With the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin steady approaching, many boxing fans are excited to see two of the best face off. Boxing has long needed big names to face each other. Unfortunately, fans have been forced to watching “cherry picked” fights that fluff the winning column. Thankfully, 2017 has seen some very interesting fights, for example Adrian Broner vs. Mikey Garcia. Earl Spencer Jr. vs. Kell Brook showcased entertaining boxing resulting in a TKO finish. With all the great fights that have happened this year, Canelo vs. Triple G is being declared the fight of year.
Canelo vs. Golovkin is set to be a middleweight bout. This is only the second time Canelo has fought over 155 pounds. Typically, the Mexican born fighter competes between 147 and 155 pounds. In order to hit this higher weight, Canelo has increased his muscle mass. But this isn’t the greatest strategy for boxing. Contrary to popular belief, muscles do not bode well for boxers. Technique and shoulder endurance are far more valuable for hands only fighting. Having too much muscle can actually slow down a fighter’s punch and decrease stamina required for a 12-round bout. Many experts have commented on Canelo’s increase in size, as well as his decrease in speed. Golovkin is notorious for having incredible power. It wouldn’t be beneficial for Canelo to try to overpower the bigger fighter.
Golovkin is undefeated in his 37-fight career with 33 knockouts. Triple G is only one belt away from unifying the middleweight division; He currently holds WBA Super/ WBC/ IBF/ IBO World Middleweight titles. Golovkin has dominated at 160-pounds with his frightening power. Against the undefeated Kell Brook, it took five rounds before Golovkin caused Brook’s corner to throw in the towel. News surfaced that the punishment Brook suffered resulted in a broken eye socket, which nearly ended his boxing career. However, some of Golovkin’s boxing abilities, such as head movement, were questioned as Kell Brook landed some impressive shots. This skepticism of Triple G’s boxing fundamentals increased after his next fight against Daniel Jacobs.
For the first time in his 11-year career, Golovkin was pushed to the 12th round against Jacobs. Triple G would edge out a unanimous victory, but many believed that Jacobs had actually deserved the win. The Compubox stats had Golovkin out-landing Jacobs 231 to 175. But this doesn’t tell the whole story; boxing is judged based on individual rounds, rather than final totals. Golovkin out landed Jacobs in the fourth and 12th round by a combined 38 punches. Jacobs landed more shots in rounds seven and 10. The first, third, eighth, and 11th rounds were only separated by at most two punches. In the sixth round both fighters landed 14 out of 41 shots with Jacobs landing 11 power strikes to Golovkin’s three. The total power punch stats favored Jacobs 144 to 126. Golovkin did score a knockdown in the fourth round. However, Triple G did not dominate the way many anticipated. The once feared fighter seemed susceptible to defeat by a quicker, smarter boxer.
Canelo’s only defeat is to arguably the best to ever step in the ring, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. But since this fight, Canelo has bounced back to win his next seven; one of which was at 165 pounds. Canelo fought Juilo Cesar Chavez, Jr. in May of this year. Chavez, Jr. was on a two-fight win streak before facing Canelo at a 165 pounds. This was the first time Canelo fought over 155 pounds, and he was completely dominant; all three judges scored Canelo the winner by 120 to 108. Chavez, Jr. never landed more than nine punches in a single round. Canelo outclassed the bigger fighter by landing 38 percent of his punches, which ironically is the same percentage Golovkin landed against Jacobs. Canelo also showed that the size increase wouldn’t hurt his activity level in the ring; he threw 604 punches against Chavez, Jr. compared to 484 in his last 12-round fight against Miguel Cotto at 155 pounds.
Saul Alvarez is one of the best talents boxing has seen. In his 51-fight career, Canelo has performed extremely well against legendary fighters. The vicious knockout against Amir Khan highlights Canelo’s one-touch power. However, his speed and intelligence are the difference makers going up against the heavy-handed Golovkin. With the increased muscle mass, questions arise whether Canelo has kept the speed needed to out-box Triple G. This is why Triple G will beat Canelo on September 16th. Golovkin is a dominant middleweight. This is only Canelo’s second fight above 155. The first was against someone nowhere near Golovkin’s abilities. Triple G will impose his power and size on Canelo before winning by knockout in the 11th round.