GGG-Canelo: Did Golovkin Have the Better Poker Face?
By: Charles Jay
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are set for their rematch on September 15 in Las Vegas, which is a year minus a day from the first meeting, although that wasn’t the plan, as you know. The numbers from sportsbooks around the world have GGG favored, but in a very competitive fight; the odds most prevalent on him are -175 (a little higher some other places), while Alvarez fetches anywhere from +140 to +160.
Ah, sports betting – that’s one pastime very popular on the Vegas strip.
Another pastime is poker, and that looks just like what these guys have been playing – through their representatives – in the negotiations leading up to the final agreement.
Both went all-in. So who got the better of the pot?
Well, Alvarez’s hand seemed to have weakened; he has been through the wringer as far as flak for his failing two drug tests, and no one seems to be buying the excuse that he ate some contaminated meat, although in Mexico that would seem to be altogether possible. Canelo’s manager is Chapo Reynoso, a former butcher.
Should he have known? Oh, the drama.
When this rematch was originally planned, GGG was going to get 35% of the pie, which was five percent more than he got for the previous fight. Of course, that’s before all the trouble started.
So the way this went is that, as the fight was rescheduled, Golovkin now wanted a 50% cut, since he was the champion.
Ultimately GGG settled for 45%, which was not a big concession on his part, and a big gain after getting no better than a draw, but then Alvarez’s side, presumably for the purpose of calling his bluff, wanted to cut him down to 42.5%, and set a deadline for him to take it and like it. Golovkin wasn’t coming off his figure. So we’re right there at the 55%-45% split. According to GGG’s promoter Tom Loeffler, “It was all about the principle and respect for him as the champion.”
Was it? Maybe, but not all the way.
If it was all about the principle, he may never have budged from 50%, especially as he insisted later that Canelo didn’t deserve to have 5% or 7.5% conceded back to him.
And looking at the other side, we have been hearing this theme lately about how Canelo’s image needs to be “rehabilitated,” but did he take such a hit that it was with 10 to 15 points of damage in terms of negotiating leverage?
Oscar De La Hoya, who holds the promotional paper on Alvarez, didn’t think so. He’s been maintaining that “Canelo is bigger and more popular than ever.” He probably won’t be far out of the ballpark when all is said and done.
Sure, there are probably a lot of Mexicans who were disappointed in him last September; not so much for the result but for the performance. It was not necessarily “blood and guts” and Alvarez did more than his fair share of retreating. But of all the boxers active today, Canelo is among the top two or three when it comes to bringing a built-in audience to the table, and it’s doubtful that his countrymen will want to see this fight any less. The media isn’t likely to give it less coverage either; in fact, the angle of the failed drug tests adds an element that might actually create more interest. It’s important to point out that this time around, the fight (which drew 1.3 million paid subscribers) does not come on the heels of a Mayweather-McGregor bout, which was a very expensive event for the more mainstream audience they’ll be trying to snag here. The point is, will revenues take a hit because of Canelo’s “image problem,” or will they instead experience a spike because of that and other factors?
Let’s push our point across even further. The business of Pay Per View (PPV) in boxing may not seem fair when the champion is taking less than the challenger, but it’s actually quite democratic, in the sense that the guy who can produce more fans and followers will pull in more revenue. Is there any question about Alvarez being that guy? If you ever watch those documentaries with wrestlers of years gone by, you’ll notice they always talk about the concept of “drawing money.” Well, same principle at work here. The guy who can do more of that should have more leverage.
And the fact is, Golovkin couldn’t carry a PPV on his own. He just couldn’t drive the big guarantees as the A-side of a matchup. Impatient after Alvarez got suspended, he fought a relatively known quantity in Vanes Martirosyan, who was handpicked not just because he was the right kind of opponent but because he had better “name” value than other alternatives. And GGG made a grand total of $1 million.
Loeffler was talking about a backup plan for Golovkin, whereby he’d fight Billy Joe Saunders in Los Angeles on August 25, and would be more than happy to do that if Canelo wouldn’t come to terms. But even though there are some provisional odds at online sportsbooks that have Golovkin priced at -450, it’s still the kind of fight that may have given him more trouble than expected. And from the standpoint of money, what would that have really produced?
When you go beyond that, who else is there for him to make a bundle of money with? The Charlo brothers? Maybe, if he fought them on the same night. Other than that, pickings are slim.
So you wonder whether Alvarez’s people (Eric Gomez with Golden Boy in particular) could have stood firm, even at 35% or 40%, and still landed Golovkin’s name on a deal. That may well have been the case. But despite De La Hoya’s assertions, they may have valued the whole “rehabilitation” angle about as much as many of the media people do.
Who knows – maybe Alvarez is the guy who’s really fighting with principle on his mind, and was willing to pay for it.
And if he got bluffed, he wound up second best.
Canelo-GGG Reportedly Does Over A Million Pay Per View Buys
By: Sean Crose
Since the publishing of this article Golden Boy Promotions released the following statement:
While everyone at Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions appreciate the media’s recognition that the fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin was an enormous success, the figure that is being cited by some news outlets is simply inaccurate.
Not only are satellite operators and cable companies still in the process of compiling data, that number does not include online PPV sales through RingTV.com, Sony Play Station, and Sling TV which far exceeded any previous fight featuring Canelo or Golovkin. The bottom line is that we expect the final numbers to be well north of current reports, and we will make a decision on reporting those numbers when we know they are accurate.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that this month’s middleweight extravaganza between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin brought in 1.3 million pay per view buys. That’s a very impressive sum for any pay per view event, though some may be disappointed that the fight, which went down on September 16th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, didn’t perform even more strongly on the pay per view front. Any number over a million when it comes to pay per view sales is indicative of a clear success, however. This is particularly true in the case of Canelo and the fighter known as GGG.
Photo Credit: USA Today
To begin with, neither individual speaks English well. That’s a serious PR issue for any boxer looking to crack through towards mainstream success in the United States, where English is the dominant language. The fact that Mexico’s Alvarez and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin managed to draw in as many viewers as they did speaks volumes to both their in-the-ring skill sets and their likable personalities. It can be fairly stated that each fighter is a man of few words. Yet Canelo, and particularly Golovkin, have emerged as pleasant on-air personalities once the fists stop flying. Rather than engaging in outrageous pre-fight theatrics, the two middleweights came across as mature professionals in the leadup to their bout. Call it the anti-MayMac affect.
