“Golovkin, you are next, my friend.”
Six words the boxing world couldn’t wait to hear. After a dominating victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Saul “Canelo” Alvarez announced to the world that the superfight we have all been waiting for is officially on. Moments later, Canelo and Gennady Golovkin were in the same ring promoting their bout that is officially set for September 16.
For many, this fight felt like it was never going to happen. Canelo and Golden Boy Promotion have been accused by boxing fans — who are a bit of a fickle crowd — of ducking opponents, especially Golovkin.
“Sure, not every fighter Canelo steps into the ring with is a future Hall of Famer,” says Bleacher Report senior writer Jonathan Snowden. “But when you really take a step back and look at the big picture, Canelo tends to challenge himself more than many of his peers. From Austin Trout to Erislandy Lara to Floyd Mayweather and now Golovkin, Canelo consistently takes the toughest fights out there.”
One thing is for certain, things have changed quite a bit in the boxing landscape over the past 18 months. We are starting to see the sport regain some of its former glory thanks to Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko, the Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev saga and now Canelo vs GGG.
Maybe optimism reigned supreme for the sport not all that long ago, as online book [custom:bovada-link] had originally opened odds for a superfight between Canelo and GGG back in February 2015. However, the bout was looked at as rather one-sided per the oddsmakers with the Kazakhstani champion being listed as a massive -350 favorite. Once the fight was officially confirmed on May 7, 2017, things had changed with Golovkin being pegged as a modest -165 fave.
“In the last 15 months, Golovkin has gone from a 33-year-old champion in his prime to a 35-year-old fighter who appears to have lost a step or two,” Snowden says. “Life happens fast for fighters in their mid-30s. There’s no predicting exactly when a fighter will show his age — but the cliff comes out of nowhere and the fall can be particularly brutal.”
Those 15 months carried with it three Golovkin fights, one against an overwhelmed Dominic Wade, one vs a smaller Kell Brook and the other against Daniel Jacobs. Golovkin once combined technical proficiency with devastating power to develop this aura of invincibility. Though the Super WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight champion has still yet to lose inside the squared circle, he hasn’t exactly looked unbeatable in his two most recent performances.
“His last fight with Daniel Jacobs made people question the legend of Golovkin. He had been built in our minds as this unstoppable monster for so long that nothing short of a devastating knockout could possibly satisfy us,” Snowden explains. “Then, against Jacobs, he suddenly appeared all too human. Perhaps that’s an indication that Jacobs was better than we gave him credit for. But boxing fans don’t tend to operate with that kind of positive mindset. Rather than boost Jacobs, it’s much easier to diminish Golovkin instead. Right now it’s all guesswork. We’ll find out in September exactly what GGG has left in the tank.”
Update: This fight has been confirmed for September 16th, 2017. The following text was originally written on May 9, 2016 following Canelo Alvarez vs Amir Khan.
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin will happen…eventually. The two fighters' camps met and have – reportedly – verbally agreed to a tentative bout between Canelo and GGG for the fall of 2017.
Though the boxing world has been buzzing for this fight for nearly a year, it reached a fever pitch after Canelo called out GGG following his victory over Amir Khan.
“We don’t f*** around. We don’t come to play in this sport. I fear no one in this sport. I’ll fight [GGG] right now. Let’s put the gloves on and get in there with him,” said Canelo after he knocked out Khan in the sixth round on Cinco de Mayo weekend 2016.
Golden Boy Promotions – who represent Canelo – wants the fighter to have more time to familiarize himself with fighting at 160 lbs, which is Golovkin’s weight. Alvarez has been fighting at 155 lbs catchweight bouts – though that is technically middleweight – in his past five fights.
Canelo has never faced a fighter with the knockout power that GGG possesses, as the undefeated Kazakhstani has won 32 of his 35 professional bouts via KO.
With the tentative bout agreed we are awaiting odds to hit the board at books. Originally – when this bout was expected to take place in September 2016 – GGG was a massive -350 at [custom:bovada-link].
The boxing world waits with baited breath for the official announcement that Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will square off in 2016. Rumors continue to swirl that the two best middleweight fighters on the planet will square off later this year, with September being the initial target date.
The Kazakhstani champion has been opened as a large -350 favorite against his potential Mexican counterpart according to Bovada.
A clash between GGG and Alvarez will unify all the middleweight championships for the first time since Jermaine Taylor chose not to defend the IBF belt after defeating Bernard Hopkins in 2007.
The above scenario assumes that Golovkin fights WBA Champion Billy Joe Sanders in a bout that is reportedly being negotiated for April. Alvarez will make his return back to the ring when he faces off against Amir Khan during the Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas.
GGG is one of the premier knockout artists in the boxing world today as his 91.2 percent knockout percentage is the highest in middleweight title history. Golovkin, who has still yet to loss a fight in his career, has knocked out his last 21 opponents with only six of them making it to the sixth round.
Alvarez has one loss in his professional boxing career and that was against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2004. Canelo is coming off a complete beatdown of Miguel Cotto and has proven to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.