Does Saul “Canelo” Alvarez Deserve a Rematch with GGG Golovkin?
By: Ken Hissner
This writer’s favorite boxer today is none other than Gennady “GGG” Golovkin who holds the WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO titles in the middleweight division. He just came off of a disputed draw with former super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and there is talk of a Golovkin-Alvarez rematch.
Golovkin had his toughest match as champion in March defeating a questionable overweight Danny Jacobs. If Alvarez deserves a rematch with Golovkin than what does Jacobs deserve? Too many writers and fans have been critical of Golovkin who comes from Kazakhstan and lives in L.A.
Golovkin was a Silver Medalist in the 2004 Olympics. In his eighteenth fight in August of 2010 he stops Milton Nunez, 21-1-1 for the interim WBA middleweight title. In his next fight in December 2010 he stops Nilson Julio Tapia, 14-2-1 for the vacant WBA title. Tapia had defeated Jorge Sebastian Heiland, 16-1, defending his WBA Fedelatin title to earn this fight. Golovkin made 13 title defenses of the WBA title and added the interim WBC title stopping Marco Antonio Rubio, 59-6-1, in October of 2014. When he met David Lemieux, 34-1 who in his previous fight won the vacant IBF title defeating Hassan Ndam Njkam, 31-1, who is now the WBA No. 1 contender, he had his second belt.
Alvarez in March of 2011 wins the WBC Super welterweight title and defends it 5 times and in his next defense he wins the WBA title in April of 2013 defeating Austin Trout, 26-0. In his next fight in September he loses a lopsided decision on this writer’s scorecard though two judges and one that needed glasses had it a draw for a majority win.
In November of 2015 he defeated Miguel Cotto for the WBC middleweight title though only weighing 155 lbs. Golovkin by then had the interim WBC title. Alvarez didn’t want to meet Golovkin at that time so he gives up the title. In September of 2016 he wins the WBO super welterweight title stopping Liam Smith, 23-0-1. At that time the Alvarez camp claimed they wanted to fight Golovkin. Meanwhile that same month Golovkin stops IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, 36-0, in the UK.
In March WBA World middleweight champion Danny Jacobs, 32-1, gives Golovkin a run for his money losing a close decision. At the day before the fight weigh-in both boxers make 160. The day of the fight weigh-in Golovkin adds 10 lbs. moving up to 170. Jacobs refuses to get re-weighed so he must have been at least 180? Jacobs fought the entire fight to the surprise of this writer southpaw. This writer had it 7-5 in rounds for Golovkin. Suddenly WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders, 24-0, decides he wants to fight Golovkin. Was it because as a southpaw he felt Jacobs did well so why not me?
In his next fight Alvarez finally goes in over 155 at 165 and defeats Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., 50-2-1, in May of 2017, over 12 rounds. It was not an impressive performance on neither boxer’s part. Instead of Golovkin going for all the titles against Saunders he decides to go for the big cash cow in Alvarez in September. On the same day in the UK Saunders decisions Willie Monroe, Jr., 21-2, who Golovkin had stopped over 2 years previously.
The fight that Oscar de La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions predicted a war from the opening round didn’t quite turn out that way. It seems when you feel the power of Golovkin opponents seem to go to “plan B”. In the case of Alvarez he decided to “run” and fight when he was forced to. If Golovkin would have fought the way Alvarez did they would have called him a “coward!” This writer had it 8-4 in rounds for Golovkin. As the scores were being announced giving Golovkin the well-deserved win from the first judge comes a 118-110 from a judge whose scorecard this writer would call at best “questionable!” Then the final judge’s score was a draw.
Was it another black eye for boxing?
Now Tom Loeffler who promotes Golovkin may have second thoughts of a return match being held again in Nevada. I wonder why? Are you kidding? This writer’s advice to the Golovkin team would be to have Golovkin go for the final belt of Saunders while Alvarez can fight the winner of Jacobs and Luis Arias, 18-0, bout in November. Jacobs is currently ranked No. 2 by the WBC, and No. 5 by the WBO, WBA and IBF. While Arias is ranked No. 9 by the WBC, No. 6 by the IBF, No. 12 by the WBO and No. 14 by the WBA. In the amateurs he split with Philadelphia’s No. 1 WBO super middleweight Jesse Hart.
Did the Golovkin-Alvarez fight live up to the hype? Not in this writer’s opinion.
It takes “two to tango” and Alvarez wasn’t interested in obliging the harder hitting Golovkin. Where will the Golovkin-Alvarez II bout be held? Could it possibly at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY? Let’s hope if they do fight again next it will not be in a state that allows a 49-0 former world champion fight a rank amateur MMA fighter who they should have never considered an official bout.