Santa Cruz warns Canelo about fighting Golovkin in New York
By Dan Ambrose: Featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz believes that Saul Canelo Alvarez can’t beat middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin if their rematch takes place in New York on May 5th rather than in Las Vegas, Nevada like the first fight.
Santa Cruz doubts that the judges in New York will give the decision to Canelo. Santa Cruz had an unpleasant experience fighting in New York in his first fight against Carl Frampton in 2016. Santa Cruz lost a 12 round majority decision that he felt he should have won.
Santa Cruz says there’s more people like Golovkin in New York, and he thinks that will help him get the nod by the judges.
Santa Cruz does admit that he felt that Golovkin deserved the decision against Canelo last September in their fight in Las Vegas. That fight was scored a 12 round draw, and it was an unpopular decision because the boxing public felt Golovkin should have been given the win. One judge had Canelo winning by 10 rounds to 2. The score was so bad that fans felt that Golovkin was robbed. Santa Cruz he barely had Golovkin winning by 1 round, but he says a draw is a fine result. Unfortunately, very few people agree with Santa Cruz. The draw was seen as a robbery, and that view still holds today.
“I think Golovkin has to do the same thing,” Leo Santa Cruz said to Villian Fy in talking out what GGG has to do to beat Canelo in the rematch. ”Go forward and pressure him, because Canelo got kind of tired. He was pressing him constantly and Canelo looked like he kind of gassed out,” Santa Cruz.
Canelo didn’t get “kind of tired” like Santa Cruz states about the Golovkin fight. Canelo got VERY tired from the pressure from Golovkin. Santa Cruz is correct about Golovkin needing to fight the same kind of fight in the rematch for him to win. He’s got to pressure Canelo even more than last time, especially if the fight takes place in Las Vegas again, because the crowd will be pro-Canelo like that were last time.
Canelo fights in Vegas on a frequent basis, it’s a city that benefits greatly from having the Mexican fight there. It’s obviously not a good thing for Las Vegas for Canelo to lose. Santa Cruz failed to point that out. Canelo was the one given scores that benefited him and saved from a loss against Golovkin in Vegas. It almost sounds like Santa Cruz is OK with Canelo getting a controversial draw, but he’s not OK with the Golovkin getting similar treatment if the fight takes place in New York.
Just based on how the previous fight plays out, Golovkin doesn’t need the judges to bend over backwards to give him the victory. He clearly earned it last time against Canelo. If the judges had scored the fight like it had played out, they would have given Golovkin the victory by a 9 rounds to 3 score.
Canelo fought well enough to win just 3 rounds. There was nothing close about the fight. For Santa Cruz to see Golovkin only winning by 1 round, you have to wonder if he was standing too far away from the TV set for him to see a clear picture of what was going on during the fight. If Santa Cruz had seen things clearly, he would have seen Golovkin winning by a wide 12 round unanimous decision.
”What Canelo has to do is throw more combinations, and have better conditioning,” Santa Cruz said. ”I think when he stood there and fought and threw more punches, he connected with Golovkin more. When he stood his ground, I thought he won those exchanges. He was landing great punches. It didn’t look like it hurt Golovkin, but it stopped him, and he landed some good shots. But this time I think Canelo is going to work harder and improve and I think he’s going to win the fight,” Santa Cruz said.
It’s easier said than done for Canelo to improve his conditioning. If it were possible for Canelo to improve his conditioning, he would have done that earlier in his career when he was still in his early 20s. Canelo’s conditioning problems have been consistent since he was younger and lighter than he is now. I don’t see Canelo improving his conditioning, especially with him having put on weight to try and gain an advantage over Golovkin. Canelo put too much weight on for the Golovkin fight, thinking it would help him. It didn’t help him, but he probably thinks it did, so he’s not going to take the weight off. That means Canelo will gas out just like last time. But even if Canelo did come into the fight leaner, I see him fading in each round after he throws a handful of punches at the start of the round. That’s Canelo’s trademark. He fights hard at the beginning of the rounds and he then gets tired and wants to rest.
In looking at the Canelo-GGG fight again from last September, Canelo never stood his ground for any length of time. When he would throw some punches, he would dash away along the ropes. Canelo wouldn’t stand and just fight it out. There was no stopping of Golovkin. That didn’t happen. Santa Cruz isn’t remembering the fight correctly. Golovkin never stopped throwing punches when he Canelo in front of him. It was always Canelo moving away along the ropes. Canelo didn’t want to stay and fight because he probably was worried about getting hurt or gassing out.
”The first one I thought Golovkin won by maybe 1 round,” Santa Cruz said. ”There were some really close rounds. A draw is not bad. I could even give it a draw. Maybe it could,” Santa Cruz said in response to the question of whether fighting in New York would help Golovkin. “If the second fight is as close as the first one, I think over there it’s going to be a big factor, because over there there’s not a lot of Mexicans. Golovkin, I think [will win], because there’s a lot more people like Golovkin over there, and experience and everything that plays a role. The judges could score different. So I think that if the fight is close, it’ll be towards Golovkin,” Santa Cruz said.
I don’t agree with Santa Cruz. I don’t see the judges automatically favoring Golovkin over Canelo just because he’s fighting in New York. The judges will score it to whoever appears to win. All Golovkin has to do is fight like he did last time, and he’ll get the win if the judges score the fight correctly. The fight could even take place in Las Vegas, and Golovkin will win if there are 3 quality judges for the May 5th rematch instead of just 1. It’s important that good judges work the rematch because the sport of boxing is going to be a laughing stock if it keeps having controversial decisions in the biggest fights. When the spotlight is beaming on the sport from the millions of casual boxing fans having purchased the contest on PPV, it’s up to the State Athletic Commissions to pick out the best judges to assign to the fights so that we don’t get a repeat of what we saw last September in the Canelo-GGG fight.
I think they’re going to be the new pay-per-view stars. I think whoever wins that fight is going to be the next Mayweather,” Santa Cruz said.
I don’t think the winner of the Canelo-GGG fight will be in the same class as Mayweather in terms of PPV numbers, but they’ll be popular afterwards. Mayweather was able to bring in a lot of PPV buys against fighters that lacked a large fan base like Robert Guerrero, Andre Berto and Marcos Maidana. Canelo hasn’t proven that he can bring in a lot of PPV buys against fighters that aren’t popular. The only fights in which Canelo has brought in a lot of PPV buys were against popular fighters like Golovkin, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan.