Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin Full Breakdown

Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin

Boxing enthusiasts should be salivating in 2017. They got Mayweather vs. McGregor, which rose high above expectations and reinvigorated boxing from the perspective of casual fans. Mayweather won, but McGregor looked good and I don’t see anyone complaining on Reddit or Twitter about that fight costing $100. Unlike that travesty Mayweather vs Pacquiao punchless battle, Mayweather and McGregor had a great fight with legitimate action and intrigue that capped off rather nicely. It was a fight that Mayweather won technically, but also McGregor and the fans won as well. Following that would normally be hard, but there’s another super fight coming up and this time it’s a pair of bruisers that could be set for numerous highlight boxing reels. These two, Gennedy Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, have 67 wins by knockout combined and only Alvarez has a loss. That loss however is to Mayweather. Ignore that Alvarez has a draw to his name, it was his fifth fight ever and was against Jorge Juarez. It has no bearing on this fight against Triple-G. Both men are coming off unanimous decision wins in May for a September bout that could yield some high quality Twitter gifs. So with that being said, let’s look at each fighter specifically for a moment.


Gennedy Golovkin

The Kazakhstani KO artist. Kazakhstan is, historically, the launching pad for death. The Huns and Mongols swept through this country just west of Mongolia on their way to dominating most of the known world. Fun fact, the Mongols caused the breakout of the Bubonic Plague in Europe by catapulting dead men and cows into cities that wouldn’t surrender in the Middle-East. Then when those citizens fled west into Europe they brought the highly contagious plague with them. It wasn’t just rats, it was also refugees fleeing from the Mongol Horde. Gennedy Golovkin’s fists are like the bubonic plague. See, the bubonic plague had a mortality rate of 90% while Triple-G’s fists have an 89% KO rate.


Golovkin has 33 KO’s in his 37-0 record and has put away some decent boxers. He thwamped Matthew Macklin in round 8 (2013), TKO’d Kell Brook a year ago and recently went all 12 rounds with Daniel Jacobs where GGG won by unanimous decision. Golovkin though has not faced stiff competition in recently years. He goes in being the favorite at -160, but many find that interesting because of the challenge that Alvarez poses. Triple-G, despite being 35, only has 172 professional rounds under his belt. Golovkin averages out to 4.6 rounds per fight, has a 74 inch reach and is a single inch taller than Alvarez to round out the comparison.


Against Jacobs, Golovkin showed some weakness to a degree. Golovkin did very little until round 4 in the bout when he scored a knock down on Jacobs, but beyond that there was never a real moment where Triple-G looked to be in position to end the fight. Yahoo Sports Chris Mannix even hinted that Golovkin’s days of being truly feared are past while you had some scoring the Golovkin vs. Jacobs fight in favor of Jacobs. Despite that the decision was unanimous in GGG’s favor (115-112, 115-112, 114-113) it was hard fought and damn near a split decision. Pretty amazing for a guy whose last decision victory in a fight was 2008. GGG either won by KO, TKO or Referee Technical Decision since that time but that all ended against Daniel Jacobs. Jacobs is a Cinderella story of sorts for boxing as he has survived cancer, has 29 KOs in his 32-1 record and is the first cancer survivor to win a world championship in boxing history. Jacobs is no pushover, but that is the problem for Triple-G looking at this upcoming fight. Golovkin struggled against Jacobs and could never get that knockout blow. Even though he landed more punches, the victory itself looked like one of those, “a win is a win” situations. Golovkin looked different. Not as aggressive, not looking to land that power punch to end it all while Jacobs got in some good hits too. Going against Canelo Alvarez though will be a true test to Golovkin and a win over Alvarez could catapult him just below the realm that is dominated by the Shao Kahn of boxing, Floyd Mayweather.


Saul “Canelo” Alvarez

Firstly, “Canelo” means cinnamon, I figured you would want to know what his nickname meant. It’s a common term for Mexican redheads. Secondly, did you know that Canelo Alvarez is one of eight kids? He has seven brothers and all of them are boxers. This family was born to punch faces and Canelo does that better than the rest of his siblings. Canelo boasts a 49-1-1 record with wins against notable names like Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and his recent fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, all three of which he won by unanimous decision. Canelo’s sole loss is to Floyd Mayweather where he lost by majority decision as one judge ruled the bout a draw somehow. But a loss to Mayweather is hardly a scar to really hold against any of the 50 men, McGregor included, that have taken an L against Money Mayweather.


