By Jim Dower, first uploaded on Boxing News 24.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has no idea what kind of punching power Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin has going for him, says HBO commentator Jim Lampley. He believes that Canelo (49-1-1, 34 KOs) is misguided with his belief that he knows how hard Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) is going to be hitting just based on the 2 sparring sessions he had with him 7 years ago.
Lampley says Canelo (49-1-1, 34 KOs) will experiencing the huge power from Triple G first hand on Saturday night just like all fighters do when they get inside the ring with the hard-hitting knockout artist from Kazakhstan.
Canelo fights Triple G this Saturday night on HBO PPV at the sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lampley isn’t sure if Canelo will be able to make it past round 3 or 4 on Saturday. He notes that Canelo is a great counter puncher, and they tend to have advantages of their opponents, but he’s not sure if Canelo will be able to stick around beyond the first quarter of the fight for him to use those advantages.
“If Canelo deludes himself into thinking he knows Gennady’s power because he sparred with him a couple of times, he’s dreaming,” said HBO commentator Jim Lampley to Fighthub. “He doesn’t know Gennady’s power. It’s a first-time experience for everybody Gennady hits. Maybe he can take it. We’ll find out,” said Lampley.
With the way Canelo is talking, he doesn’t believe Golovkin will be able to land his hard shots. He says he’s going to stand in front of him all night long and make him miss and then come back with counter shots to make him pay. However, even counter punchers get hit a lot. Juan Manuel Marquez was considered the best counter puncher of this past era, and he took a ton of punishment in his fights with Manny Pacquiao, and he lost every round to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their fight in 2009.
Mayweather took away Marquez’s counter punching by jabbing him and hitting him with pot shots. Counter punchers are limited if their opponents don’t come at them. Canelo likes his opponents to attack him so that he can land his hard-counter shots. However, when things get out of control from a guy that attacks nonstop, Canelo looks vulnerable, tires quickly and loses power on his shots.
If Golovkin attacks Canelo like a giant tsunami without stopping for every second of each round, it’s going to put Canelo in a situation where he’s going to need to take some enormous shots from Triple G. The fight could come down to which fighter can take each other’s power best.
Golovkin has an advantage with his chin. Canelo looked hurt in the James Kirkland and Austin Trout fights. Canelo only had to deal with 3 rounds against Kirkland. If Golovkin can push Canelo at the same pace, we could see a knockout, especially if Canelo starts slapping with his punches and loses his power.
“Over the long course of the fight, the counter puncher has the advantages, because he has more ways to adjust,” said Lampley. ” So Canelo can gain confidence and maybe find a way to win the fight if it goes rounds, but on the other hand if he’s out of there in the first 3 or 4 rounds, because he’s just never tasted that kind of power, I’m not shocked,” said Lampley.
Golovkin hasn’t said how he plans on fighting Canelo, but the fact that he’s talking about the fight being a “drama show,” is a pretty good indication of what he’s going to be doing on Saturday. However, Golovkin talked in the same way before his fight with David Lemieux in 2015, and he ended up boxing him for most of the fight. The boxing fans will have to wait and see what Golovkin is going to do in this fight. If he attacks Canelo nonstop like he did against Willie Monroe Jr., Kell Brook and Dominic Wade, we’re probably going to see a knockout one way or another. Canelo won’t dodge all of Golovkin’s shots.
The weight gain that Canelo has put on will not help his defense. It might make him easier to hit by Golovkin, because he’ll present a bigger target. Canelo put the weight on for a reason. He plans on slugging with Golovkin. There are no ifs or buts about it. Canelo has a new strength and conditioning coach and he obviously plans on slugging with GGG. Canelo wouldn’t have put on all the new muscles without the blessing of his 2 long-time trainers Eddie Reynoso and Chepo Reynoso. They clearly believe that Canelo’s best chance of winning the fight is if he’s big and can stand in the pocket and slug it out with Triple G.
”It’s possible that Gennady will choose to box him, but that’s a different style,” said Lampley in answering a question of whether Golovkin will elect to fight Canelo like he did David Lemieux. ”Lemieux wasn’t a counter puncher. Lemieux was a pure brawling attacker. So, Gennady wanted to go in there and say to him, ‘You’re going to be in a boxing match. You’re not going to be in a brawling, attacking fight.’ Canelo’s a counter puncher. So part of him wants Gennady to attack him. On the other hand, maybe Gennady does go in there and box him. But at the end of the day there’s got to be a moment where Gennady turns on the fire and says, ‘I’m going out there with my power. That’s what he’s about,” said Lampley.
Golovkin will attack Canelo at some point in the fight. This fight could play out like Golovkin’s fight against Gabriel Rosado. Golovkin had his way with Rosado. For the most part, Rosado was playing it careful by moving a lot, and not mixing it up. In the 5th round, Golovkin took some punishment from Rosado when he suddenly started to fight hard. But in the 6th, Golovkin hurt Rosado immediately with a right uppercut that caused him to get on his bike and run. Canelo doesn’t move a lot in his fights, and it’s hard to imagine him doing that in this fight. Canelo can’t fight passively like he did against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. Canelo seemed to give up mentally after the first quarter of the fight. Canelo didn’t try and win until the last three rounds.
Golovkin surprised a lot of people in the boxing world when he came out and boxed Lemieux for the first 7 rounds instead of punching with him. Golovkin started slugging with Lemieux in round 8, and he stopped him with a body shot. Canelo likes to land a right hand over the top when his opponents jab him. I’m not sure if Canelo will be able to land his right-hand counter over Golovkin’s jab though. If Canelo lands the right, Golovkin will probably come with a left hook to the body, and he’ll test whether he can take those kinds of shots.
This isn’t going to be like Canelo’s last fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in which he’s beating up a weak and beleaguered opponent, who isn’t even trying to win. Chavez Jr. was letting Canelo hit him all night long without trying to retaliate with his own punches. That was an embarrassment, and it reflected badly on Golden Boy Promotions for selecting Chavez Jr. in the first place instead of picking out a good fighter from the super middleweight division to fight like Callum Smith, George Groves or Badou Jack. Those are true super middleweights that are in their prime. Chavez Jr. hasn’t fought well since before his loss to Sergio Martinez in 2012.