By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Naazim Richardson has extreme doubts in IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s ability to handle the boxing skills and talent of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in their fight on September 16. Richardson feels that Golovkin doesn’t have the experience that the 26-year-old Canelo has going for him with his fights against the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley.
In fact, Richardson says Golovkin hasn’t even fought someone like James Kirkland, who he points out that Canelo easily beat in their fight in 2015. Richardson sees Golovkin as good basic puncher, but who struggles when he faces someone that can take his power like we just saw in his fight against Danny Jacobs. Richardson says that fight could have easily swung Jacobs’ way, and he thinks no one would have complained if Golovkin lost that fight last March.
We’ll be able to find out shortly if Richardson’s predictions for a Canelo victory over Golovkin qill turn out to be reality or just more wishful thinking. We’ve already seen Canelo beaten once in his career by Floyd Mayweather Jr., and there are many boxing fans that believe Canelo should have lost his fights with Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout. Richardson didn’t say much about Canelo’s controversial decision wins over Lara and Trout. Golovkin and Canelo will be fighting on September 16 on HBO pay-per-view. There’s still no venue for the fight, but the main promoters for the card, Golden Boy Promotions, are expected to be announcing the venue in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
“I didn’t believe in Canelo at first. Canelo really won me over,” said trainer Naazim Richardson to Fighthype.com. “I pick Canelo over Triple G, because what we saw with Willie Monroe and Triple G. I think Triple G got caught up thinking Canelo is scared of him. Nobody was in a rush to fight Triple G, because nobody was in a rush to put their cash cow [in with GGG]. Canelo showed me he has a real gangster in him,” said Richardson.
Richardson isn’t saying which fight in particular of Canelo’s that won him over. It probably wasn’t Canelo’s fight against Erislandy Lara in 2014, because he looked just as poor in that fight as he did in the Mayweather fight. To be honest, Canelo hasn’t fought the type of opposition for Richardson to get excited about. It appears that Canelo has been in with guys that had little to no chance of beating him. The kind of match-making that has been done for Canelo is the type of match-making that we often see with promoters when they want to build up a fighter to make him look better than he actually is.
It’s interesting that an experienced trainer like Richardson has jumped on the Canelo bandwagon without him having fought the really tough fighters at 154, 160 and 168. We didn’t see Canelo fight the Charlo brothers, Demetrius Andrade, Julian “J-Rock” Williams, Erickson Lubin, Daniel Jacobs, Golovkin, James DeGale or Callum Smith.
Canelo has fought 5 times since his controversial win over Lara. Here are the guys that Canelo has fought since then:
– James Kirkland
– Miguel Cotto
– Amir Khan
– Liam Smith
– Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
These are not great fighters that Canelo has fought in his last 5 fights. These are the type of record-padding opponents you would fight if you wanted to make sure you won. I think someone like Danny Jacobs or David Lemieux would beat all 5 of those guys, but by knockouts. Canelo was tended the full 12 rounds by Chavez Jr. and Cotto.
“I haven’t seen Triple G go and do what Canelo did. I watched him in with Willie Monroe, and Willie Monroe Got no power and he was right in there with Triple G. Danny Jacobs, you wouldn’t have hollered if they gave Danny Jacobs a decision or a draw. I think Canelo is capable of doing what Danny Jacobs did with a little more experience,” said Richardson.
I think Richardson has been fooled by the smoke and mirrors with Golden Boy Promotions making Canelo look better than he actually is by matching him against well-known fighters from the past. Most of the guys that Golden Boy has recently matched Canelo up against were fighters from the past that at one time were quality fighters, but who no longer were at the time that he fought them. Canelo is a good fighter, but he still hasn’t beaten anyone that’s remotely good in this writer’s opinion.
Canelo’s recent wins have been against guys that weren’t the best in their divisions. Khan isn’t the best welterweight. James Kirkland is no longer relevant. He rarely fights, and he was knocked out in the 1st round by former Golovkin knockout victim Nobuhiro Ishida in April 2011. Golovkin knocked out Ishida in 3 round in 2013. Liam Smith was far from the best at 154.
Canelo beat him, but he beat a guy that you can argue is the 10th best fighter at junior middleweight. Golden Boy didn’t take any chances of matching Canelo against Liam Smith rather than a knockout artist like Jermall Charlo. I think Canelo would have been destroyed by Jermall Charlo if Golden Boy had made that fight last September instead of the Canelo vs. Liam Smith fight, which was little more than a mismatch.
