GGG V CANELO - JUST ADD CINNAMON
By Simon Trowell on Aug 10 2017
If Boxing is all about matchups then they come no bigger in the modern generation than GGG versus Canelo. One could easily argue that this is the biggest fight in 29 years, since an undefeated Mike Tyson met lineal champion Michael Spinks in Atlantic City’s Convention Hall. Sure, there have been big fights since 1988, no question. Big names, big gates, big Pay Per View numbers…but a bigger match up? A collision of planets? Lennox fought an ageing and life weary Tyson, Mayweather vs Pacquiao almost caused another Global Financial Crisis (clearing $USD600m), Hopkins and Trinidad was hotly anticipated and the recent showdown between Klitschko and Joshua was a massive event. But boxing fans sense something unique in GGG vs Canelo.
Golovkin and Alvarez are not only highly-skilled and decorated boxers but both men are born fighters, fighting like they would lose their passports if they were to take a backwards step. They are high tempo, high punch rate, high pressure, hard-hitting fighters that are at the peak of their powers. Both are universally respected within Boxing and this mouth-watering clash has reminded fans what a real fight is all about.
Saul “Canelo” (“Cinnamon”) Alvarez was not long 15 years of age when he turned Pro (I was yet to count to 100 at that age!). He had a Professional record of 20 wins – 0 Losses – 1 Draw before he turned 18 years old. Let me repeat that… He had a Professional record of 20-0 before he turned 18! Fair to say they breed them tough in Mexico. And because of the depth of his experience, It is easy to forget just how young he still is. He turned 27 a few weeks ago and to this date has amassed a 49-1- 1 record in those 12 years. His only loss so far coming at the hands of the best fighter in his generation, Floyd Mayweather.
Gennady Golovkin’s childhood was spent in the old USSR in the 1980’s. A tough and bleak existence no doubt. If they breed them tough in Mexico, it is the law in Kazakhstan. His amateur record was 345-5, yep, 350 amateur fights…as you do! The sublime dual Olympic Gold Medallist Vasyl Lomachenko boasts a better amateur record at 396-1, but let’s face it even their mothers would have stopped counting after 100 fights. In his Pro career to-date, The Kazakh Destroyer currently sits at 37-0 including 33 knockouts.
Until Daniel Jacobs stood in front of him with solid feet and threw counter punches, Golovkin was easily the most feared boxer in the World. Easily. He beat other boxers mentally before the opening bell the same as Mike Tyson did. But if Golovkin is Tyson, Canelo is not Spinks. Michael Spinks was a true lineal champion and a brilliant boxer but the start of his fight with Tyson was delayed because Spinks did not want to leave his dressing room after hearing Tyson punch the adjoining wall while he was warming up. Canelo in his own words “was not born with fear”. He fears nobody and clearly feels a post Jacobs GGG is beatable.
So how does this battle play out? GGG is a master at catch and throw in the early rounds. He asserts his mental dominance with his jab in the early rounds then becomes some blood thirsty monster as soon as his opponent’s back first touches the ropes. Kazak Thunder? Kazak Armageddon is closer to the mark. But Canelo is proudly aggressive and punches heavily with purpose from the opening bell and will not allow GGG to warm up for the first two rounds. Canelo’s slip and counter to left hand leads is as flawless as can be found, just ask Julio Chavez Jr. GGG will need a different strategy those first two rounds.
Both men generally prefer to strike laterally, they are not long, parallel punchers like say a Larry Holmes. They both prefer working the body in close. If they could holiday there they would. That is where this battle will be won. In close, during the middle rounds. Which one of them can withstand those heavy left hand body shots? Which one will eventually take a backwards step if neither of them ever does?
This bout has the makings of a fascinating battle between two highly skilled boxers who love to entertain the fans. Pre-Daniel Jacobs the money would have found its way to GGG’s side of the betting fence. Post-Jacobs however…Alvarez smells blood… and he is looking to add a little bit of cinnamon atop the P4P rankings.
When Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez step into the ring on September 16th under the bright lights of Vegas it will be the biggest Middleweight fight in 29 years and as big a fight as Boxing has seen since the glory days of Tyson and Spinks. We may not see the exhilarating, 90 second destruction that we saw all those years ago when Spinks was convincingly knocked out, but what we will see, is 2 of the bet fighters of this generation going head-to-head for the right to be crowned the best Middleweight in the World.