GGG still has power to put away Canelo
A MONTH ago, in a poll for a boxing magazine, I tipped Gennady Golovkin to beat Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. I’m sticking with that view but I’m a little nervous.
I think it’s going to be perilously close. The more I process it, the more I think Canelo (above left, squaring up to Golovkin) could just nick it.
It’s that kind of fight, a face-off between two great champions that takes us back to those unbelievable encounters in the 1980s, when Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran (below) faced off against one another and no one knew how it would end.
What we do know is that neither is going to run away. GGG has not been at his best in his last couple of fights, against Kell Brook and Daniel Jacobs. He is 35 and there are signs of wear and tear.
Against that, he has had a decent rest since the Jacobs bout six months ago, and I expect he will be better and punch harder in the heat of this kind of battle.
Canelo, eight years Triple G’s junior, is approaching his peak. He won every round against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in May, outclassed Liam Smith before that, and took out Amir Khan with a devastating right hand.
He is never going to be a mover like Leonard or Floyd Mayweather but his technique is perfect. He looks like an aggressive, attacking fighter but he doesn’t take risks. Everything is brilliantly calculated and he doesn’t make many mistakes.
He is exceptional in the “pocket”, or the “wheelhouse” as they say in the States, where the shots are flying over your head. And when he lands, he has ferocious power. But he is up against one of the most robust chins in the game.
Three years ago in New York, Daniel Geale hit Golovkin on the button with a right hand, a split second before Golovkin landed flush. Geale went down like a sack of spuds, Golovkin never budged.
But no man is bulletproof. Golovkin has always been prepared to take a few but, more recently, impatience has seen him try to walk through opponents. Can he do that against Canelo and survive? He’s never been hurt but there is a first time for everything and he is getting on.
It’s on a knife-edge. I’m saying Golovkin, while holding my breath.