Benavidez gives Canelo edge against Golovkin
By Allan Fox: Super middleweight champion David Benavidez sees Saul Canelo Alvarez beating Gennady Golovkin by a 12 round split decision on Saturday night in their rematch. Benavidez, 21, says it’s a fight that can still be won by either guy depending on what game plan they bring to the rematch.
Canelo vs. GGG 2 will be taking place on HBO PPV this Saturday night on September 15 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Benavidez feels that Golovkin’s best chance of beating Canelo is if he uses his jab and goes to the body more than he did in his first fight with Canelo in September of 2017. Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) kept the action on the outside and threw fewer power shots in the fight compared to his previous bouts during his career.
Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) helped Golovkin out with sparring last year before his fight against Daniel Jacobs. Golovkin won the fight, but it was a close decision. He mostly boxed Jacobs from the outside and didn’t put the pressure on him the way that boxing fans had expected him to.
“I give the edge to Canelo,” David Benavidez said to Fighthype in analyzing the Golovkin vs. Alvarez 2 fight. “He’s [Canelo] a little bit younger. His hands are fast, but you can never count out Golovkin. It might go to Canelo by split decision. He has to use his jab and counters as much as he can. When he sees openings, take them,” Benavidez said.
Benavidez failed to touch on Canelo’s two positive tests for clenbuterol and his muscle loss. Canelo is smaller for this fight, and some boxing fans attribute this to him not being on performance enhancing drugs. A lot of fans think Canelo used clenbuterol in preparing for the first Golovkin fight last year, and that he still was enjoying the benefits of having used the drug at the time he fought GGG. The question that Benavidez failed to ask is whether a smaller and arguably weaker Canelo compete against a guy with the size and power of Golovkin? Canelo now looks like a junior middleweight. Golovkin would do very well if he fought against guys from the 154 pound division. Canelo is obviously banking on being able to beat the bigger Golovkin with speed. Canelo might wind up being as heavy as Golovkin by the time they rehydrate for the fight on Saturday, but he’s clearly not going to have the size he had last time. Some boxing fans felt that Canelo was heavier than GGG in their fight last year. This time, Canelo might be the same weight as Golovkin, but his power will likely be less than it was a year ago. Golovkin, 5’10 ½”, will of course have a 2 1/2” height and 2” inch reach advantage over the 5’8” Canelo.
Canelo, 28, is nine years younger than the 36-year-old Golovkin, although you wouldn’t know it from watching the previous Canelo-Golovkin fight last year. Golovkin looked like the younger fighter due to his better conditioning, pressure and workrate. Canelo was laboring from round three, and he never showed that he could work hard beyond the first minute of each round. Even in the championship rounds in the 10th, 11th and 12th, Canelo was fighting on fumes after the first minute of those rounds. The judges gave Canelo the rounds based on him landing some eye-catching shots in the first minute, bu then he tired out was invisible in the last two minutes of those rounds. Canelo’s stamina was that of a fighter much older than his chronological age.
”Golovkin has to use his jab and touch the body a little bit more than he did in the last fight,” said Benavidez. “Both guys have a lot of ways to beat each other. It depends on what game plan they use that night. Both fighters have their backs against the wall. They want to prove themselves to the fans. Hopefully they go toe-to-toe. Both of them need to do a bit of everything; box, brawl, use the ring as much as they can,” Benavidez said.
Benavidez is correct with his view that Golovkin needs to throw more body shots. That’s something that he didn’t do last year in the first fight with Alvarez. The official excuse given by Golovkin’s coach Abel Sanchez for why he didn’t use body punching was that Alvarez was turning his back to him when he threw to his midsection. Sanchez says the referee Kenny Bayless warned Golovkin for throwing body shots because some of his shots were hitting Canelo on the back. It looked more of a case of Golovkin not wanting to leave himself open to counter punches when he would throw to Canelo’s body. Golovkin probably won’t throw to Canelo’s body more than a few times in the fight on Saturday night. Once Canelo counters Golovkin a few times when he throws to the body, then he’ll likely stop targeting his body and go back to jabbing and throwing power shots upstairs at his head.
