The highly anticipated middleweight showdown between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) and Gennady ‘GGG (Triple G)’ Golovkin (37-0-0, 33 KOs) to decide who will reign supreme as the undisputed king of the division is now only days away from captivating the sporting world from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
But the question remains: who will come out on top?
In a match-up that fans have demanded for years, this looks set to be a true fight in every sense of the word as well as undoubtedly being the toughest and most career-defining assignment of each boxer’s journey to date.
With fans having now moved on from the overhyped, overmatched saga that was Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor, they can expect a proper contest this time around, with two multiple-time world champion boxers at the peak of their powers set to go toe-to-toe in a bout so evenly matched that predictions among experts are widely varied and often against the bookmakers’ favoured outcome.
Possessing impeccable records and incredible knockout power, both fighters have also promised a ‘Mexican-style’ drama show, having indicated that their intentions are solely focused on stopping their opponent, going as far as guaranteeing that this fight will not go the distance.
The tale of the tape gives us little indication of how the night will unfold, with perhaps age being the only standout factor. Alvarez is the younger fighter by eight years, while 35-year-old Golovkin has a small height advantage over his Mexican counterpart which is negated by the fact that Canelo holds a slight advantage in reach.
Both fighters also seemingly possess a granite chin, with neither fighter having been so much as knocked down thus far in their careers, while the sole loss recorded between the pair’s combined 88 professional bouts was a gallant defeat for a young Alvarez at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr, who boxed his way to a majority decision victory over the Mexican back in 2013.
This clash is being touted by boxing experts as the biggest clash in the 160-pound division since the historic night 30 years ago when ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard defeated ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler via what was a controversial split decision.
In March of this year, in what was his most recent fight, Golovkin endured his toughest test to date against a spirited Daniel Jacobs, and although GGG was able to hurt his opponent, knocking him to the canvas in Round 4, he was forced to go the full 12 rounds for the first time in his career, settling for a unanimous decision victory on that occasion.
That bout was off the back of an incredible 23-fight knockout victory streak for Golovkin which spanned back to 2008, giving GGG an edge in the form department. However, Canelo is currently on a seven-fight win streak, which began following his loss against Mayweather Jr and has seen him mature and improve, with four of those victories coming inside the distance and the other three going the full 12 rounds, something Alvarez has a lot more experience in.
Canelo’s latest opponent was Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, who he faced off against in May of this year. In what was an underwhelming bout, Alvarez won via unanimous decision against what seemed like a ghost of Chavez Jr’s former self. The decision was never in question – a complete shutout, with all three judges agreeing on a 120-108 scorecard, although many believe Canelo should have stopped his compatriot inside the distance.
It was only moments after the judges’ decision was read out following that bout that the Canelo versus GGG fight was announced inside the ring in what was a WWE-style dramatic entrance for Golovkin, which was actually more exhilarating than the fight preceding it.
In the months since that long-awaited announcement was made, both fighters have undoubtedly left no stone unturned and have given their all in their respective training camps for this fight, with motivation surely at an all-time high now that the glory fight, which has been mooted for years, is finally coming to fruition.
Statistics, records and form go out of the window here. The fighter who wants it the most will take this victory as well as all of the belts and spoils that go along with it.
So, who wins? The answer is: we do – the fans who have been longing for two champions at the top of their game to risk everything and fight each other for the glory of being the best, without the need for trash talk, without intervention from promoters. In short, boxing wins.