Who is the Middleweight King?


Gennady Golovkin v Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez Saturday 16th September

2017 has seen some great match ups in the sport of Boxing, we’ve had the titanic battle of the Heavyweights Anthony Joshua taking over the division as Wladmir Klitschko retired, Errol Spence Jnr cemented himself as one of the most dangerous Welterweights in the world with his win over Kell Brook, Terence Crawford displayed his outrageous talent with his demolition job of Julius Indongo and Andre Ward established himself as the best pound for pound fighter in the world with his second victory over the Russian Sergey Kovalev. But now we have a fight which is arguably the best of them all, and the winner may even lay claim to Andre Wards title as the best Boxer on the planet. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, arguably the biggest draw in the sport, battles Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin, arguably the sports biggest puncher in what is possibly the best Middleweight match up since the days of the Fab Four when Sugar Ray Leonard battled Marvin Hagler and when Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns went to war with Marvin Hagler for three ferocious rounds.

Opinion is split on the outcome of the fight, this is a true 50/50 match up between two of the best in the business which is what makes this fight so enticing, anyone can win it. Styles make fights and the two participants have styles which match each other and should provide us with an explosive fight which could be one for the ages. My view is that Golovkin will ultimately prevail in a tight fight and here’s why.

Canelo Alvarez is the more eye catching talent. He has a superb variety to his punching, he possesses good power and his combinations and body punching is very difficult to defend. Add to this a very under rated defense, he is excellent at slipping punches and using upper body movement to avoid shots and you have a fighter who is a handful for just about anyone. The only man to handle Canelo was Floyd Mayweather Jnr and thats nothing to be ashamed of as no one was able to pass the Mayweather test.
But the problem for Canelo is that in Golovkin, he is fighting a man who is a true Middleweight. And not just any Middleweight, Golovkin is the biggest puncher in the division by far, and he is probably the biggest puncher including the Super Middleweight Division. GGG hits like a Light Heavyweight and when you are not used to fighting Middleweight Boxers, how is Canelo going to handle someone who is as strong physically, if not stronger than him and hits harder than him?
Sure you can say Canelo fought a heavier fighter in Chavez Jnr in his last fight, but that was a weight drained Chavez Jnr who didn’t turn up to fight, he turned up for a pay cheque and to survive, and yet in a one sided fight Canelo was unable to knock out Chavez Jnr – is he really going to be able to knock out Golovkin, a man who has never been knocked out in his career at both pro and amateur level, thats over 400 fights!

Will Canelo have the endurance and stamina to hold off the pressure fighter in Golovkin? GGG likes to come forward, he is an expert at cutting off the ring and walking you in to one of those big power shots such as his looping hooks. I don’t believe Canelo, who I admit is an excellent counter puncher, will have the stamina required to hold off Golovkins pressure. Canelo will often fight off the ropes, he is comfortable there yes but thats not why he retreats to the ropes, it is because he uses this strategy to catch his breath and take a break. By going up in weight for this fight(recent pics seem to suggest he has added some muscle mass) it is possible this will be an even bigger concern during the fight.
I expect Canelo to out box Triple G in the early rounds but eventually the pressure and power of Golovkin will break Canelo down. I expect a points win for GGG(lets hope the judges dont ruin the fight) or even possibly a late stoppage win as Canelo submits to the pressure and is unable to defend himself.

Canelo is a great fighter, a great counter puncher and does everything well. His best bet is to box GGG and fight from a distance using his footwork to stay mobile but this is opposite to his natural game. He likes to fight mid range, slip and slide those shots and counter with his own, switch levels with body and head attacks but the problem is despite his supreme pocket skills he is fighting someone stronger than him who hits harder than anyone he has ever faced before – can he afford to mix it up mid range with someone of Golovkins power? If he can, and he boxes GGG, he might just end up as the winner. Canelo has unquestionably fought the better opposition, Floyd Mayweather Jnr, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Amir Khan are all big names and talented Boxers and only Mayweather Jnr got the better of him. Canelo is entering the prime of his career at 27 and should be poised for super stardom should he win this fight. Golovkin on the other hand is 35 and is coming off a hard fought battle with Daniel Jacobs who ended GGG’s knockout streak, managing to last the full 12 rounds despite a knockdown. Boxing is about timing, is it possible Canelo and his team have delayed this fight just long enough to avoid Golovkin at his best and catch him on the downhill slide?
This such a close fight that almost any outcome is possible, I’m siding with Golovkin, but a Canelo victory would not surprise me in the slightest.

About the author 


Boxing Coach
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Boxing Author of:

The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival

Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit!

Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle

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gennady golovkin, saul alvarez

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