On Saturday night we we had a PPV that featured 4 bouts. The first 3 of those lasted a combined 9 rounds, but thankfully the main event gave us not only 12 rounds of action, but 12 of the very best rounds of 2018. Those rounds provided us with a highly technical high tempo war to decide the premier Middleweight on the planet. For once a highly hyped and massively anticipated bout lived up to the expectations and more.
The match up in question saw long term Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 24) take on the hugely popular Saul Alvarez (50-1-2, 34) with the 36 year old Golovkin looking to defend the WBA Super and WBC Middleweight titles against a man he controversially fought to a draw against a year ago.
Sadly for the Kazakh it wasn't to be his day, as Canelo narrowly took home the decision in what was one of the most hotly contested, and exciting, bouts of 2018.
Canelo stamped his authority on the bout early on. He started better, applying the pressure and and landing the cleaner in the first few rounds. Building moment that he could carry forward. The pressure of Canelo saw him not only force Golovkin to move more, but also saw the Mexican landing the eye catching counter shots.
Golovkin managed to stage a fight back in the middle rounds, cutting Canelo's left eye as he began to out work the Mexican fighter. Canelo continued to land the better single blows, but was being out-worked on the whole, in rounds that were very well balanced and featured some fantastic back and forth action. It was a war, yet it was technical. Neither man got reckless, neither man was wild, both were sharp though it seemed like Canelo's shots were that little bit more eye catching, even if he was a bit more conservative.
After the very competitive middle section the bout turned heavily in favour of Golovkin who began to have a second wind in round 9 as he picked up his work rate. Golovkin's success would grow more in round 10, a round that saw him clearly hurt Canelo, and round 11. They were as clear rounds to Golovkin as the first 2 or 3 were for Alvarez and it was clear that the decision was going to go down to how the judges had scored the middle rounds.
The final round, like many of the middle rounds, was close. It ended with Golovkin cut around the right eye, but there had been almost nothing to pick between the two men. It was a round that could have gone either way, like many from the contest.
When we reached the score cards the reality was that the bout could have gone either way. It seemed a lot more competitive and compelling than their first bout. Canelo had changed his style more, going from a back foot boxer to a pressure fighter, and forced Golovkin to show something new to his boxing. Both men were banged up, both had been cut, and both had looked like they were going to need some serious recovery time.
Despite the swelling and cuts it was Canelo who managed to get the win, with a majority decision. The judges returning cards of 114-114, and 115-113, twice, in his favour. Unlike the first bout between the two men there was no outlying score-cards, instead all 3 judges score the bout in a way that seemed right. There was no clear winner, and that showed.
Whilst Golovkin will clearly be disappointed in the result, there can be no major complaint. It really was a bout that was so close that it showed how even the men were. He may want a rematch, but at the age of 36 we wonder if there is another 12 hard rounds left in him. For Canelo the bout is his crowning as the Middleweight's king, and he will now be the man the others will be chasing. His status as a unified champion, and this huge win, will help him put a frustrating 2018 behind him.
A rematch would make sense, and is perhaps the most logical choice for both men, but with fighters like Ryota Murata and Billy Joe Saunders out there it may make more sense for the two to go their own way, rather than take the punishment that another 12 rounds against each other will give them.
A frustrating few weeks for Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 34) concluded earlier tonight as he took on American Vanes Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21), a late replacement for Mexico's Saul “Canelo” Alvarez who failed a drugs test in the build to a fight with Golovkin. Coming in to the bout Martirosyan had been inactive for 2 years, and had lost his most recent bout at Light Middleweight.
Sadly for Martirosyan he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Golovkin's frustrations were taken out on the underwhelming challenger, who suffered his first stoppage loss whilst Golovkin recorded his 20th world title title defense and retained the WBA “super” and WBC Middleweight titles.
The first round saw Martirosyan start pretty well and he seemed sharp and fast, not like a fighter who had ring rust from inactivity. Sadly though his speed and success really didn't help Martirosyan as Golovkin took what blows he landed with out flinching whilst coming forward himself and looking to land his own, trademark, bombs.
Having had a good opening round Martirosyan seemed to look to start round 2 fast, but was caught by an uppercut that clearly hurt him. The challenger was bundled over before landing a few shots of his. Sadly the success of Martirosyan seemed to infuriate Golovkin who immediately returned fire and lets his shots go, forcing Martirosyan on to the ropes, and then down to the canvas for the 10 count.
