Once upon a time, it was the biggest and best fight to be made in all of Boxing, but does it still resonate today? We’re on the brink of the rematch between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin (Triple G), live from T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas, Saturday the 15th on HBO PPV. Developments in the storyline have added a sense of animosity, of malice and the promotion, trainers and fighters are saying all the right things to sell this do-over in that vein. The niceties, pleasantries and gentlemanly behavior, mutually exchanged in the build-up for their first meeting, appears to be long gone; but does it even matter anymore? Ultimately, was the first occasion even worth the wait, and is your level of interest still piqued after waiting a year for the rematch?
The fact of the matter is, Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KO’s) and Triple G (38-0-1, 34 KO’s) could have fought as far back as May of 2016. Fresh off beating Miguel Cotto for the lineal 160-pound championship, Team Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions instead chose to move back down for a catch weight pairing with Amir Khan, who’d never fought above 147. Predictably, Alvarez left Khan flat on his back, in need of medical attention, and followed that with dominant wins over Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. All the while, the man everyone and their momma wanted Canelo to share a ring with was Triple G, which he finally got around to doing September of 2017. After twelve fan-friendly rounds, GGG appeared to win a close, clear decision but a draw was rendered instead. This is solely attributed to a corrupt judge who scored the bout 118-110 for Alvarez, an absurd notion at best. No different than was the case in other closely contested occasions featuring Canelo, which he arguably lost. Once again, HBO and Oscar dela Hoya’s house fighter was conveniently snatched from the jaws of defeat.
A 2018 Cinco de Mayo rematch was signed, but Alvarez tested positive for a performance enhancing substance known as clenbuterol. Suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (and replaced by Vanes Martirosyan), the Canelo vs. Triple G II proceedings were pushed back to this coming Saturday. Effectively, six additional months were added to this saga which has already lingered for nearly two and a half years as is, rightfully resulting in pugilistic indifference to some. In that span, Golovkin’s knocked out Martirosyan, been stripped of one of his Middleweight title belts and gotten no younger. Alvarez’s excuse for the failed test amounted to “it wasn’t me”, from the Shaggy lexicon, which certainly didn’t ingratiate him to those on the fence. Contaminated meat notwithstanding, you have to wonder how pissing dirty will affect his drawing power and appeal to loyalists moving forward.
Canelo’s certainly getting no benefit of the doubt from the Triple G side of the coin, being called a liar, a drug cheat, having his manner of fighting chastised for not being “Mexican” enough. Golovkin has even gone as far as to say he detected needle marks in Alvarez’s arm. Canelo’s team is reporting he’s angry, wants to punish Triple G and has no interest in being fake nice after the fight is over. This all sounds good and maybe even rekindled interest, but how will it translate to fight night?
Pugilism Company’s hunch is it won’t matter at all. Both sides have spoken openly of being more aggressive, but that doesn’t behoove Canelo. Despite his well rounded Boxing talents, that one tragic fistic flaw is his lack of endurance. The performance enhancer found in his system is known to assist with stamina and breathing. So if Alvarez shoots his load early, looking for payback, looking to put some hurt on Golovkin, his gas tank will be on “E” in the latter portion, and his fate could be a stoppage loss. The more likely scenario is this plays out as the first meeting did; good two-way action, shifts in momentum and Triple G filling the lulls and dead spaces with activity as Canelo moves around, seeking a respite.
Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin wins by unanimous decision.