GGG still has power to put away Canelo

Daily Mirror - - SPORT - Fol­low Barry on Twit­ter at @ ClonesCy­clone BARRY McGUIGAN

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.

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