Canelo vs Golovkin: The Fight City Picks

It’s a match we’ve been waiting for since at least November of 2015 when Saul Alvarez defeated Miguel Cotto to win the lineal middleweight championship of the world. By that time Gennady Golovkin had already established himself as one of the most awe-inspiring knockout artists of recent years with one violent demolition after another. Everyone knew that in the middleweight division there were really only two boxers that mattered: Canelo and GGG. It was time for the best to fight the best.

Except it wasn’t. Some 20 months or more of marinating and mamadas were required first, but now, finally, it’s here. Golovkin vs Canelo. One of the best matches the sport of boxing has to offer. Two gifted fighters, clashing to determine who is truly the best middleweight in the entire world. And of course, the contributors to your favourite independent boxing website are only too glad to offer their picks for this great match-up. So let’s get to it. No marinating required.

For years now we’ve watched Canelo Alvarez dine on lesser foes in weight-class limbo as Gennady Golovkin salivates for a meaningful bout. No more. With the announcement of Canelo vs Golovkin came confirmation that 2017 cannot be a normal year, or even just a run-of-the-mill “good” year for boxing. An extraordinary year needs an encore, and Canelo vs Golovkin should provide it. Both men are competitive, unlikely to give up or lay down for anything, and both men sit atop the middleweight division. The throne can hold only one, however. Golovkin, the hungrier and more battle-tested of the two, will be looking to try the crown on for size, and if he settles into his familiar violent gear, there may simply be nothing Canelo can do to stop him. Golovkin TKO 10.       — Patrick Connor

So long as Golovkin stays behind his jab and avoids coming forward recklessly or smothering himself, which would accommodate Canelo’s defensive skills and short counters in close, he should do enough — particularly down the stretch — to earn himself a decision win. Here’s hoping the judges remain impartial.        — Lee Wylie 

My sense is that Golovkin, as he recently stated himself, made sure he didn’t look too devastating in recent outings in order to land this fight. In other words, Golovkin set a trap and Canelo has fallen into it. Two years or so from now, Alvarez wins this match, no question. But right now GGG is the better, smarter fighter. I don’t know if it will be a stoppage or a decision, but Golovkin is going to win.        — Manny Montreal

Golovkin by TKO in 10.     — Eliott McCormick

Gotta give it to Oscar, his marinating process seems to have worked perfectly. Canelo and Gennady are as evenly matched now as they ever will be and what we’ll get this weekend is two hurtful punchers who ooze pride, confidence and boxing smarts trading leather for the undisputed middleweight championship of the world. (The first reader to bring up B. J. Saunders gets a free kick in the nuts!)

So what will happen? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe the Kazakh beast pounds the lineal champ’s freckles off his face. Maybe the Mexican wunderkind boxes the fight of his life. Maybe Canelo and GGG throw bombs at each other for 12 rounds only to earn a draw that sets up an immediate rematch. Whatever happens, you don’t want to miss it. What’s that, Mr. Editor? You need me to be more specific? Fine. Canelo by split decision. But don’t hold me to it.     — Rafael Garcia

My fearless forecast is GGG by points. I think these two boxers are so equally matched that a knockout victory will be difficult to achieve for either of them. Canelo has the youth, the speed, and a significantly improved skill set going for him, but GGG has an edge in experience, power and ring generalship. Golovkin W12.       — Sheila Oviedo

I count myself among the groundswell now giving Canelo the edge. It’s not just the GGG-Jacobs fight that has pushed me into the Mexican’s camp: I feel Canelo is entering his prime while Golovkin may have lost half a step since annihilating David Lemieux two years ago. It’ll be hard-fought, but I see the younger man’s excellent counter punching and underrated defensive work paying dividends. Canelo on a split or majority decision.    — Ronnie McCluskey

Man, this one is hard to call. Canelo is so much better than the fighter he was four years ago. He’s big, he’s strong and he’s skilled. Sure enough, the man’s underrated boxing ability may prove to be a problem for GGG. Still. Golovkin’s strength is so notable that I think it will ultimately tell the tale. Those heavy shots of his may not stop Canelo, but they will take enough out of him to keep the red haired star from winning. Golovkin by split, perhaps even controversial, decision.          — Sean Crose

The effects of Gennady Golovkin losing a step or two, while perhaps true to an extent, have been overblown. Canelo Alvarez has indeed developed into a genuinely elite fighter, but I can’t see him bothering Golovkin in the same way Daniel Jacobs did. Canelo may have faster hands than the Kazakh and throw powerful, flashy combinations, but Golovkin will win this fight behind his exceptional jab. Using his straight left as a foundation, Golovkin will batter Canelo’s body and finish him in the second half of the fight. GGG by TKO in 9.         — Zachary Alapi 

