On September 16th, two of the best middleweights will step into the ring for a hugely anticipated fight; a fight that will be talked about for the next ten years if it lives up to the hype. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez sealed the deal a few months ago, and on September 16th they will give the fans, pundits and ultimately the boxing community a real fight to look forward to. Now, up to this point, the fight hasn’t been given the attention it deserves, as the mega showdown between UFC star Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. stole the limelight. However, now that is in the mist, Golden Boy and K2 Promotions can focus on promoting the fight and capturing the interest of the masses; although the sheer quality of the two fighters should do that all by itself.
The fight between the hard hitting Kazakh and the wonderfully skilled Mexican will occur in the boxing heartland, Las Vegas, and will see five titles on the line. Golovkin’s WBA, IBF, IBO and WBC belts will be up for grabs, as well as Alvarez’s Ring title. Considering the staggering numbers that the Mayweather v McGregor PPV did, a real fight between two even fighters at the top of their game should attract millions; Oscar De La Hoya stated, “If people want to see a real fight then tune in on September 16th.”
First of all, Canelo is 9 years younger than Golovkin which would indicate that the Kazakh has the experience, but that couldn’t be further than the truth. Canelo became a professional boxer at the stupendous age of 15; he’s been conditioned to fight fully grown, powerful men from a very early age. Due to this, the Mexican has had 13 more fights and has accumulated an outstanding record of 49-1-1 with 39 finishing inside the distance; the only defeat coming at the hands of the undefeated record breaker, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Alternatively, Golovkin has an unblemished record of 37-0-0 with 33 knock-outs; within that time he has won and defended four middleweight titles.
It is no secret how much power Golovkin possesses, and this is what has made him such a feared fighter within the middleweight division. Astoundingly, 89% of Golovkin’s opponents have been destroyed before the final bell has been struck, and this power is what he heavily relies on. Now, it is unfair to label GGG as just a devastating puncher, as he has spent so much time honing his skills, and boasts of a gold medal from the 2003 World Amateur Championships and a silver medal from the 2004 Olympics.
Yes, he is a pressure fighter, but his ring craft is admirable, his balance is second to none and a professional dancer would be proud of his footwork. These set of attributes, along with his sharp, forceful and well times jab are what allows him to unleash his hefty signature right hands to the head and left hooks to the body. But, to defeat a world class fighter like Canelo; Golovkin needs to utilize his ability to throw deceiving feints, make sure his defence is on point and ensure his movement is sharp and calculated.
On the other hand, Canelo has a very similar style and likes to walk forward and pressure his opponent, which means that on Mexican Independence Day it will be a battle of Mexican styles. Despite the similarities, Alvarez is a more cultured, composed, all-round fighter who unites his natural aggression and heavy hands with calmness, as he often picks his shots rather than force them. Alvarez can really adapt to his opponent and has added more and more to his arsenal over the years; whether he needs to box Golovkin at distance and throw crippling counters or whether he spots a chance to pressure the older GGG and break him down, he is completely capable.
This fight is the epitome of 50/50, and considering the power, punch resistance and solid defences the two possess, it will be difficult to see the bout ended earlier. That being said, it would like to think we’ll witness an all-out war rather than a game of chess, as being two of the worlds’ best middleweights; they’ll both want to make a statement and impress. What I will say is; September 16 should be marked on everyone’s calendar, as this is one of the biggest fights within the last decade.