Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin Preview


Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) clashes with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) on September 16 in Las Vegas, in what has been one of the most anticipated fights in recent history. Golovkin will put his IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight titles on the line while Alvarez defends The Ring Magazine middleweight title.

A fight like Gennady Golovkin vs. Saul Alvarez obviously draws interest among sports bettors. The popularity of this sport as far as wagering has decreased in recent years but superfights like this one will attract considerable amounts of money. There will be plenty of betting markets available, including props, so if you’re looking to wager on the fight make sure to research BetOnline.

Handicapping Golovkin vs. Alvarez now is complicated. Making a prediction would have been easier in 2016. Last year GGG had an amazing run with knockout wins in 23 consecutive fights, but his last win is probably what finally convinced Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya to make the fight. Golovkin earned a technical knockout corner retirement win over welterweight champion Kell Brook before a narrow decision victory over Daniel Jacobs on March 18. GGG, a 35-year-old boxer from Kazakhstan, has made 18 title defenses, which is very impressive, but he appeared vulnerable in the fight against Daniel Jacobs.

‘Canelo’ Alvarez on the other hand, won a 12-round decision against Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. The fight was non-competitive but Alvarez looked good against Liam Smith and Amir Khan, talented boxers although not on Golovkin’s level. Alvarez is just 27 years old but he’s starting to become a complete boxer, he’s technically very sound and his defense and power are improving. ‘Canelo’ is a former two-time junior middleweight champion who previously vacated his 160-pound belt to avoid a mandatory fight with Golovkin.

Is Alvarez a bit overrated? To me he’s a superstar of the sport… that much is true, but he is far from infallible and he’s a bit overrated. When it comes to betting, there’s value on the Alvarez vs. Golovkin moneyline. GGG is currently at -150 to -175 while Alvarez can be found at between +126 to +140. Look for Golovkin to win a close fight (his first in Las Vegas), but why?

Not to take anything away from ‘Canelo,’ after all, he’s nine years younger than GGG and he already has 14 more fights and 181 more rounds, so experience is on his side. That said, Golovkin has an impressive knockout record with an 89% conversion (he’s only been taken the distance four times). ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on the other hand has been taken the distance on 15 occasions (losing once to Floyd Mayweather). Alvarez has a 67% knockout conversion, so his power is undeniable.

It’s interesting to note that ‘Canelo’ and ‘GGG’ have similar records during the first half of their fights, so we can expect a cagey start to their fight, as both will be wary of each other’s power. The second half of the fight suits ‘Canelo’ more though, at least on paper, as he has greater experience in those situations.

CompuBox reveals that both Alvarez and Golovkin have recorded similar punch stats. Golovkin has thrown 615 punches, landing 231 (37.6%) while Alvarez has thrown 604 total punches, landing 228 (37.7%). This evidences that both fighters are evenly matched.

As said above, Alvarez has more fights at a much younger age compared to Golovkin, but both fighters can end the bout early because of their powers and they also have enough all-around skills to take it the distance. It should be an explosive and entertaining fight that hopefully sets up a rematch. It will be close but his elite endurance will help GGG win by decision.

gym trition

frayne carpentry

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