Speaking of what was clearly the pop culture event of 2017, last month’s Mayweather-McGregor battle may have also had an impact on the pay per view performance of Canelo-GGG. Lots of money – LOTS of money – was coughed up for fans to watch Floyd and Conor throw down in what was essentially a one sided but entertaining affair. That bout, which reportedly came within a hair of breaking the all time pay per view record (set by Mayweather’s 2015 battle with Manny Pacquiao) had the potential to either draw attention to or take attention away from the Canelo-Golovkin battle. Yet it remains to be seen what kind of impact, if any, the August 26th blockbuster had on the September 16th card.
One thing most analysts and fans agree on, however, is the argument that Canelo and Golovkin put on a highly entertaining affair that, unlike Mayweather-McGregor, didn’t skimp on showcasing high level ring techniques. The match, which was declared a draw, instantly begged for a sequel, one which is apparently already in the works. That inevitable pay per view card should draw in quite a good number, itself. At the moment, it appears either May or September will be the date for Canelo-Golovkin II. Both months have major Mexican holidays and are the months Canelo traditionally likes to fight during.
HBO PPV Undercard Results: Diaz, Martin, and De La Hoya Win Uneventful Decisions
By: William Holmes
Three bouts were televised on tonight’s HBO PPV offering before the start of the main event between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
The undercard fight between Nicola Adams and Alexandra Vlajk was called off after Alexandra Vlajk failed the pre-fight medical. Three fights were on the untelevised undercard in front of a nearly empty arena.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing
The first bout of the televised portion of the pay per view was between Ryan Martin (19-0) and Francisco Rojo (19-2) for the WBC Continental Americas and WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Titles.
Martin was the taller fighter and fights out of an orthodox stance, but was previously promoted by 50 Cent and has been relatively inactive the past few years.
Martin stayed busy with his jab in the opening two rounds and Rojo targeted the body, but not much action and Rojo was slightly busier than Martin.
Rojo complained to the referee about punches landing to the back of the head and Martin appeared to be shaking off ring rust. Rojo continued to come forward in the fourth and fifth rounds and was the more aggressive fighter of the two.
Martin was able to land a good double left hook to the body and head in the sixth round but that may have been his best combination of the first half of the fight. Rojo was able to momentarily stun Martin with a right cross in the seventh round and Martin was warned by the referee to keep his punches above the belt line.
Martin was warned for low blows twice in the eighth round and the referee gave Rojo time to recover, but Martin was not deducted a point. Martin connected with some good right hooks this round, but this round, like the others before it, could have been scored either way.
Martin was finally deducted a point in the ninth round for landing another low blow, but he was able to land some good combinations to the head of Rojo.
The final round was similar to the rounds previous, with Rojo pressing the action coming forward and both boxers throwing and landing, with Martin appeared to land the cleaner punches but Rojo throwing slightly more.
The judges scored it 98-91 Rojo, 96-93 Martin, and 95-94 for Martin. The crowd loudly boos the decision of the judges.
The next bout of the night started almost immediately afterwards and was between Randy Caballero (24-0) and Diego De La Hoya (19-0) for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles.
Caballero is another boxer that has not been very active in the past two years. De La Hoya was able to land good hooks to the body in the opening round but was reaching for his punches a bit. Both boxers were a little sloppy in the opening two rounds and clash of heads occurred in both the first and second round.
De La Hoya was landing the cleaner shots in the third and fourth rounds, though Caballero was able to knock De La Hoya off balance a little bit with a right hand to the chin in the fourth.
Caballero had a small shiner underneath his left eye in the fifth round and took a hard combination that forced him to retreat into the ropes a little dazed. De La Hoya continued to land good combinations in the sixth round and even pushed Caballero to the mat.
De La Hoya had a good showing in the seventh round and was able to tie up Caballero whenever he got in close.
Caballero needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came and he didn’t press the pace enough to ever come close.
Diego De La Hoya wins by decision with scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 98-92.
The final bout of the undercard was between Joseph Diaz Jr. (24-0) and Rafael Rivera (25-0-2) in a WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator.
Rivera was training for another fight when he got the call to face Diaz at the last minute.
Diaz came out aggressive in the opening two rounds but Rivera was more than willing to fire back with shots of his own. Both boxers appeared to be evenly matched early on.
Diaz was pressing the pace more by the fourth-round while Rivera was looking for his counter shots, but Diaz was the more accurate puncher.
Diaz’s accuracy carried the way in the middle rounds with the exception of the seventh, in which Rivera was able to land several hard shots on Diaz during their exchanges.
Diaz focused on the body in the eighth and ninth rounds and looked like the fresher fighter. He had a dominating tenth round and landed several hard-straight left hands on Rivera.
Even though Diaz didn’t score any knockdowns, he looked like the fresher fighter and was boxing better as the fight progressed. The championship rounds were rounds that he clearly won.
The final scores were 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Joseph Diaz.
Untelevised Undercard Quick Results:
Marlen Esparza (3-0) defeated Aracely Palacios (8-8) by scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards in the Flyweight division.
Vergil Ortiz (7-0) defeated Cesar Valenzuela (7-2) by TKO at of the 1:22 of the second round.
Serhil Bohachuk (5-0) defeated Joan Valenzuela (5-9-1) by TKO at 1:58 of the second round in the super welterweight division.
Oscar De La Hoya: Canelo-GGG Will Be “Bombs Away Right From The Start”
By: Sean Crose
Iconic boxer turned heavyweight promoter Oscar De La Hoya predicted on ESPNs First Take that this weekend’s Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin superbout will be “bombs away right from the start.” He then went on to compare Saturday’s match to the legendary 1985 middleweight battle between Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns. It’s been rightfully said that particular classic (this author’s personal all-time favorite sporting event, much less boxing match) will be hard to match, and indeed such an assertion seems to be true. Yet there appears to be more to De La Hoya’s words than just standard promotional hype.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Make no mistake about it, Canelo-GGG is the single biggest fight in combat sports. Last month’s Mayweather-McGregor shindig may well have been the hottest pop culture event of 2017, but Canelo-GGG is most certainly the year’s most significant fight. What’s more, the style of each combatant means there’s a real potential for fireworks. Both these guys can turn off the lights. Sure enough, between the two combatants – who will meet at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night – there have been a total of at least fifteen knockouts in the past five years alone. And now they’re going to face each other.
In truth, De La Hoya has taken heat from fans and the media for not making Canelo-GGG sooner. The common argument went that, since Canelo was De La Hoya’s star fighter, a fight with the feared Golovkin could potentially damage De La Hoya’s cash cow. With the fight now just days away, however, and the mainstream media reporting on the match regularly during the final leadup, such criticism has largely evaporated. And, after openly bashing the Mayweather-McGregor fight for what some fight watchers felt like was forever, De La Hoya has once again returned his focus to this weekend’s big event.
