The best boxing match up of 2017 is now just around the corner. Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez will be fighting the middleweight king and holder of three titles at the weight Gennady Golovkin. Records have been put to the back of each fighters mind as an opportunity to make a fight that, according to promoter Oscar De La Hoya, involves substantial risk and reward for both men. It has the world of boxing excited and genuinely split in picking a winner. The fight will take place on Las Vegas and promoter De La Hoya, who criticised Mayweather against McGregor heavily, is hoping this will appeal to the boxing purist more than the money fight. We take a look at some of the talking points and how they could affect the result.
The Age Difference
There is a feeling that GGG may be slipping as he entered the twilight of his career. At the age of 35 he does not have a lot of fights left in him. Against Daniel Jacobs the unbeaten Golovkin laboured to victory by way of a unanimous decision, the first time in nine years that the Kazakh needed the judges score cards. Has GGG started to decline? It is difficult to say. Jacobs is a very good boxing technician and is one of the best middleweights in the world. GGG may have just been in the ring with a top class talent who found a way to have success against him. If that is the case it is a positive that he could retain his belts in a tough fight.
The fight before Jacobs saw Golovkin break through British welterweight Kell Brook. The fight was a complete mismatch and the size difference showed as GGG walked through everything Brook had to offer. However, Brook did have success making his opponent look slow and off the pace. It is difficult to work out if GGG abandoned his boxing skills and knew he could take Brook’s power or if the Brit genuinely out boxed him.
Canelo is eight years younger than his opponent and his combination of youth and experience could prove key in this contest. The Mexican fighter has more fights and has even competed in more rounds than his opponent. The Kazakh has entered 172 rounds to Canelo’s 353. This could be explained to GGG’s immense knockout power claiming 33 KO’s in his 37 professional fights giving him an 89% KO rate to Canelo’s 67%
Size and Weight
Canelo has come a long way since his debut in terms of physique. He has recently moved to middleweight to seek out the fight with GGG. He has campaigned at welterweight and super welterweight during his time in the sport. A win against Miguel Cotto to claim the vacant WBC world middleweight title which he defended successfully once against Amir Khan, the fight ending in a brutal KO. After the defence he dropped the belt to move back to super welterweight or in some peoples eyes to avoid his now upcoming opponent.
Golovkin, by contrast, is a career middleweight. A fighter who is naturally developed to that weight and his walking around weight is not to dissimilar to the weight he fights at.
Issues have been raised about the weight that Canelo has put on for the bout. He looks fantastic but many boxing experts have said that the muscle he has packed on may have hindered his usual sharp and quick hands. This was touted as a big factor that could see Alvarez win the fight. If he has sacrificed his strengths in a quest to find extra power he may have made a huge error. It is suggested Canelo should have embraced being the smaller man instead of trying to compete with GGG’s size.
Both man have great experience and have been in the best around. Unfortunately for GGG he has not had major talent in his weight division. It has been rumoured in the past that he would move up to pursue fights with greats like Andre Ward but that never materialised. You cannot argue that he has ducked anybody throughout his career but he has never really been pushed to his limit. It is easy to argue that the upcoming fight in the biggest of his career.
GGG’s Mexican opponent has big names on his resume. The biggest of all handed him his first loss – Floyd Mayweather. That fight was one sided and ‘The Best Ever’ schooled a young Canelo. What the Mexican must have learned in that fight is immeasurable and now going in with someone with the standing in the sport of Golovkin will give him a chance to avenge that loss. Canelo has been in with fighters such as; Cotto, Shane Mosely and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr but this fight is the only one to come close to the level of Mayweather.
In a time where fighters protect their records and dodge potential difficult bouts to keep their 0 in the loss column this fight sticks out. Both men are recognised as pound for pound top ten and have reputations built on long periods of success. Unfortunately one of the contestants has to lose but in the process we will be offered a fight like no other we will see this year. For boxing fans the hope of this event inspiring top boxers to fight each other is a must. If it delivers it could happen. With the winner of Saunders vs Monroe hoping to get the winner of this fight the division could be unified next year.
The fight itself boils down to one question. How good is the ageing GGG. If he is anything like his dominating self of old Canelo is in for a very tough task. If the signs of him slowing are reinforced in this performance it will be a tough task for GGG. The natural size of GGG works in his favour but if his skills, reaction and timing have deserted him Canelo could use his slick skills to outclass him on the evening. The last thing to leave a boxer is his power and Golovkin has that in abundance. It really is a fight to look forward to and nobody can confidentially predict the outcome.
Great respect should be given to the two men putting it all on the line and giving the fans what they want.
Who will impose their style on the fight? Who will get the better of their opponent? Have your say;
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