By Sean Jones, first uploaded on Boxin News 24.
Junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara is certain Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) will deal Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) his second defeat of his career this Saturday night in their fight on HBO pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lara says Golovkin’s Olympic experience in the amateur ranks will be the telling factor that will lead him to a win over the 27-year-old Golden Boy Promotions star Canelo Alvarez. Lara rates Golovkin as a much better fighter than Canelo in this mega-fight. Golovkin fought in the 2004 Olympics for Kazakhstan in winning a silver medal. He finished his amateur career with an impressive 345-5 record. While that’s not as good as the 396-1 record for 2-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine, it’s still a very record and an indication of how well schooled Golovkin is.
Lara lost a controversial 12 round split decision to Canelo in 2014 in a fight that many in the boxing world thought should have gone the other way. Lara pitched almost a shutout in terms of limiting Canelo’s ability to land any of his power punches in the fight. Canelo landed only 31 head shots in the entire 12-round fight. Lara did essentially the same thing Floyd Mayweather Jr. did against Canelo, but in his case, he wasn’t given a victory.
“Triple G will win; not only because he’s a great fighter and a better fighter, and also because of the Olympics and experience in the Olympics. It will put him up,” said Lara to Thaboxingvoice.com.
Canelo didn’t have the benefit of an amateur career like Golovkin. Canelo’s experience has come in the pro ranks against old lions like Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron, Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Lovemore Ndou, Ryan Rhodes and Carlos Baldomir. All were good fighters during the prime of their careers, but they were all well past it by the time Canelo fought them. Golden Boy matched Canelo against a lot of name fighters, who were on the downside of their careers when the fights were made. You can throw in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Amir Khan to that list of fighters being on the downward slope of their careers when they were put inside the ring with Canelo. Unfortunately, you can’t compare the over-the-hill fighters that Canelo was matched against in the pro ranks as being in the same class of the fighters that Golovkin fought during his long amateur career in Kazakhstan.
“I’m very ready right now,” said Golovkin to Fighthub. “I’ve got a couple of new ideas. I’ll show you on September 16h.”
The “new ideas” that Golovkin speaks about that he plans on using to beat the red-headed Mexican star Canelo are probably ones that have been used in the past against him. Canelo has 3 weaknesses in his game that have been exposed in the past, and they are as follows:
• Handling a jab. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Erislandy Lara both took away Canelo’s counter punching ability by standing on the outside, jabbing and leaning backwards. When Canelo would try and throw right hand counters, they would lean backwards or step away to avoid the wild shots. Canelo was helpless against Mayweather and Lara when they were jabbing him. He didn’t have the arm length or the mobility to get to them. Canelo has fast hands, but his feet are slow, VERY slow.
• Taking body shots. Canelo takes a head shot like few others in the sport, but he doesn’t handle body shots nearly as well. Mayweather and Austin Trout both hurt Canelo with body shots. In fact, Canelo was so hurt by a body shot from Trout in their fight in 2013, that he spent the entire second half of the contest with his back against the ropes to try and avoid getting hit to the body again.
• Fighting at a fast pace. Canelo does not do well in fights that are fought at a fast pace. He can hang for a little while in a fast pace fight, but then he needs to go to the ropes and rest. That’s a product of his short, wrestler physique. Canelo isn’t built for fast pace fights that involve a lot of activity and movement. The short guys with tons of muscles don’t do well in fights against leaner fighters that carry more useful muscles designed for boxing. Canelo has more of a body builder type of frame. He’s enhanced that recently by bulking up for the GGG fight by putting on a lot of extra muscle weight. Canelo is counting on that muscle to help him generate more power, and absorb Golovkin’s punches better. Canelo doesn’t seem to have more power tough. Some fighters get stronger when adding muscle, but most of them don’t seem to get anything out of adding more muscle to their frames. It slows them down, makes them tire quicker, and generally impacts their performances in a negative manner. In looking at Canelo workout, I would venture to guess that he falls in the latter category. That doesn’t mean Canelo can’t win the fight against Golovkin. It just means that he’s probably going to need an early knockout for him to get the victory.
”It’s interesting. He brings more power, more stability,” said Golovkin in discussing Canelo’s new buffed out physique. ”This is boxing. Boxing is at 160, fighting at 160. Canelo, maybe he’s heavy. Maybe he’s slow right now. I know my job.”
Golovkin’s comments about the fight with Canelo being at 160 is his way of reminding the boxing fans that Canelo will need to dehydrate even more for this fight than he’s done in the past for him to make the 160 lb. limit. For fighters that try and gain an advantage over their opponents by bulking up 20-30 lbs. over the weigh-in limit, like Canelo appears to have done, they must take that weight off in water weight to make the 160 lb. weigh-in limit. Unless Canelo is going to intentionally come in overweight for the weigh-in on September 15, he’s going to need to drain down from the 180s or 190s, or whatever his current weight is, for him to get down to 160 for the weigh-in. Losing that kind of weight is going to be difficult task for Canelo. He might be able to do it, but it could hurt him during the fight against Golovkin on September 16 by leaving him too weak to fight a fast pace fight. Losing that kind of weight and then putting it back on, it’s incredibly hard on a fighter’s body. And then to go into a fast paced fight, it could prove to be impossible for Canelo. That’s why it’s in Canelo’s best interest to try and knockout Golovkin in the early rounds, because if he fails to KO him early, he could run out of gas and take a beating.
