By Sean Jones
Gennady Golovkin was unable to keep Saul Canelo Alvarez from running from him during their fight last September. Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) had trained for what he thought would be “Mexican style” of fighting from Canelo, but what he got instead was a blend of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Erislandy Lara with a lot of fighting on the ropes, and a lot of round-stalling movement.
Golovkin says he has a new strategy for his May 5th rematch with Canelo, and entails him staying close to him to keep him from escaping to the left all night long like he’d done in the first fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. That was a fight that the judges scored a controversial 12 round draw, a result that left both Canelo and Triple G fuming afterwards.
The boxing public wasn’t too happy about the results either. This time though, Golovkin is not going to let Canelo run from him. He’s going to make him fight whether he wants to or not.
”Stay more close like that, boom,” Golovkin said to Astorias Boxing, when asked how he’ll keep Canelo from running from him in May 5th rematch.
Golovkin is going to fight Canelo’s fight in the rematch and try and beat him at his own game. Golovkin has no choice but to fight Canelo that way, because he’s going to on his turf once again in Las Vegas, and it’ll be mostly his boxing fans that’ll be at ringside to see the fight on Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend. Golovkin didn’t realize going into the first fight that he needed to go to war on the inside against Canelo to beat him with the three judges that were assigned by the Nevada Commission on the night.
Not being aware was expected of him, Golovkin tried to win the fight by boxing Canelo from the outside in the way he’d done against David Lemieux. It seemed to work for Golovkin in the eyes of the boxing fans, but not in the eyes of two of the judges that worked the fight. They saw it as win for Canelo and a draw. This time, Golovkin is going to fight Canelo’s fight by staying inside, and not letting him run to the left all night long. Canelo knows that he’s not going to be able to run, which is why he’s training so hard on throwing body shots on the heavy bag. Canelo realizes that his only chance of winning the fight is beating Golovkin at close range in an old fashioned war.
Golovkin revealing his game plan to Atorias Boxing might not be the wisest thing for him to do, as Canelo’s trainers Chepo and Eddy Reynoso are sure to be watching this channel to learn whatever they can about Golovkin’s game plan for the May 5th rematch. You can believe that whatever Golovkin revealed to Astorias will be picked up immediately by Chepo and Eddy so that they can come up with another strategy. What Golovkin revealed isn’t something that Canelo’s trainers don’t already know. They understand that Golovkin is going to force their fighter Canelo into a war on May 5th, and it’s up to them to decide what they’re going to do to deal with the added pressure.
Golovkin, 35, is taking a big risk by choosing to stay close to Canelo (49-1-2, 34 KOs), as he doesn’t have the same inside skills as the Mexican star. Canelo is clearly the better fighter on the inside than Triple G. As such, Canelo should be able to get the better of Golovkin at close range if the fight stays at that distance.
What Canelo doesn’t have is stamina. He’s never had good conditioning, and it’s not going to get better at this point. He’s about to turn 28, and his best days stamina-wise are behind him. He’ll never be 20 again, and at 28, Canelo is old for his age. Canelo can and likely will get the better of Golovkin in close in the first 4 rounds of the fight, but after that point, it’ll likely be all downhill for Canelo.
Golovkin is like a shark that doesn’t go away. If he stays on top of Canelo round after round, he’s going to wear him down by the 4th round, and we could see a fast knockout in the rematch. The characteristic of a feeding shark is it stays near it’s prey and doesn’t let up. If Canelo hasn’t fixed his stamina problems by May 5th, it’s going to be a disaster for him. Chepo and Eddy likely have already put together a Plan-B for Canelo to use if he’s unable to get Golovkin off of him. Golovkin is going to be there right with Canelo all night.
If Canelo drive him away by landing some nice body shots and uppercuts, then his trainers are going to have to tell him to use Plan-B. In this case, they can’t tell Canelo, ‘Look, you’re behind in the fight. Things are bleak, so fight harder.’ That won’t work this time for Canelo, because he will already be fighting as hard as he can to get Golovkin off of him. This will be like round 13, a continuation of the previous fight. Golovkin was no longer respecting Canelo’s power by the second half of the fight. He was staying on top of Canelo and working him out. You’d be hard-pressed to give Canelo any rounds after round 2 because of the pressure that Golovkin was putting him under.
Canelo will own the first three rounds against Golovkin, but by 4th round, the fight will almost surely change hands due to the fatigue setting in for the Mexican star. Once Canelo is tired, Chepo and Eddy are going to have to come up with something good to turn the fight around. Hopefully, they don’t have Canelo fouling or choosing to hold Golovkin to keep him from throwing punches. My guess is we’ll see a little of both from Canelo. If he can’t get Golovkin off of him, I see Canelo trying to hold as much as possible to slow him down. If that doesn’t work, we might see low blows being thrown. I’m hoping Canelo doesn’t resort to that, because the boxing greats of the past wouldn’t have resorted to this strategy if they had met their match. They’d go on their shield bravely without resorting to fouling.
