Boxing

Fight Forecast - Canelo vs Golovkin by Ben Damon

Sunday, September 3

Perhaps "Golovkin Alvarez" will one day drop from the tongues of boxing fans with the same weight "Hagler Hearns" has for more than three decades. It's a middleweight match that's marinated into a legitimate mega-fight, between the decidedly dominant players in the division and two of the absolute stars of the sport.

Gennady Golovkin v Canelo Alvarez has all the ingredients of a bout that will go down in boxing folklore, including the fact that it appears a genuine 50/50 contest. It is the Kazakh beast, against the Mexican machine. An all-conquering destroyer who has spent a career blasting opponents across the ring, versus a stylistic perfectionist coloured by a tradition of pugilistic ruthlessness.

Golovkin will try to monster Canelo. Canelo will seek to outbox and bewilder Golovkin. What looms is either a devastating shattering of the cinnamon aura or a systematic breakdown of boxing's most feared figure, and as a decisive gesture towards the latter option many will point to age. Golovkin has been chasing this bout for over two years, but Golden Boy have added Canelo to the list of prominent fighters to delay a date with the beast. In that time the Kazakh has hit a profound milestone of 35 years on earth, and that fact combined with less brutal recent showings against Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs has some attaching the word "declining" to the GGG blurb. At 27 Canelo has reached his prime - an occurrence Floyd Mayweather was keen to predate. 'Money' fought the Mexican when he was just 23.

The conventional wisdom is that this bout will result in either a 'points' victory for Canelo, or a beatdown for Golovkin - and there is ample argument for either eventuality. If Golovkin has slowed, as Canelo continues to improve, then perhaps the latter's movement, activity and technical advantage will prove too much and he will pivot through 12 rounds into the friendly hands of the judges. However I see life still in the beast. GGG is no ordinary boxer and his power is no normal possession. This is a contest he has long craved, and while that desire maintains a companionship with his inhuman punching force I can't see him being beaten by any man at middleweight. Perhaps there may not be a great many fights left in Golovkin but it feels like he has one violent night in September within him, and I envisage an exceptional performance in an outstanding fight against a brilliant opponent.

My forecast; a GGG victory in a modern classic.

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