By Jeff Aranow: HBO commentator Harold Lederman says he sees age starting to show in Gennady “GGG” Golovkin since his last fight against Danny Jacobs, and he’s not sure if he can beat Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on September 16. Lederman says the 35-year-old Triple G still must be viewed as the favorite to defeat Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) simply by being the bigger, stronger and more experienced fighter of the two.
Never the less, Lederman thinks the 27-year-old Canelo is peaking and getting Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) at exact the right moment for their fight on September 16 on HBO pay-per-view from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The size difference between the two fighters seems more than what is shown on paper. Canelo is listed as 5’9” compared to the Golovkin’s 5’10 ½”. However, the two look dramatically different in size when they stand next to each other. Canelo looks like a junior middleweight about to fight a true middleweight. Jacobs is more of a super middleweight than a middleweight. Golovkin’s size makes him a real middleweight. Canelo has going to need to deal with that size and power advantage somehow. This isn’t a weight drained Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. that Golden Boy Promotions has dragged into the ring for Canelo to get an easy win against.
“It’s going to be a great fight. I don’t know who’s going to win,” said Harold Lederman to the boxing media about the GGG vs. Canelo fight. “It’s going to be sensational. Triple G [is the favorite]. He’s the bigger guy, and he has more experience. His power; he’s got to be the favorite. In the Danny Jacobs fight, Gennady looked a little bit older. I think age is starting to catch up to him. You saw it. He had problems with Danny Jacobs. The Gennady Golovkin we’ve been seeing on HBO all along has been nothing short of menacing. You remember the David Lemieux fight, the Gabriel Rosado knockout. He was devastating. But then all of a sudden he comes in the ring with Danny Jacobs and he’s having problems. I think that’s age,” said Lederman.
I don’t think it’s age that is responsible for Golovkin not looking good against Jacobs and Kell Brook. It’s more of a case of Golovkin fighting guys with good hand speed, mobility and boxing skills. Brook and Jacobs would have always given Golovkin some problems no matter what point in his career that he fought them. Granted, I think Golovkin would have fought Jacobs a little different if he fought him before the Brook fight rather than after. I got the impression that the criticism that Golovkin received after his win over Brook pertaining to his defensive skills, I think it led Golovkin to fight a more defensive fight.
Golovkin used his jab a lot more in the Jacobs fight than he had in the past, and he didn’t try and take his head off the way he’d been doing against his other opponents. Had Golovkin fought Jacobs the way that he fought Kell Brook, he would have made it an easy night’s work. Jacobs seemed to cave so easily when Golovkin suddenly turned on his offense in the 4th. That was just one time in the fight that Golovkin did that. Later on, Golovkin had Jacobs badly hurt in the 10th round after nailing him with a big uppercut. Jacobs was in distress. If Golovkin had fought like that the entire fight, it would have been a quick fight for Triple G. Jacobs’ chin was not up to the job to take the kind of shots that Golovkin was throwing during the brief instances in the fight where he opened up with his power.
“On the other hand, Canelo Alvarez, he couldn’t have looked any better with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. if he wanted to, you know?” said Lederman in comparing Canelo’s recent performances with GGG. “He looked nothing short of sensational. So all of a sudden, we all love Gennady Golovkin, and he’s going to win the fight by a mile, it’s now looking like a very close fight,” said Lederman in predicting the fight between Canelo and Golovkin.“It’s becoming a more interesting fight for September 16,” said Lederman.
I don’t think it’s a fair comparison by Lederman to compare Golovkin’s performance against a quality operator like Danny Jacobs with Canelo’s mismatch against a weight drained Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. That’s like comparing apples and oranges. Chavez Jr. was always a very flawed fighter even during the best years of his career. He was a guy that won on size alone when he would melt down to fight in the middleweight division.
At 31, Chavez Jr. is not the fighter he was 5 years ago. He’s put on a lot of weight, and he had to drop 70 pounds during training camp for the Canelo fight. When a fighter has to drop 70 pounds to make weight, it’s not going to be a real fight. It’s just going to be one weight drained guy getting beaten up. Canelo could have been replaced by any top fighter in the 160 or 154 lb. divisions in the Chavez Jr. fight, and the outcome would have been the same in my opinion. Chavez Jr. would have been dominated by anyone in the top 15 at junior middleweight or middleweight. Chavez Jr. was too drained. I don’t think Chavez Jr. belongs at super middleweight any longer, and he definitely had no business fighting at a catch-weight of 164.5 lbs. against Canelo. It’s surprising that Lederman didn’t point out the obvious about the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight, as you would think that he would have mentioned how weight drained Chavez Jr. looked. He wasn’t even throwing punching. Chavez Jr. looked so thin that he had an appearance of looking ill. If you look at the same Chavez Jr. from his fights against Andy Lee and Sergio Martinez from 2012, it’s like looking at two different people. Chavez Jr. was a lot more solid in those fights, and he was powerful.
“Yeah sure, if it goes the distance, everyone is going to scream for a rematch,” said Lederman when asked if he thinks there could be a trilogy fight between Golovkin and Canelo. “It could definitely become a trilogy. We all figure it’s going to be a sensational fight. Fights like that, they fight 3 times,” said Lederman.
Whether there’s a rematch or a trilogy between Canelo and Golovkin will depend on how well Canelo does in the fight. If Canelo beats Golovkin, then we’ll probably see a rematch. If Canelo loses by a close decision, there will probably be a rematch as well. However, if Golovkin knocks out Canelo, then it’s highly unlikely that Golden Boy will risk letting their cash cow fight a rematch. A second defeat to GGG would really hurt Canelo’s career and earning power, especially if it’s back to back knockout losses. If the fight turns out to be a beat down with Canelo taking a lot of punishment, then I don’t see a second fight happening.
Even if Canelo wins, there probably won’t be a rematch if he has to soak up a great deal of hard head shots from Triple G. Canelo’s career might be shortened if he takes too many head shots. But in an ideal world, the boxing public will see 3 fights between Canelo and Golovkin. It would certainly make Canelo a lot of money if he fought Golovkin 3 times. Right now, there’s no one else in boxing for Canelo to make this kind of money against. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has made it clear that he’s not going to be coming back to compete against anyone from the boxing world. If Canelo is going to fight another 10 years or so before he’s over-the-hill and ready for retirement, then it’s in his best interest to fight Golovkin at least 3 times. With that said, 3 fights won’t happen if Canelo gets knocked out or if he’s forced to take punishment.
“Gennady Golovkin was menacing when he won those fights on HBO,” said Lederman about Triple G’s wins over David Lemieux and Gabriel Rosado. “When he fought Danny Jacobs, he didn’t look menacing. He looked like his age is starting to catch up to him. I don’t think so,” Lederman said when asked if Jacobs’ excellent boxing skills were what made Golovkin look less than menacing. “My opinion is Gennady Golovkin’s age is really starting to catch up to him, and he’s not the same menacing guy that knocked out all those other guys on HBO. I think he’s gone down a little bit, and Canelo is coming up a little bit,” said Lederman.
If you compare Golovkin’s performance against David Lemieux to how he looked in beating Jacobs, it was the same fighter. Golovkin jabbed Lemieux most of the fight. The difference was that Lemieux didn’t have the arm length and mobility to give Golovkin problems the way that the 6’0” Jacobs did. Golovkin was shorter and a lot lighter looking than Jacobs. The weight difference between the two seemed to be substantial. Jacobs put on a lot of weight after he rehydrated for the fight, and it didn’t slow him down. Golovkin’s jab still kept Jacobs from doing what he wanted to do in the fight.