By: Hans Themistode
For the past 14 years, current IBF Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin has been viewed as the better fighter each time he has stepped foot inside of the ring. Yet, when the knockout artist climbs through those ropes on September 12th, against Canelo Alvarez, he won’t be.
With both Alvarez and Golovkin having agreed to a third contest, things appear to be different this time around.
Unlike Golovkin’s previous 42 fights of his career, he isn’t expected to walk away from a third contest against Alvarez with the victory. At least, according to the bookies.
At the moment, Golovkin is viewed as a +200 underdog. Meaning, a $100 bet would bring the winner an additional $200. Alvarez on the other hand, comes in at -260. Gamblers looking to make at least $100 on him would have to risk at least $260. These recent numbers are a far cry from their first contests.
In September of 2017, oddsmakers gave Golovkin a slight edge at -150 over Alvarez. To many who saw their first bout, the odds were justified as Golovkin seemed to win a clear decision. Yet, as is often the case in boxing, the judges saw things completely differently. Sparing Alvarez a loss and instead handing him a split decision draw.
When the two ran things back one more time one year later, Golovkin was once again considered the favorite. Checking in at -180. Fans of Canelo on the night found themselves jumping for joy when their +140 underdog squeaked by with a majority decision victory.
Now, with even more mileage on the soon to be 38 year old legs of Golovkin, Alvarez is expected to do more than just squeak by.
With the most recent performances of the current IBF champ, it isn’t exactly hard to see why.
In June of 2018, Golovkin looked as dominant as ever against the unheralded Steve Rolls. Beating down and stopping him in the fourth round. Golovkin’s next ring appearance however, wasn’t nearly as easy as many predicted it would be.
Golovkin struggled mightily against Sergiy Derevyanchenko in an October contest in Madison Square Garden, in New York City. The results spewed by the judges on the night may have resulted in a unanimous decision victory for the knockout star, but many believed he shouldn’t have walked away with the win.
Now, for the first time in his career, Golovkin will be viewed as the second best fighter in the ring on September 12th.
Before either man makes their way to a third contest, they need to take care of business first.
For Alvarez, a Super Middleweight contest against Billy Joe Saunders is first on his agenda. Golovkin on the other hand, has a date with his mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta up next. Provided they both win their respective bouts, which isn’t exactly a guarantee, the two will meet later this year.
Whether Golovkin wins by first round stoppage or dominant 12 round decision, doesn’t seem to truly matter. Come September 12th, against Canelo Alvarez, he will be a decided underdog for the first time in his career.