The HBO Boxing Pay-Per-View telecast will begin at 8:00 pm, ET. The undercard bouts include Super Flyweights Roman Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) vs. Moises Fuentes (25-5-1, 14 KOs), former Middleweight titleholder David Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) taking on Gary O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KOs) and WBO Super Welterweight titlist Jaime Munguia (30-0, 25 KOs) battling Brandon Cook (20-1, 13 KOs).
In the main event, Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) defends his WBA, WBO, WBC titles in a rematch against Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs).
Main Story Lines
The first Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin bout ended in a draw, all three judges scored the fight differently with one being an abysmal 118-110 for Canelo by Adalaide Byrd.
The other two scorecards read 115-113 in favor of GGG and a 114-114 draw. Nobody had a problem with either of these scorecards as it was a close fight and a draw seemed fit.
This has been addressed and the judges in Saturday’s bout are Dave Moretti (who judged the first fight), Steve Weisfeld and Glenn Feldman.
Failed Drug Test
Canelo failed a pair of drug tests performed by VADA in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, testing high in a banned substance known as clenbuterol.
This fight was originally scheduled for the Cinco de Mayo weekend, May 5, 2018. The failed drug tests earned Canelo a six-month suspension, postponing the highly-anticipated rematch.
Canelo claimed to have eaten “Mexican meat” and said that was the cause for the failed results.
The drug test created a controversy in the world of boxing and the rivalry of Canelo vs. GGG grew even more.
GGG & Abel Sanchez Trash Talk
Trainer Abel Sanchez and GGG have been adamant in their trash talk of Canelo after the failed drug testing fiasco.
They have gone to great lengths to call Canelo a cheater, saying that he ran the entire fight and that he doesn’t respect the sport of boxing.
GGG and Sanchez ran a commercial mocking Canelo and his failed drug test. In the ad, Sanchez sits at his desk while eating a steak with a “special ingredient.”
“Gennady had to chase Canelo, who boasted that he was the true Mexican warrior, around the ring,” said Sanchez via Boxing News 24.
Canelo has responded on multiple occasions, stating GGG and Abel Sanchez are talking nonsense.
“The respect that we had was lost,” said Canelo. “He crossed the line with his statements, with what he said, with the excuses, with all the crying from his team.”
The rematch is much more than business, it is personal on both sides.
Strengths for Each Fighter
Canelo Alvarez’s strengths include his boxing ability, counterpunching, defense and body punching.
He is clearly the better boxer in this matchup and showed this in the first fight. Canelo has better movement, footwork, defense and ring IQ. All of the mentioned skills must be used for Canelo to earn a victory over Gennady Golovkin.
The counterpunching of Canelo has vastly improved since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. He has taken some of Mayweather’s style and implemented into his own. Canelo can stand in front of an opponent, make them miss and counter with either hand.
Canelo is one of the best body punchers in boxing. His left hook to the body has put down and hurt countless opponents. This will be crucial to stopping GGG’s forward momentum and giving Canelo a better chance in the championship rounds of this fight.
Gennady Golovkin’s strengths are his jab, power punching and a granite chin.
GGG’s power jab might be the best in boxing. It is fast, and powerful enough to drop fighters. Just ask David Lemieux how hard a GGG jab can hit you. GGG needs to jab his way into range, and combination punch off of the jab to have success.
GGG’s power is undeniable and needs to be showcased in this rematch. His power punches can be from awkward angles, and with either hand. GGG needs to let his hands go to do damage against Canelo, he won’t land anything throwing two punches at a time.
GGG’s chin is unworldly, giving him the ability to literally stand and trade. He knows he can take a punch from any Middleweight, this is both a strength and a weakness.
Weaknesses for Each Fighter
Canelo Alvarez’s weaknesses include his stamina and rounds of inactivity.
He is notoriously known for having stamina issues during his entire boxing career. This being his heaviest weight class might not help those issues either. Canelo fades in the later rounds, causing trouble in close fights coming down to decisions on points.
Canelo’s stamina issues ties into his rounds of inactivity at times. He has given away rounds from not throwing enough punches. This could be both stamina and gameplan of not trading solely counterpunching against Gennady Golovkin.
Regardless, it happens too often and doesn’t look good to the judges.
GGG’s weaknesses are his one-dimensional style and defense.
GGG needs to fight while coming forward with pressure. He is an average fighter on the inside because of his defense, and lack of footwork. GGG fighting on the inside is him standing still in a phone booth and throwing punches.
GGG defense is poor at best. He lacks any type of head movement while throwing his punches, or while his opponent is throwing. His footwork on defense is non-existent, he will come to a stop on defense and stand still.
Glimpses of this were shown in his close fights with Kell Brook (37-2, 26 KOs), Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs), and the first bout with Canelo. This hasn’t been taken advantage of primarily because most Middleweights won’t risk standing and trading with GGG.
The Winner and Why
Canelo Alvarez will walk out of T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night as the new Middleweight champion of the world.
His gameplan in the first fight worked, the problem was his stamina and low-volume output. If Canelo fights the same exact fight while letting his hands go more, the fight is his.
Canelo can’t fight with a different style if he wants, Gennady Golovkin can’t. GGG will need to cut the ring off and land clean punches while doing so.
Canelo will use his defense, counter punching, body-punching to hand GGG his first career loss by a majority decision.