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On September 17th, we are due one of the most anticipated fights of the year and hopefully a conclusion to the Canelo versus Gennadiy Golovkin III (GGG) saga in a trilogy-defining fight. After 24 rounds, we will now see them compete for the undisputed super middleweight titles, in which I expect both men to give everything to win.
In today’s tactical overview, I’m going to take a look at the areas both men may exploit or could change for this trilogy fight. I’ll look at their most recent fights and areas that could be exploited on both sides. Along with my final thoughts and prediction, will it be the Mexican warrior or will the Kazakh king come out on top?
History Between the Two Titans
But first up, it’s important to look back at how we actually got here before these two became rivals. Golovkin was very much considered the boogeyman of the middleweight division with many avoiding him at the time. No doubt due to some of the devastating knockouts and big drama shows he was putting on. On the other hand, Canelo was fighting at light middleweight but made the move up to face the highly regarded Miguel Cotto to defeat the former pound-for-pound star. In a great display, it was from here that the demand for the fight for these two began to be talked about among fans. It would, however, take a few years for both men to finally come face to face in the ring in 2017, with this being regarded as a true super fight and the best versus the best, which doesn’t happen very often nowadays, in boxing Golovkin looked to have dominated the fight with his excellent jab and pressure with Canelo only showing glimpses of his incredible talent through his explosive counterpunching.
The bout, however, was declared a draw with many feelings that Triple G had done enough to win, myself included. The rematch would then take place a year later. In 2018, due to a failed drug test from Alvarez, however, with the stakes and demand of this fight being so high, this rematch had to happen. The two would still get in the ring that year, with Canelo Alvarez deciding to change his whole approach by applying pressure and going toe to toe with the power-punching Golovkin who instead opted to try and box more and counteract the changing tactics of the Mexican and his team.
The approach from Canelo would prove successful, as Alvarez would come out victorious in a majority decision to give GGG his first taste of defeat in the pros in what was a high level contest and a very close fight that could have gone either way. With this fight out the way, both men have taken very different paths – Canelo, of course, has gone on to win world titles and two weight divisions, including becoming the undisputed champion at super middleweight, whereas Golovkin has only fought four times since 2018.
Looking older with each fight, but still clearly has much desire; nevertheless, with Canelo suffering his second pro defeat against Bivol recently. Could this be a sign of the decline of Canelo Alvarez? Triple G is still one of the most challenging opponents the Mexican has ever had and he will be going for blood this time and what will probably be his last chance for revenge or, as Teddy Atlas says, make the World Fair. Sometimes we make too many excuses. We do and we try to play ourselves as victims, and we’re not victims in this beautiful country. We can be anything we want to be, but sometimes even with that life is unfair.
This is the sport, the one sport where on any given night, a kid from anywhere from from dirt floors to to where he was from a country that he didn’t have the rights he didn’t have money. He had nothing but poverty, he didn’t have parents, he didn’t have anything, but he had it in his chest in his heart to work hard to get in. That ring to be ready to be trained and on one given night he can have his hand raised and be called champion of the world and make life fair, make the world fair. It’s the only sport that can do that. The sport is beautiful, but the administrators of the sport they escaped both men showed great competitive Respect in the first encounters, but due to the drug incident and war awards, both men simply do not like each other.
Gennady Golovkin Fight Profile
Let’s take a look at both mentally on how they might approach September 17th. Let’s start off with the challenger Gennady Golovkin; with Triple G now 40, he’s very much considered an old man. However, despite his age and lack of fights, he’s still been winning in a boxing sense. It can be rare to see this unless you’re an elite level fighter, and this is exactly what GGG is a man who has never hit the canvas throughout his whole career as an amateur or professional, which shows he has truly a remarkable chin and durability.
He should no doubt take inspiration from the likes of George Foreman, who beat Moore at 42 years of age. Marquez who beat Pacquiao at 38 years old, or Ali’s revenge when he faced Spinx in their second encounter. Boxers can turn back the clock sometimes. It’s not the question if GGG can pull this one off. Another aspect to consider is that Golovkin is also pretty much a career middleweight and he will be moving up to the 12 stone 7 division. What I think will actually help him in this fight is not having to worry about lowering his weight, especially when you’re at the age of his knowing this. It may help him in his preparation by being closer to his natural weight and not having to drain himself. If we look at his first fight against Canelo, Triple G, had the persona of the power punching monster that no one could survive against in the ring, whereas the Mexican at that point in time had a far more aggressive, counter-punching style. He would look to box in the back foot at times and wait for the right moments to strike. Golovkin was all about pressure and closing off the ring with footwork and using his power jabs to put his opponents on the ropes so he could then tee off. His punches in the first fight fell into the rhythm of how Golovkin likes to fight by trying to counter punch at the right moments towards the end of the rounds to try to grab the judge’s attention.
