Still hard to predict

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Conrad M. Cariño

Conrad M. Cariño

Prior to the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight, many friends asked me how the fight would unfold, and my answer would usually be “Floyd but Conor has the chance for an upset than many people may think.” And we all know now how the fight unfolded.

But ask me who will win the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin bout, the answer I will give you is “I don’t know.” Well, I really do not know.

In one of my earlier columns on the megafight, I leaned toward Alvarez winning, given his being the younger fighter and Golovkin not being challenged to a real fight in most of his career. After looking at their latest training footages, however, I think this fight is dead even. Or simply put it, hard to predict.

Both fighters are training like mad for their showdown on September 16 (September 17 in Manila), and it looks like the megafight will end in a knockout or stoppage. And how the fight will end in a knock out or stoppage will also depend if the standing 8-count rule is waived, just like in the Mayweather-McGregor fight; if that rule was in place during the fight, it would have given McGregor the chance to recover after Mayweather landed unanswered punches on him during the 10th round. Just picture this – the referee, instead of stopping the fight, would have administered a standing 8-count on McGregor that would have given him time to recover. Or after McGregor gets knocked down, the referee would give him a standing 8-count to give the Irish fighter a chance to recover his senses.

If the standing 8-count rule, also known as the “protection count” is waived for the Alvarez-Golovkin fight, expect it to end earlier if the two really choose to trade blows. In most elite fights that I have seen, the standing 8-count rule is usually waived, which is scary.

In the areas of punching power, offense, defense, ring general ship and stamina and chin/ability to take punishment, here is how I rate the two fighters.

Punching power—definitely Golovkin has the edge here because he has deposited on the canvas more middleweights (160 pounds) compared to Alvarez whose fights in that division against Miguel Cotto and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. ended in decisions. Alvarez’s camp believes their fighter can add up to 15 pounds after the weigh in, but can that translate to more punching power? Also, Golovkin can also step into the ring weighing at least 170 pounds.

The reason why Alvarez-Golovkin is highly anticipated is both fighters hit hard and have knockout power in both hands, although Golovkin’s 37-0 with 33 knockouts record is more scary than the 49-1-1 with 34 KOs of Alvarez.

Offense—both have demonstrated innovativeness in their offense, and make good use of the left jab, while Alvarez boasts of a nice left hook. Both fighters also have nasty crosses, and surprisingly, the 5’9” Alvarez has a one-inch reach advantage over the 5’10” Golovkin. So it’s almost even in this department.

Defense—Alvarez has a edge here because he moves more compared to Golokvin. Both are not mindless sluggers and keep their hands (or gloves) up high. However, Alvarez knows how to roll with the punch and bob and weave better than Golovkin. Slight advantage here to Alvarez.

Ring generalship—we are referring here on how the fighters use the ring to beat their opponents, and both of them are good in cutting off the opposition, but Golovkin has shown more deadly precision in doing that. Slight advantage to Golovkin.

Stamina—It’s even in this department, although some quarters would give the 27-year old Alvarez the advantage over the 35-year old Golovkin.

Chin/ability to take punishment—while both fighters have never been in serious trouble in the ring and can take a punch, Golovkin, by virtue of his being the natural middleweight, has the advantage here. Of course, we really do not know if Alvarez can dial up his punching power for the fight and present problems for Golovkin’s chin.

So who wins? I still don’t know.

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