Golovkin: I can’t lose this fight to Canelo
By Sean Jones: A very confident sounding Gennady Golovkin says he cannot lose this second fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez on September 15 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Golovkin met with the media this week to let them know what his plans are for his rematch.
Middleweight champion Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) says he doesn’t plan on letting the judges score the fight this time around when the two of them face each other on HBO pay-per-view in a little over two months in Las Vegas In their previous fight, the judges scored it a controversial 12 round draw.
Golovkin feels he cannot lose the second fight against Canelo because he knows what to expect from him this time. Canelo used a lot of movement in the first fight, staying on the move, and then briefly perching himself against the ropes to throw big uppercuts and hooks, which mostly missed their mark. Golovkin gave Canelo a great deal of respect for his punching power, as he didn’t wade in carelessly as much as he did in his fight against welterweight Kell Brook in September 2016.
“I can’t lost this fight,” Golovkin said about his rematch with Canelo. ”It’s a very interesting fight for me, because I feel his energy. I feel the champ’s energy. I’m just going to change my performance. I know what I need for the second fight. Now we have a different situation, completely different. I have more experience now,” GGG said.
GGG is a lot leaner than he was at the start of his training camp for his previous fight last year. He’s obviously been working hard in the gym to keep his weight down. It’s going to be a much different fight this time. Golovkin is no longer star-struck like he was the last time in giving Canelo too much respect in the first three rounds. Golovkin can do a lot more than what he showed in the previous fight. Last time, Golovkin stayed on the outside too long before he started to pressure Canelo the way he’d done in his fight against Kell Brook in 2016. Once Golovkin switched tactics to his normal pressure style of fighting, he was able to take full control of the contest to dominate the action. The tactics that Golovkin will use in the second fight will force Canelo to adapt or else get taken out quickly. Canelo can’t fall back to his previous style of fighting using movement because that won’t work against GGG on September 15 because he plans on staying close to him so that he can’t get the space that he needs to rest and recover. This means that Canelo will need to be much better conditioned for the rematch for him to have a chance of winning the fight. If Canelo doesn’t get to recover from the pressure that Golovkin puts on him, then this could be over with quickly. Either Canelo stands and slugs for three minutes of every round or he winds up getting taken out like Kell Brook and Dominic Wade both did against GGG.
The experience Golovkin talks about are the things that he learned from his fight against the 27-year-old Canelo on September 16 last year. Golovkin gave Canelo too much respect in the first three rounds, treating him like a rock star and not going after him. When Golovkin did finally go on the attack in the 4th, he appeared to win every round for the remainder of the fight. Canelo was exhausted and reeling from the 4th round. You can say that Canelo was done for the night by round 4. The remainder of the fight was Canelo on a full scale retreat and only throwing token shots to try and impress the three judges. Canelo’s inability to stand and fight made it impossible to give him any of the last nine rounds of the contest. He simply didn’t put in the effort to deserve to win any of the rounds in last three-fourths of the fight.
Golovkin calling Canelo, ‘the champ,’ appears to be a way for him to make fun of Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya twice calling Alvarez ‘The champion’ in their Facebook news conference last week. De La Hoya ignored Golovkin being the IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion, and instead called Canelo “the champion,” and said the boxing public will be on his side because of this status. Canelo was recently stripped of his last remaining championship level title by The Ring. Canelo had already vacated his WBC 160lb title in 2016 after being ordered by the World Boxing Council to defend against Triple G, which he wasn’t ready to do at that time.
“Absolutely,” said Golovkin when asked if he was ready to walk away from the negotiations if he didn’t get the purse split that he was asking for.
During the negotiations, Golovkin was offered by Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions the same 65-35 purse split that his management had agreed with for the canceled May 5th rematch. After Canelo’s two positive tests for clenbuterol and him pulling out of the May 5 fight, GGG was no longer willing to agree to the same 65-35 split. He wanted a 50-50 split for the troubles he’d gone through with Canelo, and because of the fact that he’s the multi-belt world champion. Eventually, Golovkin backed off from his 50-50 demand and agreed to a 55-45 deal. The fight was made possible by De La Hoya when he reportedly put up his own money to get the deal done.
