The farce is over.
6.5 million Viewers tuned in to watch what was billed as the “biggest fight of the year”. Wrong. That fight is still on the horizon. I may be a Mayweather stan, but there is no way you could sell me TBE vs amateur boxer as FOY. YOU CAN’T SELL ME ON THAT SHIT, PERIOD.
Okay, I bought it lol. I enjoyed it. The fight was cool.
However, it was not the biggest fight of the year. Shit, it won’t be the biggest fight of the last 30 days once September 16th hits. If you are not hip; we get to see pound for pound kings Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, square off in the ring for all the glory. Boxing fans had been clamoring for this matchup before the ink on the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight had even dried.
Yet once again Alvarez and Golovkin have found themselves upstaged by a Mayweather super fight. I’m here to bring fire to this contest again, so let’s take it back to the beginning.
Saul Alvarez caught the world’s attention on the undercard of Mayweather vs Mosley in 2010. He demolished Jose Cotto (Yes, lil brother of Superstar Miguel Cotto) in 9 rounds. In the early stages of Twitter and hashtags, the web was entranced with the baby-faced ginger. Our stereotypical mindsets were boggled at the fact this kid was Mexican, and not Irish. Even more astonishing: He could fight!
Gennady Golovkin, adorned by Mexican fight fans for his engaging fight style, was on the other side of the planet in Kazakhstan. GGG, as the fans call him, was an incredibly decorated Amateur boxer. The complete contrast to Canelo, who only fought a handful and turned professional in Mexico at 15 years old. GGG (said “Triple G”) went 345-5 as an amateur, collecting a host of medals, including a Silver Medal finish at the 2004 Olympics.
Canelo is a two-division World Champ*. He has held titles at both Junior Middleweight and Middleweight. However Alvarez is the catch weight king, and did not win his titles at either weight. Catch weights occur when fighters agree to a weight that is a bit over/under the designated weight class. They are frowned upon in boxing. Canelo has competed in the junior welterweight division of 154 pounds, but has fought more than half of them at a catch weight of 155. His Middleweight title came against Miguel Cotto, in a 155 pound catch weight.
Golovkin is a true middleweight, knowing no other weight class. His run has mirrored that of the great Marvin Hagler. Golovkin holds the WBA, WBC, IBF, and IBO titles. Knocking out almost all his opponents, the heavy handed Olympian has been on a collision course with Mexico’s golden child for years.
This will not be their first encounter. Back in 2011 as the Ginger was quickly growing in popularity, word got out that he met his match in a sparring session at Big Bear. His match was Gennady Golovkin. It is customary that cameras are not allowed into sparring, so all we have is the accounts from people in the gym that day. Stories vary with who won, but the common theme was that it was a war! Most accounts tell a tale of a very mature and experienced Golovkin controlling the session and a very green Canelo hanging tight. This fabled sparring match is a large reason why so many folks believe that Golovkin will be the victor come September 16th.
Sparring is just that though, sparring. It means nothing when those lights come on and those fans are screaming. The goal in sparring is to work on things that need improvement; take risks you wouldn’t in a fight. You are trying to help your sparring partner, it’s a mutually beneficial part of training. It has been 6 years since that sparring. The amount of progression in both fighters makes that day in 2011 void.
It’s now 2017. Both fighters are drastically better. Expect to see a high level of skill and boxing, to see some powerful thuds land, and a test of chins; as both of these fighters are capable of putting the other one down. Both have said they are gunning for the stoppage. And both have taken the necessary steps and prior fights, to win this battle.
Continuing our flashback glimpse into the past, Canelo was embarrassed by Mayweather in September of 2013. He was a 20 year old pup at the time. Alvarez was a heavy handed, come-forward fighter, with no defense. He was slow. He was easily fatigued. All of which are issues no more. While Canelo took his loss in stride, fans however, turned on him. He was ruled out as a joke and his resume was discredited. He was accused of “ducking” the top dogs. HIS ONLY LOSS WAS TO THE BEST FIGHTER OF OUR GENERATION. C’mon people. Canelo then vowed to fight EVERYBODY, he wanted smoke with EV-ER-REE BOD-DEE.
