While I stated in my column last week that the Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady “GGG” Golovkin fight would be hard to predict, some possible outcomes can still be hypothesized.
The problems in predicting the bout is both fighters do not have a common opponent, which is very rare, because Alvarez has more fights at welterweight (147 pounds) and junior middleweight (154 pounds) compared to Golovkin who has thrived more at middleweight (160 pounds).
If there was a common opponent, he would surely know who hits harder, has better skills and can take more punishment. So boxing observers and analysts can just hypothesize how the fight would unfold based on the protagonists’ recent fights and training videos. But let’s skip analyzing their training videos because, obviously, both are training like mad or possessed men.
So here are the possible outcomes:
An early knockout win for Alvarez or Golovkin—truth is Alvarez has not faced anybody like Golovkin and vice versa, so the popular saying “wait till the first punch lands” would apply to this fight, or whoever gets rattled or unsettled by the punching power of his opponent will likely lose before the sixth round.
If Golovkin gets to rattle Alvarez with his punching power, however, he cannot expect the Mexican to just fold up and be a stationary target because Alvarez has good ring movement and knows how to bob and weave. But eventually, Golovkin can dispose Alvarez with his rangy punches that are very hard to block.
So what is Alvarez gets to rattle Golovkin? If that happens, I expect the Mexican to end the fight earlier, because Golovkin seems to freeze when he gets hit hard; just witness some moments former welterweight champion Kell Brook was able to land on Golovkin in their title fight on September 2016.
A late knockout or stoppage—if both fighters respect each other’s punching power, the fight still can end in a stoppage or knockout in the later rounds or even beyond the 10th round. When two hard punchers show respect for each other’s power, the fight usually becomes a boxing match where each fighter tries to wear down his opponent for an eventual kill in the later rounds. So the fight can boil down on who will still have enough punching power in the later rounds.
A decision—when Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia stepped into the ring in March this year, many expected the fight to end in a stoppage or knockout. Well, that did not happen as both fighters showed too much respect for each other’s power. To my mind, this could be the worst scenario for the Alvarez-Golovkin fight as both of them could resort to “fencing” rather than boxing, that can result in a close or lopsided decision. The Alvarez-Golovkin fight can still end in a lopsided decision if one of the fighters in the later rounds can still land more meaningless punches.
So what scenario will it be this weekend: Alvarez or Golovkin getting rattled by their opponent’s punching power; both showing respect for each other’s punching power; or both showing too much respect?