The drug testing, the hand-wraps, the slander, the threats–it’s nearly over, and nearly settled by two elite practitioners of arguably the most challenging sport in existence.
Kazakhstan’s bomb-throwing export in Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) rematches Mexico’s ring-savvy Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) for a legacy-defining fight that is pegged by oddsmakers and almost a 50-50 affair. There likely won’t be a more significant contest this year, or in the middleweight division for some time. So whether you hated the pre-fight buildup or enjoyed it, root for Golovkin’s ascension of Alvarez’s redemption, this is sure to have you nudged way up on your seat, while your body gets chills and your palms get sweaty.
Who did the team and affiliates pick? Read on to find out.
John Einreinhofer – TGTN Co-Host/Staff Writer: Alvarez
The first fight played out close to what I expected. I had Canelo winning but I thought a draw was a reasonable result. I was surprised Golovkin was so wary of being countered that he couldn’t go to the body at all. I also thought Canelo would be in slightly better shape where he would be able to go hard for the full 12, but he took the middle rounds off. There are a few intangibles worth looking at though they may not end up playing a major role. For Canelo, he’s had his longest ever layoff and arthroscopic surgery on his knee. The layoff could help his right hand/thumb and the arthroscopic surgery could clear up a nagging knee. GGG is doing so much complaining and talking he almost seems psyched out, similar to Kovalev before the Ward rematch. Canelo is the faster, better defensive fighter. Both have great chins, Golovkin hits harder. People underrate the fact that Canelo landed more power punches in the first fight and really accumulated punishment to both GGG’s head and body. I think Canelo will come into the fight in better shape this time, and I think if he’s aggressive enough to close the show in the second half of the fight he scores enough damage to score a late stoppage. If he plays it safe, like he usually does, he wins a decision.
Paul Cupitt – TGTN Staff Writer: Golovkin
Golovkin by wide decision. I think GGG wins this fight in dominant fashion, much like he should have won the first one, by using his jab to keep Canelo off balance and pushing him around the ring. Canelo will have his moments but his inability to fight three minutes per round and stay off the ropes make it hard for him to fairly win a decision. The 12 month layoff won’t do Canelo any favours either but his chin and defence will let him see the final bell.
Anthony Cocks – TGTN/Ringnews24/Max Boxing Staff Writer: Alvarez
I might be in the minority but I thought Canelo did enough in the first eight rounds of the first fight to deserve no worse than a draw. Now one year later with Golovkin one year older, I can only see one guy improving on their first effort — and it isn’t Triple G. Give me Canelo on points, eight rounds to four.
Bob Day – TGTN/Ringnews24 Staff Writer: Golovkin
It’s a rematch that has taken a bit too long to make. The politics, of negotiations, playing out online has taken away some shine. The stink of Adelaide Byrd’s scoring, in the first fight, still hangs large over the sport.
I’m not expecting fireworks this time, though a late stoppage wouldn’t surprise me. Canelo will box on the back-foot again and it’ll be up to Gennady Golovkin to force the action. He’s slowed and doesn’t appear to be as effective. I thought Golovkin won the first fight and believe he can do so again. Let’s hope there are no dodgy games, at play, and the correct result is awarded to the right man.
Alan Kindred – Independent Writer: Alvarez
I’m going to go with Canelo Alvarez by close decision. I thought the last fight was close and slightly edged by Golovkin but given his age now that another year has passed, I think Canelo is likely to perform a little bit better than last time, and Golovkin a little bit less. Of course, the PED situation does make it a challenging fight to handicap, because it remains unknown just how much effect, the lack of it, will have on Alvarez’ performance. If he was benefiting from something in the first fight, and it aided him greatly, he may surely suffer in the rematch without the same assistance. That said, it is hard to know to what degree it did. So, I will handicap the fight on just what I saw in the ring and what I know about age and decline, and that leads me to believe Canelo might just outwork Golovkin in enough spots to either win a decision he earned, or he will make the fight close enough he gets the decision anyway, and possibly controversial again.