First up. Alfredo Angulo (March 2014). Angulo albeit coming off a loss to 154 king Erislandy Lara, was top 3 in the weight class and a devastating puncher who threw 100 punches per round.
“Angulo would hurt him”. Canelo was said to be ducking him for years. He must have been ducking an assault charge then, because Canelo whooped this man from ring post to ring post, then bus driver uppercutted him for the TKO. Angulo was left crying in the post-fight interview with a face that was unrecognizable.
Lara you can get it too (July 2014). Canelo wasted no time, and hopped back in the ring a few short months later against the Junior Middleweight #1 Erislandy Lara. After Canelo fought Mayweather, people said Canelo would never face a quick, slick, black fighter again. Everyone was trying to avoid the Cuban, Lara. Cubans are well-known for their elite boxing skills. Lara was a bigger and stronger Mayweather (10x more boring though).
“Lara is too slick for Canelo”. This fight sucked. As a boxing purist, I do appreciate skills and defense. What I don’t appreciate is a guy moving around the ring nonstop without offering any offense. Canelo chased Lara all night. Alvarez might have landed 10 punches to Lara’s head, so he had to settle for ripping the body. Lara threw nothing but jabs, and gave a whole new meaning to “sticking and moving”. In a close fight the judges gave the split decision nod to Canelo.
James Kirkland, the last man Canelo was said to be ducking (May 2015). Kirkland was coming off of a layoff. He was having some life issues that kept him out of the ring, but the guy was a wrecking ball when he was in it. He and his trainer were known for their stringent training. BEAST MODE. Dude trains like cross fit meets Paul Bunyan. Their game plan was to go in a drop bombs on Canelo and see if he could take them; a lot of folks did not think Canelo could.
“Kirkland is going to stop Canelo early”. Canelo made easy work of Kirkland. He literally knocked James onto WorldStarHipHop. The knockout was all over twitter. Canelo took those Kirkland bombs on the chin, and dispelled critics who said he could not take a punch. He did to Kirkland what Kirkland was supposed to do to him.
Miguel Cotto Superfight (November 2015). Cotto is a legend of the sport, we all know that. Canelo had improved so much, and looked so good post his Mayweather loss, that Cotto was the underdog.
“50-50 fight”. That was. Canelo clearly controlled the fight, but Cotto showed he still had what it takes. Cotto effectively moved and pawed his jab, giving some new angles and looks. However, it did not matter, because Canelo was making him miss with some head movement we had never seen before. Canelo was landing huge shots, and putting together beautiful combos. Alvarez took the W in 12.
Canelo then went on to knock fringe contender Amir Khan into shameful dick pics and a divorce from his wife, he gutted UK contender Liam Smith, and embarrassed his childhood rival and Mexico’s other golden boy, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
The pride of Mexico has developed into a smooth boxer with: good footwork, a solid body attack, steady combinations, slick defense, and KO power shots. The boy is ready.
Golovkin’s road has involved a lot less drama. He is undefeated and top 5 pound for pound after all. Golovkin has completely cleaned out his division. His naysayers will say that in doing so, he avoids the challenges that can be sought one division lower, or one division higher (he didn’t want that smoke with Andre Ward…).
Nobuhiro Ishida, the Japanese KO Artist? GGG destroyed him in 3 rounds.
Matthew Macklin, the skilled Irish? GGG destroyed him in 3 rounds.
Curtis Stevens, the hard hitter from NY who made a rap video with gangbangers about Golovkin’s funeral? GGG buried him in 8 rounds.
Daniel Geale, the crafty Aussie? GGG destroyed him in 3 rounds.
Marco Antonio Rubio, the fearless Mexican who will actually not be terrified of Golovkin? GGG made him quit in 2 rounds.
