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Canelo-GGG Fight Week Diary

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“Nothing spoils a good story like the arrival of an eyewitness.” –Mark Twain

 

A jury of international fans will occupy T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on tonight as Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fight to be seated on boxing’s witness stand.

There will be no need for judges, real or imagined, to determine who tried to do it better with their version of the truth.

We will know.

This is not the kind of event you really want to hear about it. That would be Mayweather V McGregor, replete with its anticlimactic theater of sideshow proportion.

No.

This is the kind of event actor Liev Schreiber wants to see LIVE at ringside. The narratively captivating voice behind HBO’s brilliant “24/7: Canelo/Golovkin” and many others, will become Ray Donovan the fan and feel like a child.

Andre Ward, the world’s best fighter, will call the fight from the ring apron for all of you fans at home watching on HBO PPV. You’ll swear his hand is in your popcorn while seated next to Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman.

On Saturday night, you will witness greatness. Then we’ll all ask the victor who’s next.

*** *** ***

The sensational SUPERFLY card at StubHub last Saturday actually starts “Fight Week: Canelo V GGG”.

Almost serving as an unofficial undercard for September 16, an HBO audience watches the breathtaking KO of Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez by Sung Sor Rungvisai and the menacing arrival of Japan’s Naoya Inoue.

As I watched Canelo during the 2nd installment of 24/7, a vague rendition of a prime James Toney with elements of an 80’s fighter named Matthew Hilton starts to surface. At 27, he will be at the height of his powers and appears ready to matador Golovkin. The 35 year-old Kazhakstani ruler looks a lot like a Mexican infused Kostya Tszyu, or, a nasty iteration of the original Julio Cesar Chavez.

TUESDAY

But when the fighters arrive in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand on Tuesday, amid all the pageantry of a superfight, I’m wondering if Canelo hadn’t slightly overtrained. He looks tight. Meanwhile, Golovkin, having just arrived from L.A. while throwing the first pitch for the Dodgers on Monday, looks loose and ready. Not even the birth of his newborn child has altered the rhythm of GGG. If Canelo is indeed overbaked, it bears noting he won’t be facing a starting pitcher in Triple G, but a Mariano Rivera-like closer with the bases loaded.

WEDNESDAY

The final press conference takes place and Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Oscar De La Hoya waxes nostalgia with the familiar gleam from his “Golden Boy” days. You get the sense that Oscar himself wants to fight Golovkin, and is doing so through Canelo.

The same can be said for business partner and fellow all-time great Bernard Hopkins, who definitely wanted to fight Golovkin (had this occurred, Hopkins is still on a stretcher with smelling salt). B-Hop takes the podium to remind us of his classic with Felix “Tito” Trinidad, while reflecting on the brutality of the 1986 saga that was Marvelous Marvin Hagler V John “The Beast” Mugabi. We are very likely to see something very similar in context to Hagler V Mugabi.

Clearly, both Hopkins and De La Hoya have scripted a blueprint for Canelo to beat Golovkin, while overseeing the quality of Eddy and Chepo Reynoso’s work over the course of 10 grueling weeks. Tony Walker, HBO VP of PPV, reminds us of a strict start time for the fight (GGG V Canelo will start at or around 11pm ET/8pm PT).

FRIDAY

Yesterday was really exhausting. A day of celebration and life, as I realized another birthday while visiting the woman who gave me life in a hospital. Never one to watch much TV, I haven’t listened to anything from Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman or Dan Rafael from ESPN. But I do see the weigh-in just before taking off for Las Vegas. Canelo looked exhausted too, and will need all of the additional time he’s been given to rehydrate. Golovkin was Golovkin. I expect Alvarez to be a 175lb machine in front of Triple G.

WHO WINS

This is the closest thing you’ll ever get to Julio Cesar Chavez V Juan Manuel Marquez. What an unbelievable fight that would’ve been, which means GGG V Canelo should be a masterpiece.

Canelo doesn’t have the feet to do what Daniel Jacobs did, but he’s more committed with his punches and more methodical. His belief in himself also borders on supernatural. I always got the impression that Marquez was sort of like shaken soda. Ready to pop the cap and explode in a nano-second. Canelo is just triple distilled vodka, eager to drop shots and get you drunk slowly or all at once.

But Golovkin was born Russian, so we know he can handle the stoically tyrannical intoxication of Alvarez– despite showing us he’s a little tipsy at times from “shots”.

If you believe true fanatics of Golovkin, (also known as the “God of War”) Canelo will be fighting the Devil himself, for GGG isn’t really that far away from 666. How bout another “If”… If Canelo believes Jacobs sprinkled Triple G with holy water (and he does), then he’ll discard a pitchfork (or gameplan) and be tempted to lock horns believing he can snap them.

He can’t.

Look for GGG to systematically impose himself on the best version of Canelo we’ve ever seen, before utterly breaking the Mexican star via 11th round TKO in a spectacular fight.

This will have everyone questioning if GGG is now the best fighter in the world, as a ringside Andre Ward wears a wry grin dripping of “please”. The only logical thing for the two Jordan brand ambassadors to do next, is figure out a way to compromise and come to terms. In the meantime, enjoy the fight fans. It is going to be sensational.

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