Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin stepped into the ring for the third and final time on Saturday night. The winner was clear, the score was controversially close – especially those two 7-5 cards, but Bloody Elbow had it 8-4, so we can’t quibble. ToOh so much about that. Though we won’t spend much time prosecuting him here. Instead we’ll take a look at the story of the fight, why Canelo dominated so quickly and why (scores aside) did It seems to fade after a while to allow Golovkin at least some success.
The clue to the latter can be found from the very beginning. After an early exchange of jabs, the first meaningful punch Canelo threw was a huge left arm that missed, leaving him unbalanced, and needed some quick recovery work to get away from the threat. He kept it quiet for the rest of the opening round, which saw nothing major, but then swinging punches and explosive movements to get off the ground and recover were a feature of the fight. There was clearly a gameplan going on—whether emotional, angry at Golovkin, or coldly rational, arguments that Golovkin would find difficult to respond to, we can’t know, but either way their impact was quick.
Golovkin’s age is the sad part of this equation – four years ago he didn’t allow anyone in front of him to get away from it, but this time he couldn’t move himself fast enough to cover the distance and answer . That gap in reaction was visible for him in April against Murata, and he essential What came to Canelo’s mind was when he came up with the plan.
We saw it for the second time as well. Another—more specific—part of Canelo’s gameplan was to throw with Golovkin’s jab and counter it whenever his right hand came into play. It’s something he always does so it’s not new to Golovkin, but in the first two fights Golovkin’s jaw was the most prominent feature of any fight and Canelo was never able to consistently punish him for it. Here, he was to such an extent that he seemed intimidated at times in the opening round, focusing more on retreating after the jab than on scoring with it. Even after a strong talk from his corner pushed him to do more through mid-round, Canelo was slipping through a lot of them and countering with more volume on many, and it didn’t give him much positional control. was giving.
In round seven, Canelo turned things around again, perhaps sensing a finish—he completely took the lead, not waiting for opportunities to counter, but pushed Golovkin behind his own jab and used combinations. thrown close by. This May A mistake has been made. A completely logical one, to be honest, because at the time Golovkin looked old and dry and like the momentum was getting to him, and this continued until the eighth round. Canelo’s success continues And He forced Golovkin to speed up without really showing anything to it, which must have felt like a recipe for the old man to break.
Although in the ninth, that changed. Looking back on that, you can see that Golovkin was already feeling some openings—Canelo had already begun to slip past his high guard and open more than his head speed—fatigue. A fairly clear indication of. Golovkin began the round by hooking his jab, catching Canelo behind the guard. The champion’s reaction was to push harder, trying to intimidate Golovkin as he had successfully done before—but this time, exaggerating. was Punished, as soon as he fell, Golovkin fell back and fell on the punch. He wasn’t dazed or in danger of a standstill, but Canelo certainly felt it, and his reactions changed not only for the rest of the round but for the fight actually.
By the end, it was clear that the older person had more energy left. It wasn’t a collapse by any means, the rounds were still close enough that Canelo was in them, winning some and still in no danger of losing the fight, but it seems remarkable enough that the 40-year-old who had spent the first 8 rounds that ended with the upper hand struggling to punch. It gives us a fresh perspective on how Canelo has been properly managing his gameplan for the past few years—we always knew he was a little prone to bucking the vibe, but we didn’t notice it for long, Because he had become an expert in managing his own pace even when his opponent was steadily increasing the pace. Part of this was a commitment to make his technique even faster, to keep his balance at all times, and to avoid running out of water. Against Bivole we saw him fade as the Russian took him out of his job that idealized and never gave him a moment to rest, but nothing happened here—Canelo’s explosive jump was all his own decision. Apparently convinced that his opponent’s age was going to work against him, he over-committed, and while it did not Fully Backfire, he couldn’t be comfortable with how it turned towards the end.
thoughts for the future
So, both men come up with things to think about. Canelo may have felt some validation in ultimately winning an undisputed victory over his old foe, but it was actually a less impressive performance than the second fight in many ways, even if he was defeated. If he hasn’t returned to the drawing board, he’ll have to at least make some adjustments, as some of his potential opponents will see the things they love here. For his part, Golovkin has talked about returning to 160, and an immediate retirement unlikely – but those slow starts are only going to slow, so he has to think about how long he wants to go.
It may seem a depressing conclusion from a fight that was closer than many expected and its excitement. It certainly didn’t survive the first two, but it wasn’t a waste of time that could have. Boxing is a sport that is defined by the occasional mistakes made, and even if they haven’t changed the outcome, they are worth learning. Canelo has generally been one of the game’s best learners when it comes to fighting battles, so let’s see what he offers us in the future.