However, you could tell this approach was not working for him and he would quickly tire and he was constantly having to move with footwork and get on the ropes to play possum. This is an approach Triple G will have to try and apply more in the trilogy fight. He needs to try and push back the Mexican and fight at his pace at times. Otherwise, Alvarez will overwhelm and control him like he did in the second fight regardless. I don’t see Golovkin being able to do this due to what we saw in his most recent fight. Maybe Golovkin should try to allow Canelo to over commit himself, as this could potentially lead to counterpunching opportunities for the Kazakh. The left hook is obviously a favorite of Canelo’s, and potentially a big right-hand counter could be a way to catch him coming into range, if timed correctly, just as we saw in the Maratha fight. Regardless, as the good old saying goes in boxing, “you’re only as good as your last fight,” and watching that Morata fight, we got glimpses of the old Golovkin, but we also saw someone who looked very rusty and tired at times.
Given the benefit of the doubt as it had been 400 days since his previous fight, and maybe that rest was needed if we look at the tactics Gennady employed, he looked to use his accurate power jab and circled to the right of Maratha. This could be considered a risky tactic, as you put yourself in the line of the right hand; if you’re not ready, you could also see Triple G was very cautious of receiving body shots and would keep his guard slightly lower to try block these punches and much rather, prefer to use footwork to get out of range or simply look to cover up. However, in certain moments we saw those quick bursts of energy from Golovkin where he looked to turn back the years and throw those big, powerful, wide hooks and uppercuts on the inside while also throwing a lot of overhand hooks over the top of the guard.
This is definitely something he will try to throw against Canelo, as he has a guard that can be very difficult to break past and the unpredictable nature of those overhand or loopin hooks could cause hesitation for Canelo to commit. Gennady is great at pushing forward and unleashing shots after throwing his jab, which is the most accurate in boxing within landing, an average of 10 per round, but Golovkin for this third fight has to have a plan b this time, as in their last fight in 2018.
Canelo avoided being pushed back at all costs where he would always try to look to retake the center ring for the majority of the fight. Personally, we also need to see Golovkin not head hunt as much and try also to discourage Canelo with the body shots, as this is what will help lead to openings up top for him. He will need these clear, open opportunities if he wishes to knock out Alvarez.
Canelo Alvarez Fight Profile
Let’s take a look at Canelo, who will very much have a big point to prove. The Mexican is still very much seen as the money man in boxing and there’s no doubt many enjoyed him losing to Bevel. However, you cannot discredit him for daring to be great moving up in weight. Nevertheless, he did still lose to a talented Russian-like heavyweight in Bevel and he cannot afford to continue the habits from this fight against Golovkin.
Potentially, you could blame the wait for Canelo’s lack of energy at times in the fight where he clearly struggled against the tactics of Bevel, where he looked to throw the sharp, accurate one-twos through the guard before moving circles out distance to then retake center ring and continue his attacks. This made Canelo tire quickly and get pushed back to the ropes, which eventually gave Bevel the confidence to stand toe to toe with Canelo. It was the lack of jab that was very apparent in this fight, as he opted to rely on his power punching and target the upper body of
Bevel and the hope it might dismantle him like he did in the Callum Smith fight.
Even the very best can get tactics wrong and what was a very disappointing night. These habits and tactics from Canelo need to change versus Golovkin, as he still has one of the best jabs in boxing, and he can’t afford to resort going back in the ropes so often or he could be in for a big shock. Canelo, on the other hand, should take confidence from the time he did defeat Golovkin in the second fight. The reason he had much success here was the fact he took control of the center ring. His counter punching was top notch and just by looking at Golovkin’s face after the fight, he definitely left his mark on him. The biggest difference from the first fight was that Canelo held that centre ring and used his effective aggression for the vast majority of the fight, whereas before even in the Bevel fight, he would tire and look to lie back in the ropes and try and counter punch.
It’s also evident that Canelo needs to throw his jab more, and this was something he did very well versus Golovkin in the second fight, as it also gave him the ability to faint more with his lead hand and land, some huge punches in more recent fights. It’s been very much absent and I believe he needs to bring this back. Canelo will no doubt also know. Golovkin Has looked very awkward receiving punches to the body ever since their last fight, and I would be shocked if Canelo doesn’t try to target this to take out Golovkin once and for all.
In terms of my prediction and looking at everything I’ve seen including the two previous fights and their most recent bouts, I think we will once again get a very competitive fight.
Canelo Vs. Golovkin Fight Prediction
Canelo should not get drawn into looking for the knockout, or he could very well be in for a shock and he needs to fight smart. However, he will be desperate to make a statement on September 17th. Golovkin will make this a difficult fight and look to use his jab and wait for Canelo to potentially outwork himself and fight some bursts of intensity to try and knock out the Mexican from here. It’s whether he has enough left in the tank at 40 and if he can survive power shots to the body from Canelo. But I just can’t look past Canelo winning this. I do think he has what it takes to turn things around and get rid of some of those bad habits he picked up.
Not only that he will be facing a slower, older Golovkin, but I do expect this once again to go the 12 rounds and another competitive clash between the two. Canelo will win more convincingly this time, but sometimes magic can happen in boxing, so never rule out Triple G.
It’s not often we get a Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin going toe to toe. We should appreciate two boxing legends do battle on September 17th and all will be revealed very soon. Comment below and let me know your prediction for the fight: do you think Canelo will dominate this time or will Golovkin shock all of us and finally get that official win over his rival?
Canelo Vs. Golovkin Fight Time
Date: Saturday 17th September 2022
Time: The main card is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. ET with main event ringwalks scheduled for 11 p.m. ET.
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