Finally, Golovkin vs Alvarez

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Ed C. Tolentino

If you are looking for a post-fight analysis of the recent all-Mexican showdown between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., you might want to look elsewhere because there is really nothing much to say about the heavily-hyped fight that turned out to be a huge bust.

Simply put, Chavez Jr. lived up to ‘expectations’; that he is really just a pretender hiding behind his father’s reputation. The biggest news actually came minutes after Alvarez was declared the winner via a lopsided decision. Alvarez, along with Golden Boy Promotions head honcho Oscar De La Hoya, announced that a September 16 showdown has been booked opposite world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. The camps of the two fighters have been playing cat-and-mouse for over a year, with Alvarez arguably doing most of the dodging. In a novel approach, Alvarez announced in the ring that Golovkin is next in his fistic itinerary. Golovkin entered the ring and right then and there the mega fight was sealed.

As expected, discussions on the Alvarez-Golovkin fight dominated the boxing headlines the following day, with Chavez Jr.’s embarrassing performance placed in the backburner. This early, the fight is already generating Pacquiao-Mayweather hype in terms of expected pay-per-view subscriptions and media mileage.

Truth be told, Alvarez-Golovkin is an excellent pairing considering the styles of both men; they both love to engage at close quarters. Alvarez is the better boxer, with the ability to rattle off a six-punch combination. Golovkin is the pressure fighter who sticks to his foe like a deodorant and unloads short punches on the inside. The styles of both men almost guarantee that we will not be seeing the same hit-and-run tactics Floyd Mayweather Jr. employed against Manny Pacquiao in their May 2015 bout.


Moreover, Golovkin (35 years old) and Alvarez (27 when the fight happens) are in their prime years, marinated perfectly for their upcoming showdown. Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) is the natural middleweight (160 lbs.), but Alvarez (49-1, 1 draw, 34 knockouts) is known to pack as much as 20 pounds immediately after the weigh-in and handle the extra luggage well, making the perceived weight difference inconsequential.

Right here in our shores, Filipino fight fans are looking forward to Alvarez-Golovkin. This writer has been the recipient of several messages from local fight fans who all have something to say about the fight.

Local and international boxing judge Arnie Najera opines that “Golovkin is scary, but I am more scared of Canelo’s progress in his last 5 fights. This is definitely a give-and-go fight. I’m putting Canelo on slight edge on this one mainly on the quality of the opponents he has faced. However, we can’t ignore the fact that Golovkin has been fighting as a middleweight ever since and is naturally the bigger boxer. What do they say about a good boxer beats a good little one anytime? Fight fans win in this kind of fight, though.”

Fight fan Niko Quirapas of Quezon City avers that amid the hype surrounding Alvarez, Golovkin will provide the Mexican his toughest challenge: “Canelo just made Chavez look bad. Chavez’s height and reach advantage didn’t work as Canelo was the busier fighter who controlled the tempo. Golovkin should give him a real test.”

Law student and fight enthusiast Mark Kazama Ortiz harbors some apprehensions: “I don’t think they will engage in a slugfest. The fight will be like a chess match because both fighters know they are hard-hitters.”

Regardless of their picks, local fight fans agree that Alvarez-Golovkin is the fight that stands to redeem pro boxing from the embarrassment that followed the Mayweather-Pacquiao fiasco. “This could be the fight that will bring boxing back to its former status,” said Richardson Martinez of Mandaluyong City. “A must-see,” seconded ABS-CBN.com sports scribe Dennis Gasgonia.

“This is going to be a slam-bang affair,” mused Don Hill of Pasay City. “The sport of boxing badly needs exciting bouts like this one. Two explosive fighters going at it. It wouldn’t go the distance.”

As the big fight approaches, expect the discussions and predictions to escalate and heat up.

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For comments, the writer can be reached at atty_eduardo@yahoo.com.

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