This coming weekend we'll likely see the end of one of the most personal rivalries in modern day boxing, as Mexican star Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (57-2-2, 39) and Kazakh icon Gennadiy Golovkin (42-1-1, 37) meet in their third, and likely final, bout. Like the previous two the bout is expected to be a thriller between two incredibly talented, well rounded fighters, with different styles, but the same hunger to prove themselves and the same desire to take home the win over their greatest nemesis.
The two men, who's careers will always be linked, first fought in September 2017, with Golovkin holding 3 of the 4 major world titles. That bout saw the men fight to a much disputed draw, with many feeling that Canelo had been protected from a loss by the judges, especially Adalaide Byrd who some how gave Golovkin just 2 rounds with an awful 118-110 card for Canelo. The two were scheduled to rematch the following May but a failed drugs test by Alvarez saw the bout being pushed back to September 2018 when Canelo controversially defeated Golovkin to claim the WBA and WBC Middleweigjt titles. Since that bout the two men went their separate ways, though it always seemed like a third was, ultimately, in their destiny.
Since losing to Canelo we've seen Golovkin go 4-0 (3), he has looked like he has lost a gear, though still had enough to beat top competition in the form of Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Ryota Murata, and not just reclaim world honours at Middleweight but also unifying the IBF and WBA "super" titles. Canelo on the other hand has gone 7-1 (5). Along the way he claimed the WBO Light Heavyweight title and unified all 4 world titles at Super Middleweight, before losing last time out, at Super Middleweight, to Dmitriy Bivol. That loss was his first since 2013, when he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr, and much like Mayweather Jr.
For this bout, unlike the other two, the fight will take place at Super Middleweight. The move in weight could be an interesting factor. It's the weight class that has seen Canelo control in recent years, with notable wins over Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant, to secure all 4 titles, but also a weight that he will be dropping back down to, which is rarely an easy task. Likewise for Golovkin the bout will be his first at 168lbs, though he has had catch weight fights above 160lbs early in his career, and it will be very interesting to see what he looks like at the higher weight.
In the ring not a lot needs saying about either man, afterall they have both been fighting at the top level for over a decade and we suspect everyone who follows the sport will have seen a lot of both men. Canbelo is a smooth punching, intelligent pressure fighter, with a good boxing brain, solid power and decent work rate. He isn't the quickest, the most powerful, or the strongest, but he's a smart fighter who has under-rated defense, excellent offense, and lovely combination punching, especially up close. At range he can look poor, and a fighter who keeps him chasing can make him look poor, but his pressure tends to get to fighters, sooner or later. As for Golovkin he's a defensively limited fighter, but someone who has rocks for hands, a very good work rate, a stunning chin, and can land brutal shots to head or body. Sadly Golovkin has slowed down, a lot, from the fighter he once was, and looked only a shadow of himself at times against Murata.
Coming in to this we don't expect to see anything new from the men involved. Aged 40 isn't suddenly going to develop into a defensive master and at 32 Canelo, with 61 fights to his name, we don't expect to see anything new from Canelo either. Saying that we don't expect this fight to fully look like their previous two, which were instant classics. We, sadly, expect Golovkin to again look old. Especially early on, and that will work to Canelo's strength, with Alvarez being an excellent body puncher. It seemed that Murata hurt Golovkin with a body shot in their bout, and Alvarez might not have the single punch power of Murata, but places shots better, is a better combination puncher and is clearly quicker and sharper. With that in mind we expect to see Canelo going to the body early, landing there a lot in the first 3 or 4 rounds, and take gas out of Golovkin's tyres. Later on we expect to see Golovkin begin to show what he can do, but not have the intensity needed to make a major impact, before slowing down again as Canelo gets his second wind and does enough to earn a clear decision, if not a very late stoppage against a tired Golvokin.
Although we do favour Canelo here, we do expect the move up in weight will be a good one for Golovkin, and perhaps something he should have done in 2019, following his loss to Canelo. We can't help but feel his frame would have suited the division well, and bouts against the likes of Callum Smith, Caleb Plant and Billy Joe Saunders would have been interesting for him at 168lbs.
Prediction - UD12 Canelo
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.