Closing Commentary #TheFightGame Aired Wednesday, Sept. 19 on HBO
“A final word now about Canelo-Triple G II. A year ago it became clear the two fighters are colossally evenly matched in terms of the technical markers judges look at while scoring. The two judges who scored the first fight responsibly were a round apart, 114-114 and 115-113. Last Saturday night that point was reinforced. Two 115-113s and another 114-114. And through all their painstaking scrutiny the two decisive scorecards gave a tumultuous twelfth round, a very hard round to score, to Canelo Alvarez, making him the official winner. Which reminds us there is no sport in the world whose official structures are more disdained and disrespected by fans than those of boxing. And this becomes another reason why.
“Because while boxing insiders remain imprisoned within the arcane world of governing bodies and title belts and state commissions and official judges and all the technicalities over which they preside, the general public has made a different and far simpler decision. By an overwhelming majority, fans and general media have decided Gennady Golovkin won both fights. They don’t need to confuse themselves with Compubox numbers and round by round scoring and technical analysis. Via the metric of social media, and among themselves on the street, they have spoken loudly again. They like the way Triple G competes. They love the passion his face projects. They are enthralled with his heart.
“When Muhammad Ali was judged the loser in his first fight with Joe Frazier, and lost his unbeaten record as a result, many in my generation were crestfallen. But then we learned something, as Ali’s aura only grew bigger, and Frazier had to deal with the reality that the numbers on the scorecard did nothing to diminish the love the audience felt for their hero.
“Now Triple G is something of a latter day Ali, a global superstar seen as having been twice martyred by the hidebound and impenetrable processes of a sport that can’t get out of its own way. Canelo’s victory, however satisfying at first, will ultimately do little to increase the size or passion of his audience, built in from the start as the result of his favorable cultural perch, as the face of Mexican boxing. But the two decisions which have frustrated Gennady Golovkin have dramatically multiplied the size of Triple G nation, which is now a global cult. You don’t have to win to be the winner. That’s boxing. That’s life. Thanks for being with us on this edition of The Fight Game.”
HBO Sports presents WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: CANELO ALVAREZ VS. GENNADY GOLOVKIN 2, the exclusive replay of their highly anticipated rematch, SATURDAY, SEPT. 22 at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT.
Photos by Ed Mulholland/HBO Boxing