By Sean Jones, first uploaded on Boxing News 24.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya says he’s very surprised that IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is the favorite to beat his fighter Saul Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) in their fight on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
De La Hoya says there are now a high number of people saying that Canelo will not only beat Golovkin, but he’ll knock him out in the process. De La Hoya’s belief in Canelo stems from the head and torso movement he used to evade punches thrown at him. De La Hoya says Canelo has the better boxing skills compared to Golovkin, and the superior experience during his career.
De La Hoya says Golovkin has fought only one championship level fighter up until now in Daniel Jacobs. De La Hoya doesn’t mention David Lemieux, who is one of his own fighters in his Golden Boy stable. Lemieux was the IBF middleweight champion in 2015 at the time Golovkin knocked him out in the 8th round.
“It’s going to be brutal,” said De La Hoya to Hot 97 about the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight. “This is going to be 8 rounds of hell. Maybe 8, 9 or maybe 10,” said De La Hoya in predicting the outcome.
De La Hoya thinks the Canelo-GGG fight won’t go the distance. He feels that one of the two will get knocked out. De La Hoya may be wrong. Canelo’s punches weren’t powerful enough to knockout Miguel Cotto and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. If Canelo couldn’t put a dent on the chins of Cotto and Chavez, then it stands to reason that he won’t be able to hurt Golovkin. By the same token, if Canelo puts his focus on using head and upper body movement to keep from getting hit by Golovkin, it means the fight will likely go the full 12 rounds.
As good as Golovkin is, he’s mainly a head hunter, and he always has been since his amateur days in Kazakhstan. Golovkin does go to the body on occasional, but not nearly enough to count on him stopping Canelo with a body shot. I think there’s a very good chance the Canelo vs. Triple G fight goes to the judges to decide on the winner. Golovkin has the better chance of getting a knockout in this fight, but he’ll need to fight with a lot more urgency than he showed in the Jacobs fight.
Golovkin was too focused on blocking Jacobs’ punches, and not putting his energy at throwing enough shots. If Golovkin fights the same way against Canelo by looking no to get hit, he’s going to fail at knocking Canelo out. Golovkin has to put his chin on the line to knockout Canelo. He’s not going to get the job done by boxing Canelo. Golovkin will very likely lose the fight by a 12 round decision if he makes the choice to box Canelo like he did Jacobs. This isn’t just any fighter that Golovkin is facing. He’s battling the United States’ No.1 pay-per-view guy. You don’t beat a money guy like Canelo by decision unless you really school him and give him a beating. Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez is wise beyond his years. He knows for himself that Golovkin will need to knockout Canelo for him to get a win. He’s not going to be given a decision win.
“More experience; he went in there with Mayweather. He got out-boxed,” said De La Hoya in talking about Canelo’s experience advantage over Golovkin in the pro ranks. ”So obviously he learned from that experience. He’s been in there with Cotto, who has good pop in his punches. He’s been in with guys like Austin Trout, who can move and he’s a southpaw. So he has the experience,” said De La Hoya in talking about Alvarez.
Canelo’s experience advantage over Golovkin is pretty slim at best. Canelo has fought a lot of guys that weren’t in the same league as Golovkin. Canelo’s past opponents, Austin Trout, Miguel Cotto, Shawn Mosley, James Kirkland, Mayweather and Erislandy Lara, are guys that would have had problems against Golovkin. Mayweather was very good during his prime, but by the time he fought Canelo, he was just a flat-footed fighter that jabbed and threw pot shots. That style wouldn’t have beaten Golovkin. We saw that in Mayweather’s 2 fights against Marcos Maidana. Those were close affairs where Mayweather took punishment. Golovkin is a much better fighter than Maidana. All the rest of the guys Canelo has fought were fighters that Golovkin would have beaten.
“So you have Triple G, who has been there with one that has the championship pedigree,” said De La Hoya. ”He beat him, and now people think that’s he’s not invincible,” said De La Hoya about Golovkin beat Danny Jacobs. ”People thought he wasn’t human. He’s a robot. The guy was knocking everybody out. So that now makes the fight very interesting.”
Golovkin remains dangerous despite his inability to knockout Daniel Jacobs, and the struggles he had in beating Kell Brook. If Canelo overlooks Golovkin on September 16, he’s going to get knocked out. The one thing that Canelo has going against him is he’s been having it easy in his fights since the Mayweather match. Canelo has been the bully in his fights. He’s been the guy with the superior punching power, size and hand speed. His last opponent Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. didn’t even try and make a fight of it in his fight on May 6.
Canelo had it so easy that he looked cocky in beating the weight drained Chavez Jr. Canelo could be in shock when he suddenly is getting hit harder than he’s ever been hit before, and he’s unable to dominate like he did before. In Canelo’s fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, Canelo appeared to lose his confidence and will to win when things were going against him in the first 8 rounds.
Canelo was so mentally beaten by the 9th round that he wasn’t even trying to throw punches and attack Mayweather. The fight was embarrassing to watch. If Golovkin does the same thing to Canelo, we could see the Mexican star fall apart mentally in the same way he did against Mayweather. De La Hoya will understand at that point why the judges installed Golovkin as the favorite in the fight.
