By Jeff Aranow, first uploaded on Boxing News 24.
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) has an entirely different mindset for his fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) this Saturday night compared to in his last match against Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs on March 18 of this year.
GGG says he wanted a “decision fight” against to get ready for the potential of him having to do a 12 rounder against Canelo, but he’s not thinking of going the distance with the popular 27-year-old Golden Boy star Canelo. Golovkin says he absolutely wants to turn his fight against Canelo into a “drama show” and knock him out. Golovkin sounds very committed to knocking out Canelo, and not letting him survive the distance so that it can go to the judges.
Golovkin’s close call with Jacobs likely has turned him off towards letting the fight go to the judges. Golovkin won a close decision over Jacobs by the scores 114-113, 115-112 and 115-112. Jacobs has been complaining ever since that he should have been given the decision over Triple G, and he wants to face him again, even if he loses to Canelo. The last thing Golovkin needs is to have Canelo doing the same thing by complaining to the boxing media and fans month after month about how he deserved the decision against Golovkin.
Canelo-Golovkin will be televised this Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view starting at 8:00 p.m. ET, from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The venue favors Canelo, as he’s got a lot of his fans that live in Nevada and a lot more will be making the trek from Arizona, California and Texas. Golovkin doesn’t mind, because his goal is to make sure the judges don’t have the power over him to score it against him. By knocking Canelo out, Golovkin will turn the judges into spectators.
”My last fight against Daniel Jacobs; Daniel, he’s a very good boxer,” said GGG to Boxnation. ”I need 12 rounds because I understand my next fight may even be bigger, maybe with Canelo. I needed 12 rounds, and right now I’m ready for 12 rounds. Right now, it’s a different story. I know Canelo. He knows me. It’s a different boxing IQ, a different style, Canelo and Jacobs. Right now, it’s a new story, more serious, more interesting. Boxing IQ, he’s a very good fighter. He’s a strong guy, he’s very compact,” Golovkin said about Canelo.
It sounds a lot like Golovkin, 35, is saying that he allowed Jacobs to survive the full 12 rounds so that he could get a “decision fight” to help improve his stamina, and show that he could go the full 12 rounds. I’m sure that’s not going to go over too well with Jacobs, given that he thinks that he forced Golovkin to go the distance with his boxing skills and hard punches.
If Golovkin truly did fight at a slower pace so that he could carry Jacobs for the 12-round decision win, then it would be a slap in the face for Jacobs. But it would also help explain why Golovkin didn’t go for the finisher after he knocked Jacobs down in round 4 o the contest. It was the oddest thing to see. Golovkin normally jumps on his opponents after he knocks them down and quickly finishes them off.
In the Jacobs fight, Golovkin did the direct opposite of that after he knocked the 30-year-old New Yorker down in round. Golovkin backed away after Jacobs got up, and letting him fight without pressuring him. It looked like Golovkin with a sparring partner that he was trying to get rounds in with. The boxing fans at ringside at Madison Square Garden witnessing the fight seemed to be as perplexed as I was at the way that GGG backed off, and didn’t look to finish Jacobs. It was the same thing during the entire fight. Golovkin didn’t fight like he wanted to KO Jacobs. He fought like he was carrying him the whole time. In round 10, Golovkin hurt Jacobs with an uppercut to the head that had him staggering. Again, Golovkin didn’t go after Jacobs to finish him off, and he survived the round. Everything points to Golovkin letting Jacobs survive instead of trying to knock him out the way that Dmitry Pirog did in his fast 6th round knockout win in 2010. Pirog showed no respect for Jacobs. He was clowning him the entire fight, and making it look easy. It was too easy for Pirog. Jacobs showed only power, but Pirog had no respect for his power or him. He teed off on Jacobs until he went down in the 6th. Like in his loss to Golovkin, Jacobs complained afterwards about how he shouldn’t have lost. He’s wrong. Jacobs was down on the canvas, with his eyes closed, and the referee had no choice but to stop the fight when seeing him in that condition.
”He’s like a bull. He’s a smart guy, a young guy. I think so, yes,” said Golovkin when asked if Canelo is his strongest opponent yet in his career.
Describing Canelo as being like a “bull” is a very good comparison by Triple G. Canelo does resemble a bull when he fights, and with him now looking to be weighing in the 180s or 190s, he’s even more like a bull. Canelo’s physique looks a lot different now compared to in his last fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6. Canelo has obviously been hitting the weights hard and eating well for him to add that kind of muscle weight in 4 months. It’s tough for people to add 10-15 lbs. of muscle in 1 year.