”I believe it’ll be like a real street fight,” Golovkin said.
That sounds like Golovkin no longer plans on standing on the outside to jab Canelo like he did in the previous fight. Golovkin realizes now that jabbing Canelo the way he and Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in the past won’t work in Las Vegas. He’s going to need to go on the attack and turn the fight into a giant pressure cooker to force Canelo to fight at a pace that his body isn’t capable of sustaining.
”He’s got exceptional skills. We know that before, but I didn’t anticipate him moving as much as he did,” Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez said to ESPN about the movement Canelo used in the first fight last September. ”He talked about a knockout, as he’s doing now. Hopefully he lives up to his words and comes to fight, and that way the fans can be treated to a great fight,” Sanchez said.
It’s not an accident that Canelo chose to move 80 percent of the time against Golovkin last September. Canelo obviously tried standing his ground against the middleweight sparring partners that were brought into his camp to help him prepare for the Golovkin fight, and he realized early on that he wasn’t going to be able to fight at a fast enough pace to keep from getting knocked out. That’s why the decision was made for Canelo to stay on the run against Golovkin. It would have ended badly if Canelo had stood in a last stand type of situation and went toe-to-toe with Golovkin. He wouldn’t have lasted for any length of time if he’d gone to war with him. I don’t believe for a second that Canelo’s trainers Chepo and Eddy Reynoso had anything to do with the game plan for Golovkin. I think it was done by Canelo after he was worked over by the sparring partners. He knew his limitations in camp, so he went with the only game plan that his limited cardiovascular system would allow him to do. Canelo’s cardio problems gave him only one option against Golovkin and that was to run.
”Unfortunately before the scorecards were read, [Golden Boy Promotions president] Eric Gomez came to me and said it was a draw,” Sanchez said. ”That was before [the scorecards were announced]. I was wondering how he could know. I thought he was joking with me because I thought we
won eight of the 12 rounds easily, but of course being biased, seven to five, but I still thought we won. But it was hard to hear the scorecards, hard to understand the scorecards were the way they were,” Sanchez said.
It does sound disturbing what Sanchez says about Eric Gomez coming up to him immediately after the fight had ended and told him that the fight was a draw before the official scorecards had been announced. How did Gomez know what the scorecards would be BEFORE they were announced? It’s all very strange. For sure it looks bad, really bad. You don’t like to hear about how the lead promoters for the promotion already know what the result of the fight is going to be before the scorecards were announced. The scores themselves were hard to understand. One judge scoring it to Canelo 10 rounds to 2 is just difficult to comprehend. How do you see the same fight that everyone else did and view Canelo winning by a 118-110 score. Another judge scoring it even at 6-6 is almost as bad, because that judge gave Canelo rounds that appeared to be easy to score rounds that Golovkin dominated.
”I thought he fought a great fight not to be knocked out,” Sanchez said about Canelo. ”He has good legs, very good skills, but he didn’t want to engage to give the fans what he promised the fans. But he’s talking a lot of smack again. Hopefully this time he keeps his word and does what he says he’s going to do and tries to knock Golovkin out. In order to try and knock Golovkin out, you’re going to have to be in range and not punching out of desperation. So if he’s in range, we’re going to be treated to a great fight. I think Golovkin stops him late in the fight or another easy decision like we had the first time,” Sanchez said.
Canelo was throwing a lot of shots in desperation when he would stop moving, and it looked like he was just trying to keep GGG off of him rather than fighting him and looking to win. You could see the look of panic in Canelo’s face and body language. He looked like he was having a bad night at the office, and was out of his league. He wasn’t interested in fighting Golovkin the way he needed for him to get the ‘W.’
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