Michael Atkins – TGTN Staff Writer: Golovkin
Golovkin, in the first encounter, had a real case of big fight nerves. We’ve all seen, in the Superbowl– due to the magnitude of the event—teams play “not to lose” in the first quarter or half. That’s basically what I saw out of Golovkin early in the first fight. Even after he got his legs underneath him, I don’t think he had his best night. Age? Maybe. But my feeling is that the moment got to him to a degree. He’d been fighting his whole life and been avoided for so long—for this. This one fight that was finally a reality. For Golovkin, the fight a year ago was an “everything” moment. It won’t be that way for him Saturday evening, he’s been there, done that. I expect Triple G to be super sharp and mean this time. He is angry, justifiably, but this won’t turn him into a face-first slugger. He knows Canelo will be looking to pot-shot him. He, as always will work behind his “best in sport” jab, only this time he’ll go to the body more and harder. GGG will make adjustments, he should be better than he was last year.
As for Canelo, his performance against Golovkin was a career best effort. He was at his sharpest and fought the smartest, most consistent fight I’ve seen out of him so far. Can he duplicate that? Yes. Can he improve upon it? Maybe, maybe not, but he can and will adjust. He’ll attempt to throw more combinations and fewer single shots. He will try not to fight in spurts as much, and to make the spurts more timely when he does. The word on the street in Vegas seems to be how much smaller Canelo looks for this fight. Hmmm? Maybe, that will actually help him, make him quicker with better endurance, or, maybe it won’t help him and he’ll have a hard time repeating his performance from a year ago.
Triple G is 36 and does have quite a few miles on the odometer. Golovkin though, has always been a clean liver, a good trainer, very professional. I do see him able to put up at least one more peak, or near prime performance. He will be very sharp. While both men will be improved over the first contest, I see Alvarez tiring more, and earlier, because he will try to set a faster more consistent pace this time. I think that Triple G will have the late push rather than Alvarez and will win the fight with a clear 8-4-ish decision—that will actually go to him this time—or a TKO sometime after the 9th round.
Christopher Carlson TGTN Staff Writer/Host for Rope-A-Dope Radio: Alvarez
Normally a rematch favors the boxer capable of making more adjustments. Canelo will need an uptick in activity and to stay off the ropes for long stretches. Golovkin can’t be hesitant to throw combinations and implore more body punches to slow a moving target. A few variables exist for both men but more so for Canelo. A year out of the ring, knee surgery, and a clear difference in body type, all could be important factors. I expect a somewhat similar fight with Canelo not taking as many breaks the second time around.
Canelo via Majority Decision
Eric Duran – Bite Down Boxing Staff Writer: Golovkin
Whether you choose to believe Canelo Alvarez was on any type of performance enhancing drugs, meat or not, his body structure has certainly changed for the second fight.
And in my honest opinion, I think it will be his downfall when he faces Gennady Golovkin in their highly anticipated rematch this saturday night.
In their first encounter, Canelo’s mass and strength allowed him to absorb and weather the attack of GGG in the earlier rounds. In the later rounds he was to stand and trade with GGG and move him off his point of attack. He did all this as the bigger, stronger man.
I just can’t see him doing it again with the lean physique he’s taking into the ring on Saturday night.
GGG has never had issues with fast fighters or boxers. Danny Jacobs had success because he was damn near a Light Heavyweight on fight night. Canelo’s speed and movement allowed him to have moments but like I stated earlier, his strength allowed him to stay competitive throughout the fight.
Canelo will have to get on the inside and out hustle Golovkin, leaving himself in harms way. The pace Canelo will have to uphold to out punch and out maneuver Golovkin will leave him tired and weakened in the later rounds of the fight. Golovkin will be patient and attack the body early in the fight. By rounds 9 and 10, Golovkin will have closed the distance enough to either stop Canelo or rack up enough of the later rounds to win a close, competitive fight.
Zakwaan Shaukat Ali – TGTN Staff Writer: Golovkin
I am not sure where to start, I didn’t initially intend to do a prediction for this hotly anticipated rematch as huge GGG fan, debating between my heart and brain. However, I will attempt to remain objective as possible.