Naturally, the promoter, who himself was the biggest name in boxing during his prime, picked his man, Canelo to win. Being a good promoter, however, De La Hoya also predicted “nine or ten rounds of hell.” That may not end up being the case, as both Canelo and Golovkin know how to play chess as well as they know how to fire howitzers, but again, the potential for fireworks is definitely there and De La Hoya wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t hype that potentiality to the media and fans.
Gennady Golovkin’s Long Road To Saturday Night
By: Sean Crose
Gennady Golovkin is a long way from Kazakhstan. The 35 year old product of the former Soviet Union is now in Las Vegas for the biggest fight of the year (so long as you don’t count a certain novelty bout between an all-time great and an Irish mixed martial artist that went down a few weeks ago). Golovkin’s opponent? None other than the man who might be the current face of the sport – Saul Alvarez, better known as Canelo, a red haired Mexican star who has lost only once, and that was to the greatest boxer of his era, Floyd Mayweather.
The 2017 version of Canelo, however, is not the young man who faced the Herculean task of besting Mayweather back in 2013. For Canelo has since grown from a talented youth to a polished pro with an accomplished skill set and the power to turn off the lights at a moment’s notice. In fact, the consensus seems to be that the Canelo-GGG fight, which goes down this weekend at the T-Mobile Arena, is a coin toss. This wasn’t the case about a year ago, when most fans seemed to feel that Golovkin would mop the floor with Canelo, a fighter who actually seemed to be avoiding him. Now, though, the charges of ducking have faded off and a prime Canelo is ready to face a version of Golovkin some feel is less than his best.
For middleweight king Golovkin had a hard time of it when he bested the vastly underrated and underappreciated Daniel Jacobs last March at a sold out Madison Square Garden in New York. Sure, he beat the Brooklyn native by decision, but there were those who legitimately felt that Golovkin should have lost he fight. What’s more, there are whispers that Canelo waited until Golovkin started to look weak before agreeing to face the man in the ring. If so, it might prove to be just another case of a fighter playing it safe rather than face a top level incarnation of the man known as GGG.
“He’s been a little bit frustrated these last few years,” trainer Abel Sanchez said of Golovkin during a recent conference call to promote this weekend’s bout. “We’ve had a terrible time getting people in the ring with him,” promoter Tom Loeffler claimed on the same call. Loeffler even stated that “the other champions really weren’t willing to get in the ring with him.” Sure enough, while big names like Canelo opted to face the likes of little known Liam Smith, Golovkin was heading to places like London in order to fight welterweight titlist Kell Brook, the biggest name (and perhaps the bravest soul) available at the time.
Yet it’s also worth noting that some feel Canelo himself merely avoided Golovkin out of loyalty to his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya. Indeed, Canelo built his reputation at least in part upon a willingness to take on challenging opposition, like the slick, accomplished Erislandy Lara, who Canelo squeaked by via decision in 2014 after a tough chess match of a fight. What’s more, Canelo has exuded nothing but confidence since the match with GGG has been signed. Perhaps, one may conclude, the man feels that a great weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
One thing is certain, Canelo is – or certainly shouldn’t be – a walkover. Reasoned, objective reflection indicates that GGG has quite the challenge on his gloved hands this Saturday. That’s how it should be when it comes to a superfight, however – and yes, Saturday’s is a superfight. “A long time ago it was my dream to come to the United States,” Golovkin has said. “Right now, my dream is real.” Undoubtedly, Canelo will be eager to turn the dream into a nightmare.
Officials Picked For Canelo-GGG
By: Sean Crose
With the fight serious boxing fans have been waiting for less than a week away, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has chosen its officials for the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight superbout Saturday night at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. Dave Moretti and Adalaide Byrd, both of Nevada, have been chosen as judges, as has Connecticut’s Don Trella. The referee will be Kenny Bayless. The officials were named at a Monday morning meeting. All of the names picked are well known to fight fans. Bayless was the referee of Canelo’s last fight, against Julio Caesar Chavez Jr., back in July.
As for the judges, Moretti was scoring the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor match last month before Mayweather stopped his man in the 10th. Trella’s last big bout was in England, where he judged the Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko superfight until Joshua settled matters in the 11th. Byrd’s last notable fight was also in England, when, back in May, she judged the Errol Spence Jr-Kell Brook clash before it concluded violently in the 11th, as well. Canelo has traditionally done well with judges, even controversially getting the nod from one official after his famed, ultimately losing, battle against Floyd Mayweather back in 2013.
Canelo, however, clearly has prepared for any contingency. If the man’s physique is any indication, he obviously isn’t willing to simply survive against Golovkin in the hope that the judges will give him the nod. Indeed, much is being made of the shape the red haired star has been spotted in as the days leading up to the bout pass quickly. Some have taken to claiming Canelo looks much bigger, or at least much more muscular, than is usually the case. This may not be a cause for surprise, however, as this will be the fighter’s first legitimate foray into the one hundred sixty pound realm.
Still, numerous publications are bringing up the fact that many feel Golovkin won’t be treated fairly if this weekend’s fight lasts an entire twelve rounds. And, to be fair, boxing officials are often the source of their own tarnished reputations. Insanely wide scores, inexplicable scores and scores that some even feel point to corruption have led to a profound level of suspicion among the sport’s fanbase at times. With that being said, boxing can be an extremely subjective endeavor and scoring is very much a matter of interpretation and perspective.
Hopefully fans will walk away from Saturday’s throwdown satisfied that the officials did their jobs to the best of their abilities.
GGG: Canelo Fight “Is Special For Me. It’s Huge.”
By: Sean Crose
“It’s special for me,” Gennady “GGG” Golovkin said during a Wednesday conference call to promote his middleweight title showdown against Canelo Alvarez on September 16th. “It’s huge.” Indeed, his fight with Alvarez will be enormous, the biggest boxing event this side of Floyd and Conor. And team GGG made it clear on the call that it’s all been a long time coming. “We’ve had a terrible time getting people in the ring with him,” promoter Tom Loeffler said, adding later that “the other champions really weren’t willing to get in the ring with him.” Trainer Abel Sanchez claimed that landing the long awaited major fight with Canelo has had an impact on Golovkin.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
“There’s been a sparkle in his eye,” said Sanchez. “He’s been a little bit frustrated these last few years.” Sure enough, the long awaited fight with Canelo looked to be put off indefinitely, as fans salivated for a legitimate superfight between two decorated ring combatants. After besting Julio Caesar Chavez Junior last spring, however, Canelo – to his credit – finally announced (in the ring, with Golovkin present) that a fight between himself and the Kazakh warrior was a go. Now, with the biggest match of his life being only weeks away, Golovkin is clearly on a natural high. “A long time ago it was my dream to come to the United States,” he said. “Right now, my dream is real.”
