Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez have fought in more than 50 world title fights in a decade of dominance.
Golovkin was once untouchable, Canelo is second to none as boxing’s financial savior and on Saturday night they fight in Las Vegas for a third time.
Their first fight of 2017 was a shared tie and their rematch a year later was won by Canelo by the slimmest margin. So far there seems to be a story in each of the 24 rounds they’ve shared in the T-Mobile Arena; The venue is uniquely the home of their trilogy fight.
Golovkin is now 40; his only loss in 44 fights was the loss to Canelo in September 2018, a loss he denies. Earlier this year, he traveled to Japan to stop local Ryota Murata from adding the WBA middleweight title to his IBF version. In 2010 he won a world title for the first time; Canelo won his first world title in 2011. There will never be such veterans in the future of boxing.
Canelo is the baby bruiser with the Mexican heritage and the burden; He is remarkably still only 32 years old but has fought 61 times. His two defeats were risks; Floyd Mayweather surpassed him in 2013, and in May of that year he lost on points to undefeated light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol. In fights between the two losses, Canelo became boxing’s highest-paid attraction and an old-fashioned star.
Now the two men are probably on the other side of their peaks but still the best in the business. Canelo has held all four super middleweight belts for the past year and Golovkin only has the two middleweight belts at the moment. Saturday’s third bout, however, has nothing to do with the bullets they so religiously shine and everything with the intricate layers of justice that motivate so many wealthy boxers.
Golovkin wants revenge in the ring for the two fights he believes he won, and Canelo wants to end all talk of his controversial victories forever. They are both righteously hoping for Saturday night, both confident in their own ability to have the last word.
It’s clear Golovkin isn’t as evil in the ring now as he was in his prime when he ruined a dozen top challengers, often in gruesome performances. He killed fighters with devastating blows to the liver and head, and they often fell to the ground in agony and screaming. He stopped or eliminated 37 of the 42 men he beat. He was ruthless, cold in the ring and a smiling delight off the lights. “I’m bringing a big drama show,” he predicted. And he did.
Canelo is more methodical but just as fierce, and his fists have left so many cold or curled up on screen in tears. He wasn’t ready for Mayweather and Bivol was too big and smart, but there are very few signs of the boy wonder aging. His first fights were for a handful of pesos in tiny locations in Mexico when he was just 15 years old. Now he makes over $40 million from every fight.
It’s hard to bet against Canelo, it’s hard to see signs that his batting resistance has slipped; a vulnerable fighter is fodder for Golovkin. Less than a year ago, Canelo was exceptional by defeating Caleb Plant in Las Vegas on a night to remember. Plant was taller, fresher, younger, undefeated, a world champion and yet he was knocked out in 11 rounds. It was impressive.
Golovkin, meanwhile, showed glimpses of his reckless history when he stopped Murata in the ninth round in April. Murata ran out of space, ideas and desire as Golovkin found his reach. The problem for Golovkin is that Canelo did his best when the Kazakh was clearly at his best. Golovkin must have that in mind, he goes to sleep behind his eyelids every night.
Canelo on points in another great fight is the easy pick on Saturday night – it’s the pick bookies will shorten as they struggle to keep their money safe.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/boxing/canelo-ggg-3-fight-preview-steve-bunce-b2165430.html Canelo Alvarez and GGG fight for justice in trilogy battle