On Saturday September 15, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (38-1-1) fought against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2) for the second time and Canelo came out on top with a majority decision victory.
How did we get here? The first time around when these two fought in September 2017, the fight ended in a controversial draw. It was an entertaining fight between two great and gifted boxers that left all boxing fans wanting more.
The rematch was set for May 2018 and then everything changed when Canelo tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended for six months from boxing action. Canelo and his team stated that the positive test was a result of eating meat in Mexico that contained the substance.
GGG and his team were non-believers of this reasoning and questioned Canelo’s character. Golovkin needed an opponent for May and took on Vanes Martirosyan. GGG took care of Martirosyan in two rounds and then the negotiations started for a GGG versus Canelo rematch.
The lead up to the rematch was a lot more hostile compared to the first match. These two fighters had and may still have a mutual respect but after the positive test, GGG and his camp lost respect for Alvarez and let it be known.
Canelo felt he had something to prove not only because a lot of fans and analysts said he lost the first match against Golovkin but also because of people questioning his whole resume due to the positive test. Two technically sound boxers with power that have a disdain for each other and a chip on their shoulders was the perfect recipe for an awesome fight.
Canelo came out moving forward and pushing GGG back in this fight, which was the opposite of what we saw in first bout. While coming forward, Canelo took a lot of jabs to the face from Golovkin, 118 to be exact, according to Compubox.
GGG led the way with jabs and Canelo led the way with power punches landing 143 compared to 118 for GGG. Canelo switched up his attack more as he landed 43 body punches which trumps over the six landed by Golovkin.
Most people scored the fight 115-113 for Golovkin as he showed consistency throughout the fight with his accurate jab. It shouldn’t have been shocking when the decision came out for Canelo with scores, 114-114, 115-113 Canelo and 115-113 Canelo.
GGG left the door open for a Canelo decision by not meeting Canelo in the middle of the ring and fighting the fight he is known for. Boxing fans know that GGG loves coming forward and forcing his opponent into the ropes with his power but instead he allowed Canelo to come forward and turn him into the counter puncher.
GGG did a decent job of making Canelo miss but his counter punches did not have the impact or did not catch the eye the same way Alvarez’s counter punches did.
This led to Canelo getting the majority decision and even though Golovkin took his first loss as a professional, he won more fans who want to see him take on Alvarez for a third time. Boxing as a whole won as well, we got to see a great fight where you can make a legit argument for why each fighter won the fight.
That is all you can ask for as a boxing fan. So what’s next for each fighter?
Canelo has all the options in the world here. He can of course go after the big money of a third match with Golovkin or maybe earn new money by fighting one of the other top tier middleweights like the winner of the Billy Joe Saunders versus Demetrius Andrade fight, or the young lion Jermall Charlo.
Most wouldn’t mind a third fight between Canelo and GGG but others would be more interested in seeing how he would deal with the style of Saunders or the power of Charlo.
GGG at 36-years old is in no man’s land if a third fight with Canelo does not happen. He can still continue to box of course and fight other top tier middleweights that are not tied up with Alvarez but he needs the third fight with Canelo for his legacy.
Golovkin can no longer say he has beat everyone he has faced as a professional even if he feels he should of been awarded the decision in both fights.
At the end of the day, both fighters won financially and gave the fans their money’s worth. A third fight between the two would not be objected against but we should use the platform these two have created to bring attention to other talented boxers in this division who deserve a shot in the spotlight.