By Dan Ambrose: Saul Canelo Alvarez watched Gennadiy Golovkin’s fight last Saturday night against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and he didn’t like what he saw from the 37-year-old Kazakhstan fighter. Canelo thinks GGG looked slow, and should have lost the fight to Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs).
Golovkin got the victory over Derevyanchenko in winning a questionable 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113. However, many boxing fans thought Golovkin should have lost.
Derevyanchenko beat Golovkin says Canelo
Canelo, 29, takes credit for creating the blueprint in how to beat Golovkin by coming forward and throwing body shots. Derevyanchenko did a much better job than Canelo against Golovin with his combination punching, and sustained pressure.
What Derevyanchenko did was fight harder than Canelo, but he still fell apart in the championship rounds. That’s when Golovkin came on, and landed a number of huge scoring punches against Derevyanchenko. It was the same thing we saw in both Canelo-GGG fights. Canelo fought well in rounds 1-6, and then had nothing left in the last six rounds to keep Golovkin from rallying.
“We saw it. Obviously for me, Derevyanchenko won the fight,” said Canelo to ESPN.com. “It was a fight where (Derevyanchenko) really looked well,” Alvarez said. “It was his fight. Regarding Triple G, we all know, everyone knows…but he looked slow, and I think I gave everyone the pathway to see how to hurt him, which is (to) the body, and that’s what we saw.”
Canelo more focused on business nowadays
Canelo could be angling for a bigger purse split against Golovkin by stalling on the rematch. The Mexican star says he wants bigger challenges, but thus far he’s not taking any risky fights. The decision by Canelo to setup a fight against WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, who he’s facing on November 2, is considered another business level fight rather than a sporting one.
Kovalev is no longer in the prime of his career, and he’s viewed as the 4th best champion at 175. There are better fighters tat light heavyweight that are rated higher than Kovalev, but Canelo didn’t choose to fight them.
Since beating GGG last year, Canelo has defeated WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding and IBF middleweight champ Daniel Jacobs. Fielding offered no resistance to Canelo, and many boxing fans wondered why he took the fight in the first place.
Jacobs had already been beaten by Golovkin, and that was another odd choice for Canelo. There was nothing for Canelo to gain in fighting Jacobs other than his IBF title, which he recently lost when he failed to negotiate a fight with Derevyanchenko.
Golovkin had problems with Derevyanchenko’s pressure
Derevyanchenko showed no fear of attacking Golovkin. For some reason, Canelo didn’t show the same willingness to mix it up with GGG as Derevyanchenko did for longer periods, and he wasn’t capable of fighting hard in the second half of either of their two fights. Golovkin dominated the later rounds against Canelo, although the judges’ scores didn’t reflect that. The first Canelo-Golovkin fight was scored a draw, but most fans had it for GGG 8 rounds to 4. The second fight was viewed as a draw.
Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) still says Golovkin presents no challenge for him in a third fight, and he’ll only face him again it makes good business sense.
Alvarez says third fight with Triple G can happen
‘What he does represent is some good business, so if they offer me something really good, maybe the third fight can happen,” said Canelo in talking about Golovkin. “But for me, no, because he represents no challenge for me.”
The reality is that Golovkin DOES present a challenge for Canelo, and the Golden Boy star doesn’t appear to want to take that risk again. You must remember, the fights with Golovkin were very, very hard for Canelo with him taking punishment, and looking second best at times. The criticism Canelo received after being given a draw in the first fight with Golovkin was huge. On top of that, Canelo tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol while training for the second fight with GGG.
While Canelo blamed the positive test on contaminated meat that he says he ate, the boxing public didn’t buy into the excuse. Many of the fans noticed how ripped Canelo looked in both fights with GGG compared to how his physique looked in his past fights, and they attributed it to the clenbuterol.
Golovkin still a risky fight for Canelo
Even though GGG isn’t the same fighter he once was, he’s still even with Canelo in terms of where they’re both at in the middleweight division. Canelo has loads of talent, but what he lacks at middleweight is size, huge power and stamina. More importantly, Canelo doesn’t fight hard enough for sustained periods, and tends to fade in the second half of his fights.
Canelo is a good fighter, but he’s too small and his stamina too poor to be someone that dominates the way Golovkin has. In essence, Canelo is a 6-round fighter. He builds up leads on his opponents in the first six rounds, and then gasses out completely in the second half of his fights. Canelo’s stamina problems are only revealed when he’s fighting quality opposition like Golovkin and Jacobs. When he’s fighting weak opponents like Fielding, he doesn’t have to worry about them making it into the second half.
Many boxing fans think that Canelo’s record against GGG thus far is 0-1-1 in their two fights because he hasn’t proven yet that he can beat him. Both fights took place at the same venue at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the perception by a lot of people is the judges favored Canelo due to his popularity in boxing rather than what he did in those fights. It looked like Canelo was second best in the first fight, and didn’t have the engine to win the last GGG fight.
Canelo doesn’t have a lot of options
Golovkin is easily the best choice for Canelo at this point. Canelo says he wants to move back down to 160 after he fights Kovalev, but there aren’t any real fights for him in that weight class besides GGG. Canelo likely won’t fight WBC 160-lb champion Jermall Charlo due to him being on a different network, and being a dangerous opponent.
That leaves Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, Ryota Murata and Derevyanchenko. There’s no interest from boxing fans in seeing Canelo fight Andrade or Murata. If Canelo fights Derevyanchenko, he’ll be criticized for fighting a guy coming off of a loss. DAZN wants Canelo to fight Derevyanchenko, and that’s one of the reasons why signed him to a huge 11-fight, $365 million contract.
Canelo has become risk averse since his controversial win over Golovkin last year. Jacobs wasn’t a risky fight for Canelo compared to a third fight with Golovkin, and the Fielding fight was a joke. Canelo had-picked the fourth best champion at 168. Now he’s doing the same thing at 175 in facing Kovalev next rather than champions Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol or Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Canelo could face Billy Joe Saunders in May 2020
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said this week that he thinks there’s a good chance that Canelo will fight WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders on Cinco de Mayo next May. If that fight happens, then a third fight between Canelo and Golovkin could get pushed to September of next year. It’s risky for Canelo to delay the trilogy fight with GGG, because there’s a chance the Kazakhstan fighter will get beaten. He’s not as careful with his match-making as Canelo has in picking beatable guys.