”People are now saying Canelo has a shot of knocking him out, although Triple G is still the favorite in this fight,” said De La Hoya. ”It surprises me. It’s like 3-1. It’s just the relentlessness of Triple G and the power. You’ve got to take a look at Canelo. He’s been moving his head and boxing a little more. Canelo has a little bit of waist movement. He can dodge punches a little better. Hopefully it’s a close fight, and then you do it again, because demand will be there,” said De La Hoya.
Canelo’s head movement helps him up to a point, and he’s not able to avoid everything thrown his way. Canelo still gets hit with jabs and body shots. That was his undoing against Trout, Lara and Mayweather/ Canelo used a lot of head movement in those fights, but he was still getting hit by jabs. It’s too easy to throw jabs. A fighter can never avoid getting hit by jabs if their opponent is throwing a lot of them. When Canelo moves forward to attack Golovkin, he’ll be vulnerable to getting hit to the head and body.
If Canelo uses a hit and move style against Golovkin, I don’t think that’s going to work, because Golovkin will figure out what he’s doing and stay on top of him. The extra weight that Canelo has put on will hurt his ability to move. Canelo will be able to move for a while, but he’s not going to stay on the move for long. Canelo has bulked up in a manner that suggests that he feels it’s going to be a short fight. If Golovkin still there after the 6th round, we could see Canelo needing to spend the entire second half of the fight pressed with his back against the ropes like he was in his fight against Trout.
“Canelo-Triple G will be 6 rounds of hell. It’s going to be a blood bath,” said De La Hoya to the Breakfast Club 105.8 FM. “He’s a better boxer,” said De La Hoya about Canelo. “He learned a lot when he lost to Mayweather. He matured.”
I don’t know if Canelo has matured or not since the Mayweather fight. Canelo didn’t look good against the only 2 good opponents he’s faced since his loss to Mayweather. Canelo had problems against Erislandy Lara and Miguel Cotto. Those were easily the best opponents Canelo has faced since his loss to Mayweather. Those were not great fights for Canelo. As many boxing fans will say, Canelo should have lost to Lara.
Canelo’s fight against Cotto was a lot closer than the scores that came from the 3 judges. Canelo won the fight, but it was close. Canelo’s other opponents since the Mayweather fight weren’t good enough fighters to say that he’s matured and learned from the Mayweather fight.
“It could go the other way,” said De La Hoya. ”I think Triple G could knockout Canelo. He has that big power and he could knock him out. It’s the same thing for Canelo. If he lands one of his big punches, it could be good night for Triple G. In this fight with Triple G and Canelo, obviously someone is going to lose and get knocked out. It might be Triple G, because finally he’s stepping up to face the very best,” said De La Hoya.
I think there’s a better chance Canelo-GGG goes the full 12 round distance than there is for the fight to end by knockout. If Canelo is going to use head movement all night long to survive, then he’s not going to get knocked out by the head hunting Golovkin. Canelo will need to forget about his defense long enough for him to go on the attack of Golovkin if he wants to knock him out on September 16, and I don’t think Canelo will do that.
Once Golovkin hits Canelo with a big power shot, Canelo will start thinking defense and he won’t go on the attack in the way he needs to for him to be successful at knocking out Triple G. Golovkin won’t be able to knockout Canelo because of his defense, but we don’t Golovkin knocked out either.
When asked why Canelo wasn’t matched against Golovkin for the past few years, De La Hoya said, “Look, Canelo wasn’t a middleweight. He was fighting at welterweight. He was fighting at junior middleweight. He’s fighting at middleweight now. People were saying why don’t you fight Canelo against Triple G when he was at welterweight. I had to wait for him to fill in and be strong, and then he can fight the best in the middleweight division. I had the chance not to match Canelo against Triple G. Canelo is 27, and people say you can milk him for as long as you want and make money. What for? That’s exactly why boxing is going downhill. Fighters don’t want to fight each other. They want to keep their undefeated records. So that’s exactly why we made Triple G and Canelo. Somebody has to lose. If it’s Canelo, so be it. He lost against the best. If it’s not a real bad beat down where it’s 2 rounds and Canelo wipes his face against the mat, then you can’t do a rematch and vice versa. But if it’s a great fight like I think it’s going to be, why not do another one?” said De La Hoya.
Canelo has been over 170 lbs. for the last 3 years. Golovkin weighs around 170-173 when he rehydrates for his fights. There was no excuse for Canelo not to fight him years ago. Canelo quickly gained a lot of weight when he signed for the Chavez Jr. fight last May. It was easy for Canelo to bulk up to fight in their 164 ½ lb. catch-weight for the fight. Canelo gained even more weight while preparing for the Golovkin fight in his 8-week training camp. If it only took Canelo a matter of 7 months for him to bulk up to the 180s, he obviously could have done this a long time ago. De La Hoya’s excuses for Canelo not fighting Golovkin for the last 3 years seem to be weak excuses. He could have fought him a long time ago.
De La Hoya may be surprised now that Golovkin in the favorite over Canelo, but if things don’t work out for his Golden Boy star like they didn’t work out against Mayweather, Lara and Trout, then De La Hoya may need to look at his fighter and realize that he’s not as good a fighter as he thinks he is. Canelo is popular, but he’s been exposed in the past on 4 occasions.
De La Hoya says Canelo has improved over the last 3 years, but his resume doesn’t show the opposition and the performances that would prove that. When you match Canelo against fighters like Khan, Liam Smith and Chavez Jr., then of course he’s going to look improved. He’s facing poor fighters and not the high caliber opposition.