For not only is Golovkin a known commodity among American fans of the sweet science, he’ll be facing Canelo at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas – the very Mecca of boxing. Surprisingly enough, this is the first time Golovkin will be in Las Vegas to fight. He’s made his mark in New York and California, but never in the neon city in the desert, where Canelo is known to fight to great fanfare. I asked him how he felt about most likely not being the fan favorite this time around. “In Vegas,” he said thoughtfully, “maybe the crowd will be for Canelo.” Yet Loeffler made it clear that fan bases can be localized entities. “In New York,” he explained, “ he (Golovkin) would be more popular than Canelo.” Sanchez also spoke on the issue as an Hispanic American, stating that “we just enjoy a good fight.”
It was clear that team GGG clearly feels a sense of satisfaction. It’s been a long haul and they now at least have the opportunity to shine on the largest scale imaginable. That’s true even in light of last week’s Mayweather-McGregor juggernaut, a fight which was brought up even on Wednesday’s call. Indeed, the fighter was asked what he thought of McGregor essentially accusing him of being boring. “McGregor,” said Golovkin, “he’s not a boxer.” Sanchez too had thoughts on the Irishman’s brash assertion. “I think, “ said the veteran trainer, “you have to consider the source.”
Cotto-Kamegai Ratings Impacted By Mayweather-McGregor
By Jake Donovan
The last time Miguel Cotto fought live on HBO’s flagship station in June ‘15, it turned out to be the 3rd highest-rated fight of the year.
Saturday’s ring return for Puerto Rico’s first-ever four division world champion merely produced the third highest-rated boxing telecast of the evening.
Cotto’s rousing 12-round win over Yoshihiro Kamegai attracted an audience of just 730,000 viewers on a very busy Saturday evening of boxing. The bout peaked at 805,000 viewers, with both numbers paling in comparison to Cotto’s last two live appearances on HBO—a 4th round knockout of Daniel Geale in June ’15, which averaged 1.589 million viewers for the third most-watched cable boxing match of the year; and a 3rd round stoppage of Delvin Rodriguez in Oct. ’13, drawing 1.555 million viewers in the most watched cable boxing telecast of 2013.
Unfortunately for the Puerto Rican superstar, commanding an audience for his first fight in 21 months—since a Nov. ’15 World middleweight championship title losing effort to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez—as going to be a much tougher battle on the dial than in the ring.
All eyes were on the circus at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with Floyd Mayweather making a celebrated ring-return of his own with a 10th round knockout of UFC superstar and boxing debutant Conor McGregor.
Pay-per-view sales won’t be released for another week or so (if at all), but figure to do no worse than 3 million buys, with some speculating it can even threaten the all-time mark of 4.6 million units sold set by Mayweather in his 12-round over Manny Pacquiao in May ’15.
Also easily edging Cotto in the ratings battle on the evening was a Mayweather-McGregor undercard lead-in show airing live on Fox. The featured bout of the evening—late replacement Yordenis Ugas outpointing fringe welterweight Thomas Dulorme—drew well north of 2.4 million viewers, also performing above average in the coveted 18-49 market compared to past Fox telecasts in that time slot.
It was mission accomplished on every level for Mayweather, whose timing of the event was deliberate with the intention of disrupting major business in place for Golden Boy Promotions.
In addition to going head-to-head with Cotto’s ring return on HBO, the PPV event also dominated the headlines and commanded the overwhelming majority of media attention. The latter meant very little focus on the year’s most anticipated matchup between Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, which takes place in the very same venue in three weeks, topping a September 16 HBO PPV telecast.
While industry chatter surrounding Canelo-Golovkin has begun to pick up, the majority of boxing headlines are still being dedicated to what took place this past Saturday in Las Vegas. Whatever attention is—or isn’t—going toward September 16, even less has been paid to Cotto’s first pro appearance in California, an unfortunate scenario for a superstar who has spent his career carrying his boxing rich Puerto Rico island on his back for more than a decade.
Instead, he returns to one of his lowest-rated bouts among the 23 times he’s been prominently showcased on HBO’s airwaves.
Perhaps a grander stage will come of what Cotto insists will be the final bout of his incredible pro career, targeting December 2 as last call.
The co-feature saw Rey Vargas outpointing Ronny Rios over 12 rounds for the first defense of his super bantamweight title. The lead-in attraction drew an audience of 524,000 viewers on average; peaking at 687,000 viewers.
Both boxers appeared live on HBO for the first time in their respective careers.
All aforementioned data provided by Nielsen Media Research.
Jake Donovan is the latest to join the BoxingInsider.com family. Follow him on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
Floyd Mayweather Media Call: “This Is My Last One”
By: Sean Crose
“This is my last one, ladies and gentleman.”
Photo Credit: USA Today
So said Floyd Mayweather during a Thursday call to promote his August 26th superfight against UFC superstar Conor McGregor. “I gave my word to Al Haymon,” he added, “I gave my word to my children…I’m going to stick to my word.” At least some on the call (it seemed like more) didn’t appear to want to talk about the fight itself. Floyd’s legacy, for instance, was important to one of the reporters who spoke. Racism, not surprisingly, is what obviously interested the caller from the New York Times. Floyd, however, remained the same laid back guy he has largely been with the media in recent years.
“I haven’t had time to focus on anything but this event,” he claimed, which anyone who has closely followed Mayweather knows is most likely true. Yet Mayweather also made it clear that he was as serenely confident as ever. “I’m not really worried about the outcome,” he said, referring to the match itself. Floyd, however, was still Floyd, no matter how over the hill he wants to come across to the media these days. When asked about his early struggle to make it as a star, for instance, the 49-0 slickster suddenly came alive.
“Floyd Mayweather has never been struggling,” he asserted. “Me and (boxing guru) Al Haymon joined forces.” When asked about the notorious Paulie Malignaggi – Conor McGregor sparring session the public has seen clips of, Mayweather also made it clear that he found McGreggor to be a dirty fighter. “A lot of shots were illegal,” he noted. When queried as to whether he was worried about McGregor fighting dirty when they meet in the ring, though, Mayweather stated that he’s “pretty sure the referee is going to be fair on both sides.”
