By Gregory Doyle
This Saturday, September 15th, marks the most anticipated rematch of the year and maybe even of the last 20 years. Unified WBA, WBC and IBO Middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin again takes on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The middleweight stars meet at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas hoping to settle their ever-growing rivalry once and for all after their controversial September 2017 draw.
This meeting seems to be much more personal due to the ever-growing rumours of foul tactics used by Canelo in which he tested positive for banned substance, Clenbuterol, this year much to his innocence whereas GGG believes there was intention. This added by the mind games being used by GGG trainer Abel Sanchez.
The build-up thus far has been fascinating. Sanchez implying that himself and GGG have studied Bernard Hopkins stoppage of Oscar De La Hoya (Canelos Promoter) and will try to use the same body shot which stopped the Golden Boy back in 2004 in his unsuccessful challenge for the unified Middleweight championship. Canelo and his trainer Chepo Reynoso claiming they have learned so much from the first fight and are certain Canelo will not only be the first man to beat GGG but viciously stop him in the process.
It really is a fascinating contest. Will it be tactical or will it be an all-out war? Canelo promises to stand and fight this time as he used what could have been seen as slightly negative tactics in their first fight. At times, Canelo boxed beautifully but it was also felt that he was not doing enough to take the rounds away from GGG. I scored the first meeting 115-112 Golovkin in what was a relatively close fight but for me, there was only one winner.
This time I’m really on the fence. I think big cases can be made for both boxers. Will the drug incident be a mental/physical factor in the fight? Will Canelo want to prove a point? Will GGG take more chances early on in the fight? So many questions but we will have to wait until Saturday before these are answered. I never like to make too bold a prediction until I see both men standing on the scales looking into each other’s eyes. With the experience I have myself I know that this is a huge factor in a fight and so much can be read from a man’s body language and staring into “a mans soul”, as they say.
At this point, I am slightly leaning towards a controversial Canelo points win. I just feel if the fight is remotely close Canelo will get the nod on the judges card. Both men were inside 4lbs of the weight in the 7 day check in so hopefully there will be no problems making weight. I will be a little more decisive in my prediction on Friday night but at this point, my gut is saying Canelo. GGG is the bookies favourite, however, the feeling at this point is it won’t be much of a surprise no matter who wins. It really is a battle to see who the main man is of his era at Middleweight and I just can’t wait to see how it will pan out.