Pound for Pound Supremacy: Canelo vs. Golovkin, “The Right Timing”

By: Gary Todd

After all the talk, we are finally just days away from the biggest fight in the sport of boxing. This is without doubt, the biggest fight in the middle weight division for over a decade. In the 130 year history of the middle weight division , there has been some cracking match ups, as in , Hearns v Hagler, Trinidad v Joppy, Graziano v Zale, Martinez v Chavez Jnr, Monzon v Valdez, Benn v Eubank, and Hagler v Leonard.


Photo Credit: Rich Kane/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

The list could go on and on and on. These fights were a boxing fans dream. Boxers, fighters, punchers, slickster’s, brawlers, all brought together at the right time, to give the fans what they craved for. Golovkin v Canelo will go down in the history books as one of those fights.

There has been so much written about these two fighters, about this fight, and also who will win.

I feel this is a tremendous match up, in terms of the way these two champions go about their business in the ring. Of course they are both dangerous , both have great boxing skills and solid technique , and both of them have power , and they don’t just stop their opponents, they take them out in bone crunching , scary fashion. It’s billed as “Supremacy” and that is exactly what this fight is all about.

It’s a prize fight, but this goes way beyond the money. This is bragging rights at its best. This is pound for pound greatness. This is all about their own legacy, and to go down in the history books as one of the all time greats in the 160 pound division, and also , in the sport of boxing.

Gennady Golovkin [ 37 fights, 33 kos ] made his debut in 2006, after a brilliant amateur career, representing his country in the World championships, and winning Silver in 2004, at the summer Olympic games in Greece. Fighting out of Germany, Golovkin, dismantled, and hammered his way into the pro’s, destroying all who came before him, before finally making the move across the Atlantic, to chase, and live the American dream, and in doing so, sent shivers through the middleweight division, giving contenders and champions nightmares , that would never leave them.

Daniel Geale, Martin Murray, David Lemieux, Kell Brook, and Daniel Jacobs would all have the same nightmare, that is GGG.

Canelo Alvarez [ 51 fights, 1 loss, 1 draw ] made his debut in 2005, at the age of 15, fighting grown , seasoned, Mexican brawlers , and like Golovkin, he fought for very little money. The reward wasn’t the money, he loved to fight. Canelo dispatched all comers, and gradually fought his way up from fighting in beer halls, to fighting in stadiums to thousands of his adoring fans. To say he was a star in boxing , was an understatement. This guy was a super star.

With his popularity at an all time high, he had 43 fights under his belt when he was matched to fight Floyd Mayweather. I had travelled over from Sydney, Australia to see the fight, as I thought Canelo would give Mayweather a tough fight, and I thought he had the tools to give the “Money “ man a hard night at the office.

It was evident after the 3rd round, he would not , as he just didn’t attack, and was tentative and far too economical with his offence.

Although beaten, he would come back, and come back stronger, beating, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Austin Trout, Amir Khan and Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr, to elevate himself to greatness once again.

In the last 2 years, there has been a lot of talk on whether these two champions would ever fight. Canelo fighting at 160, seemed too far fetched to some, but most of us thought it had to happen. Was the weight ever the issue, ? No. This was all about timing, the right timing, and Oscar De La Hoya now obviously thinks that the timing is just right for his fighter, that his man is experienced, and is big enough, and is mentally tough enough to handle the pressure and power of Gennady Golovkin.

With Golovkin having an 89% ko percentage, and Canelo having a decent ko ratio of around 70%, you would think on paper that this fight won’t go the distance. I think this really depends on Canelo and what he does. GGG only fights one way, which is to seek and destroy.

He will have no problem taking one of his opponents punches , firstly to see if they can punch, before he unleashes his own, which usually either forces his opponent to crumble, or go into a shell , protecting, defending, and trying to swerve off huge body and head attacks.

Canelo can be a slow starter, a patient, almost calculating , come forward fighter who has great combinations, using fast hands , particularly to his opponents head and body. If he looks at Golovkin’s fights, he will see that the champion from Karaganda, Kazakhstan has no head movement, and can be hit with uppercuts. To win, Canelo has to get himself into the position, that he can throw the uppercut, followed up with the hooks to the body and the head . If he can, he just might have enough to be the first man to drop and stop GGG.

Gennady Golovkin is blessed with an “ x-men” type of power , and also a granite chin. He has great movement, and cuts off the ring exceptionally well, making great fighters panic into making mistakes. When they do, he backs them into the ropes and goes to work, hammering them with such ferocity, and bad intention punches to the body, and the head. Not too much finesse, just pure aggression, and cerebral carnage.
If Canelo starts slow, GGG has to take full advantage of this, throwing his powerful left jab, followed by his right huge hand, to pummel the Mexican’s face, and to take his heart. Golovkin has to do this to win. Canelo can’t fight going backwards, and he leaves himself wide open to the right hook or overhand right , almost every time he throws his left hook. GGG has a crunching overhand right, and if he connects, it will set the tempo of the fight and also into the later rounds. Another question is, can Canelo fight for 3 minutes of every round.? I would say no. If he doesn’t against Golovkin, he will be in serious trouble. Canelo fights well, and throws fantastic, eye catching combinations, but he only fights in spurts . Golovkin fights , almost robotic in the sense, that he focuses on a target, adjusts his feet to make the right adjustment , to then hammer home his own devastating attack .

The fight itself is one of those, “what if” pick em fights. On paper, Canelo has everything going for him. He is 8 years younger, experienced, probably faster, has great combination punches, and on fight night, he will be a big , strong middle weight fighter, possibly even heavier than Golovkin, once hydrated. Golovkin is 35 years old, and there is a lot of people thinking he is “ on the slide” as a fighter. Is this just the timing is right , for Canelo ?

My prediction

Tough, hard fight . Mexican pride, and all the marbles to play for. I think Gennady Golovkin wins in late rounds, breaking Canelo down to the body, winning by a TKO in 8th round.

Gary Todd has been involved in all aspects of the sport of boxing , and he is the proud author of his books on World champions , and their workout’s, “ Workout’s from boxing’s greatest champs” , volumes 1 and 2.

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