Fight week is officially upon us and we are now just days away from what could quite possibly be the best fight boxing currently has to offer.
On Saturday September 16, 2017, Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) and consensus middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) will finally meet at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV in a bout that will be presented live on HBO Pay-Per-View (PPV).
In a high stakes bout, Golovkin will put his WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO Middleweight titles on the line, while Canelo will put his lineal and Ring Middleweight straps up for grabs.
In my opinion, this is quite a difficult fight to breakdown and predict simply because it features not only two of the very best fighters in the sport today, but two of the most closely matched fighters as well.
Golovkin, a man many consider to be the most feared puncher in boxing, holds an unbeaten professional record of 37-0, with 33 of those victories coming by way of knockout. Prior to his last fight, which he won by unanimous decision over Daniel Jacobs last March, GGG had scored 23 consecutive wins by knockout.
Make no mistake about it, however, Golovkin is not just a puncher. Aside from his bulldozing right hand and thunderous left hook, the Kazakhstan native has a lightning quick jab, and a unique brand of footwork that allows him to cut off the ring and pin opponents up in close quarters.
It also must be noted that Golovkin has an iron chin, as he’s consistently taken big shots, while never being knocked down.
Alvarez, on the other hand, unlike Golovkin, has spent the majority of his career fighting below the 160-pound limit, but at just 27 years of age, he has a wealth of experience.
Since losing a one-sided decision to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, Canelo has rattled off seven-straight victories with four of those victories coming by TKO or KO.
He most recently dished out a dominant beatdown on Mexican rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last May.
As opposed to Golovkin, Canelo is more of a counterpuncher, which is why many believe that the styles of these two fighters will make for an incredible fight.
Alvarez, while unafraid to move forward, prefers to let his opponents come to him, where he can then use head movement and quickness to land blistering counter shots. The Mexican champion also possesses tremendous speed and fight-ending power of his own.
As far as a prediction goes, I’ve gone back-and-forth multiple times.
Early on, I feel as if GGG’s jab will be the difference. As the fight drags on, I expect Canelo to get his timing down and land some big shots of his own, but I feel like the difference maker will be Golovkin’s pace, footwork and ability to cut off the ring.
GGG will likely look to put the pressure on Canelo and back him up against the ropes. If he’s successful in doing so, Alvarez may be in trouble.
Once he has his opponents where he wants them, GGG is lethal, as he uses a barrage of body shots, looping hooks, uppercuts and powerful right hands to wear fighters down until they simply can’t take any more damage.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Golovkin score a late stoppage, but I’m going to go with GGG by decision.
That’s not to say I can’t see Canelo winning, however.
It’s simply too close of a fight, and one all boxing fans should be tuning in to.
Header photo by Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions