Saturday night September 16, at the sold out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) will go toe-to-toe in one of the most-anticipated fights of the decade.
Golovkin’s IBF, WBA, and WBC Middleweight titles will be on the line– Golovkin has 18 straight defenses in the division. While Canelo’s lineal and Ring Magazine titles will also be up for grabs.
This fight has been in the making for a couple of years now and finally, it’s a reality. This is one of the best match-ups boxing has seen in a long time– it is a fight that could really go either way. Both men are in their prime and ready to prove that they deserve to be atop the Pound-for-Pound rankings.
“I can assure you that I will do my part and I will do my best to give you all a beautiful fight. The most important thing for me is victory. I always prepare myself to give the best. I want this for my people, my team, for my country. And that’s what I’m going to do this Saturday. I’m going to go in there and win the fight. I prepared myself for the knockout. Look, anything can happen in this fight. But that’s what I’ve prepared for–to knock him out.” –Canelo Alvarez
“It’s amazing to be in Las Vegas. But the bigger thing is the fight is finally here. I am Gennady Golovkin until I walk into the ring. And that’s when I turn into Triple G. It’s not that I’m mean, or angry. I’m just more focused. This is the perfect fight for fans. And the perfect fight for me. I will enjoy it.” –Gennady “GGG” Golovkin
This fight is extremely hard to predict because both fighters have completely different styles but are both equally superb in the ring.
For Gennady “GGG” Golovkin to successfully defend his titles and clench the lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight titles Saturday night, he will need to execute the following keys to victory.
1. Utilize His Jab
One of Gennady Golovkin’s biggest weapons is his jab–to beat Canelo Alvarez he must establish his jab early on in the fight. Golovkin has stopped a majority of his opponents in spectacular fashion but one of the most notable was against Golden Boy fighter David Lemieux.
In his bout against Lemieux, he demonstrated just how dangerous his jab really is and how effective it can be.Golovkin knocked Lemieux down in Round 5 and the bout was later stopped in the eighth by the referee, this was essentially due to Golovkin’s ability to turn his left shoulder out toward Lemieux and exploit him with his destructive jab.
Though Canelo is a much different fighter than Lemieux, if Golovkin adopts a similar fighting style Saturday night he will likely be able to land his jab enough to make Canelo question coming forward.
By establishing his jab, Golovkin will also be able to deteriorate Canelo’s aptitude to land his right cross and hook.
2. Smart Pressure
Gennady Golovkin is known for pressuring his opponents and cutting off the ring which has clearly been extremely effective to this point. Though Canelo Alvarez is a very skilled counter puncher, he typically is more successful when he has time to plant his feet and elude shots with slick upper body movement.
Golovkin must be the aggressor and keep Canelo on his back foot. Golovkin needs to constantly be applying pressure, this will lessen Canelo’s ability evade damage and take some of the sting away from his counters.
Although applying pressure is key, Golovkin must be smart about how he does so. Against Daniel Jacobs, Golovkin was running into Jacobs’ quick combinations coming forward.
Golovkin must avoid taking too much punishment while closing the distance against Canelo. A subtler pressure with effective footwork combined with careful ruthlessness will lead Golovkin to victory.
3. Make Canelo Respect His Power
Canelo Alvarez has fought a majority of his career below the 160-pound weight class and has yet to be tested by a true Middleweight heavy hitter–if Gennady Golovkin can make Canelo respect his power early on then he will be able to take control of the fight. If Canelo has the slightest bit of fear of getting knocked out, his game plan will likely take a back seat to that worry.
Conversely, GGG does not need to go head hunting for a spectacular knockout, in fact Golovkin should focus on landing his crushing left hook to the body of Canelo.
Golovkin consistently scores TKO victories with an accumulation of body shots and Saturday night he should test Canelo’s conditioning with a steady attack to the body.
Obviously, Golovkin is known for his power– it will be interesting to see if Canelo has the chin and conditioning to escape being knocked out or stopped by GGG.