The highly anticipated bout between pound-for-pound greats Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin did not disappoint last September, but perhaps less for the boxing on show and more for the disputed result as the fight ended in a draw, with judge Adalaide Byrd scoring the fight in favour of Alvarez 118 – 110, a long way off the marks from the other two judges who scored 115 – 113 to GGG and 114 – 114. The majority of fans and experts scored the contest in favour of GGG who himself felt he had been robbed and a rematch needed to be put in place as soon as possible.
The rematch will take place on September 15th with both fighters declaring that there would be no repeat of poor judging this time around as both men promise to knock the other one out.
The draw in the first bout was the first time GGG had left a contest without a victory while it was Canelo’s second draw of his career – albeit the first in 45 bouts.
GGG has fought 15 times since 2013 compared to Canelo’s 10. The extra time between bouts could give the Mexican the additional time required to refine the areas he now knows he needs to win.
Throughout their careers, both have been renowned for their explosive power and KO prowess in their respective weight divisions.
Significantly, Canelo has won on 10 occasions going the full distance, showing his ability to out-think, out-skill and out-hit his opponents, which makes him a boxing all-time great even at the age of 27.
GGG on the other hand has gone the full-distance on just two occasions in his professional career.
GGG has been unable to KO back-to-back opponents for the first time in his career and at the age of 36, his once famous power has perhaps decreased, or the step-up in opposition nullifies his power somewhat.
If this is the case, he must aim for a KO throughout and be the aggressor to record the victory as it is difficult to see Alvarez being beaten on points.
Golovkin had a lot of success with the jab during the opening rounds of the first fight but faded in the middle before coming strong again in the final third of the fight compared to Canelo’s consistently accurate jab through the opening seven rounds while landing less than 20% thrown for each of the last four.
Overall, GGG possessed a much more accurate jab, successfully landing 29.9% of the time compared to 23.6% respectively. GGG threw 132 more jabs (361) than Alvarez (233) and landed nearly double (108 to 55) during the fight, perhaps showing that Golovkin’s famous come-forward style was unsettling the great Mexican.
Alvarez on the other hand was much more successful with power punches, landing 41.9% compared to GGG’s 32.2%. Again, it was Golovkin who possessed the higher work-rate throughout, throwing 342 compared to 272 with both fighters landing a similar amount (110 to 114).
Although Canelo was the more accurate, it was GGG who landed the more telling blows, putting Alvarez on the ropes and needing to defend throughout many of the rounds. The majority of power punches that did land on Golovkin did not appear to phase him, suggesting that Alvarez doesn’t possess the power to KO GGG. If this is the case, expect to see very different tactics by both fighters during this second contest.
Perhaps as was to be expected, Canelo was the more accurate puncher, landing 33.5% to Golovkin’s 31%. The Mexican was more successful with his punches in eight of the 12 rounds – an area that may have been the reason for judge Byrd’s scoring.
Notably, GGG threw more punches in 11 of the 12 rounds and was only 2.5% less accurate with his overall punches.
Nevertheless, Golovkin out-worked Canelo all the way through the fight and threw 202 more punches in the process and although less accurate, his volume and substance was the main reason many believed he won the fight.
In summary, it is easy to see why the first fight was scored a draw with split-opinions on the result across the globe whereby the two very contrasting styles make for a strong debate on both fighters. Nonetheless, the statistics show that Golovkin would have won that same fight more often than not and it is fair to see why his camp feel he was hard done by and why he was eager for the rematch.
Alvarez will need to change his approach if he is to get the judge’s decision while GGG will take the same approach and push for the KO. If it goes the distance again, it could once more go down to the wire but if a KO is to happen, TSZ can only see it coming from the reigning champion. As one of the biggest fights in world boxing, this one will be even more entertaining and harder to call than the first – something all boxing fans cannot wait for!