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Loeffler says Canelo-Golovkin 2 could take place at MSG

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Sean Jones: Tom Loeffler says Madison Square Garden in New York has a legitimate shot of being the venue for the May 5th rematch between his fighter unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Golden Boy Promotions star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

The venue for second Canelo-Golovkin fight is expected to be decided by mid-February with Las Vegas, Nevada and New York being the 2 possibilities for staging the fight. Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy has been transparently clear from day 1 that he wants the Canelo-GGG rematch to take place in Las Vegas.

“I don’t know what Vegas is going to offer,” Loeffler said to The New York Post. “It’ll be a little bit of back-and-forth. But the Garden is definitely very interested in this fight. They realize this is one of the few times they have a legitimate shot of getting a big fight,” Loeffler said.

This could be a fruitless endeavor by Loeffler’s part in getting his hopes up for the Canelo-Gennady rematch to take place at Madison Square Garden in New York. If Canelo wants the rematch to take place in Las Vegas, then that’s obviously where the fight is going to take place end of story. Canelo has fought in Vegas on 10 occasions during his career compared to Golovkin fighting there just 1 time. Canelo values fighting in Las Vegas, as he’s a big name there and he brings in the boxing fans. Even if MSG does offer a better deal than Vegas, it will likely end up back in that city. That means Golovkin might need a knockout of Canelo if he wants to win.

De La Hoya feels that Vegas is the best location to stage the rematch, as it has a lot of things going for it in terms of low tax rates, entertainment and hotels. It’s potentially easier on the pocketbook for visitors to the city than New York, which can be an expensive city to visit if one doesn’t know where the best deals can be found for lodging.

Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) didn’t get the greatest deal in his fight against Canelo in Vegas on September 16th last year. The fight was scored as a draw by the Nevada State Athletic Commission assigned judges with 2 scores being very questionable by Adelaide Byrd and Don Trella. They scored it 118-110 for Canelo and 114-114. They gave Canelo the championship rounds in which he only fought a small portion of the round, and was gassed out in the last 2 minutes. Trella gave Canelo round 7, and that was a round that the other 2 judges saw Golovkin winning.

If Golovkin has similar scoring from the next set of judges in a rematch with Canelo in Las Vegas, it’s going to be very hard for him to win the fight unless he knocks him out. Golovkin doesn’t want to go back to Vegas, but he might end up having to. Golden Boy is the lead promoters for the Canelo-GGG 2 rematch, and head honcho De La Hoya has already spoken that he wants Las Vegas for the rematch. It doesn’t matter that Golovkin is the champion with him holding the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight titles.

Boxing is different from other sports. It’s more of a popularity contest, which is why Canelo, the challenger, is the A-side in the negotiations instead of being the B-side. Boxing is a sport where everything is upside down at times, and it has a professional wrestling aspect to it unfortunately. That’s why you get the challenger’s promoters at Golden Boy having the pull to get the venue where they want it against an unbeaten multi-belt champion like Golovkin.

”I don’t think Floyd [Mayweather] or Manny [Pacquiao] or any of those big fights ever considered New York,” Loeffler said. ”Gennady likes New York. Either this fight or if Gennady wins maybe a third fight, I think the Garden has a legitimate shot at getting one of these fights.”

It’s nice that Loeffler is thinking positive about the rematch between Alvarez and Gennady potentially taking place in New York, but I don’t think it will. There has to be a lot of friction going on between Loeffler and Golden Boy with the two battling over where to stage the fight. Loeffler would likely make Golden Boy happy if he just agreed to have the second Canelo vs. Golovkin fight in Las Vegas so that they could have the home advantage once again.

It’s obviously would be a bad deal for Golovkin to have to go back to Vegas to fight in front of Canelo’s boxing fans in a city where he felt he should have won the last time he was there. Going back to Vegas will make Golovkin more determined to take the judges out of place so that they can’t put their own spin on who won the fight. It’s never a good idea to let judges be the ones that determine the outcome of a fight. There are too many examples of odd scoring from judges throughout the history of boxing, and it hurts the losing fighter’s career in a lot of cases. Boxing fans forget about the fighter being robbed, and they just look at his record and see a loss and surmise that he wasn’t good enough.

Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez didn’t like some of the recent remarks made by ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas about GGG starting to show signs of slipping as a fighter.

Here’s what Atlas said to SiriusXM Boxing:

“Golovkin is a guy who’s starting to slip. I said this before it was popular to say, that he was an overrated guy…Golovkin won the first fight, won it clearly, but in the rematch I’m going to go the other way, for Canelo, because Golovkin is slipping. Canelo wasn’t sure that he could handle the size and the strength of GGG, now he is sure, and I think he is going to be more consistent from an offensive standpoint in this rematch, and he might win the fight easy,” Atlas said.

