By Francisco Salazar
It has been 10 days since the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin fight and people continue talking about the fight and the decision.
Whether it is on message boards on sites dedicated to boxing or talk amongst casual fans, the fight has brought out wannabe or amateur judges who believe they know how to score any fight. Boy, have they come out of nowhere after the decision was announced that night before a crowd of over 19,000 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
I have heard them myself, whether amongst my family members or in my everyday life. I teach World and U.S. History at Channel Islands High School in Oxnard and am an assistant Women’s soccer coach at Oxnard College. I am also the Varsity Girls coach at Hueneme High School. Believe me, I have listened (patiently) to any and all comments from my colleagues on the fight.
Everyone has their opinion on who won the fight. If I were to do a poll, I would say more thought Golovkin won the rematch or had the fight scored a draw (like yours truly, 114-114).
Here is my take on Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin: Can we just agree the fight was better than the first fight (which is rare in boxing terms)? Can we also agree the fight exceeded expectations people had of what happened on Sept. 15 (unless you really wanted the fight to end in a knockout)?
Canelo Alvarez should be commended for sitting in the pocket more and taking the fight to Golovkin in the rematch, something he was criticized for not doing in the first fight. The game-plan included Canelo attacking the body, which he found a great deal of success during the middle rounds when he built a lead on the scorecards going into the second half of the fight.
As Alvarez pointed out in the post-fight press conference, Eddy and Chepo Reynoso, his co-trainers since age 12, were instrumental in outlining the game-plan and executing it during the fight. Maybe it is one of the reasons WBO featherweight titleholder Oscar Valdez sought out the services of Eddy Reynoso.
For the second straight fight, Golovkin uncharacteristically did not attack the body, landing only six punches throughout the entire rematch. Golovkin did not choose to address the matter when he was asked about it during the post-fight press conference and will forever be a mystery as to why Golovkin chose not to attack the body.
Another thing that has become redundant after the fight was the word ‘robbery.’ Please stop addressing the rematch as such. It was a very close fight, more competitive than the first fight, where I would not argue with anyone if you had Canelo or Golovkin winning 115-113 or scored the fight a draw.
What would have been a robbery if someone scored the fight 118-110 (like Adelaide Byrd in the first fight) for either fighter. That would be the definition of a robbery.
If you are going to point out why two judges scored round 12 for Canelo as opposed to Golovkin in the rematch (I agree Golovkin won that round), the same could be said about Don Trella in the first fight. Trella scored round seven for Canelo when Golovkin easily won the round. Golovkin would have won a split decision in the first fight had Trella scored the round ‘correctly.’
What is next for both fighters? Do not expect a third fight between the two, now or ever. It would be a surprise if Golovkin returns to the ring this year. I would expect he will return to the ring in March or April.
Looks like Canelo will fight on Dec. 15, after it was announced he was cleared to fight after suffering a nasty cut above his left eye in round five. Golden Boy Promotions has reserved Madison Square Garden in New York City, which will mark the second time Alvarez will fight east of the Mississippi River.
The likely opponent to face Canelo will be David Lemieux, who knocked out Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan in the opening round on the undercard of Alvarez-Golovkin. The fight was a WBA elimination bout.
Golovkin is 36 years old and may have a few years left as an elite fighter in the sport. If he is not fighting Canelo next, it would be interesting to see who is opponent would be for his next fight.
If a third fight with Canelo does happen, I would be hard-pressed to believe Golovkin’s people would want the fight to be again in Las Vegas. Golovkin supporters could argue that Golovkin outboxed Canelo, but came out of both fights with a loss and a draw rather than two victories.
Because of the attention this fight has received and the perception of who many think won the fight, Golovkin’s popularity may rise. It could happen or maybe not.
As for Canelo, I hope he would want to unify the middleweight division after the Lemieux fight. He has two belts, while Billy Joe Saunders has the WBO title and IBF will be up for grabs between Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Derevyanchenko.
Could a fight with Jermall Charlo be in play? Absolutely. Sign me up for that fight.
I hope Golden Boy and Haymon representatives could work something out for Cinco De Mayo weekend next year, but a fight between the winner of the IBF title fight or Saunders (should he get by Demetrius Andrade) would be a great Plan B fight.
All in all, Mexican Independence Day weekend was great for boxing fans. Let us focus on the positives from that fight.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing