Boxing Blockbuster: Canelo Alvarez and GGG set to Define Legacies
One of boxing’s biggest bouts of the year will take place this Saturday between champions Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
Updated: Sept. 14, 2017 • 12:09 PM ET
Canelo Alvarez has just one loss in his successful career thus far.
Two of the most dangerous boxers on the planet will finally face off this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Between them, they have 86 victories, one loss and 67 knockouts, and the fight is set to be an instant classic.
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin have proven to be two of the best boxers over the past decade, and a fight between the two has been a dream matchup for many. The winner of this fight will cement their legacy and place in boxing history.
Alvarez, a Mexican pro since 15 years old, has won seven straight fights since his lone loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. Of his 49 wins, 34 are by knockout. He’ll defend his Ring Magazine middleweight title and lineal title on Saturday, while also attempting to snatch the WBA (Super) and IBF middleweight titles from Golovkin.
Alvarez’s last victory came at a catchweight against Julio Chavez Jr. in May, winning by unanimous decision. He also has key victories over Shane Mosley, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto and Liam Smith. Yet, Golovkin represents his toughest fight to date.
Golovkin, the 35-year-old Kazakhstani, is 37-0 with 34 wins by knockout. He has been considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world over the past couple of years with victories against Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, David Lemieux and Marco Antonio Rubio.
Golovkin is a devastating power-puncher, who simply overwhelms his opponents with pressure. His last fight with Daniel Jacobs in March was without a doubt the closest of his career and the first time in Golovkin's 11-year career that he ever went to a 12th round. It was also his first decision victory since 2008. In the fight, Jacobs hit Golovkin more than anyone has in his career. Many questions arose after the Jacobs fight, including suspicion that Golovkin showed signs of slowing down due to his age. The one thing he did not show was a lack or loss of power, dropping Jacobs in the fourth round.
"Boxing is a business," Golovkin said, per ESPN. "If I look great against Jacobs — if I knocked him out — I would not be getting this fight with Canelo now."
Golovkin and his camp believe the fight with Alvarez should have happened three years ago, and that the result against Jacobs is what locked down the fight with Alvarez.
"Jacobs was a very good fighter and gave me good learning experience going 12 rounds," Golovkin said. "I have never done that before. I felt amazing going 12 rounds for the first time. Jacobs gives everyone problems."
Alvarez spoke to BoxingScene.com against Golovkin’s characterization of Mexican fighters, whom his style is often compared to.
“When Golovkin or a lot of his fans refer to fighting “Mexican style”, it is describing a style in which a fighter is gutsy, comes forward aggressively, is throwing power punches just to throw them and engages in unnecessary exchanges. I would argue that GGG’s definition of “Mexican Style” isn’t completely correct.
“If you look at all the great Mexican fighters who have become world-renowned world champions like Salvador “Chava” Sanchez, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Márquez, and Ricardo “Finito” Lopez just to name a few, they weren’t the biggest brawlers – they were intelligent with their boxing, were able to outclass their opponents and knew how to use their bodies to achieve their victories.
“I would argue that a Mexican Warrior is one that has heart, passion and fights with all he has until the very end with intuition and intelligence. A Mexican warrior will not die in the line of fire, but will cunningly be three steps ahead of his opponent. No one can teach you to be a warrior. It’s something innate that unites all Mexicans – that fire is what propels us to survive and thrive.”
If this fight were anything but a battle, it would be shocking. And even if it’s coming a few years too late, the clash still has the necessary makings of becoming a classic.
Other fights on the card include:
Featherweight - Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Jorge Lara
Junior featherweight - Ryan Caballero vs. Diego De La Hoya
Lightweight - Ryan Martin vs. Francisco Rojo
Junior welterweight - Vergil Ortiz vs. Cesar Valenzuela
Female flyweight - Marlen Esparza vs. Aracely Palacios
Junior middleweight - Serhii Bohachuk vs. TBA
Female junior bantamweight - Nicola Adams vs. Alexandra Vlajk