Truth be told, Mayweather is always interesting to listen to speak. Love him or hate him, he’s an fascinating individual. If McGregor rides on overdrive with the media, Mayweather likes to sprinkle his talks with interesting asides. For every boast (“My real estate portfolio is truly amazing.”) there’s something telling about the man that’s offered. Like the fact that he refuses to watch his own fights. “When I look at them,” Mayweather said, “I’m like I could have done this better I could have done that better.” There’s also his interesting take on Rocky Marciano, the man whose 49-0 record most assume Mayweather will best in a week from Saturday.
“Rocky Marciano is a legend,” he claimed. “Rocky Marciano did it his way. I just want to do it the Mayweather way.”
One interesting side note:
No one – not a single person – asked Mayweather why he chose a man who has never had a boxing match in his life as his supposed last opponent. Perhaps those who spoke already had asked that question previously. Or perhaps those who were allowed to ask questions didn’t think it was important.
Or perhaps they simply didn’t want to hear the answer.
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
Canelo, De La Hoya Talk About “Real Fight” Against Golovkin This September
By: Sean Crose
Canelo Alvarez’ camp took part in a media conference call on Tuesday to promote the upcoming battle for middleweight supremacy between the Mexican superstar and Gennady Golovkin this September. Naturally, that other big fight – if you want to call it a fight – was brought up. You know, the boxing match for people who don’t like boxing? A journalist asked Canelo if he would be willing to take on Conor McGregor should McGregor somehow defeat Floyd Mayweather when they meet later this month. Canelo’s answer was priceless.
“If that miracle was to happen,” he said through a translator, “then it’s a different conversation…but I doubt it (a McGregor victory) very much.” In a summer of wanton immaturity, it was nice for a top fighter to talk like an intelligent adult. Of course Canelo would be open to fighting McGregor should the Irishman prove to be a special case by legitimately besting Mayweather. Yet, like most most true observers whose maturity has risen beyond that of a fifteen year old, Canelo has a hard time seeing that happening. Mayweather-McGregor is a novelty boxing match. Canelo-GGG is what promoter Oscar De La Hoya said on the call was “a real fight,” a “serious fight,” a “serious event.” The difference, frankly, should be noted as often as possible.
“We’re concentrating on our own fight,” De La Hoya claimed, adding that “we sold out in ten days.” It’s true. While tickets for Mayweather-McGregor are having difficulty moving, tickets for Canelo-Golovkin, which will be going down in the same T-Mobile arena Mayweather-McGregor is, promptly sold out in just over a week. It was clear during the call, however, that Canelo believed his focus had best stay on Golovkin, his formidable adversary this coming fall. “It’s going to be a difficult fight,” he stated. “It’s going to be a very hard fight.”
Canelo insisted he’s no longer the young man who Mayweather easily bested in their 2013 megabout. “I’ve definitely learned a lot (since that time),” Canelo said. “I’m more of a mature fighter now.” Even De La Hoya made it clear that Mayweather was too much, too soon for the Canelo of four years past. “Yes,” the legendary fighter/promoter stated, “he did take that fight too soon.” Still, De La Hoya added that Canelo is man on the rise. “I strongly feel he’s only getting better,” De La Hoya said. As for Canelo himself, the man exuded certainty. Referring to Mayweather, he claimed: “I think the only reason he beat me was because of the experience.”
Now, though, Canelo has enormous experience under his belt when it comes to performing under the bright lights of a major fight in Vegas. Not that he feels that alone will give him the upper hand against the feared Golovkin. “Having more fights in Las Vegas is not an advantage,” he said plainly. And least someone is levelheaded out there at the moment.
Conor McGregor Brings In Hall Of Fame Referee Joe Cortez For Guidance
By: Sean Crose
First things first – I’d like to officially go on record stating that the judges could rob Floyd Mayweather on August 26th, should his fight with Conor McGregor go twelve rounds. McGregor is the more popular of the two combatants that night, and boxing judges have a long, rich and honored history of just love, love, loving the popular guy. So yeah, don’t be too surprised if Conor is awarded the biggest upset win in the entire history of sports simply for being his most awesome self (rather than by, you know, actually doing better in the ring than Mayweather).
Having gotten all that ugliness out of the way, we may as well just try to have as much fun as we can with this one, gang. While it’s hard, if not impossible, to scrub oneself clean of the grime of this charade (in a sense, we’re all like Lady Macbeth at this point), it’s also difficult not to admit that there isn’t at least some entertainment value to this whole nonsense. Yes, the fight is a joke. Yes, people are behaving incomprehensibly -even by today’s standards – by being so eager to pay a fortune to watch this farce. Yes, there’s little chance of McGregor winning fairly (remember what I said about those judges, though). But there’s also a level of silliness here that’s getting hard not to delight in.
Take the fact, for instance, that team McGregor has hired none other that legendary referee Joe Cortez to help the fellas out in camp (Why not the iconic Mills Lane, you may well wonder). Cortez, you see, is going to – wait for it – “teach them the rules of boxing before the fight against Mayweather.” Those are Cortez’ own words, by the way, brought you courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. I’ll give McGregor this, he’s taking things seriously. There’s nothing, after all, quite like preparing for the biggest fight in history than sitting down and learning the basic freakin’ rules before you step in between the ropes. And who better to teach those rules, really, than Cortez? Here, you see, is the man who is known throughout the sporting world as being “firm but fair.”
In all honesty, though, it’s almost all too easy to laugh without actually pausing to understand what’s going on. McGregor is an MMA fighter, and as such will most likely want to rough Floyd up any way he can so long as that roughing up adheres to the rules of the game. Seen in such a light, the whole thing makes sense. It also makes sense that Cortez is wearing his referee’s outfit throughout McGregor’s sparing sessions in order to give matters an authentic feel. When all is said and done, there’s probably a lot about this whole enormous spectacle that makes sense (as opposed to cents) when viewed through a certain perspective. That doesn’t make any of it appear any less ridiculous, however.
Oh well, at least we’re through watching humanity be debased via those “brilliant” press conferences we all had to endure just over a week ago. Things are truly looking up. RIght?
Golovkin Ready to Show Who the Better Boxer Is
By: Francisco Martinez
September 16th Gennady Golovkin is set to meet Saul Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile arena. A fight 2 years in the making. A fight announced right after Canelo’s shutout of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. a masterful performance not enjoyed to long by Canelo as his next opponent was brought to the ring there and then. To the surprise of many the fight we’ve all been asking for finally materialized. Canelo vs Golovkin is suppose to be the fight that proves what Canelo truly is capable of and the fight that proves is Golovkin the bogey man they make him out to be.
