Philippines, 12 Dec 2023
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Canelo Alarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin 3: Rubber Match Already Stamped?

Judging by the many pundits and plugged in boxing fans predictions a rubber stamp has already been stamped on the outcome for the trilogy between Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin. The betting lines have Canelo as a huge favorite given the competitiveness of their first two meetings. As it stands right now Golovkin is anywhere from +350 all the way up to +415 as a live underdog heading into Saturday night's big showdown. Clearly age and lack of ring activity since their 2nd bout on the Golovkin side lends itself to the main reason why Canelo is far and away a betting favorite. And to be fair when Golovkin has been in the ring for only 4 times in the last 4 years, he’s looked past his prime at times.

One can’t really take much from walk-thru opponents in Steve Rolls and Kamil Szeremeta but early on versus Ryota Murata and a large portion of the fight against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Golovkin looked over the hill to an extent anyway. Some will tell you Canelo waited on a first fight against Golovkin in order to age him out. While others will say he pushed it down the road so it could be a bigger event. Personally I think its nonsense to say or think that Golovkin was past his prime in either of the two fights. Did Golovkin fall off the cliff after the first fight that so many people believed he won? It’s possible but the way Gennadiy dug deep to close out the 2nd affair just doesn’t line up with a past prime boxer.

He had a year between fights because of Canelo Alvarez testing positive for what was a banned substance at the time. Certainly GGG didn’t take punishment in his stay busy Vanes Martirosyan fight May 2018. In fact how many wars had Golovkin been in before facing Canelo? The Danny Jacobs fight was razor close and yes Kell Brook did light him up while it lasted but neither was a give and take overly taxing outing. If anything it would have to be the amount of wear and tear from all the training camps dating back to the amateurs that took a toll.

One could make a strong argument that the wear and tear plus those two grueling bouts with Canelo took something out of him. As previously mentioned he didn’t look like his normal self in what could have gone either way with Derevyanchenko on the scorecards back in 2019. After a rocky start Golovkin did overcome Murata and also got a fight in so he’s at least way sharper if he hadn’t fought. Let us not forget it had been around 15 months out of the ring before his fight in April.

It’s just the opposite for Canelo as far as activity. Alvarez fought 8 times since September of 2018 and that’s with only one bout vs. Callum Smith to close out 2020. Sergey Kovalev, Billy Joe Saunders, and Caleb Plant did have plenty of success winning rounds on Canelo ultimately as we know Canelo would go on to stop all 3. The one item that really stands out of course is Canelo taking a loss to Dimitii Bivol in May. Moving up to light heavyweight again, his last appearance he admitted to feeling sluggish with Kovalev and the fighting style of Bivol was always going to be a tough task. Moving on to Saturday night’s main event which will be streaming live on DAZN PPV along with cable/satellite platforms, in this case the old saying of “Styles Make Fights” is a perfect definition based off two greatly entertaining fights.

Golovkin will have to do more of what he did in the first fight which is outland Canelo by a significant amount. Assuming GGG’s meaningful jab will be pumping he must push Canelo back in order to trap him in corners or put him on the ropes. The more often it becomes a fire fight the better it will be in order to be victories for GGG. Also, one thing stands out above the rest in both fights is the lack of body attack from Golovkin who normally is a dangerous body puncher. I get not wanting to shoe-shine in combination because of the threat of being countered but he must do damage to Canelo’s mid-section if anything landing on the hip to slow the Mexican native down as much as possible.

Canelo unlike in their first meeting must not only stand his ground but push Golovkin back taking him out of his comfort zone the way he did in 2018. Canelo has a quality jab so using it a bit more would likely help open up holes to land power shots. He could also turn his jab into a left hook to the head or body. Speaking of body Canelo has to target Gennadiy to the body. In the second fight Alvarez had a 46-6 body punching advantage. And lastly stay off the ropes if you’re Canelo even if it means quick clinches or a tad more lateral movement in spots.

All and all this will be a better two-way fight then most assume so don’t be shocked if the outcome is still on the table in the championship rounds. The improvements Canelo made in the 2nd fight combined with inactivity from Golovkin along with being 4 years older is too much for Gennadiy to overcome. Another very good to excellent scrap will eventually turn a little more one-way as Canelo does enough to beat Golovkin in the rubber match say 7-5 or 8-4.

My Official Prediction is Canelo Alvarez by Unanimous Decision.
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Side Note: Rising boxing star Jessie ‘Bam’ Rodriguez is in the co-feature taking on fringe contender Israel Gonzalez. Also of interest on the DAZN PPV undercard is Akhmedov vs. Rosario and what could be the best fight Williams vs. Conway.

Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Chris Carlson.

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