Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez picked up where they left off in their first fight. Just like the first, the second was also close, but this time a winner was announced.
The night started out hot as the boxing world awaited Canelo-GGG 2. Roman Gonzalez stopped Moises Fuentes in the fifth. David Lemieux knocked out Gary O’Sullivan fast in the first, and Jaimie Munguia made easy work of Brandon Cook in three. Then a long void hit. Fans were left waiting for nearly two hours with no action. People were getting restless, but then Gennady Golovkin finally made his way to the ring. The arena hit a fevered pitch when Canelo Alvarez walked to the ring.
Alvarez looked focused in his corner as did Golovkin. They were ready for war, and so was the crowd. Alvarez didn’t make eye contact with Golovkin during the referee’s instructions.
Golovkin took the center of the ring in the first round. Alvarez pushed forward at times as he exchanged jabs with Golovkin. Golovkin stayed patient and moved well laterally. Alvarez tried to force the action, but Golovkin kept his jab firing. Golovkin was much more measured than the first fight.
In the second, Golovkin looked relaxed as he mixed punches to Canelo’s body and head. Alvarez answered with a clean left hook. Alvarez’s hand speed showed as he increased his pace, but Golovkin answered with hooks of his own. With 20 seconds left, Golovkin landed a left hook that Alvarez felt. It was a hard round to score where both men had their moments.
Golovkin opened the third with a straight right to Alvarez’s head. Alvarez looked flatfooted at times, which made it easy for Golovkin to hit him early in the round, but Alvarez rallied with body shots. Golovkin closed with a combination to Alvarez’s body and head.
Golovkin fired left and right hooks to Alvarez’s body and head to start the fourth. Alvarez walked forward but ate Golovkin’s jab for his troubles. The best punch of the round was a right uppercut by Golovkin that stunned Alvarez. They closed the round exchanging blows, but Golovkin got the better of the action.
Golovkin’s work rate continued at a blistering pace. He threw six punches before Alvarez had a chance to throw one. Alvarez sensed he was being outworked, and he pushed forward with a combination of his own. Things slowed in the middle of the round, but Alvarez landed to Golovkin’s body down the stretch. Alvarez started to leak blood from his left eye.
Alvarez’s jab got the sixth started. Maybe seeing his blood woke him up. Once Alvarez’s jabs stopped, Golovkin’s hooks began. They traded right hands in the last minute. Golovkin boxed as Alvarez moved forward. The roles were reversed from the first fight. Alvarez threw and landed more punches in the last 30 seconds.
In the seventh, Alvarez hooked effectively to Golovkin’s body. Golovkin’s work rate slowed as Alvarez’s increased. Alvarez’s body punches continued to add up. Golovkin looked fatigued and circled for the second half of the round. Alvarez couldn’t make him pay for his inactivity.
It sounded like Abel Sanchez told Golovkin “you’re losing it” in-between rounds. Golovkin stayed in a high guard for the first half of the eighth as Alvarez hooked to his head. Golovkin pushed out punches, but they didn’t have the same force as the early rounds. Both boxers took the round off, but Alvarez’s early work won him the round.
Alvarez continued to build on his momentum in the ninth. Golovkin looked slow while Alvarez was on cruise control. It was all slipping away for Golovkin and Alvarez pounded away to his body. Golovkin fought back valiantly, but Alvarez had his best round of the fight. He landed clean punches and out-worked Golovkin.
The cut over Alvarez’s left eye opened more. It looked like it was an inch and a half in length, but Alvarez came out fast in Round 10 with lefts and rights to Golovkin’s body. Golovkin looked old — that’s until he stunned Alvarez with a right hand. It was the first time Alvarez looked hurt, and it changed the tide of the entire round. Alvarez shelled up and took Golovkin’s best power punches. It was the round Golovkin needed to rebuild confidence.
Golovkin hit Alvarez with two right hands at the start of the 11th. Alvarez stopped moving forward, and his hands seemed frozen. Golovkin landed more rights and the tide completely shifted. There’s no doubt that Golovkin won this round.
The 12th started with Golovkin throwing jabs non-stop. Alvarez tried to rally, but his punches missed. Golovkin’s boxing skills showed as he stayed patient and worked off the jab. Alvarez continued to throw, but Golovkin’s punches were cleaner. Golovkin’s right eye opened and blood oozed out, but he closed the fight with a beautiful uppercut. I had Golovkin winning the last three rounds, but I thought Alvarez did enough to earn another draw.
It took a while for the scores to be returned. That’s usually not a good sign. The first score was 114-114, but the other two scores were 115-113 for Alvarez. It was another fight where things could have gone either way.
There’s no controversy here. Alvarez took his game to a new level. Golovkin looked good, but Alvarez is the boxer that showed improvement. Golovkin deserves a rematch. He came into the fight as the champion, and he’s deserving of a chance to get his belts back. We’ll see what’s in the contract and if a trilogy occurs. The second fight was better than the first, but a third is desired.