The date for boxing’s next great super-fight has been set! 37-0 (33 KOs) Gennady Golovkin will do battle opposite Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1 with 34 KOs) on September 16 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile arena. Two men will enter, but only one will leave as WBC, IBF, IBO world middleweight (160-pound) and WBA Super World middleweight (168-pound) champion!
The bout was announced last Saturday night just after Alvarez went the distance against Julio-Cesar Chavez Jr in a much maligned display, a one-sided workout session. The hand-picked golden goose for former “Golden Boy”-turned Golden Boy Promotions head Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez has not lost in just over four years.
In the same time that he fought seven times (up to last Saturday) and earned a mixed record dotted with a few finishes amidst decisions, Golovkin racked up ten victories with only one by way of points.
The Pakistani is about to face off with destiny after being shunned or otherwise overlooked early on in his career. At 9-0 during his streak, Golovkin had earned his chance to square off against Alvarez this time a year ago. That was before the middleweight title that was on the line was surrendered by the Canelo side of the equation to avoid facing Golvkin in a mandated bout.
Now, a 35-year-old takes on a prodigy who is almost a decade his senior in a fight that many, including De La Hoya, will put pugilism back on the map. “Golovkin, you are next, my friend” were the words that officially sealed the deal.
“I’ve already had several calls from around the world wanting to stage this fight,” De La Hoya said at the post-fight press conference. “I literally had a missed call from Dubai, a missed call from the U.K. There’s interest all over the world. Those negotiations, those talks, will start in the weeks to come. This is the most anticipated fight, right next to Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao, but the difference is this fight will have a lot of action, nonstop action.”
Both men are coming off decision triumphs, but where Canelo’s bout wasn’t even close, Golovkin’s edging out a win has some wondering if he’s on his way out the proverbial door, especially since the point win over Daniel Jacobs ended an overall 23-fight KO streak.
So, how does this fight look to the people of Las Vegas? Given the violent fashion in which Golovkin has been performing, he has opened as the -160 favorite against the +140 Alvarez.
Still, the stick-and-move tactician in Alvarez likes his chances. He hovered around the 40 percent mark in each of the 12 rounds he had against Chavez Jr, landing 228 strikes, 145 of which were power punches. Golovkin connected with 231 overall and 126 power punches against Jacobs.
“I definitely believe I can do much more with Golovkin than I did with Chavez, a lot better,” Alvarez originally said to the LA Times’website. “I said it once and I’ll say it again: The era of Canelo is now. What that means is I’m willing to fight the best, give the fans the best fights always. And that’s what I’m doing.”
This bout looks thus far to be an odd changing of the guard (despite the fact that Canelo is the younger one in the scenario.) “Triple G” is aging, but surging after having floored Jacobs to prove that an old dog can sometimes still sprint. Alvarez seems to be getting like Floyd Mayweather – what some may call wisely minding his economy of motion, others may just call boring.
Has he become too pampered? If he has, that’s a big problem because he’s got years left in this game in a sport where the talk of the town concerns retired boxers like Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and MMA’s “Notorious” Conor McGregor. The mixed bag that includes the Chavez Jr. point win is a little misleading. Like other point fighters before him, Alvarez typical uses a couple rounds to get his rhythm down.
In his last fight, Canello employed a strategy of refusing to take his foot off his metaphorical gas petal and doing whatever he wanted all night long in such an embarrassing way that some in the fight community are calling the bout a waste of time – stealing not only gate revenue, but the $70 that this one-fight-pay-per view cost the fans watching at home.
Ultimately, why should you care about the follow-up with Triple G?
Sporting News considers these men to be the hardest punchers in the sport today. Because of men like McGregor that are mic-centered, this is a money fight that is also a return to the way things used to be: the best clash with the best contenders. Alvarez tried to run (depending on how you view his vacating of a title as mentioned above) and can’t not face Golovkin. He is the only fighter in Canelo’s rear-view mirror at the moment.
This will also be a great test of knockout power (possessed by both men, but more so Golovkin) against the cardio and durability of Alvarez as his opponent has only gone a full fight less than a handful of times.
Additionally, this may be something that we all only witness once. It has become a tradition to capitalize on high-profile with rematches and sometimes trilogies for even more profit. The problem is that Alvarez seems to have trouble making weight for his division. Both he and Chavez Jr. faced a million-dollar penalty if they came onto the scales at even just a half-pound overweight. However, it would be a million-dollar fine per every pound they were over.
With how long it took to get Mayweather-Pacquiao (five years or so) if this fight were to fall apart, especially now that there is an official date, city, and venue attatched to it, because of a weight-cutting issue, it would be a tragedy. The only other names elevating boxing at this moment in time are those of Anthony Joshua (who was also involved in a recent lackluster effort despite his own victory) and Tyson Fury.
Almost regardless of the victor, boxing needs this fight.
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