Lost among the hype of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor spectacle a very special fight was made in the form of Canelo Alvarez challenging middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin. For boxing purists and the sports community at large this has the makings of fight of the year, going a bit further many feel it has the potential to be what many of the great middleweight fights of 1980’s were when the likes of Leonard, Hearns, Hagler and Duran battled one another. So what is it about this bout that has people clamoring? Read on for the what and why.
Boxing is littered with instances in which fans and fighters alike have begged for super-fights between the best of their time. Almost always, they are made too late, — Leonard vs. Hearns 2, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, Holyfield vs. Tyson — or never made at all – Leonard vs. Pryor, Lewis vs. Bowe, etc.
In this case the timing is perfect. You have two fighters who are arguably in their primes. Neither is too green or over the hill. Some naysayers say the fight is a year or two late, however, that’s more attributable to properly building interest in the bout or in promoter’s parlance, letting the fight ‘marinate’ in the minds of the public to build interest, which inevitably leads to more revenue. Had this fight occurred two years prior or even last year, it would have not garnered as much interest.
It’s well known among boxing strategists and fans alike, that styles make fights. And that is the singular reason this fight is so special. GGG sports over 32 knockouts in his 37 bouts. Canelo is no slouch in the KO department either with over 33 KO’s in his 49 fights. Why the heavy KO count? Both men are heavy hitters. Although they both possess an ability to box, the preference is to mix it up. Rest assured on September 16th plenty of leather will be traded. During a conference call Canelo himself told us “we’re both going to fight a fight where anybody can win by knockout. We both have the power to win by knockout. But that’s what makes for a great fight, and I think that’s what makes it an attractive fight for the fans.”
Folks, this is clearly a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.
The promotion for this fight has been labeled “Supremacy” presumably because the winner will reign atop the middleweight division and perhaps capture the “pound-for-pound” title. Yet, if you ask us it should have been called “Legacy”, because that is what’s on the line for both fighters. Golovkin has been seeking a fight of this magnitude for years. To date, he’s been a victim of his own success. Having KO’d his way through the division, he struck fear in his own weight class as well as weight classes above and below him. No one wanted to risk stepping into the ring with him, a classic case of too much risk and too little reward. However, Canelo will be the first “A” side opponent GGG is facing. If he fails, people will surely say that he can beat the contenders and journeymen, but not the sports A-side fighters. A loss will also relegate him to the B-Side for the foreseeable future.
For Canelo, much has been made of how much he has matured and learned from the Mayweather loss. Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya noted that “his jab has improved tremendously” and Canelo’s trainer Eddie Reynoso told us that “he’s more of a complete fighter. But the experience was a big part of it that he learned, and he got a lot of experience out of that fight.”
Canelo passed a test in beating a skilled boxer like Miguel Cotto, but a victory over GGG solidifies it. If Canelo wins, it will be hard to question that he is boxing’s biggest and legitimate star. Should he lose in convincing fashion, it’s a step back.
Honestly, this one is way too close to call. Many experts are saying it’s a 50-50 shot for either fighter to win. As the bigger man, Golovkin likely possesses the stronger shot. However, Canelo has a slight edge in boxing and counterpunching ability. In the end, it will likely come down to which man can withstand the others power. To do so, will allow them to execute their own strategy more effectively and likely lead to victory.
Win, lose or draw, you’d better believe this will be a Saturday night special of a whole different kind!