Now Golovkin is in a weird position. He clearly wants the rematch with Alvarez, the bout is the biggest paying contest by a mile, but he has an IBF mandatory title fight due with Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko and would also like to have a WBO unification bout with Billy Joe Saunders. It suddenly seems like fighters, like Ryota Murata and Jermall Charlo, want a piece of Golovkin and he may well have gone from being one of the sports most avoided men into one of the most wanted, with a number of fighters vying to have him as their next foe.
For Martirosyan the loss was an expected one, and although it's unclear what his plans are, he really didn't look like a Middleweight in their with Golovkin, and his further could be very short if he continues to fight as a Middleweight.
The problem with super-fights is they very rarely live up to the hope and expectation. Tonight however we had one of those rare fights that lived up to the marketing, the hype and fans hopes and dreams, and what a fight it was as Middleweight supremacy was settled, and we were able to see something truly memorable. Soured only by the judges ringside who, once again, saw something very different to the reality in the ring.
The bout in question saw Kazakh destroyer Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33) take on Mexican icon Saul Alvarez (49-1-2, 34) in a bout for the WBA, WBC, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine Middleweight titles. It was a bout that had been spoken about for weeks, every boxing fan had some sort of view on the bout and it promised so much, yet delivered even more.
The fight perfectly for Alvarez who had a dream start as he looked too quick and too explosive for the older, slower Golovkin. The Kazakh struggled to get his range as the Mexican just used his edge in speed and youth to take control and use Golovkin's pressure against him. The early work of Canelo made it look like he was going to find life easy but in round 3 his speed started to decline just a touch and Golovkin began to find his range, with his pressure beginning to take effect.
As the pressure from Golovkin grew so did his success as he repeatedly walked Canelo back to the ropes and unloaded. The pressure forced Canelo to work hard to create openings, and although he was trying to fight as a counter puncher he was taking significantly more than he was giving and often he was forced to take the heavier and more telling shots.
From round 3 to 10 the fight took the same basic approach round after round. Golovkin would force Canelo back, Canelo would fight off the ropes in spurts, but would never be able to earn the respect of the Kazakh who walked through everything without even blinking whilst grinding down the Mexican. Canelo landed huge rights,massive uppercuts but couldn't slow down Golovkin who came through them like the terminator and landed his own shots, in much higher volume than Alvarez.
In the final two rounds Canelo came alive slightly, managing to find the energy to fight hard for about a minute of each round. Though he was then forced back, and the typical action of the fight continued, with Golovkin forcing Alvarez on to the backfoot and limit his activity.
At the end of the fight it seemed clear that Golovkin had won, he had taken rounds 4-10 with no argument at all, and the closest it could have been, giving Canelo every close round, was 115-113. The reality however was that the fight had been more of a 10-2 or 9-3 fight in Golovkin's favour. Somehow though Adelaide Byrd, a judge who is now gaining a really serious reputation for outlandish cards, had scored the bout 118-110 to Canelo, a card that simply made no sense and really needs to be scrutinised in the most serious of fashion. The second card was on the edges of reality, at 115-113 for Golovkin whilst the third was 114-114, forcing a split draw.
After the fight both men were interviewed, and the reactions of the crowd said it all as they cheered Golovkin and heavily booed Canelo. The crowd were pissed about the decision, and had every reason to be as there was a clear winner, denied his glory and the fight was left with a disgusting black mark against due to the judging.
Boxing has it's upsets, it has it's real moments of magic and it also has it's moments that leave us empty. Tonight we had had an upset that shook the boxing world, as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai out battled and out fought Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez to claim the WBC Super Flyweight title, in an upset of the year contender. Around 1 hour later we saw the Middleweight division leave us with a foul taste.
That taste has been left due to a poor decision by the judges that left the WBC, IBF, IBO and WBA “Super” titles all with Kazakh Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33) who seemed to be out boxed, out though and out sped by American Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29). In fact it seemed so clear that Jacobs won that that it really will be one of the bouts that ends up being discussed as the “robbery of the year” come December.
The fight started tentatively, with both men showing a lot of respect to the other man. Coming in both were vaunted punchers and both were considered real dangers to the other, meaning that the tentative nature was understandable.
The first 3 rounds were all close, they were too tentative to really call a clear winner, but if there was a man coming off better in them it was Jacobs, who seemed to out land and out skill a rather predictable and overcautious Golovkin. The Kazakh did land some solid jabs, but their American just seemed to land the more varied and more consistent leather.
