The most anticipated match of 2017 delivered in numerous ways and in the end it was 12 highly competitive rounds which were a credit to both fighters. Herewith, the thoughts and reflections of our writers on last night’s Canelo vs Golovkin duel, a great and historic middleweight clash, and, hopefully, not the last time these two do battle.
Some of the best sex of our boxing lives and no climax! Rematch? Yes, please!
— Manny Montreal
Any haters for either Gennady Golovkin or Saul Alvarez are simply too dumb to appreciate the sport of boxing. Both men elevated each other to greatness in a high-stakes fight that left us wanting more and a rematch should be the first priority for both men. However, Canelo would be wise to stay away from Golovkin, and Oscar De La Hoya isn’t going to let the pulse of his business get snuffed out in a second go-round after dodging a bullet last night. For now, Golovkin remains the man at middleweight and will be so for the immediate future, or until he crosses paths with Jermall Charlo, who looms as his mandatory contender for 2018. — Danny Howard
In the early rounds, Canelo demonstrated how far he has come in terms of speed, technique, defense, and overall mastery of the craft, but this was Golovkin’s night and it was his fight. His effectiveness stems from his superior ability to cut the ring and while punching power can diminish with age, GGG’s ring leadership has not waned. Canelo’s loss of energy and rhythm was a testament to GGG’s pressure and control of the ring, and Canelo’s added bulk probably didn’t help. Ultimately, the boxer who disables GGG’s proficiency in cutting the ring is the boxer who will defeat the Kazakh. Canelo valiantly tried, but failed. — Sheila Oviedo
Let it be said that I myself scored the first Canelo vs Golovkin fight a draw. That doesn’t make me a psychic, but I sense it may make my opinion quite unpopular. But while everyone wants a clear winner, and this big event, coupled with a truly electric atmosphere, called for it, things don’t always work out as we hope. Just ask Canelo and Golovkin themselves, who clearly are unhappy with the outcome. Truth be told, this was a hard one to call. Canelo looked to me to be landing the harder shots, but his actions throughout made it appear as if Golovkin’s were more effective. This bout threatens to be as controversial as another close 12 round middleweight fight, Hagler vs Leonard, but I hope it doesn’t become a match that is overshadowed by the decision. Take away the one outrageous scorecard and this was a good night for boxing. — Sean Crose
Focusing on the quality of a fight (high, if you’re asking) isn’t easy when the result is confusing. An otherwise enjoyable tilt turned sour when a judge we all know to be incompetent handed in yet another laughable score card, tabbing only two rounds for Golovkin. A draw was not wholly unreasonable, but cards like that call the entire system into question. We likely learned more about Golovkin than we did Canelo, whose inconsistent output lost him some close rounds, as it has before. The Kazakh puncher again respected his opponent too much and his punching power appeared less-than-lethal. But even in falling short of an emphatic win, Golovkin pushed the pace and forced most of the fighting on a younger foe who at times appeared uncomfortable pushing back. It’s time to see who learns and adjusts better for a rematch, and this time, Oscar, with a respectable undercard. — Patrick Connor
There are two points on which to focus right now. The first is that Canelo vs Golovkin turned out to be a very good fight, almost a great one. There were some genuinely tense rounds, some genuinely explosive ones, and there were plenty of dramatic moments. Both guys threw hurtful punches and demonstrated skill and guts in equal measure and perhaps what most impressed me is that neither guy seemed seriously hurt at any point, despite the fact both landed plenty of accurate, powerful shots.
The second point to make, unfortunately, has to with the scorecards. Adelaide Byrd’s 118-110 score for Canelo is simply pathetic. That said, I saw a very close fight with a fair share of rounds that could’ve gone either way. Golovkin was relentless in his stalking, it’s true, but Canelo was able to deflect and evade punches with upper body movement. Canelo also counterpunched effectively, marking up Golovkin’s face, and landing the more eye-catching shots. My scorecard had Canelo ahead seven rounds to five, so the draw didn’t surprise nor outrage me, and neither would have a close Golovkin win. Too bad I can’t say the same about Byrd’s lame scorecard. Bring on the rematch! — Rafael Garcia
Much has, and will be, written about Adelaide Byrd’s criminal 118-110 scorecard and the debate about whether Gennady Golovkin was denied the defining win he seemed to deserve (in an engrossing, competitive fight, mind you). But aside from that, one thing Canelo vs Golovkin also turned out to be, unfortunately, was a tale of opposing post-fight interviews. Golovkin, with his characteristic impish grin, didn’t focus on scoring or any kind of gross injustice; instead, he eagerly stated that he wants a rematch and only gave Canelo a slight dig with his hope that it’ll be “a real fight.” Canelo, who through his performance gave all fight fans ample reasons to praise him, showed how being the sport’s cash cow and golden boy can make one’s ego extremely fragile. His dismissal of Golovkin’s power, claim that he won eight rounds, and assertion that he’ll take the rematch if that’s what the fans “want” came across as petulant. Canelo is an excellent fighter and he battled Golovkin with skill, honour, and resolve, and yet he couldn’t help acting like an entitled prick when showing some solidarity would have been worthy of how both men fought. — Zachary Alapi