Canelo Alvarez in his most recent fight against Chavez Jr. absolutely destroyed him. Chavez never took advantage when he had it against Canelo and Canelo used his speed and agility to pepper, or rather cinnamon, Chavez with blow after blow. If you didn’t see the fight here’s all you need to know… Alvarez landed 228 punches while Chavez landed 71… in 12 ROUNDS! Canelo used an array of jabs, combination punches and uppercuts as he walloped what was essentially a practice dummy with human skin. Canelo Alvarez is fast and uses it well. He isn’t perfect, but he uses his speed to give himself opportunities at combinations and has a nasty uppercut when he lands it. Chavez the whole fight looked to be playing for the scorecard loss and never once looked to be in control or even really attempting to win or score a 10-9 round in his favor. It gave Canelo time to work on his footwork, punches and movement. He left himself vulnerable a handful of times which could cost him against someone like GGG. He let himself get cornered, but Chavez never tried to take advantage and land some blows. I seriously doubt that Golovkin will be so generous.


Other than being 8 years younger than Golovkin, Canelo does have a speed advantage and if he can use his arm speed to land a series of punches it could force GGG into a defensive shell. If Canelo fights in a similar manner as Jacobs did it could push him to a victory either by KO or decision. Canelo can go, and by that I mean he can last for seemingly ever. He’s been boxing professionally since 15 and in his 12 years he has racked up 353 rounds total. That comes out to 6.9 rounds per fight surpassing Triple-G’s average by 2.3 rounds. Why does this matter? Canelo has fought for a long time and has really good stamina, something that could become an issue for Golovkin in later rounds. Not saying Golovkin is bad in later rounds or lacks stamina, but Canelo has shown an advanced ability to stay fresh in later rounds. Canelo is, right now, one of the best active boxers in the world and is two years younger than I am as I write this with 49 more accomplishments than me. Needless to say I am not a good boxer or rather, a boxer at all.


Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez

Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin

So let’s take a look at the measurables we are working with. Golovkin has a 1 inch height advantage, 3 inch reach advantage and a higher KO percentage of 89% compared to Canelo’s 67%. Yet Canelo is faster, younger but somehow far more experienced funny enough. Canelo Alvarez has nearly 200 more rounds lifetime than Golovkin, professionally speaking, and has 14 more fights as well. He actually has 1 more knockout than Golovkin as well. Percentages for knockouts don’t matter much between these two, but getting the knockout matters a lot for Golovkin. His untattered record has relied almost solely on knock outs. GGG, in his last 6 bouts, has amassed 44 rounds which averages out to 7.3 rounds per fight. That is far above his career average of 4.9 rounds per fight and just slightly above Canelo’s 6.9 rounds average. Looking at the fight against Jacobs, you can see that Triple-G may have simply been exhausted in the latter rounds due in part to almost 30% of his rounds in those 6 fights coming against Jacobs. Alvarez though has 54 rounds in his last 6 bouts which comes out to an average of 9 rounds per fight. 9 rounds of anything is tiring, let alone boxing. In the 6 fights for GGG, he only went above 9 rounds once and hit 8 rounds one time in a TKO of David Lemieux. Alvarez seems to have the advantage when it comes to in ring stamina and durability simply when looking at rounds. It may not be a great telling stat, but stamina seemingly will come into play in this fight.


While Golovkin’s undefeated 37-0 record is impressive, Alvarez’s 49-1-1 is just as impressive. More fights isn’t always telling, but considering that Alvarez has gone full rounds in 17 of his 51 bouts while Golovkin only has 4 of his 37 fights going to the final bell, it shows a pattern style. Alvarez is someone who seems to be able to excel in those later rounds considering that 12 of those complete fights went 10 rounds or more. Alvarez, the longer the fight wears on, would be more in control than Golovkin who, as stated earlier, looked gassed in the later rounds during his fight with Jacobs. Where Golovkin can make his mark would be between round 3 and 6. He has good power and tends to feel his way out in early rounds with considerable opponents. If you look at his fights with Brook and Macklin you can see the trend sticks as he took down Macklin in round 3 and Brook in round 5.


When it comes to round 1 and 2 against formidable fighters, GGG likes to see what his opponent does and I don’t think his tactics will change much to open the bout with Alvarez. That said, Alvarez likes to poke and prod. He knows he can last 12 rounds and may come out trying to win the first few rounds to force Golovkin on the offensive. Alvarez can suffer a knock down and still win as his later round offense can make up for an early round fall. Boxing in that regard is a lot like College Football. Better to take the hurt early rather than late. You could be up a pair of points and all the sudden tied after a bad round 9 for instance. This is going to be a damn fine fight and one you don’t want to miss.


It will be more interesting than Mayweather vs. McGregor on all fronts except for the publicity and trash talk. Golovkin is a smasher who can knock out lights faster than The Avenger’s Hawkeye and Alvarez has the stamina of Wolverine. That said, I can’t help but lean, in the betting sense, into the corner of Canelo Alvarez. He’s the underdog for only the second time in his career. He’s still at a +140 right now which, to me, as a betting man, makes me salivate. The longer this fight goes the better shot Alvarez has and with Golovkin getting favored, I would feel extremely comfortable taking the “underdog” Alvarez in this fight.



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