For Canelo to seemingly put that kind of weight on in only 4 months, it suggests that he’s been starving himself to keep his weight artificially low all these years for him to campaign as a junior middleweight at 154 or mini-middleweight at 155 for his catch-weight fights in the middleweight division.
“Jacobs is a different class. Right now everything is different,” said Golovkin.
In some ways, Jacobs is better than Canelo. He’s got more natural size to his frame without being bulky, he’s fast, powerful and he moves incredibly well. Canelo would have a tough time beating Jacobs if the two of them were to fight each other. The only thing you must worry about with Jacobs is whether he would do enough to win a decision over Canelo. If Jacobs fights in a timid manner like he did against Golovkin for the first 6 rounds, he would fall quickly behind Canelo in the fight and would need a knockout to get a victory. It’s not easy to knockout Canelo because he’s hard to hit, and he takes a good shot. Jacobs could be taking a risk if he unloaded on Canelo with a flurry of shots the way he did against Peter Quillin in his 1st round knockout win in 2015.
”I believe my next fight against Canelo is not a decision, because he knows me and I know him,” said Golovkin. “I believe he’s ready 100 percent for this fight, because this is true fight. Who wins is No.1 pound-for-pound, No.1 in the world. I hope, yes,” said Golovkin when asked if he plans on making his fight against Canelo a ‘drama show’ on Saturday night. Absolutely, yes, everybody wants drama show.”
The way that Golovkin is talking right now about wanting a KO, he’s either going to knockout Canelo or he’s going to end up suffering that fate himself this Saturday. Canelo might want to keep his chin tucked this Saturday night, because he’s going to be getting shelled from round 1 until the bitter end of the fight. It seems clear that the game plan for Golovkin is to force Canelo to work harder than he’s ever had to work in any of his fights. That’s not going to be easy for Canelo, because he’s coasted in a lot of his fights against the likes of Amir Khan, Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Liam Smith, Miguel Cotto and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Only the Kirkland fight was what you can consider a fast-paced fight, but that one ended early in round 3. Kirkland didn’t have the punch resistance, conditioning or the defensive skills to hang with Canelo for any length of time. Canelo was lighter back then, and a little more youthful looking. Canelo is now 27, and he’s a lot heavier thanks to the bulk that he packed on his frame during the latest training camp. If Golovkin pushed a frenetic pace against Canelo, it’s going to be ‘do or die’ fight for him. Canelo will either knockout Golovkin in the early rounds like he did with Kirkland, or he’s going to get worn down and stopped for the first time in his career. Golovkin isn’t a knockout artist for nothing. He has it down to an art in how to take apart a fighter and knock them out. He’s not going to be worried about Canelo having packed on a lot of needless muscle weight, which is probably a stupid thing for him to have done for this fight.
”This is true fight. This is not fake fight like Canelo-Chavez or like another fight. This is very serious fight,” said Golovkin in taking a jab at Canelo for his recent mismatch against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Golovkin is right about the Canelo fight being a true fight compared to the event fight between Canelo and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. That was another Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor fight. When you break it down, Chavez Jr. was probably even worse than McGregor was for the Mayweather fight. At least McGregor was in shape and making a fight of it. Chavez Jr. looked like a guy that had been half starved during training camp to take off a lot of weight. If the reports of Chavez Jr. being 225 lbs. at the start of his training camp are true, he didn’t belong in the ring with Canelo.
Golden Boy Promotions should have known how heavy Chavez Jr. was before they picked him out. They got to know things like that so they can pick the best opponents for their fighter and not setup mismatches that will only anger the boxing public. Canelo has not been fighting the quality for some time in boxing. The only good fighters that Canelo has fought in the last 3 years were Miguel Cotto and Erislandy Lara. Cotto isn’t what he used to be, and there are better guys at 154 than him right now. Lara didn’t throw enough power punches for him to get the decision against Canelo, and with the way 2 of the judges were scoring the fight, he probably wouldn’t have won even if he had thrown a ton of shots.
Canelo appears to be a good fighter, but we don’t know how good he is because he hasn’t faced the better fighters at 154 and 160. He’s been fighting guys that were considered safe choices like Chavez Jr., Amir Khan, Liam Smith, and Cotto. If Canelo cannot handle the bombardment that Golovkin is going to be doing on Saturday, it would be a good idea for his trainers Chepo Reynoso and Eddie Reynoso to throw in the towel to pull him out of the fight as quickly as he can so he doesn’t take needless punishment. Canelo still has a lengthy career ahead of him, and he can make a lot of money facing almost anyone, as we’ve seen recently with his mismatches against Chavez Jr., Khan and Smith being sold on HBO PPV.