Golovkin and Alvarez set to battle for Supremacy

With the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor circus now but a distant memory, boxing fans still have plenty to look forward to during the remainder of 2017.

The middleweight clash between Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is undoubtedly the highlight of the upcoming schedule, although there are many other intriguing contests worth keeping an eye on.

We take a look at some of the top bouts to watch over the coming weeks.

Gennady Golovkin v Saul Alvarez – Saturday, September 16 – Las Vegas, Nevada

GGG and Canelo will do battle in a middleweight super fight being billed as the ‘Supremacy’ and it’s one that fans across the world have wanted for a number of years.

The WBA, WBC, IBF and The Ring belts are all up for grabs, as the unbeaten Golovkin bids to extend his winning run to 38 victories. The Kazakhstan fighter has stopped 33 of his 37 opponents during his career, but Canelo is likely to provide his stiffest test to date.

The betting and casino brand Betsafe review of the fight tips Golovkin as the favourite to win, although Canelo’s record of 49 wins, one draw and one defeat means he shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Mexican has won seven straight fights and claimed world titles in the middleweight and light-middleweight divisions since losing against Mayweather, but Golovkin’s superior punching power should see him maintain his unbeaten status.

Gilberto Ramirez v Jessie Hart – Friday, September 22 – Tucson, Arizona

Ramirez puts his WBO world super-middleweight title on the line against Hart and fans can expect plenty of fireworks in this one.

A dominant performance against Arthur Abraham in April 2016 extended his unbeaten run to 35 fights, and the manner of his victory showed he is a force to be reckoned with. Ramirez won all 12 rounds on the scorecards, but Hart’s record of 18 knockouts in 22 fights proves he will be no pushover.

Hart’s demolition job on Alan Campa earlier this year highlighted he has more to his armoury than just defensive skills, and Ramirez would be well-advised not to take the American boxer’s challenge too lightly.

Leo Santa Cruz v Chris Avalos – Saturday, October 14 – Carson, California

‘El Terremoto’ defends his featherweight world title against Avalos knowing that victory will set up a possible meeting with four-time world champion Abner Mares.

Santa Cruz previously defeated Mares in a stunning contest back in 2015 and has since gone on to have two epic battles with Carl Frampton. Cruz lost a close decision to Frampton in 2016, but gained his revenge in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Avalos has five losses on his record, but with 20 knockouts to his name he shouldn’t be underestimated. However, he fell short in his previous world championship bout, losing to Frampton via knockout in 2015, and Santa Cruz should emerge victorious.

Abner Mares v Andres Gutierrez – Saturday, October 14 – Carson, California

Mares claimed the WBA featherweight title with a hard-fought victory over Jesus Cuellar in December 2016, but Gutierrez could dash his hopes of securing a meeting with Santa Cruz.

The 31-year-old has won 30 out of 33 fights and claimed world titles in three different weight classes during his professional career. Mares has victories over Anselmo Moreno, Daniel Ponce De Leon and Joseph Agbeko on his résumé, but his Mexican compatriot is a dangerous opponent.

The 24-year-old suffered the first loss of his career when he lost a narrow decision against Cristian Mijares last year and he will be eager to regain the winning thread against Mares. Gutierrez will probably start the fight as the outsider, but a surprise could be on the cards.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie