September 15, 2018 a day before the Mexican Independence celebration Saul “Canelo” Alvarez entered the ring for the second time as an underdog against a monster people know as Triple G or Gennady Golovkin. Their first fight was controversial both sides and their fans claiming victory. The fight was declared a draw. Canelo took most of the criticism because he refused to confront Gennady toe to toe, instead opting to box Golovkin, hitting and moving away from danger. People expected Canelo to do the same in the second fight, either run or get knocked out by Golovkin.
No one who has stood toe to toe with Golovkin has survived, 85% of his fights have ended in a stoppage. That means 34 knockouts out of 38 wins. Daniel Jacobs was the first fighter to survive twelve rounds against Golovkin, and Jacobs was floored in the fight. The rumor is that Golovkin took it easy on Jacobs to motivate Oscar de la Hoya to put Canelo in a fight against him, believing that a knockout against Jacobs would have discouraged Golden Boy from promoting a fight of Canelo vs Golovkin.
Canelo entered the second fight mad as hell. Canelo’s bravery and integrity were questioned daily in the media by Abel Sanchez who is Golovkin’s coach. He was accused not only of being a runner but also of using unfair advantages such as performance enhancing drugs, of being a cheat, a fraud, and a coward. These accusations from Sanchez and Golovkin combined with haters putting him down daily in social media, gravely damaged Canelo’s image. Canelo still had loyal fans, but he was losing a lot of potential fans because of the smear campaign launched against him. When he entered the ring, he was determined to knockout Golovkin: make him pay for all the humiliation.
Immediately when the fight started Canelo placed himself in the center of the ring, exchanging heavy punches with Golovkin. Pounding Golovkin with left hooks. Golovkin fired back, confident in his extraordinary power. Canelo stubbornly stood his ground launching punches with bad intentions. Anyone else would have been knocked out by Canelo’s rage, but Golovkin is not ordinary. Golovkin did feel the pressure that Canelo was exerting on him, and Golovkin made his biggest mistake. He took a step back, rather than mix it up in the pocket. This lost him the fight. Golovkin is a wily boxer just as much as he is a heavy puncher. He took a step back, to set a trap for Canelo that was meant to knock him out. He wanted to walk Canelo into an uppercut. Canelo did fall into the trap and got hit with a vicious uppercut that shook him up and stopped him in his tracks. Canelo though, was able to recover quickly and took the shot well. The trap failed, but Golovkin continued to gamble by stepping back or boxing from a distance to lure or force Canelo into walking into another power punch, but Canelo was able to evade the knockout punch. In the last two rounds Golovkin knew his strategy was not working and he decided to mix it up with Canelo on the inside, both fighters landing punches on each other, and no one dominating the fight.
This fight is the best in recent boxing history. Two highly skilled athletes, disciplined, physically conditioned, intense action, an honest fight. This is what boxing is supposed to be. We need more of these types of fights. Both fighters deserve our respect. The fight was close, and it could have been a draw or gone to either fighter, but no one
can reasonably dispute Canelo’s victory. Golovkin was the better boxer, he demonstrated his wicked jab and how it can destroy his opponents. Canelo refused to take a step back and put himself at risk. He challenged Golovkin to put aside strategy and engage in a brutal rumble. Golovkin refused and opted for a strategic fight with his jab, a choice that lost him the fight, despite being the better boxer.