It was a hard deal to get done, but Canelo Alvarez has agreed to square off against middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin for the third time. The fight is scheduled to take place in September, although it will depend on how many fights will be delayed in the months to come due to the coronavirus pandemic, and how each sanctioning organization deals with the upcoming logistical challenges.
Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) is 1-0-1 against Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs) in two huge fights that ended in controversial decisions. So now that they have agreed to a third bout, what can we expect? Dan Rafael and Steve Kim have some answers.
How will Canelo-GGG III play out?
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Kim: Golovkin isn’t winning on the cards (he’s 0-2 in that department) and at his advanced age and with the wear and tear on what has been a long career, he may not have the gas tank anymore to go 12 rounds against a prime Canelo. So why not go for broke and turn this into a brawl, throw caution to the wind, and instead of starting out slow as he has twice done in the other two fights against Alvarez, come right out of the gate and let his hands go?
Regardless of who you feel has actually won their first two encounters, Golovkin, keyed by his educated left jab, has been able to hit Canelo much more than his recent opponents, and even buzzed him a bit late in their second fight. He has to be able to carry over that type of tempo. If he can’t win the 12-round marathon, turn this into a shorter spring.
Should they have their scheduled interim fights before they meet in September?
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Kim: Yes. Fighters are better when they are active and in rhythm, ring rust is something that has affected many fighters, as boxers who fight so infrequently slowly dip their toe into the water in the early rounds against other marquee boxers. You can train all you want and spar an abundance of rounds — it’s not the same as facing real opponents in a real fight.
But right now, boxing, like the rest of the world, is at the mercy of the coronavirus, and it just may not be logistically possible for either man to have a fight before the early fall.
Who will be more impacted by a long layoff if they don’t have a fight until September? Why?
Canelo Alvarez, left, used his body attack against Gennadiy Golovkin in the rematch to score a majority decision victory in 2018. Omar Vega/Getty Images
Rafael: I don’t think either of them will have any issues. They are seasoned pros who have had layoffs. Alvarez has been training for May 2 and looks to be in great shape from the videos he has posted. Golovkin had a little layoff because of a calf injury but is back in camp and getting ready for his mandatory defense. Layoffs are overblown in my opinion, especially when it comes to veteran superstars.
Kim: Golovkin. Canelo fought in November and within a few weeks was already back in the gym with head trainer Eddy Reynoso in San Diego, preparing for his next assignment. Gololvkin, after his grinding affair with Derevyanchenko, has been surrounded by a lot of uncertainty. He had an ill-fated experiment training with Victor Conte at the SNAC facilities in the Bay Area, and more troubling, his body seems to be breaking down on him. Just how much is he actually focusing on boxing at the moment?