Canelo vs GGG: Journey vs Destination
Let's get it out of the way first, we all know the 118-110 card was ridiculous, that judge was watching something else and had no business having a say in the outcome of the fight. Let's hope she enjoys her vacation.
Now then, on to what really matters.
Saturday night was time for the two best middleweights in the world to collide and give the boxing fans around the world the big fight they were waiting for. GGG walked in first into a sold out and beyond electric T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, as soon as Golovkin walked out you could tell the crowd was going to be split for both guys, the reaction he got was amazing considering the date and place of the event. Then, it was time for “the new face of boxing” to enter the arena (This bothered me a little, I believe the champion should always come out last, but I get it, Canelo is the bigger star, A side, so whatever). You can tell Alvarez is somewhat of a polarizing figure when some of the Mexican fans inside the arena where booing him for a fight in September 16, but nonetheless the vast majority of the Mexican fans did cheer and support Canelo. Man, to say the prelude to the start of the fight was electric would be an understatement, the feel and buzz inside the T-Mobile arena was crazy and I loved it.
After the national anthems and introductions (In which Golovkin was introduced second, so that was good) it was time for the fight…
I'm not going to bore you with a round by round breakdown of the fight, I'll just try to express as best as I can what made this fight so great. From the start you could tell Golovkin was in his patented “Seek and destroy” mentality, pushing forward and being the aggressor, and we all knew it was going to be like that with GGG, what I believe not all of the people watching were expecting was Canelo showing such a high level defensive game. Man, has Alvarez come a long way as a boxer, you can call me crazy, but I saw some Mayweather in Canelo by the way he was slipping punches with his upper body movement. Of course, Canelo couldn't compete just by running away and avoiding punches, so it came in really handy that Alvarez is an outstanding counterpuncher.
In the first 3 rounds Canelo looked faster and crisper than Golovkin, it seemed as if GGG was still finding his distance and rythim, as the smaller and faster fighter took advantage making the bigger and stronger fighter miss most of his punches. In no way I'm saying Canelo was dominating the fight. Actually, in no point of the fight I felt one of the fighters was clearly imposing his will over the other.
From the 4th round to the 9th it seemed as Golovkin started to figure out Canelo a little better, it's crazy how Genady not only didn't show signs of slowing down, but seemed to get stronger as the fight went on. The guy is a machine. As for Canelo, a human being, you could see his gas tank slowly emptying, struggling to maintain his offense for prolonged periods of time, having said that, I have to praise Canelo for being smart, he picked his spots. I don't know if he realized that he couldn't sustain GGG’s pace or it was an unintentional thing, but he never got truly dominated in any round, even though I felt he lost all from the 4th to the 9th he had his moments in everyone of them keeping the feel of close fight.
We came to the final stretch. And let me tell you, that 10th round… So good, I loved that round, it was boxing at its finest; two guys going to war, throwing and landing punches, showing great defense in the process, keeping it clean, heart, guts, and all that good stuff, and of course the crowd was going wild. Best round of the fight.
The last 2 rounds were really close, as was the 10th, but Canelo did seem to find a second wind, throwing more punches and showing some of the great defensive chops he displayed in the early rounds. As for Golovkin, the guy is terrifying, he kept going forward and forward, and walking through punches, and pressuring Alvarez. He is a real life termianator. When the 12th round was over it felt as if the winner of the fight was the whole world that watched the fight. It wasn't a blood and guts fight, but it was a fight were both fighters were showing such a high level of ability of their crafts, and they complemented each other so beautifully. Golovkin being the bigger and stronger assassin trying to hunt down the faster and elusive counter striker in Canelo, both being fearless and proud. I'm so happy we are getting it again.
When it comes to the result we all have different opinions. It was such a close fight that you could have seen either one win or agree with the draw, and that's great, it triggers conversations and the exchanging of different points of view which helps the boxing community grow and expand. The only thing you shouldn't do it's let one “judge” spoil this fight for you, let it go. Fights like this don’t come around that often, sometimes a cliff hanger is a good place to leave a great story, and wait until the next chapter.
Finally, it's so weird and satisfactory when an event carries so much hype coming in and delivers. That's what we had last Saturday, Golovkin and Canelo put on a show for all of us, and I hope everyone enjoyed as much as I did.
Sometimes the journey, being the fight itself, is more important than the destination, being the decision.