” I’ve seen Canelo graduate from difficult experiences. Triple G, in most of his fights, he’s had the advantage,” said Richardson.
I get the feeling that Richardson has got Canelo and Golovkin mixed up. It’s not Golovkin that has had the advantages in his fights, it’s Canelo. Golovkin has actually beaten opposition than Canelo in my opinion. Look at Golovkin’s recent wins:
– David Lemieux
– Daniel Jacobs
– Martin Murray
– Kell Brook
– Willie Monroe Jr.
I strongly feel that Lemieux would destroy ALL of Canelo’s last 5 opponents. Lemieux would be too much for these past Canelo opponents: Khan, Kirkland, Cotto, Chavez Jr. and Smith. I think Lemieux would beat those guys in a much more impressive fashion than Canelo did. Khan and Kirkland would not make it out of the 1st round against Lemieux in my view. I don’t see either of them getting out of the 1st round. Liam Smith would likely not see the 3rd round. Cotto would have a hard time going past 6 rounds against Lemieux. It would be a nightmare fight for Cotto, because he’s pretty old and no longer fights on a regular basis. Cotto’s last fight was way back in 2015. Chavez Jr. would be a punching bag for Lemieux. I think Chavez Jr. would get dropped by Lemieux and would quickly quit on his stool the way he did in his fight against Andrzej Fonfara.
”We seen some guys that weren’t fearful of his shots, and they had a chin on them, they do well with him,” said Richardson in talking about Golovkin. ”[James] Kirkland wasn’t afraid of Canelo’s shots and had a knockout punch of his own, and Canelo still won big over him,” said Richarson.
It’s unclear why Richardson is so high on Kirkland. He makes him sound like he was a relevant fighter at the time that Canelo fought him. Kirkland’s previous fight before the Canelo match was 2 years earlier in 2013. Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy selected a fighter that had been out of the ring for 2 years in Kirkland to put in with Canelo in 2015.
Kirkland was really heavy when he started training camp for Canelo. Who can forget how heavy Kirkland was. He looked like he was over 200 pounds when he started training camp for his 155 pound catch-weight fight against Canelo in May 2015. Going into the Canelo fight, Kirkland had fought just 2 times in the last 4 years of his career. How does a fighter get a match against Canelo when he’s fought just 2 times in the last 4 years of their career? Richardson makes Kirkland sound like he’s one of the relevant guys from the 154 pound division.
Kirkland was no longer an active fighter by the time Canelo fought him. Instead of fighting Kirkland, Canelo should have been fighting the likes of Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Jermell Charlo and Erislandy Lara. Kirkland was destroyed by Ishida in one round in 2011. For me, that’s all I need to know about Kirkland to not be impressed by a Canelo win over him. Canelo has to do better than Kirkland for me to get impressed. Canelo has to beat better fighters than Khan, Smith, Cotto and Chavez Jr. for me to be impressed with what he’s done with his recent pro career. I think Canelo has been matched very, very softly by Golden Boy Promotions, and guys like Richardson doesn’t seem to realize that. What Richardson should be asking is why hasn’t Canelo been matched against Jacobs, Jermall Charlo, Golovkin and Demetrius Andrade? That’s the real question that you have to ask.
”I think Canelo has learned from boxers. He learned enough from [Floyd] Mayweather Jr,” said Richardson. ”Triple G has seen nothing similar to Floyd Mayweather in his life in the ring or out of the ring. Triple G has never seen anyone like Kirkland. Triple G has a lot of experience, but I don’t think he wins a 12 round decision over Canelo,” said Richardson.
Richardson is right about Golovkin not having faced anyone like Mayweather, but I don’t think it really matters. Canelo LOST to Mayweather, so it’s not as if he did a great job against him. The bar is really low for Golovkin if he were to try and outdo what Canelo did if he fought Mayweather. I do think Golovkin would do a much better job fighting Mayweather than Canelo did. Golovkin has an excellent jab, and he would give Mayweather big problems with that jab. Golovkin has huge power, and he would hurt Mayweather when he put hands on him. Mayweather isn’t impossible to hit, as we in his 2 fights against Marcos Maidana. Mayweather was hit a lot in both of those fights. If Golovkin was the one hitting Mayweather instead of Maidana, I think there would be a good chance that he lose to the Kazakhstan fighter.