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Can’t Be Surprised When Canelo Wins a Close Fight

By: Sean Crose

The first fight was good. The second one was better. Gennday Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez traded explosive shots at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night. Both men, at the end, looked completely exhausted. Both men had been cut. Neither fighter can sustain many more wars like this one. No matter. Vegas remained defiant in its love of Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night by rewarding him with a majority decision win. It unquestionably was controversial. No matter. Vegas stuck by it’s hero. HBO’s team also pretty much stuck by its hero. Many fans will feel they got the finger. Golovkin is now damaged goods. It is what it is.

Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account

Make no mistake about it, Canelo did good. Very good. The problem, as some will see it, is that Canelo is a favored child who will always, no matter what, be beloved and favored by those in power. Perhaps Canelo truly deserved the decision. Many unquestionably felt he did. But one can’t help but feel it wouldn’t matter if everyone on the planet felt Golovkin won – the powers that be will support Canelo in perpetuity. And this, frankly, is a major problem for boxing. But it always has been. It’s a sport that plays the favorites. And it looks like it always will. Don’t like it? Watch UFC. That, it appears, is the over-riding mentality of those behind the sport.

The truth is, had Canelo never been seen as a fighter who is favored by those in power, tonight’s decision by the judges would have been widely accepted. It was nothing if not a close fight, after all. Indeed, it was a brutal, brutal twelve round affair between two men who dug as deep as they could and perhaps even deeper. Make no mistake, Canelo deserves a ton of credit here. But so does GGG, who most feel has been denied credit on at least one occasion. So, arguably, does Erislandy Lara, who many felt bested Canelo a few years back. So does Austin Trout, for that matter. For he, too lost a razor sharp battle to the red haired star.

This isn’t to say to Canelo should have lost any of those bouts. It’s simply to say that the guy pretty much bats a thousand. Even the one fight that he couldn’t have possibly won a decision in (his 2013 superbout with Floyd Mayweather), saw one judge try her best to make it happen. It ultimately comes to this: Had Saturday night’s decision gone to GGG, many would have felt Canelo had gotten robbed, and they arguably would have been well within their rights to feel that way. The bout was that close. It’s simply that boxing, particularly Vegas based boxing, seems to have a strange rule – if you don’t stop Canelo, don’t expect to win the fight.

And that’s too bad.

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