It was five years ago today when once respectful, now seemingly bitter rivals Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez embarked on their rivalry. We all know what happened at the conclusion of those 12 hard and exciting rounds: the judges declared the fight a draw; this despite the fact that almost all fight fans, media folk, and fellow fighters had Golovkin winning big.
Golovkin D12 Canelo was instantly ranked right alongside Lewis D12 Holyfield, and Whitaker D12 Chavez as one of the worst in boxing history. Adalaide Byrd’s score card, that had Canelo winning by a lopsided margin of 118-110, was instantly compared to the 118-110 card judge Jo Jo Guerra handed in in favour of Sugar Ray Leonard at the conclusion of the 1987 super fight between Leonard and Hagler.
Leonard and Hagler never fought again, and neither did Whitaker or Chavez, while Lewis punched out a close points win in his return with “The Real Deal.” Now, this Saturday, GGG and Canelo will box their trilogy fight, their “deciding fight.” At least we hope there will be a decisive winner in Las Vegas this time.
The return fight between GGG and Canelo – delayed for six months due to the Mexican star testing positive for clenbuterol – saw Canelo stand his ground more, his better performance seeing him take a majority decision win. Still, plenty of people felt (and feel) Golovkin was once again hard done by.
Now, five years after the first fight, and four years after the rematch, we at last have the finale (most likely the finale, yet if GGG pulls off the upset win on Saturday, there could potentially be a fourth fight between the two).
The first fight was a massive pay-per-view and live gate success, and the hype going in was huge. Golovkin bossed the action, with Canelo fighting well in spurts. Triple-G displayed a rock of a chin, walking through Canelo’s best shots in quite shocking fashion (shocking to Canelo mostly). Golovkin was 35 years old in fight-one, while Canelo was 27. Even back then, the difference in age was looked at as significant, and critics said Canelo had made GGG wait for the fight until he was old enough to be taken. Now, on Saturday, 32 year old Canelo will be facing a 40 year old Golovkin, up at 168 pounds, fights one and two of course being middleweight title fights.
Golovkin was robbed of a clear win five years ago today, while the older man had cause to feel aggrieved by the close decision that went against him in the September 2018 return fight. Can GGG get a fair shake against Canelo in Vegas? Plenty of people doubt it.
Fight one was a great one, while fight-two was arguably even more thrilling. Some people are suggesting fight-three will be the best of the trilogy. If this is correct we will be watching a classic on Saturday night.
Five years ago today, we witnessed a robbery. May all things fair and honourable be witnessed this Saturday. May the best man win.