With a combined record of 86 victories and 67 knockouts Canelo & Golovkin is almost a certain knockout ending. How do both fighters feel in regards to those expectations “It’s going to be a tough fight, a fight with a lot of action but I’ll make it clear as to who is the better man” expresses Canelo a conservative prediction as does Golovkin “I’m a professional athlete and for me it’s very interesting to see who’s better. Not special but who’s the better athlete, who’s the better boxer” states Golovkin.
If we look back into this fight and dig a little more we’ll find that Canelo & Golovkin have shared the ring before as both careers took off. In a sparring session that took place about 6 years ago or so at the Summit Boxing gym in Big Bear, California owned by Golovkin’s trainer, 2015 BWAA Trainer Of The Year, Abel Sanchez. The man responsible for Golovkin’s Mexican Style inside the ring. As for the sparring session a lot has circulated around the media and gym talk as to what actually happened but both fighters had this to say about their now legendary sparring session
“That happened about 6 years ago more or less. He has advanced, I have advanced. It can help a little bit but I won’t focus on it as we’ve both have totally advanced and sparring can’t influence a fight it’s way too different. It’ll be a good fight a fight the people have been wanting. It’ll be a good fight. We’ll be ready” says Canelo of the 6 year old sparring session. Gennady Golovkin had this to say about the past sparring session
“It was 6 years ago it’s a different time right now. It was sparring and it’s different. Sparring and fighting. It’s sparring not fighting” says Gennady Golovkin with a similar tone as Canelo to the past sparring between both. Canelo was just making his transition into 154lbs class and Golovkin was already a full fledged 160lbs fighter so the sparring can be taken with a grain of salt aside from what rumors might say took place within the sparring at the time.
About 21 days before Canelo & Gennady Golovkin are set to face each other another big fight will take place. The return of Floyd Mayweather in the same place and venue. A fight some critics think might affect Canelo & Golovkin’s revenue and possibly a strategic move by Mayweather. Arguably the best boxer ever, surely the best of our time and also known as one of the best business minds in boxing as well.
Golden Boy promotion’s Oscar De La Hoya is not concerned with Mayweather & McGregor taking place a couple of weeks prior to Canelo & Golovkin neither is K2 promotion’s Tom Loeffler “I figured they would make the fight I wasn’t sure when they would do it. It surprised us they would go before on August. You know August people are in still in vacation and you know that’s two big names that they have so they probably figured they can go when they wanted to and were gonna focus on our end to promote ours the best that we can and I’m sure that Floyd and Conor are gonna promote their event and I think that’s one of those fights that the build up would be more exciting than the fight itself but we’re gonna do the best we can on our end”
Floyd Mayweather gave his prediction to Canelo vs Golovkin late last year and he predicted Canelo would knockout Golovkin also went as far as to say he would beat Golovkin. Gennady had this to say about Mayweather’s recent comments “He talks too much. I think he’s not a promoter, he’s not Canelo’s promoter. I don’t know why? Ask him why?” Replied Golovkin to Mayweather’s comments.
Two mega fights that will take place withing a month of each other can only benefit boxing although some would disagree others would say it’s what boxing needs at this point in time in a year that has been one to remember boxing wise. This September 16th Supremacy in the middleweight division is what we’ll get once Canelo & Gennady Golovkin step into the ring in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena live on HBO PPV.
So don’t miss it and follow the conversation and converage leading up to fight night via #CaneloGGG
Diffusing the Notion of Power: Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather
By: Kirk Jackson
The main argument Conor McGregor, UFC President Dana White, UFC’s legion of hardcore, biased followers, advocate is McGregor’s overall physical strength, youth, size and punching power.
Essentially claiming these physical tools automatically dwarf anything the older, smaller, Floyd Mayweather can muster.
Their barbaric approach and sentiments suggest either ignorance of the sport of boxing, or a clever ploy to draw other demographics of audience into the event that will hog headlines August 26.
“Conor’s got extraordinary power, he’s got extraordinary movement and he’s bigger,” saidformer UFC commentator Joe Rogan. “He’s a far bigger guy. I mean he’s a big framed guy and he’s strong and he’s young.”
“That’s what Conor McGregor is. He’s a freak athlete. There’s a guy named FirasZahabi, who’s one of the best trainers in MMA, Georges St-Pierre’s trainer — he calls it the touch of death.”
The last man to share an octagon with McGregor, Eddie Alvarez, stated similar thoughts regarding McGregor’s punching power.
“I don’t know if it was after I got hit that I kind of went into fight or flight mode,” Alvarez said of their encounter.
“To be honest with you, that first shot, I had no clue what it was. I had no clue, and my butt was on the ground, and I remember in my head going ‘what the fuck was that?’”
Comparatively, McGregor is the bigger than Mayweather regarding physical size.
The Irishman has a one-inch height advantage and a two-inch reach advantage. With longer arms working to McGregor’s favor, as he enjoys utilizing his advantage as he likes to strike opponents from the outside.
Another physical factor favoring McGregor is he is in his twenties and eleven years younger than the 40-year-old Mayweather.
This is where the physical advantages for McGregor end.
Even at the advanced age of 40, Mayweather looks faster than McGregor and if we compare professional fight history between the two, Mayweather has the edge in regards to stamina.
Aside from showing slight fatigue in his last bout against Andre Berto, it’s a rare sight to see Mayweather tired in a fight. McGregor however displayed exhaustion against Nate Diaz in both encounters, falling to submission in their first fight.
McGregor may possess explosive speed, power and athleticism by mixed martial arts standards, but the application of these traits is applied differently within the realm of boxing.
If the Irishman tires out after two, five-minute rounds in the Octagon, it’s fair to suggest he will tire out over the course of an accelerated pace of 12, three-minute rounds via boxing.
Which may have prompted McGregor to suggest he will stop Mayweather within four rounds of action.
According to UFC President Dana White regarding McGregor’s claims, “He [McGregor] gets off the flight from Ireland, looks like he was just fitted at Armani. Walks off the plane and he says, ‘I will knock this man [Mayweather] out within four rounds.’”
McGregor figures he won’t outpoint the boxer and win on the score cards and he knows his body more than anyone else; meaning he knows his gas tank is limited.
Regarding punching and power in boxing, there are two famous phrases or mantras that hold true.
“All it takes is one punch,” and the famous, “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth,” – via Mike Tyson.
These adages provecorrect over time and they actually point towards Mayweather’s favor.
McGregor is southpaw and as a mixed martial arts stylized-fighter, his style and rhythm will probably throw Mayweather off – he is not accustomed to facing mixed martial artists.