”Maybe, I want,” said Golovkin in talking about wanting a KO of Alvarez. “I need 1 round. I got a couple of ideas. Big gift,” said Golovkin.
Golovkin wants to give the fans a “big gift” on Saturday. That means he’s going to turn this fight into an old fashioned war like he did in his fight against Kell Brook last September. Brook was able to use the ring to move away from Golovkin. Brook could only move for so long, however, before Golovkin finally caught up to him and stopped him in round 5 after hurting him with a body shot. Brook was doing a good job of avoiding the big punches from Golovkin during many of the rounds by using movement, and not presenting a stationary target for him to hit. However, in the 5th, Golovkin caught up to Brook and sunk a right hand dead center to solar plexuses. Brook dropped his hands immediately and stopped throwing punches. The fight was essentially over from that point. Brook dashed off to the other side of the ring, took a ton of shots from Golovkin before his trainer Dominic Ingle threw in the towel. Canelo can’t do what Brook did by using movement, because he doesn’t have the legs or the frame to get away from Golovkin.
Canelo is going to be forced to stand and have a dog fight on Saturday. If Canelo can win that kind of fight, then he’ll be the new IBF, IBO and WBA middleweight champion. If Canelo cannot handle a brawl with Golovkin, then he’ll suffer his first knockout loss of his career, and he’ll be in the same position that Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez is in terms of his career. Like Gonzalez, Canelo is now fighting in a weight class that is not designed for his body size. Canelo is trying to get around that by putting on a lot of muscle weight that he hasn’t tested in combat. “Chocolatito” didn’t bulk up like Canelo has, but it probably wouldn’t have helped him anyway. If Canelo gets knocked out by Golovkin, he’ll be faced with the choice of either staying at 160 and potentially suffer additional knockout losses against the top dogs in the division like Danny Jacobs, Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyanchenko, or he can move back down to his self-created catch-weight division at 155 lbs. to continue to fight guys from the 147, 154 and 160 lb. divisions at the 155 lb. weight. It would obviously be a move that would signal failure on Canelo’s part, but at least his career wouldn’t be over. Canelo can do well at 155 fighting guys that are carefully selected by his promoters at Golden Boy for him to fight.
”Everyone will remember this fight. It is the biggest fight of all,” said Golovkin.
Yes, it sounds Golovkin intends on turning his fight against Canelo into a real war to wear him down and stop him. Golovkin has clearly sized Canelo up from watching his past fights alongside his trainer Abel Sanchez, and he knows what he sees in watching the Mexican star. Golovkin likely can smell blood in the water, and he’s ready to go after Canelo like a shark on Saturday night to rip him to pieces in front of the millions of boxing fans that will be watching the contest on HBO PPV and from elsewhere around the world. Like the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor fight, which took place on August 26, there will be many millions of fans that will be tuning in to view the Canelo-GGG fight on September 16th.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya is predicting over 3 million PPV buys on HBO for Saturday. While De La Hoya has been a little overly ambitious in the past when it’s come to his predictions for PPV buys, he could very well be right about this one. There’s a tremendous amount of interest in the Canelo vs. Golovkin. This is the biggest middleweight bout since the 1980s. We’re talking 30 years since the Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard fight. Canelo and Golovkin could be even bigger than that, because the fight is monetized on HBO PPV, and it’s been well marketed to the masses in the boxing world.
The significance of the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight is huge. The winner of the match will be viewed as the best fighter at 160. But more importantly, the winner will see their popularity skyrocket in the boxing world. It’ll obviously give Golovkin a huge boost with popularity, and it could finally turn him into a PPV attraction. Thus far, Golovkin has been unable to show that he’s got enough of a fan base to bring in a lot of PPV buys like Canelo Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. But if Golovkin is able to knockout Canelo and add his scalp to his growing resume of fine pelts, it’s going to do wonders for his career. De La Hoya is already hinting that a rematch will take place between Canelo and Golovkin, as long as the fight this Saturday isn’t too one-sided.
It might not be in Golovkin’s best interest to knockout Canelo if he wants a rematch. But I think even if Canelo gets knocked out, he’ll want a rematch with Triple G. Like Roman Gonzalez, Canelo has too much pride to walk away from a defeat without trying to avenge it. It’ll be a risky thing for Canelo to take a second fight against Golovkin if he gets knocked out this Saturday, but he may not have any other choice. Canelo’s loyal boxing fans wouldn’t respect him if he didn’t at least try and avenge the loss. The fans will obviously forgive Canelo if he moves on after losing to Golovkin twice, but they won’t be happy if he doesn’t try and avenge a loss on Saturday.