With the fight falling short of expectations, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin go their separate ways
When the third fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (58-2-2) and Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin (42-1-1) was announced a few months ago, fight fans were uncertain whether they were excited or not, as this one came years after the rematch. That uncertainty quickly faded when the two fighters met at the press conference in New York and Los Angeles. You could cut the tension with a knife, and it was clear that both men knew they needed to make a statement in their third fight. Both Canelo and Golovkin went to their respective training camps after the pressers preparing for a decisive victory.
After a somewhat dull fight week, we arrived at the much-anticipated fight between Canelo and Golovkin on Saturday night in front of a jam-packed crowd of 19,519 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The crowd seemed to be on edge as they hoped to see Canelo possibly stop Golovkin. In contrast, those in support of the Kazakhstan warrior hoped they would get a fair shake on the scorecards as the previous two fights had some questionable judging.
During the fight, while doing a round-by-round recap and scoring for FanSided, I noticed that the action in their first two fights was not present in this third and final fight. There was plenty of high-level feinting and countering, which at times could make it seem like nothing interesting was going on, but some chess moves were happening in that ring. But as much as that was going on, one thing is for sure, Golovkin was hesitant on his offense because Canelo’s hand speed was harder to keep up with at this stage of his career. Golovkin’s corner advised him to take some chances on a few occasions, but Golovkin knew that if he did, it might leave him vulnerable to a big shot.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin are headed in two different directions
After it was all said and done, the fight seemed like a clean win for Canelo, but nothing can be that simple when it comes to scoring in the sport of boxing. The three judges scoring the fight had it unanimously for Canelo, but two of the cards read 115-113, which meant that only one round separated the victory from being a draw. The sport of boxing can’t get away from questionable scorecards these judges turn in, and the hope is that someone finds a way to address it in the future.
With Canelo earning the victory on Saturday night, the question becomes, what is next for the undisputed super middleweight champion? At the post-fight press conference, it was revealed that Canelo has a TFCC tear in his left wrist, which will see him not doing any serious boxing activities for 6-12 weeks. So, the plan to bring back Canelo for a December fight in England has been scrapped, and it looks as though we won’t see the Mexican warrior until May of next year. With Canelo fulfilling his contractual obligation with DAZN, he has two options regarding his future. He can sign another 1-2 fight deal with DAZN and face John Ryder (31-5) in May, or he can explore his options with the PBC. If he looks at the PBC, he can potentially face fighters like David Benavidez and Jermall Charlo, which would be some very intriguing fights.
There is no real indication of which way Canelo will go, but one thing is for sure, he is all about adding more to his legacy and fighting guys that make the most sense. Could he revisit the Dmitry Bivol (20-0) fight for next September if he decides to stay with DAZN? He sure can, but that fight becomes more difficult the longer he waits to take it. Only time will tell, but when the top star in the sport is ready to announce his plans, everyone will be tuned into to see who wins the Canelo sweepstakes.
The situation with Golovkin is a little more complex as he looked every bit of 40 in the ring but still dangerous enough to keep fighters on their toes. Golovkin is also a network free agent and has options since he is the unified middleweight champion. The WBA has reached out to his team, telling them he must defend his title against Erislandy Lara (29-3-3), the WBA regular champion. If he doesn’t fight Lara, who is with the PBC, then Golovkin will be stripped of the title. This fight wasn’t makeable while Golovkin was with DAZN, but now that he is no longer obligated to them, he can potentially make a deal with PBC that allows this mandatory to occur. Golovkin is a prideful man, so he will make every effort to keep his belts which means the Lara fight may get done.
If Golovkin signs up for Lara, it doesn’t look like it will take place this year as only three months are left. I imagine the fight occurring in April or May on a PPV platform, whether on FOX or Showtime. It’s an interesting matchup as both men are well past their prime, but their styles make for a good fight at this stage of their careers. What is not out of the realm of possibility is that Golovkin may feel like he has had enough and hangs up the gloves while retiring as a unified champion. That will more than likely not happen, but it is certainly an option once he looks at this third Canelo fight again in a few days.
Both Canelo and Golovkin have options, but their careers are going in two completely different directions. They fought a trilogy that will go down in history and will meet in Canastota one day. They’ll probably laugh about their bitter rivalry, just like Sugar Ray Leonard did with Roberto Duran many years ago. But for now, look for their plans to be rumored or announced before the end of the year.