I have been steadfast in my belief as to who would win this matchup ever since it was first discussed. I simply can’t pick against Golovkin in this one, even though I think it will be competitive. Canelo’s handspeed and combination punching will allow him to find some success but because he isn’t fleet of foot, and typically prefers to stay in the pocket with his opponents, he will be too easy a target for the Khazakh’s thunder. I see Golovkin landing body shots that drain Canelo and take the steam off his punches. Canelo will show his toughness by making it the final bell but it will be clear at the end that GGG is the better man. Golovkin by unanimous decision.         — Jamie Rebner

The key factor going into this fight, I think, is the timing. Golden Boy’s decision to keep Golovkin waiting for this megabout was likely a masterstroke. With the Kazakh fighter now rapidly approaching the wrong side of his 30s, and with Canelo having had an extra two years to mature, gain experience and hone his craft, at the very least the deck is now tilted more in the younger man’s direction. It’s still a monumental task for Canelo, and suggestions that Golovkin was “exposed” in any of his fights in the intervening period are pretty ridiculous. However, enough minor chinks have been seen in the Kazakh’s armour to suggest that Canelo has the boxing ability to win rounds. And while I certainly can’t see the Mexican scoring a knockout, he punches hard enough to gain Golovkin’s respect. If he can withstand the superior firepower coming back at him, I think he boxes to a close points win. Canelo by decision.          — Matt O’Brien

The biggest question of this match for many is if Father Time has caught up to GGG. Have the last two bouts against Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs shown cracks in the armor? I don’t think so. And I don’t believe that Canelo will be able to find the right rhythm to control the trajectory of the bout. GGG will outsmart, out-slug, and out-will his opponent to a decision victory.               — Thad Moore

Golden Boy’s premier cash generator and Mexican hero has finally completed his homework against Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. but Mexican pride ensures the Kazakh destroyer cannot be swerved any longer. Canelo will look to counter with body shots and seize on GGG’s supposed flat-footedness and limited movement but it’s forgotten that Golovkin chooses to fight this way, his way, the Mexican style. GGG is the bigger man, the more dangerous puncher and he needs to slowly break Canelo down, similar to the Lemiuex beatdown. Blowouts of undersized welterweights and light middles followed by a facile assignment against a drained and inactive Chavez Jr will not suffice in preparing for Golovkin. A motivated, malevolent and focused Golovkin will enter the ring this time, a sharp upgrade from the GGG of the Brook and Jacobs outings. Oh and let’s not ignore the fact that Jacobs himself is a world-class middleweight before we identify that fight as evidence of the Kazakh’s decline. The sight of Golovkin, belts aloft like war banners from a medieval battle, is one of boxing’s magnetic attractions. Two of the very best from far flung corners of the world striving to cement their legacies. My pick is GGG by TKO in the 10th after an enthralling chess match marked by thrilling in-the-pocket exchanges.          — Gary Elbert

I’m a little ponderous after the Jacobs fight. Was it as simple as Golovkin slipping or was it the fact that Jacobs is a big middleweight with the physical attributes and fight tactics to trouble him? I’m hoping the latter, hoping that against an opponent lacking Jacobs’ height and reach Golovkin will have more success dictating range and pace. But I’m looking at splinters in my backside here because I’m torn between the two. I think if Golovkin fights as disciplined a fight as he did against Lemieux he’ll have a similar result, albeit a later stoppage or even a points win. If he tries to steamroll Canelo, he may eat too many counters. But in the final analysis, I give the edge to Golovkin.    — Damien Burton

Canelo tried so hard to avoid this match, marinating the hell out of it while beating up guys like Amir Khan, Liam Smith and Chavez Jr. Can anyone imagine worse preparation for taking on a truly world-class wrecking machine like Golovkin? As Abel Sanchez quipped, “Cinnamon is toast.” The opening rounds will be competitive and, hopefully, action-packed, but once the Kazakh finds his range and rhythm this will quickly become a one-sided beat down. Golovkin by TKO in seven.      — Robert Portis

I favour Golovkin. Canelo has some big names on his record but they all come with fine print: his biggest wins are over blown-up welterweights or fighters nearing the end, or with limited power. Golovkin, at 35, is still sharp, a true middleweight, and he hits like a freight train. Speaking of which, his power is often brought up a the expense of his boxing skills which he definitely possesses. Further, he has proven time and again that he can take as much as he can give and I think durability could be a major factor here. I just hope the fight lives up to expectations and I especially hope that those who paid to watch the MayMac circus won’t hesitate to purchase this fight.         — Simon Traversy

Canelo’s combination punching, body attack and maturity into a legitimately good pro is going to be on full display against Golovkin, who has coincidentally looked more vulnerable coming off of wins against opponents who used a more cerebral approach than just punching at the wind. Many people question if Canelo has what it takes to deal with Golovkin’s pressure, but if Golovkin comes forward all night, he’s playing right into Alvarez’s hands. It’ll be competitive, but Canelo’s body attack in the early rounds will slow Golovkin down enough so he can be outworked the rest of the night. Canelo wins a controversy-free and deserved decision.           — Danny Howard

