Nicolo Manzo


Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin have unfinished business. On Saturday, the two men will meet in the highly anticipated rematch to their 2017 first fight that ended in a split draw.

Controversy surrounded the scoring of the first fight and the road to the rematch was not without controversy either.

In the first fight, several resources including CBS Sports, HBO’s Harold Lederman and ESPN’s Dan Rafael felt it was a relatively close fight, but a comfortable win for Golovkin. I scored the fight 115-113 or seven rounds to five for Golovkin. One person who seemed to have watched a different fight than everyone else was ringside judge Adalaide Byrd. Byrd scored the bout 118-110 for Alvarez. The CompuBox numbers for the fight actually indicated that Golovkin outlanded Alvarez in 10 of the 12 rounds with one being even.

The result begged for a rematch that appeared set for Saturday, May 5th, 2018. But a failed drug test by Alvarez put the rematch on hold and furthered the controversy and anticipation surrounding the fight. Alvarez was suspended six months for his positive test for clenbuterol. He maintains that he did not intentionally take the illegal substance.

Tale of the Tape

The Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II bout will be contested in the middleweight division with a weight limit of 160 pounds. The bout will be for Golovkin’s World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association World Middleweight Championships.

Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) is 28 years old and fights from an orthodox stance. He stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and has a reach of 70 and one-half inches. Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) is 36 years old and also fights from an orthodox stance. Golovkin stands 5 feet 10 and one-half inches and has a reach of 70 inches. Both men figure to weigh in at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds, but Alvarez should be the heavier man on fight night.

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Styles make fights. The styles of these two fighters seem to fit together perfectly. Golovkin is a fighter who is going to come right at his opponent. He has been known to walk through punches unfazed and even drop his gloves to show his opponents that he can’t be hurt by their punches. Alvarez is a counter-puncher. He picks his spots and tries to time his opponent while taking advantage of their aggressiveness.

Since these two fought before, it is easier to predict how this fight will play out. I anticipate Golovkin will establish his jab early and attempt to control the distance and pace of the fight. Golovkin has underrated boxing ability and has displayed great power from distance. The plan for Golovkin is to cut off the ring and use his power to drive Alvarez to the ropes where he can do a lot of damage while remaining careful not to walk into a big Alvarez counter-punch.

Alvarez will most likely try to come out and assert what he believes is his superior boxing ability. He will also attempt to let GGG feel his impressive power in an effort to force Golovkin to respect him and put a stop to Golovkin’s notoriously relentless attack. As the fight goes on and some fatigue sets in, I anticipate Canelo to slide into his more comfortable role as the counter-puncher. The keys for Alvarez are to stay off the ropes, remain active and accurate enough to win rounds and to land those eye-catching counter-punches to keep Golovkin at bay.

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I felt Golovkin won the first fight as did several major commentators. Inevitably, the rematch will benefit one fighter more than the other. Alvarez does have an eight year age advantage and may have enough knowledge of Golovkin to better time him in the rematch. All that being said, Golovkin’s ability to control his fights with power and precision is too much for me to pick against. Golovkin is a relentless fighter and he seemed not to be hurt by Alvarez in the first fight. Both fighters have strong chins, so despite the tremendous power on both sides, I respect both enough to say the fight will go the distance.

Golovkin by unanimous decision

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Twitter: @NManzoTWW