I originally picked Canelo when this fight was announced due to the fact he is the better boxer (marginally), the younger, fresher and in-prime fighter that will make more adjustments after the first fight and father–time would eventually catch up with Golovkin.
Since then I’ve done a full 180 on my prediction and I am leaning towards Golovkin. With all the politics and controversy that has gone on, I think Golovkin will make changes and give little-to-no respect this time round, in the first fight he was reluctant to go the body due to being susceptible to Canelo’s counters and focused a lot on the jab. Golovkin will be more offensive in the rematch and vary his attack (he knows he can take his best shots). Canelo being off the clenbuterol MAY be a factor, he is looking somewhat leaner now and also recently had knee surgery, which may cause problems for him in the fight. I don’t foresee a KO win for either guy, as both showed they have granite chins. I anticipate the same work-rate and effective aggression from GGG with Canelo catching him with eye-catching clean shots but “in spots” very much like the first fight.
Prediction: GGG PTS (I hope I haven’t jinxed him)
John Matthews – TGTN Contributor: Golovkin
Golovkin vs. Canelo, the much-anticipated rematch we’ve all looked forward to. Was Golovkin robbed in the first fight? Did Canelo do enough for the win never mind the draw? Opinion is divided on both fighters. Personally I can see an almost identical fight to the first with Golovkin stalking, patiently biding his time for his big right hand and Canelo mainly fighting on the back-foot and boxing in flurries. Both will have their successes in an enjoyable encounter once again and I believe the guy with the highest work-rate will win this. For me it’s Golovkin to win close, maybe even a split decision or majority decision. Let’s hope we are talking bout the fighters after the fight and not the referee or judges.
Erich Edmonds – TGTN Staff Writer: Golovkin
Before touching on the rematch I wanted to mention that I had GGG winning the first fight either 8 rounds to 4 or 7 rounds to 5, and as we go into round 13 of the Canelo/GGG saga I still see GGG coming out on top. One of GGG’s problems in the first fight was that he was somewhat stiff and hesitant the first few rounds until he settled in and loosened up. I don’t think he’ll have this problem in the rematch and he’ll be able to apply that famous pace and pressure sooner than he did in the first fight. Canelo’s outstanding counter punching and movement will keep it competitive and close but I still see him having stamina difficulty and trying to fight all 3 minutes of each round especially at GGG’s pace. We’ve seen pictures of a leaner, possibly faster Canelo, so I think it’s safe to say they know they can’t hurt GGG and are looking to break that habit of fighting in short bursts and trying to steal rounds. With his history of stamina issues and possibly not having the advantage of PEDs, I don’t see it being enough to keep up with GGG’s pressure.
My prediction is GGG by split decision
Ian Stewart – TGTN Contributor: Golovkin
At long last the fight between the two best middleweights in the world is on. The fight is going to be very similar to the first fight, Golovkin will apply the pressure with Canelo boxing on the back-foot. I feel if Golovkin can target the body, a bit more than he did in the first fight, he will have more success.
Canelo needs to engage a lot more, if he wants the KO he has said he is going for. I feel the only way Saul can win is on points. I don’t think he has the power to knock Golovkin out. I can only see one winner here and am predicting a Golovkin KO in the ninth round. One thing I am sure of is this fight will be a better fight than the first one.
Mike Goodpaster – TGTN Owner: Golovkin
I think both fighters fight in a particular style and they will fight that way this time also. I think Canelo’s stamina will be a key factor because he has always had issues with stamina. I assume that GGG realizes this fight is about legacy for him and will fight like it, which will mean taking more risks to get inside and attack Canelo’s body. I think Canelo comes out strong at first and will start to wear down around 6 and GGG comes out on top by 11th round stoppage.
Jeremiah Preisser – TGTN Editor/Writer/Co-Host: Golovkin
Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin has vindication on his mind. After being stiffed and led around by those less noble, he’s grown tired of trudging through the slush that’s prevented him from reaching the mountain’s summit.
It’s now or never on his legacy and he’s ready to trek gloriously across the crest.
Gennady Golovkin – 10/Saul Alvarez – 4