As much as people want to point to GGG’s struggles against Daniel Jacobs, the fact is Jacobs is 6’1 compared to the 5’9 Canelo and he was able to keep GGG at bay with his length and size. Canelo will be competitive but GGG’s power should break him down in the later rounds.  Golovkin by TKO in 10.      — Chris Connor

Saul Alvarez may be the more skilled fighter, and his counter-punching style should, in theory, favor him in this fight against GGG’s relentless pressure and if Saul pitches a great fight he should win a clear decision. But this is Gennady Golovkin’s division. I expect the Kazakh warrior to fight intelligently behind his jab, breaking Canelo down as the fight progresses. Golovkin by late round stoppage.       — Alfonso Jasso

Gennady Golovkin is 35-years-old and it’s possible he has lost some of the explosiveness that we saw in his most impressive wins, but he will be pumped like never before for this match, one that is truly historic. Meanwhile, Alvarez was not exactly anxious to take this fight and for me Canelo’s most revealing trait is his fixation with weight. He is an absolute master at taking advantage of the day before weigh-in and ensuring he is the bigger, heavier man on fight night. It seems this preoccupation has motivated him to bulk up ahead of this showdown, packing on muscle like never before. But big muscles don’t win boxing matches and they won’t necessarily make him the stronger, more powerful fighter in the ring. They won’t help him in the stamina department either. Somewhere in the middle rounds Alvarez is going to tire from the constant pressure and Golovkin will go about methodically breaking him down. Canelo is a proud fighter and he’ll do everything he can to stay in it, but either his corner or the referee will have to stop it. Golovkin by late round TKO.          — Michael Carbert 

4 thoughts on “Canelo vs Golovkin: The Fight City Picks

  • September 14, 2017 at 12:27 am
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    Canelo vs Golovkin: The Artist vs The Soldier.
    If Canelo wins it will be because of his flamboyance, creativity and preemptive defensive skills. If Golovkin wins it will be because of simplicity: good fundamentals, size, pressure and a consistent jab.
    Who cares if Canelo is against the ropes? He’s a horse-riding, car-racing thrill-seeker. His best mental attribute is composure, so he won’t falter under Golovkin’s pressure.
    Jacobs’ boxing skills made Golovkin apprehensive to attack, and people are right to point out Jacobs’ height and reach as factors that helped. But more important is boxing brain. Jacobs was basically a brawler before he fought Golovkn, so imagine the trepidation Canelo’s boxing brain will give Golovkin. If he can get Golovkin to think too much, he will win.
    Stamina may be the Achilles heel in Canelo’s game plan. He likes to control the pace of the fight, and when guys move away from him, Canelo can take time off in the rounds. Under Golovkin’s pressure, he may be worked harder than ever before. And with the extra muscles he’s gained to help absorb shots, he may gas out down the stretch.

    The Judges:
    I believe most people are naturally sympathetic. If you are a neutral watching a football game and one team is losing, you don’t route for more punishment, you route for the losing team to make a comeback. same things goes for fighting, i believe. Andre ward appealed to the Judges’ sympathy when he got off the canvas against the bigger man who was bullying him, and fought courageously –appealing to the judges’ sympathy. Leonard did the same when he rallied in the last minute of each round against the younger, bigger Hagler. Canelo will do the same when he fights his way off the ropes against the bigger Golovkin to the chorus of tens of thousands of screaming Mexicans. This will also affect the judges. To the cynical thinkers, Canelo is the golden boy of boxing and has a history of dodgy decisions, perhaps implying corruption. If this fight is close, and goes the distance, expect Canelo to eek it out.

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  • September 14, 2017 at 8:42 pm
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    Canelo is too small, too stationary, and underpowered. I’m surprised so many consider this a pick-em fight. His recent opposition, since Cotto, really, has not even begun to prepare him for this. Golovkin already beat the second-best middleweight in Jacobs. If a guy that big, rangy, powerful, and mobile can’t win the GGG Challenge, neither can Canelo, who couldn’t put away the husk of JCC Jr. in his last outing. He might start out trying to box, but he’ll get winded with the extra weight and relentless pressure. His defense is solid, but he often uses his upper body, not his legs, which means he’s still vulnerable to body shots, which are kinda GGG’s thing. He’s up against a motivated natural middleweight with superior footwork, power, and chin, all of which will be deciding factors on Saturday. Golovkin and Abel Sanchez know damn well they need to end it before the final bell, and I see no indication Canelo can do more than delay the inevitable (and hopefully make it fun while it lasts.) Unless he’s dramatically declined in the last 6 months, GGG by late TKO in a brutal fight.

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