Because of Canelo’s defensive craft and ring smarts, Golovkin never came close to scoring a knockout, but because of “GGG’s” pace, pressure, and insane durability (is there a sturdier chin in boxing?), Alvarez was made to work when he wanted to rest, and ultimately got out-hustled by the older man. For me, Golovkin won no fewer than seven rounds. … Obviously, Adalaide Byrd handed in a lousy card. But Don Trella was the only judge who awarded round seven, a clear round for “GGG” in my opinion, to Canelo. Regardless of Byrd’s horrible scoring, Golovkin wins the fight if Trella scores the seventh correctly. — Lee Wylie
Draws exist for fights such as this, close competitive battles after which it is tough to pick a winner. I saw this as exceedingly close, awarding Canelo the win by a solitary point, but some went the other way and had Golovkin ahead by 2 or 3. No matter. We saw a great fight, a tactical and engrossing duel between the best middleweights on Earth. Canelo was sharp and accurate and brilliantly evasive; Golovkin was strong as a bull, relentless, marauding. Each had their moments. Boxing is a subjective business and I preferred Canelo’s crisper, cleaner and more eye-catching work. Golovkin was super aggressive but was made to miss, sometimes wildly, and was picked off at times. However, he was also bossing the centre of the ring and dictating the pace, outworking Canelo in many of the rounds. Sign me up for a rematch. — Ronnie McCluskey
As I watched the fight and heard the scorecard’s being read, all I could think of was Dana White and Scott Coker laughing their asses off. White especially has always told anybody who will listen how dirty boxing is, how they chased their fans away and that they never learn. If you were a fan and saw the fight how most people saw that fight, you have to feel sick. Golovkin got screwed, and now they will hype a rematch and try to gouge the public for more money. This was supposed to be The Fight Of The Year but fans will come away feeling like they got hustled. It pisses me off. — Chris Connor
Depite the fact that the final three rounds featured a Canelo Alvarez who came back to life and took part in some of the best exchanges of the match, the bottom line is the Kazakh did more than enough to win. Golovkin at times looked masterful and overall he out-worked and out-landed Canelo. The controversy surrounding the outcome of this title tilt is justified. Canelo simply did not do enough to win. And while it was a quality contest, it was not a great one. In my opinion Joshua vs Klitschko, DeGale vs Jack, and Miura vs Roman were all far better this year. –Thad Moore
I was at a wedding and it was something to see so many people huddled around smart phones, watching these two warriors go at it. Not bad for a dying sport. And these people were excited, they were enjoying it, but in the end they were reminded how boxing has disappointed them. What could have been a great night for the sport ended up being marred by the problem we just can’t seem to get rid of.
In my opinion, Golovkin commanded that ring last night and Canelo had nowhere to go. Even though Alvarez at times landed the cleaner blows, he was outworked and cornered at will. He demonstrated his skills, countering beautifully, boxing well in the center of the ring, but his work wasn’t enough to deserve a victory. That said, it was close but that one scorecard is nothing short of outrageous. So, once again, another great fight overshadowed by bad judging. What else is new? — Alfonso Jasso
It’s hard to overstate the excitement and sense of occasion when Michael Buffer makes his pre-fight announcements for a bout of this magnitude. No matter what you thought of the result, both fighters proved their greatness, in different ways. We got a match-up that ebbed and flowed and enthralled and intrigued; we got an elite tactical and physical battle that tested each man’s ring craft and ring mettle in equal measure; we got a great fight. Unfortunately, there’s usually a “but” in boxing, and we got one of those, too. The good news is that we’ll almost certainly see a rematch, and a good case could be made for either winning it. Boxing’s been on a roll in 2017 as the matchmakers have gotten their act together to ensure the best fight the best. All we need now is for the commissions to start to get their act together, too. — Matt O’Brien
Canelo and GGG could have fought two or three years ago if they had wanted to, and they clearly should have after Alvarez won the lineal middleweight title some 18 months ago, but there was no entity in boxing powerful enough to make sure it happened. So for me the real take-away from last night’s fight is the likelihood that “marinating” will continue to be an influential factor in deciding when the best finally fight the best. This is terrible for the sport.
No one can argue the fact that Floyd Mayweather avoided Manny Pacquiao for five years or more and was then rewarded with an obscene payday when he took on an obviously diminished version of the “Pac Man.” Canelo Alvarez avoided Gennady Golovkin for at least a year and a half and when he finally fought him he escaped with a draw and no doubt many of his fans believe he should have won. But it’s impossible to deny that the Golovkin in the ring last night is not the same fighter who decimated Matthew Macklin, Daniel Geale and Martin Murray.
All that aside, it was an excellent match, very competitive, though clearly Golovkin got the better of it. Here’s hoping they don’t marinate the rematch, but no one can be shocked if they do. — Robert Portis