”Golovkin, I think he needs to work more on the body no matter where he is at,” said Benavidez in saying what GGG needs to do for him to beat Alvarez. ”If he’s in the middle of the ring or goes to the ropes, he needs to touch up the body and slow Canelo down.”
It would be a show of courage for Golovkin to bravely target Canelo’s body, because he’ll be getting hit with a lot of counter shots each time he does go downstairs. If Golovkin wants to fight with the ‘Mexican style’ that he always talks about, then throwing to the body is a must. I just don’t think Golovkin will do that. That style of fighting isn’t engrained in him no matter what he says. ‘Mexican style’ is a good slogan that Golovkin and Sanchez like to use in describing how he fights, but he clearly doesn’t fight like the great Mexican fighters from the past like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez.
”Canelo, I think he needs to box, brawl, and do it all to get a victory,” Benavidez said.
Canelo will probably fight like he did last time by fighting off the ropes, countering and moving away from Golovkin when he starts to feel the heat. Canelo was backing away from Golovkin in the final seconds of the 12th round after getting hit hard by him. It wasn’t a good look for Canelo, but it showed that he won’t stay in there if he starts getting hit hard. If Golovkin can fight like that the entire fight, Canelo is going to be miserable on Saturday. Canelo can’t fight like that against someone hitting him with hard shot and putting massive pressure on him. James Kirkland wobbled Canelo in the 2nd round of their fight in 2016. Canelo looked tired after two face-paced rounds. If Golovkin fights at that pace, Canelo won’t last long, especially given his lack of size.
”If he’s slowed down from then and now, I think his power was a little bit more back then,” Benavidez said about Gennady. ”He could be the best Golovkin we’ve ever seen. We just don’t know. We have to wait until Saturday,” Benavidez said.
It was only last year that Benavidez was sparring with Golovkin. From the way Benavidez talks, you would think that 10 years has gone by since Golovkin sparred with him. It stands to reason that Golovkin is just as powerful as he was last year when he used Benavidez for sparring to get ready for his fight against Daniel Jacobs. What Benavidez is seeing in Golovkin is him taking power off his shots in order to increase his chances of landing his shots in the first Canelo fight. Since Golovkin was only head-hunting, he made it easy for Canelo to move his torso to get out of the way of his shots. To increase his accuracy, Golovkin naturally took a lot of power off his shots. If Golovkin goes to the body, we’ll likely see his full power for this fight, and Benavidez will realize that he was talking power off his shots in the first fight.
“It’s crazy,” Benavidez said about Golovkin’s punching power. ”He’s really strong and one of the hardest hitters I’ve ever been in the ring with. He hits super hard. Just imagine what it feels like with little gloves,” Benavidez said.
Benavidez obviously sparred with Golovkin using large gloves. It would have been interesting if the two had sparred with lighter gloves and no head gear. That would have been fun to watch. Golovkin is a much more experienced fighter than Benavidez, who is arguably a light heavyweight who boils down to 168 to campaign as a super middleweight. Benavidez is going to have to move up to his proper weight class sooner or later to fight at 175 if he doesn’t want to wind up draining himself and looking weak like he was in his first fight with Ronald Gavril. Benavidez looked sickly after making weight for the fight. It’s clear that Benavidez’s days as a super middleweight are greatly numbered. He might not even be able to make 175 for long without having to move up to cruiserweight. Benavidez is only 21, so he’s probably going to pack on another 15 to 20 pounds before he’s finished filling out. There’s little chance that Benavidez will be able to fight at 168 or 175 when he’s in his late 20s and early 30s. By that point in Benavidez’s career, hopefully he’s made enough money to retire on, because he’s unlikely going to be a relevant fighter at light heavyweight or cruiserweight.
”Probably both,” said Benavidez when asked if he hits harder than Golovkin.