Canelo Rightly Favored Over GGG in Third Fight
Canelo Alvarez opened as the bookies choice to defeat Gennady Golovkin in a potential third fight between the top two middleweights in the world.
Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, announced on Twitter over the weekend talks between the two sides had officially begun. Later reports indicate the promoters are potentially targeting May 4 for the bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the same site of the two previous promotions.
While Alvarez entered the first two fights against GGG as an underdog, it seems oddsmakers have changed their tunes since witnessing the first two encounters. While many online bookmakers have yet to post odds for the proposed bout, the majority of those who have, including Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, list Alvarez as the slight favorite at – 162 with Golovkin lagging behind at +125.
The two men fought to a hotly disputed draw in September 2017. While many fans and media were livid at the ringside scoring, judges tallied a draw because of Alvarez’s excellent counterpunching.
The postfight aftermath prompted an immediate rematch in which both sides were eager to prove themselves the winner. But just as the originally scheduled second fight was supposed to take place in May 2018, Alvarez pulled out of the fight due to testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Alvarez later claimed to have accidentally ingested the banned substance, clenbuterol, through tainted Mexican meat.
While some dismissed the claim as Alvarez just trying to cover for an attempted cheat, it’s important to note that there exists at least some probability that Alvarez’s claim was true. In fact, tainted meat is a well-documented issue in Mexico affecting athletes from far more sports than just boxing.
Regardless, Alvarez was subsequently suspended for six months by Nevada, so Golovkin went on to destroy former 154-pound contender Vanes Martirosyan instead. Alvarez served his time, and the rematch happened instead in September 2018.
The second fight was a real barnburner. Alvarez stood toe-to-toe with Golovkin, basically daring him to slug it out. Golvokin chose instead to box carefully from a distance, a surprising move that may have ultimately backfired. While the fight turned out to be one of the better middleweight title fights in recent history, GGG might have given too many of the early rounds away. Because at the end of the twelve grueling rounds, Alvarez was awarded a majority decision win.
While some fans and media again lamented the judges' decision, the second fight was less disputable than the first. Alvarez’s performance in the first half of the fight, coupled with his excellent defense and counterpunching late, gave him at least a reasonable claim to winning the fight.
Besides, wasn’t Golovkin supposes to be the unstoppable knockout machine? Why was he moving backward through most of the fight, especially during the early rounds?
Alvarez, 28, is favored by bookmakers in the third fight because he’s already shown the ability to defeat Golovkin. Moreover, there is an idea circulating in boxing that says Golvkin, 36, is slipping a little bit with every fight.
Would a 30-year-old Golovkin have moved backward from a challenger daring him to duke it out? Did he retreat because he knew deep down in his heart his better days are behind him? The stories we could ponder in our heads about the move heading into a potential third fight are limitless.
Golovkin has enjoyed a tremendous career, one of the most impressive runs in 160-pound history. But Golovkin just doesn’t seem to possess the same snap on his punches anymore. He relies mostly on his jab, a pristine weapon that can probably still defeat most middleweights on its own. But Alvarez isn’t most middleweights.
Alvarez is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, one who appears to still be getting better in every single fight. Did you see him blast out secondary 168-pound titleholder Rocky Fielding in December? Can you imagine him digging the same way to Golovkin’s 36-year-old body in a third fight?
Alvarez is the bookies choice for good reason. While Golovkin’s popularity, coupled with the narrative from some that he was robbed in at least one of the first two fights, should garner him plenty of action as the underdog. But there’s no legitimate reason headed into a third fight to think that it will be anything but another Alvarez win.
Alvarez is a younger fighter with more ways to win and maybe even more talent.