The first really clear round was round 4, a round that saw Golovkin's power secure him the round with a knockdown. The knockdown wasn't a heavy one, and Jacobs looked like he was hungrier afterwards, but it was a knockdown that essentially put Golovkin back into the picture.
The success Golovkin had in round 4 seemed to inspire him in the following round, but Jacobs stood his ground more often and although he was tagged a fair bit he was firing back, using his better speed and lateral movement to more than hold his own.
Having realised he could take Golovkin's power Jacobs had a sensational 6th round, which saw him really take the fight to Golovkin and land some seriously big leather on to the Kazakh. Golovkin did well to never look hurt, but the bombs were landing from Jacobs who looked like he was building in confidence. That confidence continued to grow with Jacobs again having sustained success in round 7, despite taking some heavy shots late.
Golovkin seemed to sense the fight was slipping away and came out for round 8 faster than he had earlier on. It was a good start by the Kazakh but by the end of the round Jacobs seemed to have done enough with his combinations and to impress and to over-come the slow start to the round,
Jacobs was becoming over-confident at times and that was most obvious in round 9 when he was wobbled big time, following a big uppercutt and right hand from the Kazakh who looked close to dropping Jacobs for a second time. The American, to his credit, withstood the assault, hold and saw his way through the round. It seemed like it would be the start of a charge from Golovkin but in round 10 Jacobs was again the man shining with a number of big left hands and a lovely flowing variety from his shots. The American didn't looked phased in round 11 either when Golovkin tried to turn the screw and instead the was Jacobs who seemed to land the better shots, though Golovkin landed the single best shot which was a cracking uppercutt.
Going in to the final round it seemed like Golovkin would need a stoppage to retain his title, he however struggled to connect with much cleanly. It was a round he won but not one that saw him hurt Jacobs.
At the end it felt like a fight like Jacobs had won, despite the knockdown. He neutralised Golovkin, for the most part, he hand landed the eye catching flurries, he had boxed brilliantly through the fight and it looked like he felt he'd won whilst Golovkin looked like he felt he'd lost.
Despite the bout feeling like a close but clear win for Jacobs, the judges all disagreed, scoring it 114-113 and 115-112, twice, in favour of Golovkin. The Kazakh had seemingly gotten out of jail with 3 very cards, in a bout that he really didn't do enough to win. Interestingly the final round, which Golovkin won with ease, was essentially the thing that turned a split decision into a unanimous decision.
One thing we will admit is that bout does seem to have split fans, with plenty suggesting that Golovkin's jab was the key punch and earned him the win. Whilst we can see the argument that Golovkin's jab was the most significant punch during the fight, we can't help but feel that it wasn't ever enough to overcome the combinations of Jacob's on the whole.
Middleweight destroyer Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33) continued his reign as the WBC, IBF, WBA Super and IBO Middleweight champion earlier today as he scored a 5th round TKO over brave Englishman Kell Brook (36-1, 25). With Brook giving a much better effort than many had expected.
The first saw Golovkin look for a KO from the opening seconds and he buzzed Brook in the opening moments. Brook however bit down on his gum shield, showed his cojones and started to fight back. The Englishman had success in the later stages of the opening round and then build on that success with an excellent effort in round 2, landing some nasty shots including a vicious uppercut whilst taking advantage of Golovkin's wreckless aggression. Despite the success of Brook in round 2 he did appear to suffer some facial damage with the fighter himself suffering a pretty clear eye injury.
In round 3 Golovkin stepped it up and really started the round aggressively with some damaging shots to Brook in the first half of the round. The second half of the round saw Brook again boxing well, settling to the task at hand with some solid shots. Again Brook grew success from success and in round 4 the Englishman again had some genuine moments as his confidence built, though he was forced to take some bombs, including a monster on the bell.
In round 5 Golovkin got off to a fast start and hurt Brook early in the round before landing shot after shot. Brook remained on his feet but took a pounding with his corner trying to pull their man out. Golovkin continued to land until the referee finally saw Brook's corner waving the towel and stepped in.
The Kazakh destroyer didn't look his best. From the off it looked like he lacked respect for Brook, launching ridiculously stupid shots at the Englishman and not using his footwork or his jab properly. Brook was quick on his feet in the early stages but when Golovkin finally got his boxing together, in round 5, the bout looked very one sided.
For Brook the loss will be a set back, however it will be one that he will get serious praise from. He will likely continue his career at 154lbs and will almost certainly have notable success going forward, if the injury to his eye isn't too serious long term
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.