Atlas goes from saying Golovkin “clearly” won the Canelo fight last September to he’s going to easily lose the second fight to the Mexican star. It makes you wonder whether Atlas is thinking clearly. Canelo didn’t show that he could handle the pace that Golovkin was setting in the fight last time. In every round of the fight, it was Golovkin being the one pressing the action against a tired and defensive looking Canelo.

For that to change in the rematch, it’s going to take a complete overhaul of Canelo’s game for him to be able to fight for a full 3 minutes at a faster pace against Golovkin, because it’s going to be a much faster pace this time around. If you don’t believe the pace of the fight is going to be faster, then you’re kidding yourself. Golovkin and Sanchez saw for themselves that Canelo can’t handle fighting at a quick pace. Golovkin had Canelo exhausted from round 3 to 12, and he was incapable of fighting had for more than 1 minute.

You could set an egg timer in each round at the 1 minute mark to where Canelo would fade and go into his tortoise shell and take shots for the last 2 minutes. Canelo was so tired and useless after the 1-minute mark. The judges obviously gave most of the weight for each round for the first minute of action rather than the last 2 minutes. We saw cruiserweight Murat Gassiev win a lot of rounds against Yunier Dorticos last Saturday night despite being outworked by him. But in that case, Gassiev was still landing heavy shots in the last 2 minutes of the rounds. Gassiev wasn’t fighting like Canelo in emptying his gas tank in the first minute of the rounds, and then running along the ropes to try and stall out the round.

Gassiev continued to land occasional big shots in the last 2 minutes of the rounds. Canelo didn’t do that against Golovkin last September. Canelo was only fighting hard in the first minute. It wasn’t because Canelo was using it as a tactic to try and win. That would be crazy. Canelo was only fighting the first minute of each round because he had no choice. Canelo lacked the gas tank needed for him to be able to fight a full 3 minutes, so he would go into the resting mode after the first minute of the rounds.

The way Canelo fought, it made it impossible for me to give him more than 3 rounds in the entire fight. I gave Canelo rounds 1, 2 and 12. I thought Canelo did enough to win the 12th based on the heavy shots he landed throughout the round. That was Canelo’s best round of the fight in my view. Unfortunately, Canelo was going all out to win that round, and he can’t fight like that for a full 12 rounds against Golovkin. There’s no way. The only reason Canelo fought in an all-out manner is because it was the 12th round and he knew he could rest after that without worrying about using up all his energy for the remainder of the fight.

Sanchez fired back at Atlas in telling Michael Woods of this:

“Opinions are easy to offer, look at the ones before the first fight. The bottom line is, the fight proved who was best and the public knows what the score should have been. Those opinions are irrelevant, and people like Teddy Atlas and Adalaide Byrd seem to use a beautiful and dangerous sport to make themselves relevant.”

It’s huge knock on Canelo that a young fighter like him at 27 is unable to beat the 35-year-old Golovkin. There’s got to be some concern if you’re a Canelo fan, because he’s in his prime right now. The flaws that Golovkin exposed in Canelo’s game last September aren’t going to disappear in the future. These are things are going to be there and cause him problems when/if he faces the other top fighters in the 160 lb. division like Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders, Danny Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

Golden Boy Promotions can’t steer Canelo around all of those fighters at middleweight if they want him to be taken seriously in the division. Canelo can’t luck out and be saved by questionable judging against all of those fighters without his reputation taking a big hit with him being seen as a protected fighter. The only way Canelo can be viewed is legit is for him to face the best and beat them without controversy.

Atlas should be pointing out the obvious about Canelo. He lacks the arm length, stamina and height to beat the bigger fighters in the middleweight division. Canelo can beat over-the-hill super middleweights like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and welterweights like Amir Khan, but I don’t think he’s going to be able to beat the best fighters in the middleweight division. Canelo can’t make a career out of getting controversial decisions that save him from losses.

Canelo has already been involved in 3 fights in which he was saved from losing by questionable scores by the judges in his fights with Golovkin, Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara. It would be sad news if Canelo winds up with even more controversial decisions in the future. Atlas didn’t discuss Canelo’s flaws in his game, and it’s hard to understand why a wise old trainer like him would miss the obvious. It’s clear that Canelo is too short and too limited with his stamina for him to excel at middleweight. Canelo’s arms are too short. At 5’8”, it’s hard to be a major factor at middleweight.

Canelo has the height of a welterweight, and that’s going to continue to be a problem for him as he moves forward with his career. I expect Golovkin to use his size and superior stamina to easily beat Canelo in their rematch on May 5th. Given Canelo’s lack of size for the middleweight division, he’s going to need to take a blue collar approach to winning his fights when he faces bigger fighters than GGG. It’s going to very hard for Canelo to win against the bigger guys, because he’s not only smaller than them, but he also lacks he engine to battle them hard for a full 12 rounds. Without Canelo getting the same kind of judging as we saw in the first Golovkin fight in which the judges seemingly score the rounds after the first minute of action and ignore the last 2 minutes, it’s going to be almost impossible for Canelo to have a real impact in the 160 lb. weight class.

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