By: Sean Cross
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez returns to the ring on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to face his rematch against Gennady Golovkin. The first two controversial fights between the two men (which ended in a draw and Canelo winning) took place in the middleweight division. The bout will take place in the super middleweight division, with undisputed champion Canelo’s world title belts at stake. Coupled with the fact that neither the 57-2-2 Canelo nor the 42-1-1 Golovkin seem to like each other much, the sense of unfinished business adds to the sinister narrative.
The first round was close with both men looking sharp. Canelo may have edged him, though, with more moves. Canelo continued to assert himself in the second, effectively going to the body as Golovkin worked a flurry of jabs. Canelo landed hard in the third as Golovkin’s face began to crumble. It was clear in the fourth that age had taken its toll on the once-feared Golovkin, as he landed a lot of punches, was slow to pull the trigger and rarely threw power shots. Canelo, on the other hand, looks terrific, firing and landing power shots.
With that said, Golovkin had a better fifth, although Canelo could still beat him with power shots. The pace slowed a bit in the sixth, but it was time for Golovkin to do something if he wanted any chance of winning the fight. The seventh was clearly the closest round of the contest up to that point, with Canelo’s output slowing significantly. Things stayed interesting — and very close — in the eighth. Canelo was still landing power shots, but not as much as he should have. What’s more, Golovkin may have successfully shifted momentum.
There is no doubt that the fight was competitive in the ninth. Canelo’s punch strength, however, seems to be the difference. Things remained competitive in the tenth, but Golovkin should be more than competitive at that point. Relying entirely on his jab – as he has for most of his fights – Golovkin may have taken the eleventh round. Surprisingly, Golovkin took a lot of catching in the twelfth and final round. Fortunately, after the battle ended, both men shared a warm hug.
Canelo – I understand – won the unanimous decision.
“Thank you very much my friend,” Canelo told Golovkin. “Thank you Golovkin. thank you.”