But that goes against McGregor too. He is not used to fighting boxers with superior hand-striking ability. Eddie Alvarez is not going to cut it.
No disrespect to Nate Diaz, but Mayweather is in a different solar system skill-wise comparatively speaking.
Mayweather will not stand squared up and lunge in with his arms down like Jose Aldo. The same openings McGregor is accustomed to seeing fighting his UFC contemporaries will not be there against Mayweather.
A quick comparison to what McGregor faces regarding Mayweather and Diaz.
Diaz doesn’t make his opponents miss punches. Diaz doesn’tevade strikes or necessarily force the opponent to move all that much. Diaz stands in front of his opposition and essentially lets opponents hit him.
Mayweather is the polar opposite;the pursuit of Mayweatherrequires great footwork, feinting him out of position, cutting the ring off instead of chasing a great jab helps along with a wonderful sense of timing.
Mayweather fights utilizing different angles and stances, each with a specific purpose and as the opponent is chasing, missing punches, while consistently eating counter punches, Mayweather also attacks the body; wearing opponents down, making the chase that much more problematic.
Regarding the adage of all it takes is one punch to end anyone’s night, yes that is true.
Sure, one punch can end the fight for Mayweather. Applying a certain amount of pressure across the temple or chin can even put to sleep the most iron-chinned competitors.
The most damaging punch however, is the punch you don’t see coming. Mayweather is a master of landing those types of punches; accurate, precise, deceptive and damaging.
Regarding pure punching power, ESPN’s Sport Science did a report/experiment testing and comparing McGregor and Mayweather’s punching power.
Bringing it back to McGregor and Diaz, the man from Stockton stunned McGregor with a solid left hand; prior to submitting the Irishman later in the round.
According to Sports Science, with the very least Mayweather hits as hard as Diaz but possesses greater speed and places greater emphasis on precision, that all spells trouble for McGregor.
To echo the sentiments of mixed martial arts fighters Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisbing, boxers generally speaking punch harder than mixed martial artists. That’s a given right?
Many boxers, train from ages 4, 5 and focus on punching. Placing and shifting the weight into punches, moving hips behind punches, snapping the wrist, generating the proper torque for unleashing fistic fire power.
Sonnen stated on his podcast, “Floyd is throwing punches at guys that are great at slipping and rolling with and dealing with punches.”
“Conor is throwing punches at guys who aren’t great at –they’re very good… but they have to focus some of their time on the grappling, on the submission, on the conditioning, on the strength, on the weight cutting… they’re not great at it in comparison to what Floyd is throwing punches at,” Sonnen said.
“Floyd throws harder and punches significantly harder than Conor does. And he’s also used to throwing it at harder targets.”
While there are more nuances to boxing than what was mentioned in regards to punching, imagine the various nuances mixed martial artists have to learn – those trying to absorb multiple disciplines of fighting.
It makes sense a boxer generally possesses greater punching power and why should that be different with Mayweather?
Concerning form and technique, Mayweather is a boxing savant, considered a prodigy at a young age. While his knockouts decreased over time, we must take into consideration he moved up four weight classes and fought bigger opponents.
Emphasizing a point Sonnen touched on, the opponents he faced are trained to take punches; many of these boxers know how to roll their chins to mitigate the impact of incoming punches. Something McGregor lacks experience with.
Another thing to consider, contrary to White, Rogan and McGregor’s narrative, Mayweather is accustomed to fighter bigger guys.
Regarding opponents of the past, Marcos Maidana weighed around 175 lbs. after weigh-ins for a welterweight bout (147 lb. limit) against Mayweather.
Oscar De La Hoya weighed in the upper 160 lbs. range, same with Miguel Cotto. Canelo Alvarez weighed in the lower 170 lbs. range and these aforementioned fighters punch harder than McGregor. These are three Hall of Famers and De La Hoya is also an Olympic Gold Medalist.
Body punching is another thing McGregor has to worry about. While observing sparring and training footage, can’t help but notice McGregor keeps his cup/protector high; above the navel area.
Mayweather is an underrated body puncher. He utilizes his patented jab to the solar plexus or jab to the pit of an opponent’s stomach, essentially sapping strength from oncoming opponents.
Facing a southpaw we’ll more likely see straight right hands towards McGregor’s body, as the distance between an orthodox fighter’s right hand and a southpaw fighter’s chin and body is closer in distance.
And for a guy with questionable endurance issues, deposits to the body only makes sense for Mayweather.
McGregor is not used to defending his body from attacks like that; a subtle nuance of the boxing that is yet again underestimated.
Whether Mayweather can deal with McGregor’s punching power remains to be seen. Wonder what big punchers such as Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, De La Hoya, Cotto,Maidana, Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao think?
There are more variables at hand that determine the fate of a fight, but power looks to be Mayweather’s advantage.
Mayweather-McGregor: It’s All About The Money
Mayweather-McGregor: It’s All About The Money
By: Seamus McNally
Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard by now that former pound-for-pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather (49–0, 26 KOs) will return from a 23-month layoff to face UFC lightweight champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor (21–3, 18 KOs) in a 12-round junior middleweight boxing match on August 26th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers of all time, will attempt to reach the hallowed 50–0 mark by facing a fighter who will be making his professional boxing debut
So why is a bout between a future first-ballot hall of fame boxer and someone who has never boxed a day in his life taking place? Quite simply…. money.
When Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, the long-awaited showdown shattered every financial record possible. It garnered approximately 4.6 million buys and generated $623.5 million in total revenue. Most people figured those numbers would never be reached again, and yet here we are just two years later with a fight that has the potential to exceed those astronomical numbers.
To give you an idea of how much money this fight could generate, ESPN’s Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell spoke to ticket brokers, sports marketers and those who are in the boxing business, and based on projected revenues from tickets, pay-per-view, sponsorships, merchandise, and betting, they came up with an estimated total revenue figure of $606.1 million generated by this mega-fight.
To put in perspective the amount of money Mayweather-Pacquiao generated and the expected numbers Mayweather-McGregor will produce, the next highest grossing boxing fight is the 2007 Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoyafight which sold 2.48 million pay-per-views and grossed a total revenue of $165 million. McGregor’s best pay-per-view was his rematch against Nate Diaz last August which did a reported 1.65 million buys.
The hype behind Mayweather-Pacquiao was built largely on them being the two best boxers of their generation and the anticipation of fans who waited six years for the fight to finally come to fruition. The promotion itself was subdued, with older and more mature versions of Mayweather and Pacquiao largely being respectful in the press conferences leading up to the fight. That will not be the case in the build-up for Mayweather-McGregor.
