It was billed as ‘The Best vs The Best’ and that is exactly what we got – it was memorising. It certainly delivered. 48 minutes of boxing action flew by in what felt like no time at all. Both men stood up and came to the party taking and dishing out heavy shots in equal measures. On an evening were boxing took centre stage (the middleweight World Super Series kicked off and Billy Joe Saunders defended his WBO world title) the main event of the boxing cards stood out and proved the status of both fighters to be true. As so often with boxing no matter how good the action in the ring is there is always some kind of controversy that overshadows the good.
First of all it is important to talk about the positives. The build up was stunning everything from the promotional videos by the television networks to the friendly but determined interactions between the fighters. All week interest grew due to the shape the fighters were in and the feeling of an imminent war.
The fight itself was perfect. GGG claimed the centre of the ring and Canelo looked comfortable with the pressure being put on him early. The speed of the Mexican claimed the first couple of rounds, not by much. As with many of the rounds they were nip and tuck. Golovkin started to take over more after the second slowly starting to make the fight become his type of fight. Canelo never really looked in trouble during this spell of GGG dominance and seemed calm under the relentless forward movement of his opponent. The Mexican, nicknamed ‘Cinnamon’, began working harder in the later rounds experiencing a second wind.
Praise has to be offered to Alvarez as he moved up in weight to take on a monster at middleweight. He did wilt in the middle rounds more than likely due to the muscle mass he had put on in his training camp. As Floyd Mayweather said often in the build up to his recent fight, in boxing – “you have to be able to take it as well as give it”. GGG certainly follows this mantra. Canelo landed his best and most powerful shots on the undefeated fighter and he kept coming. It did not even stop him in his tracks the pressure just did not let up from the Kazakh.
Golovkin had plenty of success too. He landed on Canelo while he was stranded on the ropes but as we know the Mexican’s defence is fantastic and the majority of GGG’s strikes did not land cleanly. Golovkin seemed unwilling to let shots fly as his opponents ability as a counter puncher is well know. The fight on the whole was close with both men having good spells. The majority of fans on social media and in the arena as well as many of the pundits edged it to GGG but arguments could be made for Canelo just sneaking it as well.
Then everything went wrong. Two judges were valid. 114-114 a draw. 115-114 to GGG. Both understandable and successful arguments can be made for these scores. But Adalaide Byrd coming out with a score of 118-110 in favour of Canelo really dampened the mood surrounding the fight. This of course means that the fight finished a draw. There is no way anybody could justify giving the Mexican 10 of those rounds. It was a close encounter and a wide score just is not right.
The outrage was shared on twitter by the boxing community and some examples of the tweets tell the story perfectly;
One of the best fighters of his generation, Manny Pacquiao, mocked the decision likening the decision to his own controversial decision against Jeff Horn.
One explanation as to why the judge saw a completely different fight to anybody else.
It seems ‘The Money Fight’ wetted the appetite of MMA fighters to be interested in boxing. Nobody understands how Canelo was given 10 rounds!
Hits the nail on the head. Great fight. Great fighters. All that is being discussed is boxing politics and judges.
Boxing and controversial decisions go hand in hand. Ruins the sport!
When all is said and done we should remember the action. A great evening which promised to represent the sport in its purist form did, until the decision. Both fighters came off well in this one and a rematch after the draw is inevitable. At least we get to see it again. A draw is not an unfair result, it is the outrageous scorecard that has ruined this. Fasten your seatbelts for Canelo & GGG 2!
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