only the decision, they booed, the Mexican fans, they booed the way he fought,” Loeffler said. ”No one had ever seen him move so much for 12 rounds. That was clearly a tactic to survive against one of the biggest punchers in boxing.”

The game plan that Canelo came to the Golovkin fight was to try and move and box for major portions of the bout. Canelo was hoping to win rounds by countering a small number of shots, and then playing keep away for the later 2 minutes of the round to prevent Golovkin from being able to press the attack the way he likes to do. The tactic worked for Canelo with 2 of the judges. One of them scored it 6-6, and the other 10-2 in Canelo’s favor. The scores were too off from what the fight appeared to be. It looked like a win for Golovkin. That’s why there was so much controversy about the 6-6 and 10-2 score. They looked like scores that belonged to a different fight.

Canelo fought against Golovkin the same way he did in the last 5 rounds in his fight against Austin Trout in April 2013. In that fight, Trout hurt Canelo with a body shot in the 7th round. Canelo backed up against the ropes and stayed there for the remainder of the fight. Trout ended up using his reach to jab Canelo and get the better of him in the last 5 rounds. One judge scored it wide for Canelo by a 118-109 score, while the other two had it closer at 115-112 and 116-111. The fight looked more like a draw or a win for Trout. Canelo was outworked by Trout during most of the fight. The judges were more impressed with Canelo’s occasional hard shots, and they tuned out Trout’s more consistent work.

”Gennady and Abel Sanchez are going to sit down and say, ‘We won 8 rounds to 4. We won the fight, but this time we’re going to have to put even more emphasis on starting out quicker, maybe fighting stronger and going to the body more, maybe cutting off the ring better,” Loeffler said. ”Canelo’s confidence is going to be boosted. He’s only the second person to ever go 12 rounds with Triple G, so we’re sure his confidence is boosted by being able to go 12 rounds with him,” Loeffler said.

Sanchez has already said that GGG needs to start faster in the second fight with Alvarez to make sure that he doesn’t give away the crucial early rounds like he did the last time. Golovkin didn’t start letting his hands go with his power punches until round 3. He was behind already 2 rounds to none by that juncture. Golovkin did enough to win round 3, but there are a lot of boxing fans that believes he lost all 3 rounds at the start of the fight. If the fans believe this, then it’s a sign that Golovkin needs do much more in the rematch not to let Canelo get those 3 rounds in the bank before he starts fighting. There’s nothing wrong with Gennady starting slowly if he knows he can knock Canelo out with 100 percent certainty, but I don’ think he knows that. Canelo moves his upper body a lot, making it hard to hit him with head shots unless Golovkin is on top of him and willing to miss a certain amount of punches in order to land that one big shot. Golovkin can knockout Canelo like that, but it’ll be a difficult fight where he won’t be impressive until he wears him down and lands that shot.

Canelo turning his back to Golovkin when he throws body shots

Canelo will try and limit Golovkin’s punches to the body by turning his back to him when he sees a shot coming to his midsection. Canelo did this a number of times in the first fight, and it resulted in the referee Kenny Bayless giving Golovkin warnings for punching to the back. Canelo was turning his back to Golovkin the moment he saw the punch heading to his midsection. Bayless, perhaps not wise to Canelo’s tactics, gave Golovkin warnings for punches to the back. Golovkin and Sanchez have to make the referee understand that Canelo will turn his back when he sees a punch heading to his midsection so that he can get GGG penalized or warned about throwing punches to the midsection. That can’t happen in a second fight if Golovkin is to have a chance of winning. The referee needs to be alert to Canelo’s tactics that he uses to keep from getting hit to the body. Canelo should learn a better way to defend against body shots than turning his back to Golovkin and then hoping the referee will give warnings to him, but it worked in the first fight to keep Triple G from being able to throw body shots. You can expect Canelo to use the same tried and true strategy the second time around. The problem is if it doesn’t work for Canelo limit the amount of body shots Golovkin throws during the fight, then he’s in trouble. Canelo will then have to take the body shots somehow, and try and fire back with his own. We know that Canelo can avoid head shots, but he’s too wide around the upper body for him to keep from getting hit shots to the midsection. The only thing Canelo can do to avoid getting hit to the midsection is to turn his flank to GGG the moment he sees a punch being aimed downstairs, and then hope the referee will step in and give a needless warning to the Kazakhstan fighter. The referee that worked the first fight Bayless had no idea what Canelo was doing, so he warned Golovkin for him hitting him to the back. That can’t happen a second time. Golovkin and Sanchez must let the referee know before the fight how Canelo turns his back when he sees a body punch coming towards him. Canelo should be warned about turning to let body shots hit him in the back, because this is his way of gaming the system to trick the referee to think that Golovkin intentionally targeted his back instead of his midsection. If the referee that works the second fight isn’t alerted ahead of time to Canelo’s trick of turning his back to Golovkin when he throws body shots, then he’ll probably give the Kazakhstan fighter warnings, and he might even take points off. Hopefully that doesn’t happen. If Canelo is going to win the fight, he needs to do it in an honest way by showing he’s the better fighter by playing within the rules instead of trying to trick the referee into believing that Golovkin targeted his back for his body punches. Bayless had no idea what Canelo was doing, so he was giving Golovkin warnings. Once Canelo started using that old trick in the early rounds against Golovkin last September, Sanchez should have told Bayless in between rounds what he was doing with turning his back. That didn’t happen, so Canelo continued to turn his back when Golovkin would throw body shots, and this helped him get the referee to give warnings.

This can be a good fight on May 5th between Triple G and Canelo, but it’s going to take quality judges and referee this time around for it to be a better contest. If we have the same kind of referring and judging as the last fight, then it’ll hurt the outcome of the fight because the wrong fighter will have his hands raised. Boxing needs the best fighter of the two be winner of the contest. We didn’t even have a winner last time due to the judging. It looked like a a simple outcome. Golovkin had done the better job of the two, so he should have been given the win in the eyes of most boxing fans. That didn’t happen obviously because of the judging. Now the fans are about to watch a second Canelo-Golovkin fight, and they’re hoping this time there will be a winner.

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