The promotion for this fight will be unlike anything we have ever seen before. McGregor is the best trash-talker in combat sports since the late Muhammad Ali and his press conferences are usually just as entertaining as his fights. Not only does he talk more trash than anyone in sports today, but he consistently backs it up inside the Octagon, which has made him a global superstar and an icon in his native Ireland.
McGregor will hurl more insults at Mayweather in the next two months than Mayweather has heard in his previous 49 fights combined. McGregor will probably attempt to ignite some type of altercation with Mayweather during a press conference stare down. The media and casual sports fans will eat it up. McGregor will talk millions of people into believing he has a chance. The hype of fight week will probably exceed the Super Bowl.
Even before the promotion has hit full-gear, McGregor’s bravado already has plenty of people believing he will win. ESPN.com put a poll up on their site asking who will win and out of over 100,000 votes, 24% picked McGregor.
But to be frank, this fight is purely a money-grab. It might be an even bigger scam than Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. It’s more like a Ringling Brothers Circus show. I for one, am very excited to see the shenanigans that McGregor will pull at the press conferences and how Floyd will react. But I know going into this, McGregor has no chance to win.
Yes, I know 18 of McGregor’s 21 wins in mixed martial arts have come via knockout with his fists. Yes, I know he is taller, bigger, and younger than Mayweather. Yes, I know he’s a southpaw, which supposedly is Floyd’s kryptonite.
It means nothing.
McGregor has scored those knockouts against guys who come from wrestling and jiu-jitsu backgrounds, not professional boxers. Mark Hunt, Donald Cerrone, and Anderson Silva, all accomplished MMA fighters who are considered great strikers, have a combined professional boxing record of 1 win, 3 losses (2 by knockout) and 1 draw.
Mayweather has managed to defeat the best boxers of his era, and with ease. Many of them never even managed to hit Mayweather with one punch of significance. And now people are expecting a guy to come in with no prior professional boxing experience and beat one of the best defensive fighters to ever live. The idea is laughable. The same would be true if Mayweather fought McGregor in the Octagon. He would stand as little a chance of defeating McGregor as the Irishman does of out-boxing Mayweather.
This was already proven when former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture submitted boxing legend James Toney in the first round of their 2010 MMA bout.
I heard one analogy that describes this fight perfectly. It will be like the best diver trying to beat Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly. The diver knows how to swim, but not as fast as the most decorated Olympian ever. McGregor knows how to punch, but he won’t be able to outbox the best boxer of this generation.
Like everyone else, I will be glued to the television the night of August 26th to watch the spectacle of two iconic figures in their respective sports duke it out for 12 rounds (or less). But I expect nothing less than another easy victory for Mayweather.
Golovkin v Canelo: An Early Look
Golovkin v Canelo: An Early Look
By: Ben Sutherland
With the controversial Ward v Kovalev rematch slowly fading from memory and the beginning of their press tour, thoughts now turn to September’s much anticipated mega fight between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Early odds have Golovkin as a slight favorite at -160 while Canelo currently sits at +140.
The clash of these two men, who are both known for their punching power, certainly has the potential to be explosive.
The two men are seasoned veterans, having accrued large fan bases, high profile and fearsome reputations over their long careers. Golovkin had a very extensive amateur career where he won a world championship in 2003 and an Olympic silver medal in 2004, both at middleweight. Since turning professional, GGG has accumulated 37 wins with an incredible 33 of those wins coming by way of knockout. This amateur pedigree combined with his destructive power and until recently, his relative ambiguit, has meant he has been very much avoided for a large portion of his career with his toughest fights coming in the form of Canadian David Lemiuex and Brooklynite Danny Jacobs..
On the other hand, Canelo turned pro at the age of 15 and after a few formative years fighting on the domestic scene in Mexico, he began to gain notoriety. He made is pay per view debut in 2010 on an HBO card headlined by Floyd Mayweather v Shane Moseley. Since then, a string of high profile fights have made him a household name and a superstar in his native Mexico. His resume is incredibly impressive featuring wins over Miguel Cotto, Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland with his only loss coming via a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr, the best pound for pound fighter of his generation. Even his recent fights for which he has been criticized have been against three current of former world champions, all of whom me made look very average. Amir Khan has some of fastest hands in boxing, Liam Smith was an undefeated world champion and Chavez Jr was a former WBC middleweight world champion.
Part of the reason so many have begun calling Golovkin’s name in recent months is because he has slowly begun to look more and more human. Cynics will point to the tightening of drug protocols as a possible reason for this. Golovkin won his fight against Brook, ultimately in convincing fashion, however at points he was outboxed by the lighter Brook and at least once, looked like he was hurt. The Brook fight raised questions about what would happen if he was confronted by an elite fighter who was a natural middleweight. Daniel Jacobs was that fighter and ended his knockout streak that had lasted since 2009. In what was an incredibly close fight, Golovkin looked spent in the late rounds as Jacobs came back at him hard after an early knockdown.
It is against this backdrop that Golovkin takes on what is by far the toughest test of his career. The two men are both big punchers and Golovkin, courtesy of his trainer Abel Sanchez, fights like a Mexican too. The prospect of these two men standing and trading in the middle of the ring is a thrilling one and is a big reason why this fight transcends into the casual market. Both men’s chins remain relatively untested however, there is no doubt they can take a punch and the possibility of the fight going to the judges is very real.
Canelo cedes about an inch in height to Golovkin but has a longer reach, measuring in at 179cm compared to Golovkin’s 178cm. As a result, there isn’t much to differentiate between the two there. Canelo boasts 34 KO’s on his record but definitely doesn’t pack the same power at Golovkin does. However, Golovkin is now 35 years old and for many, is quickly moving past his prime. In contrast, Canelo is 26 and coming into his peak years. Age brings with it stamina issues and decreasing power which seem to be sleeping into Golovkin. As a result the longer the fight goes, the better the chance Canelo has.
Canelo has traditionally struggled with the quicker and more technical, fighters such as Lara, Mayweather and briefly Khan. Canelo faces an entirely different prospect here. Golovkin, is yet to fight a genuinely elite fighter: Brook was good but far too light and Lemieux and Jacobs were very much B class world champions.
Canelo is pretty experienced at the highest level but has never fought a man of comparable size and power, whilst Golovkin is more untested in a broader sense. This raises the questions which makes this fight so intriguing. For me, Canelo’s stamina, experience and recent track record make him a slight favorite. However, it truly is a pick em fight and there really is nothing between these two men.