Golovkin-Canelo: Will it be Hagler-Hearns or Hagler-Duran; or somewhere in between?

Envoking as it has, the great superfights of the 1980s, when The Four Kings – Leonard, Hearns, Duran and Hagler – led the way, this September’s Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez clash has one enormous load of expectation attached to it. Perhaps too much for the middleweight title showdown to possibly deliver?

We’ve seen “can’t miss” classics fizzle out before our very eyes a number of times; far more so than we’ve been treated to what we always want from a fight:blood, guts, knockdowns and or trading and finally a KO. But what will we get when GGG and Canelo collide?

If we are lucky, extremely so, fantastically so, almost unbelievably so, Golovkin-Canelo will rekindle the firery memories of the majestically brutal Hagler-Hearns war. If we’re less fortunate we will get a tactical battle akin to Hagler’s curiously cautious decision win over Duran (12 rounds instead of 15 of course). Or maybe we will get something that falls somewhere in between.

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GGG can box cautiously when the mood suits him (see his rather dull win over Danny Jacobs) while Canelo can be out boxed to the extent that his exciting approach takes a powder. Who will outsmart the other in September if we do indeed see a tactical battle/chess match?

As with all mega fights, the sheer tension, the sense of what’s at stake, will keep fans enthralled during the early rounds, but will the explosion come in this fight? Maybe, in spurts, but these two clever and smart boxers will look to put points in the bank, not go to allout war.

It will be a good fight on September 16, but not a truly great one. Look for the defending champ to fully utilise his superior boxing brain to nullify the challenger’s youth and strength – leaving both Canelo and his fans feeling more than a little frustrated.

It might be a very close fight, but as Hagler did with Duran, Golovkin will have the slight edge in the end.