Martin Murray, the tough Britt? Well he was tough at least. GGG beat him for 11 rounds.
Willie Monroe Jr. He is slick and black, GGG can’t box with him right? GGG boxed his ass to the canvas in 2.
David Lemieux? Finally a real challenge! David has all the tools to beat GGG. Sike. GGG went to a new level and stopped him in 8.
Dominic Wade? DC what up! He putting on for my City! GGG crunched him 2 rounds (I’m from Northern Virginia anyway).
Can this guy be beat? He is unstoppable right? Well his last two fights got it interesting.
Kell Brook, the 147 elite. GGG and his trainer, Abel Sanchez, bad-mouthed Canelo (as did the entire boxing world) for fighting Amir Khan. Amir Khan was a strong 147 contender, Canelo was a champ at 154 and 160. Canelo’s KO was inevitable. Then we all got the shock of our lives when GGG announced he would do the same damn thing and fight Kell Brook. Kell was Khan’s rival. Khan and Brook should have been fighting, and Canelo and GGG should have been fighting.
Whatever. Kell is supremely skilled, and apparently has big balls, because he called out the kingpin 2 weight classes above him. GGG surprisingly accepted.
“GGG will walk through him in the first round”. In what was supposed to be a breeze and walk through, Kell Brook turned out to be GGG’s toughest fight ever. Brook was buzzed early and then rallied to dominate Golovkin over the next few rounds. However, Brook had a pre-existing eye injury and GGG made it even worst. He straight broke his eye socket, and it started to weigh on Kell. The fight ended with Kell’s corner throwing in the towel during the 5th round. Kell could not see and was starting to take unnecessary punishment. If that eye could have held up, we might have been in for a real show!
While Golovkin was breezing through the Middleweight division. There was a few credible guys who he had not fought. Daniel Jacobs and Peter Quillin were champs and skilled fighters with power, but neither seemed interested in fighting the man child Golovkin. They fought each other, and Quillin was shocked by a big punch in the first round from Jacobs. Jacobs felt he was finally ready for GGG.
“Jacobs just is not good enough to beat GGG, he’ll be stopped in the middle rounds”. This fight was slow early, Jacobs seemed timid in respect of Golovkins power. Then boom, GGG hit Jacobs with a clean shot and sent him to the canvas in round 4. We had seen this before, we knew what was coming. So we thought. Jacobs tasted that power and realized he could handle it. He got up and rallied off rounds. Each round extremely close though. Jacobs was landing the big shots and walking GGG down. GGG was resetting to the middle of the ring and landing clean jabs and combos himself. Big punches were exchanged. These guys had 35 consecutive knockouts coming in. However they both refused to get knocked out. Jacobs, the hometown native, had Madison Square Garden in a frenzy. He was giving GGG all he could handle. I thought he had pulled out a one point win, the judges had it one point the other way. Golovkin escaped.
The boogie man, finally did not look so scary. The defense we thought he had, didn’t look so good the last two fights. His trainer Abel Sanchez used to tell us, GGG would let people hit him to make fights interesting. We actually bought that shit lol. Jacobs and Brook had little trouble hitting GGG, and he sure as hell was not letting them. Neither Jacobs nor Brook said his power was otherworldly. One thing is for certain, those fights will only make GGG even better!
September 16th, 2017 we are in for a treat. PPV stinks, I know. Do yourselves a favor though and get together with some buddies, pitch in 5, and buy this fight. This is history. Canelo has proven to be a problem, but he has never faced anything like GGG. He has never even fought at Middleweight. How will his body be affected? Can he take Golovkin’s punches? Gennady is a destroyer, but he has looked very beatable his last two fights. He is also already 35 years old. Will age get him?
I leave you guys as experts now. Feel free to jump on the web and get into an argument or two now. Or holla at me on Twitter @OfficialJammy. Tune in September 16th on HBO PPV ($79.99HD) for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Who you picking?