”He [Golovkin] must be one-half step more near Canelo,” trainer Abel Sanchez said. ”The problem was when Canelo moved from here to here (to his left), he turned like that (Canelo turned his back to GGG). Golovkin threw a punch to the body, hit his back, and (referee) Kenny (Bayless) said, ‘Don’t do that,’ and that he was going to take a point away (from Golovkin). This is a problem that the referee needs to address. That boy is turning his back, and of course the punch down there will hit him in his back,” Sanchez said.
Canelo uses an old veteran trick to play to the referee to have them warn his opponents to not throw body shots. This is an old trick that fighters use, and it works when the referee is unobservant and not clued into this old tactic. Canelo was turning his back each time Golovkin would aim a shot at his body. Unfortunately the referee Kenny Bayless warned Golovkin instead of pulling Canelo to the side and telling him that if he kept turning his back, he’d take points off.
You can tell Sanchez has watched the replay of the first Canelo-GGG fight many times, because he remembers how Canelo was able to keep from getting hit to the body by turning his back to Golovkin when he’d throw body shots. The referee Kenny Bayless warned Golovkin for Canelo on his back when he’d throw shots to the body. Bayless wasn’t watching Canelo and noticing how he would turn his back to Golovkin when he would throw a body shot. This was a move that Canelo used repeatedly during the fight. Bayless was having a bad night in observing what Canelo was doing, because a good referee would have seen the tactic that was being used by the Mexican star and he would warned him to stop turning his back.
Canelo took advantage of a referee that was asleep at the wheel and he was able to play him to his advantage. If Golovkin and Sanchez get stuck with a similar referee, it’s going to be hard for GGG to throw body shots without being warned and possibly penalized, because Canelo isn’t going to change his tactics to avoid body shots. He’s going to turn his back to Golovkin just at the moment he releases a shot, and he’s count on the referee not knowing about his back-turning tactic so that he can warn Golovkin to stop throwing body shots or else he’ll take off points. Getting a quality referee can be hard sometime, because many of them aren’t very observant. In the first fight, Golovkin was up against it. The referee wasn’t aware of what Canelo was doing, and you had one judge giving him nearly every round.
”Yes, like he (GGG) said, he will be a half step nearer to not let Canelo escape. Well, this is like everyone says. The leg work is fundamental, but also the distance. With that step, he will be able to punch Canelo, but also Canelo will be able to punch him,”Sanchez said.
Canelo will be able to hit Golovkin with counters with him in close. If Canelo’s stamina holds out for the full 12 rounds, he probably will win the fight. Golovkin can’t fight nearly as well as Canelo on the inside, although he’s still very good on the inside. Golovkin can possibly win even if Canelo’s stamina holds up, but that’s only if he’s not so hesitant about letting his hands go. Golovkin was waiting too long to find the perfect time to release his power shots in the first fight, and that led to Canelo beating him to the punch. Golovkin can’t hesitate with his punches if he wants to beat Canelo, because he’ll up getting hit with the better shots. To beat Canelo on the inside, you have to outwork him. Liam Smith was doing a good job of that in the first 4 rounds of his fight with Canelo in September 2016, but then he got tired and gave the fight away.
”Not strong or fast; more just touch,” Golovkin said about Canelo’s jabs.
Canelo doesn’t have a great jab, and he never will. If Golovkin is in close, he won’t have to worry about Canelo’s jabs, because he won’t be throwing those kinds of punches. But if Golovkin is on the outside, his jab will rule, because he longer reach and the much harder jab of the two. If Golovkin could count on there being three good judges that work the rematch with Canelo, then he could stay on the outside and jab him all night long just like Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in his win over the redheaded star in 2013. But as we last September, the judges didn’t give Golovkin the win despite the fact that he followed the Mayweather blueprint in how to beat Canelo to the letter.
”Gennady can counter him if he’s near like we are explaining here,” Sanchez said. ”Yes, it was because of the distance and the punch is not hard.”
If this is going to be a war on the inside, both guys can land their counter shots all night long. The winner of the fight will be the guy that can take the shots better, and/or the fighter that has the better endurance. Canelo will have a better chance to score a knockout in this fight than he did in the first contest, because Golovkin will be fighting his style of fighting on the inside. Golovkin didn’t want to fight Canelo on the inside the last time they fought because he knew he’d be playing to his strengths. Unfortunately, Golovkin can’t stay on the outside and just jab Canelo because the judges will likely give the rounds to the Golden Boy star based on him landing two or three hard punches during the round.