With less than a week before the much anticipated rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, there’s your normal rhetoric and tough talk. But, if you’re looking for the second coming of Alexis Arguello-Aaron Pryor, you’ll be disappointed… again.
The first fight is what fans should’ve expected. Alvarez wanted to limit true toe-to-toe skirmishes and Golovkin wanted to close off Alvarez and make him open up. The first couple of rounds was two fighters feeling each other out. But then Golovkin established himself and took control of the fight. He was the aggressor and scored more effectively than his counterpart. However, all three judges gave Canelo the last three rounds which gave Alvarez a much needed 114-114 score on Don Trella’s scorecards.
The rematch might not be that much different despite Oscar DeLa Hoya’s attempt to sell this as the “fight of the decade”.
Keys for Canelo Alvarez
If you think Canelo didn’t learn a lot from losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr., think again. The primary thing he learned from Floyd was to try and move like Floyd. Alvarez’ constant movement frustrated Golovkin who was under the impression, true or not true, that Canelo would stand and trade punches like he did against C-Level fighters like James Kirkland.
“I think the group on the other side is mad enough that maybe they will put on the kind of fight that they promised the first time. At least try to knock Golovkin out, at least try to knock him out. If they do that, then at least they are in range to fight instead of run,” Sanchez told BoxingScene.com.
Alvarez is brilliant in that sense. He fights bad fighters like he’s a come-forward, bull-in-a-China-shop fighter. But in his two biggest fights, Mayweather Jr. and Golovkin, he didn’t come forward with a lot of ferocity. In fact, against Mayweather Jr., he never took advantage of Floyd standing right in front of him. He stood and waited to counterpunch one of the smartest fighters in the history of boxing. Besides a ridiculous scorecard that had it a draw, Alvarez was overmatched and clueless.
Alvarez doesn’t want to stand toe-to-toe with Golovkin, unless he wants to make the same mistake as Sugar Ray Leonard did in his first fight with Roberto Duran. He is too smart for that.
Alvarez will need to establish his jab in the rematch. According to CompuBox, Alvarez only landed 24% of his jabs in the first fight. His inability to use the jab as a scoring punch played a huge part in Golovkin winning the middle rounds.
There’s no doubt that Golovkin will be even more aggressive than he was the first time. Keeping him at distance is a must.
He’ll also have to take advantage of Golovkin “stooping”. That will open up one of Canelo’s most effective punches, the uppercut.
Keys for Gennady Golovkin
For a fighter like Golovkin, when you throw almost 200 punches more than your opponent and land more punches in 10 out of the 12 rounds, you expect to get a close decision, not a draw, but here we are.
Golovkin was the aggressor in the first fight and expect the same this time around. He will have to work the body a lot more this time that last. For this to happen, cutting off the ring is a must. There’s no reason Golovkin should not expect copious amounts of movement from Alvarez.
Despite all the bluster and bravado leading up to the fight, Golovkin can’t trust Alvarez to oblige him.
Cutting off the ring will also allow Golovkin to pin Canelo’s back up against the ropes. Unlike Alvarez when he fought Mayweather Jr., when Golovkin gets his opponent’s back up against the ropes, he usually goes to work. But, in the first fight, Golovkin would flurry on the ropes and then step back in fear of being countered. This time around, he must keep Canelo pinned.
The jab was an effective tool for Golovkin in the first fight. He landed almost 30% of his jabs which allowed him to get inside, whether they were effectively scoring or not. Jabbing to get inside might open Golovkin to counters but Alvarez also tends to stop punching when he’s faced with a jab constantly coming at him. It’s the real reason why he struggled with Mayweather Jr. and Erislandy Lara.
If Golovkin can be the aggressor like he was in the first fight, it should bode well for him, unless Adalaide Byrd is selected as a judge again.
Is this the fight where Father Time catches up to Golovkin? Some have predicted that it will, with the thought that the longer the fight goes, the bigger advantage it is to Canelo.
I’m not in that camp. Golovkin will work behind his jab and open up Canelo. Good head movement will be the key to avoiding Canelo’s counter punches. The combination of the two will mean Canelo will have to come out of his shell.
Golovkin won’t blow the lead that he blew in the first fight. He will score a knockdown late and win the fight by unanimous decision.