DENVER (September 17, 2017) Last night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (49-1-2, 34KO’s) and Genady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (37-0-1, 33KO’s) engaged in an highly anticipated Fight Of The Year candidate for the WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine (lineal), World middleweight Championship. The HBO, PPV event promoted by Golden Boy Promotions (Oscar de la Hoya) and K2 Promotions (Tom Loeffler) was scheduled for 12 rounds.
Professional boxing now sadly includes at least one abhorrent scorecard that leaves most everyone scratching their heads. Last night was no exception as judge Adalaide Byrd (no stranger to controversy) saw Alvarez winning the fight by an amazing margin of 10 rounds to 2, (118-110). Not even the most ardent Canelo supporter could hide their astonishment at a card that can easily further the notion of ‘corruption in boxing’. Judge Dave Morretti had Golovkin the winner, 115-113 with judge Don Trella scoring the fight even at 114-114. Oscar de la Hoya and Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett offered undying support for the heavily under fire Adalaide Byrd.
This was a good, but not great fight and for all the braggadocious talk that included guarantees from both Golovkin and Alvarez of “I’m knocking him out”, fans were treated to nothing more than a track meet where the superior hand and foot speed of Canelo kept the wanting to battle Golovkin at bay for most of the night and unfortunately, allowed the end result placed in the hands of ‘suspect judging’.
Alvarez showed early on he had no intentions of engaging with Golovkin and took to ‘getting on his bicycle’ with Golovkin in hot pursuit but unable to catch up to the early on confident Alvarez. As Golovkin attempted to slow down Alvarez with solid jabs connecting, after 6 rounds the fight was even with Canelo showing obvious signs of wear. Golovkin began taking control and in round 5 finally forced Alvarez to stand and fight with Canelo losing ground as the fight progressed. It was a good next few rounds for GGG but the 9th was especially huge, most observers in agreement that Canelo, entering round 10, was in desperate need of ‘something special’ to pull this off. Golovkin controlled round 10 and it was now glaringly apparent Canelo would need a round 11 or 12 knockout to win. While some may have seen Canelo winning rounds 11 and 12, it was now a moot point or so one would have thought.
This fight was reminiscent of the 1987 ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard vs ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Hagler bout where Leonard won a highly controversial split decision after out boxing the reigning World middleweight Champion Hagler who never could quite catch up to the speedy challenger. Marvin Hagler was hoping for a fight and instead ended up (like Golovkin) in a track meet. That Leonard /Hagler comparison is further acknowleged when remembering Leonard always maintained “I know how to beat Marvin Hagler” but never did he say, “I’m going to knock him out”. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez could never deliver on the promise he made his fans last night guaranteeing a knockout win over GGG.
Promoter Oscar de la Hoya suggested neither man was happy with the fight being declared a draw (DUH) and a rematch should be the next step. This Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez performance (or lack of) was an embarrassment not only to himself but to the many Mexican and Mexican Americans nationwide celebrating Mexican Independence Day. Should there be any rematch, the probability of the outcome being any different is remote other than both men looking at another lucrative payday.
As the fight progressed, HBO announcers Jim ‘BANG BANG, BANG BANG BANG’ Lampley, Roy ‘The Shill’ Jones Jr. and Al Bernstein did their jobs of promoting the fight with their primary intention of pushing for a rematch more than obvious from the outset. Turning down or even turning off the audio for most big fight events is becoming more and more of a necessity. The cheerleading and continued pandering by fight analysts has become more of a ‘circus like atmosphere’ than entertaining.
No matter the opinions of Canelo or de la Hoya, the accurate comments of Genady ‘GGG’ Golovkin put the entire spectacle in it’s proper perspective when saying, “I’m heading back home to Kazakhstan with my belts. I’m still World middleweight Champion”.
FYI: Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders (25-0, 12KO’s) defeated American Willie Monroe, Jr. (21-3, 6KO’s) to retain his WBO World middleweight title by way of boring unanimous decision, scores reading 117-112, 117-111 and 115-114. Saunders had hoped to see the winner of last night’s fight next. Saunders has that WBO middleweight belt for as long as he can avoid any real competition.