Eddy Reynoso: Golovkin isn’t the same since Canelo fight in 2018
By Matt Lieberman: Saul Canelo Alvarez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso maintains Gennadiy Golovkin is not the same fighter since his rematch with Alvarez in 2018, and it’s been downhill ever since for him.
Reynoso views the 38-year-old Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) as slower, older and he feels he looked “bad” in his last two fights against Kamil Szeremeta and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Golovkin’s advanced age and his long amateur career have added to his deterioration, according to Reynoso.
With that said, Reynoso isn’t showing interest in matching Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) up against Golovkin for the trilogy match that DAZN and the boxing world wants.
Reynoso says Canelo’s focus is on unifying the 168-pound division this year against champions Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant.
What Canelo does after that is unknown, but one potential fight for him could be against popular welterweight Errol Spence Jr. in 2022.
Reynoso noticed GGG can’t fight going backward
“The first fight [against Golovkin], we fought it with counter-attacks in the middle of the ring, then I realized in the first fight that GGG didn’t know how to move to fight backward,” said Eddy Reynoso to Little Giant Boxing on Canelo’s first fight with Golovkin.
“Golovkin always wanted to move forward. In the second [Canelo vs. GGG] fight, we changed the strategy. We wanted to push him back from the first round.
“The fact that Saul fought him moving forward made him lose his focus for 3 to 4 rounds.
“Then, when he [GGG] tried to change his game plan, we [Canelo] switched and started to counter-attack him moving backward as well as pushing him back.
“In the end, Golovkin never found a way to decipher our strategy, which Saul was changing round by round. That ended up giving us the victory,” said Reynoso.
Golovkin’s problems fighting backward had already been discussed long before Canelo fought him in a rematch in 2018. Keith Thurman and Oscar De La Hoya both had observed that GGG was incapable of fighting backward.
Reynoso can’t take full credit for him being the one that noticed that Golovkin was unable to fight going back because it was already common knowledge about this weakness.
Golovkin isn’t the same fighter – Reynoso
“Well, I don’t see him as the same,” said Reynoso about Golovkin not being the same fighter since the second fight with Canelo in 2018.
“I see him as slower. With [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko, he looked really bad.
“A lot of people said he wasn’t well prepared. In his last fight [against Kamil Szeremeta], he looked bad as well.
“I saw him [Golovkin] a bit slower against Szeremeta, a fighter at mid-level. He’s very disciplined, but I think his age is catching up to him.
“It’s not easy for a boxer 38-years-old coming off a long amateur career, as well as staying in one weight class  is very difficult,” Reynoso said.
Golovkin obviously isn’t the same fighter he once was, and we saw that in his last two fights with Kamil Szeremeta and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. The ring wear and his increasing age have taken a bite out of Golovkin’s game.
In terms of punching power and technique, Golovkin is as good as ever, and he’s still more than a handful for anyone.
If Golovkin moves up to 168, he might look a little better, as he’s appeared to be drained at the weigh-in for his last several fights at 160.
Moving up would make sense for Golovkin right now because there’s no one popular for him to fight at 160. Other than Jermall Charlo and Demetrius Andrade, the 160-lb division is dead right now.
Golovkin probably will never fight either of those guys, considering how difficult their styles would be for him at this stage of his career.
Reynoso: Smith was the most dangerous fighter at super middleweight
“The titles he [Canelo] won in four weight classes, and now he beat Callum Smith,” said Reynoso.
“I considered him the most dangerous opponent [at 168] because of his height, and who gains a lot of weight [after rehydrating]. His great left hand and he knows how to control the range well.
“I took the risk [to match Alvarez against Callum Smith] because Saul told me, ‘Put me with whoever you want in front of me, and I’ll be ready.’
“We decided to go with Smith, and there were three belts [WBA, WBC, and Ring title] on the line. In one night, we won three world titles against an undefeated elite fighter.
“It’s not our problem that Saul made him look the way he did,” said Reynoso.
Knowledgeable boxing fans didn’t rate Callum Smith as the #1 or the most dangerous fighter in the super middleweight division before Canelo fought him. Smith had already been shown to be rather limited in his previous fight against John Ryder.
Smith’s career claim to fame was winning the Ali Trophy in the World Boxing Super Series tournament by beating George Groves. The fans that closely followed the WBSS tourney noted that Groves had suffered a terrible shoulder injury in his previous fight against Chris Eubank Jr in the tournament.
The injury required surgery, and Groves was a shell of his former self when he took on Callum Smith in the tournament’s final.
Fighting with one arm, Groves was stopped by Smith. That was Callum’s only notable win during his career, and you have to place an asterisk next to it.
Alvarez took away Callum’s left hand
“Before taking the fight, Smith was saying a lot of things,” Reynoso continued. People were saying, ‘This guy is going to beat Canelo. He’s a real champion, unlike Rocky Fielding.’ Saul gave him a boxing lesson, and we took a huge step forward, and now we’re going to look for the other two belts.
“Yes, those things we were practicing in the gym,” said Reynoso about taking away Callum’s left hook. “Smith’s left hand is lethal, and he’d knocked out 15 opponents with one punch.
“Smith had knocked out elite fighters, one or two at mid-level. As soon as the fight started, I told Saul, ‘Let’s drop his left hand. Be careful and don’t drop your right hand.
“Be very attentive when you’re on the inside because Smith is a natural counter-attacker, and he knows how to fight at a distance.’ In the first exchange, Saul started to hurt his left hand until it was damaged.
“That helped us. We took away his biggest weapon so it wouldn’t be as lethal. After the eighth round, Canelo didn’t even sit anymore. He showed great conditioning,” Reynoso said about Alvarez.
Smith fought with his back against the ropes in the Canelo fight, and he’d done that in his previous match against Ryder. Callum lacked the leg strength and the talent to stay in the middle of the ring.
Canelo made it look easy against Smith
“To be fighting an elite fighter [Callum Smith] that had won the WBA and Ring title, as well as the Muhammad Ali trophy in the WBSS against European fighters says something,” Reynoso said about Callum, who had beaten an injured one-armed George Groves to win the Ali Trophy.
“To me, he [Callum] was the best fighter at 168. Saul made it look easy.”
“Saul is getting to the point where he’s coming close to being perfect,” Reynoso continued. “He evades punches, feints, counter attacks, uses his legs, knows how to use the ropes, and he knows how to do a lot of things.
“He’s in his prime right now, and he still has the history to write. Yes, I see it very difficult for anyone to beat him right now. Technically, he’s going through one of his best times,” said Reynoso.
Canelo did make it look easy against Smith, but he wasn’t dealing with the best at 168. This isn’t a knock on Smith or the judgment of Reynoso, but there are clearly much better fighters at 168 than him.
David Benavidez, Edgar Berlanga, Caleb Plant, and Bektemir Melikuziev are unquestionably superior fighters to Callum Smith.
This isn’t the first time Reynoso has called one of Canelo’s opponents the best in their weight class after an easy win.
Reynoso did the same thing with Sergey Kovalev, saying that he rated him as the #1 fighter at 175, above Artur Beterbiev and Dimitry Bivol. Knowledgable boxing fans obviously know that Kovalev is nowhere near #1 at 175.
So for Reynoso to say that Callum smith was #1 at 168, it seems like he’s trying to make Canelo’s win look better in the eyes of casual boxing fans that don’t follow the sport closely.
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