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Supremacy: Golovkin vs Alvarez Results

by Steve Fearon

Gennady Golovkin v Saul Alvarez

IBF, IBO, WBA & WBC Middleweight World Titles

So this is it, the big one.

100% record Golovkin with 37 wins from 37 with a 89% KO rate met the ever improving Canelo, who brings 49 wins from 51 fights, having lost only once to the best fighter of his generation, Floyd Mayweather.

This was for (nearly) all the marbles in the middleweight division, and was virtually guaranteed to be a barn stormer, and perhaps predictably the cards for the fight have caused controversy.

I had the fight much closer than most, but I was scoring on defence as much as offence, so may have skewed my scoring versus the general consensus, but I don’t think it was as one-sided as some believed.

The opening two rounds had both fighters exchanging jabs, but GGG struggled to land many shots, with Canelo showing great movement, evasion and blocks, as well as the cleaner landed shots so I went for Canelo for those two.

In rounds 3 and 4 Golovkin stepped up his work rate and started landing a few more shots, though he was still missing plenty. Canelo began resting on the ropes and trying to goad Golovkin into throwing some more reckless shots, but Golovkin looked wary and was fairly considered in his choice of his shots. As a result of this tactic Canelo’s workrate is pretty low in these rounds and for me Golovkin takes these two.

Round 5 was probably the most even in the fight, Canelo landed some good jabs, and showing some great head movement and blocking a lot of shots, but Golovkin just kept coming, and the men were landing probably about evenly on the whole. In this round they both land a big right clean for the first time that I can recall, and exchange a few combos but neither seems hurt.

I scored this a 10-10, very hard to split them.

Round 6 and Golovkin landed a big right which Canelo clearly felt. This may be what inspired a very cute uppercut from the Mexican shortly afterwards which pinged Golovkin’s head back, but again doesn’t seem to dent him.

Canelo starts getting the better of it around the middle of the round, landing some nice body shots and a left hook before retreating back to the ropes.

I think Canelo just knicks this one, but it is very close and I could see it going either way.

After 6 rounds I have it 57-56 to Canelo.

Round 7 and both fighters exchange some big flurries of punches early, though neither lands anything of distinction. Canelo lands some nice counters, but Golovkin continues to pursue and work him with volume and takes this round easily.

Round 8 and Golovkin continues his strong spell, landing regularly and applying constant pressure. Canelo is trying to work the body where possible, but he is eating Golovkin jabs. Canelo is trying to stay in the centre of the ring a bit more, and lands a nice uppercut, but Golovkin is still the busier and more consistent. Another Golovkin round.

Round 9 Canelo starts quickly, landing a few nice shots, but Golovkin comes back with a couple of big spiteful rights in reply. Canelo lands the punch of the fight with a HUGE right straight, of the kind that sent Khan back in time, and Golovkin barely blinks. He is a machine. Golovkin doesn’t let up with the jab, and continues to swarm Canelo.

Golovkin wins this one as well.

Round 10 and Canelo comes out at the start strongly again, and catches Golovkin off balance with a left hook that makes him stumble, which excited the crowd but I don’t think Golovkin was hurt. Both fighters throwing big shots now, and it is very hard to score but I think on balance that Canelo landed the better shots, and his defence a little better.

Round 11, Canelo comes out and lands a decent right to start the round, but Golovkin comes through it again. Canelo continues to return to the ropes, and Golovkin continues to land jabs but struggling to detonate the bigger shots regularly. Canelo lands some more nice counters and combos, and Golovkin responds with a nice right that makes Canelo blink a few times, before responding with another crisp uppercut.

I scored this round for Canelo again for his defence and his crisper shots, but like most of the rounds it could go either way.

Round 12 and Canelo continues to start the faster, landing a series of big hooks, but Golovkin responds with some of his own. Canelo looks really out on his feet, and Golovkin is starting to trouble him as the round goes on, landing a lot of shots, with little coming back.

Golovkin wins this round.

Overall I have Golovkin winning but only by a round, 115-114.

A lot of people may think that is absurd, but the key thing was the quality of the defensive work coming from Alvarez, which not enough people score.

Willie Pep once won a round without throwing a punch, and for me there were some rounds where Canelo deserved more credit for making one of the most destructive punchers in the world miss most of his punches, and for making a competitive fight.

That said, Canelo’s work, as much as I liked it, was a little too sporadic, Golovkin’s engine never stopped running, and his inevitable march forwards is just frightening.

He walked through some horrendous punches, especially the big right in the 9th, and never took a backward step like some sort of Kazakh Terminator.

Golovkin won this fight through tireless determination, and one of the best chins I have ever seen, but he did not dominate Canelo like most expect, or indeed have interpreted.

The movement, defence and crisp punching of Alvarez deserves more credit than most seem to reflect on their cards, but that said, Golovkin was the winner on my cards.

Addressing the official draw verdict, I initially responded angrily, I think I posted ‘Robbery!’ on FB at one point, but on reflection, I actually think that the only thing that angered me was the 118-110 Canelo card, as I just can’t see that, and I liked the way Canelo fought.

The draw verdict is not a crazy one, the fight was close, despite what some are saying, and I don’t think that in the cold light of day, it is that controversial, if you can ignore the one absurd card.

All in all, we had a night that showed the best and worst of boxing, brutal knockouts, lightning combos, slick movement and dodgy judging.

Roll on the next one!

Randy Caballero v Diego De La Hoya

NABF Super Bantamweight

Cousin of the ‘Golden Boy’, Diego De La Hoya stepped up in quality to face the 100% record of Randy Caballero, bringing his 19 wins from 19 to a bigger stage, to fight for the NABF Super Bantamweight title.

Having not watched Diego De La Hoya before, and hearing that he was making a big step up in quality of this fight, I was very impressed with the young man I saw firing off lightning fast combinations.

Over the course of the next 10 rounds, De La Hoya demonstrated a fantastic range of punching, landing quickfire combinations, and using his feet well to move in and out of range, and utterly dominating the older and more experienced fighter, and I gave him every round except the last, where Caballero’s urgency and workrate earned him his one round on my scorecard.

A very exciting performance, and if De La Hoya can find some power from somewhere, he could really be quite something, and I will keep an eye out for him in future.

Posted: 18th Sep 2017

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