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“CANELO” ALVAREZ vs “GGG” GOLOVKIN : ANALYSIS + BEST BET

After encountering numerous delays, this coming Saturday night the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas plays host to one of boxing’s most highly anticipated bouts. Current WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight title holder Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KO’s) aims to defend his straps against former 3-time world and current Ring Magazine middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KO’s).

 

The fans, media, promoters, and fighters alike have been demanding this super-fight for almost 2 years and it’s now just days away. By mid-July the arena was completely sold out and rest assured the city will be absolutely electric this weekend as few events bring out the carousal type atmosphere of a mega-fight.

 

So let’s go ahead and break this match-up down and see if we can find the type of value which warrants a walk to the betting window…

 

Oddsmakers initially installed GGG as a -175 favorite but money on the underdog Canelo has since forced bookmakers to adjust the betting line. Currently the market has Golovkin listed as low as -145, with the take-back on Alvarez +125. The “Total Rounds” prop differs depending on the sports book with some using 9.5 (Over -250) and others offering 11.5 (Over -120).

 

Historically, Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions have received a lot of support here in Las Vegas, while this will be GGG first fight in our city. Though both are marquee fighters, it’s no secret Alvarez is the “A” side and more importantly, he and his promoters have an excellent working relationship with the very powerful Nevada State Athletic Commission. He’s also the “establishment” fighter in this bout and knowing how much politics can influence the judges, the possibility for bias scoring must be factored into our decision. But with that said, without having any inside knowledge we should never fully bank on it.

 

Bottom line, as I wrote in a column on GGG years ago, he’s been one of the most avoided fighters in the past decade and it wasn’t until he appeared vulnerable in his last fight against Danny Jacobs that Golden Boy allowed this fight to happen.

 

Sure we the fans wanted to see it and Golovkin’s team was calling Alvarez out at every opportunity, but Golden Boy was still in no rush to put their cash cow at risk. Especially since he was having no trouble at all selling pay-per-views and filling up arenas against much lesser opposition, with very little risk.

 

But now Golovkin at 35 (8 years older than Alvarez), who appears to have been exposed some in his last few bouts, seems ripe for the picking. At least that’s the narrative being laid out for us.

 

Simply put, nothing could be further from the truth…

 

Gennady Golovkin was 345-5 as an amateur and an Olympic silver medalist in the 2004 Athens games. He’s competed at middleweight his entire career unlike Alvarez who made his way up from welterweight, light middleweight, and is now a middleweight. That amateur background has laid out the foundation which has made GGG fundamentally and technically sound. In comparison Alvarez was forced to turn pro at a very young age in order to earn a living, and had less than 50 amateur bouts.

 

Technically GGG has got excellent footwork and is always in position to punch. He fights best from range and knows how to control distance, while attacking from all angles. He’s also an exceptionally accurate puncher who throws an average of 70 punches per round. Golovkin’s a pressure fighter who’s always moving forward and won’t have a hard time finding Alvarez, who though elusive at times, prefers to fight on the inside or from mid-range. Canelo loves to fight in the pocket and almost never retreats, which should allow for some vicious exchanges between the two.

 

Defensively Golovkin’s range allows him to slip punches and also roll with them, but opponents have also been able to land at a higher percentage than they have against Alvarez. I expect “Canelo” will be able to land against “GGG”, like we saw both Monroe and Brook do. But unlike those two, Alvarez has the type of power that can get his respect. With that said, Canelo hasn’t been the knock-out artist of late that he was earlier in his career, which isn’t surprising since the opponents got so much better and
bigger too.

 

For Alvarez, landing his combinations will be key since his volume is much lower than Golovkin’s. Canelo throws around 40 punches per round, split almost equally between jabs and power punches. He’s a very fluid boxer who can throw every punch and possesses spectacular combinations, especially when fighting on the inside. Canelo’s greatest advantage in this fight will be his hand speed and he’ll need to make GGG miss a lot, especially early on to try and wear him down.

 

Golovkin had problems against smaller and swifter opponents like Kell Brook early in the fight. As a result of not being able to time those opponents, he was unable to sit on his punches. But as the rounds passed GGG began timing those opponents, eventually landing the type of punishing blows few can withstand. In fact, almost every past opponent of Golovkin’s claimed to have never been hit so hard prior.

 

For Golovkin, he hasn’t faced a body puncher as ferocious as Alvarez, so he’ll need to dictate the range and keep his distance throughout the bout. He’s been in against much bigger men and he’s also absorbed the much harder punches. To have success in this fight he’ll need his jab to be working and not simply head hunt. Golovkin will need to continue pumping out that jab to keep Alvarez off of him and to also try and bank some rounds with the judges.

 

My guess is GGG will need to win rounds pretty convincingly in order to get the nod on the scorecards. Besides landing the bigger punches, he’ll also need to outwork Canelo by throwing a lot more volume. I look for Alvarez to try and slow the tempo down as much as possible and almost appear as if he’s walking through mud at times. But rest assured it’s all by design and almost always a ploy to have the opposition underestimate his skills.

 

Finally, YES I have concern whether or not Gennady Golovkin will get a fair shake from the judges in Las Vegas if the decision is left to them. But unfortunately, that’s something we won’t know for certain until after it happens. So rather than allow the fear of a conspiracy stop me from backing the fighter I believe offers me the best of it, I’ll go ahead and fire.

 

Don’t be surprised if this fight doesn’t produce the fireworks most are expecting, because I believe it will be more of an elite level chess match, than a brawl. Also a little “sprinkle” on the DRAW prop may be called for as a “Rematch” or “Trilogy” would be epic and the timing couldn’t be any better.

 

BEST BET = GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN

Currently ”11-1” (92%) on L/12 BEST BETS !!!