Canelo-Golovkin 2 Preview: Gennady Golovkin looks to stamp his legacy in Canelo Alvarez rematch
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: September 13, 2018
This upcoming Saturday, September 15th at the T-Mobile Arena in the boxing capital of Las Vegas, Nevada, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin will face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in one of the most anticipated rematches in recent history. Since the bell rang to signify the end of the 12th and final round in September 2017 the Canelo-Golovkin saga has been shrouded in controversy. The scoring of the bout has been discussed at ad nauseam with judge Adalaide Byrd’s incomprehensible 118-110 scorecard in Alvarez’s favor.
This was followed by the Clenbuterol scandal where Alvarez twice tested positive causing the rematch to be postponed from this past May. The negotiations to make the rematch happen in September became contentious when Golovkin demanded a higher sum of money for having lost out on a payday and being stripped of his IBF middleweight title. Golovkin was able to acquire his money for the rematch to occur. Now on the eve of the rematch, Golovkin will look to leave his mark on this era and within the history books of middleweight champions.
A victory over Alvarez will give Golovkin the middleweight title defense record having surpassed Bernard Hopkins who holds the record at 20 title defenses. Holding this record will not automatically put Golovkin side by side with the likes of middleweight greats like Carlos Monzon and Marvin Hagler, but it will cement his status as the prominent middleweight of this era.
A victory will also for many fans legitimize Golovkin. Since Golovkin first became part of the boxing consciousness in 2012, he has become one of the most popular fighters in the sport. However, there have been many critics who have criticized the Kazakhstani's resume and claim that it was not until 2017 that he faced elite competition.
In 2017, Golovkin faced Alvarez and top middleweight Daniel Jacobs in two closely contested bouts. The fight with Jacobs was held at Madison Square Garden where Golovkin won a tightly fought unanimous decision. A fourth-round knockdown scored by Golovkin made the difference in the scorecards in a fight where many rounds were swing rounds that could have gone to either man. The battle with Jacobs ended Golovkin’s knockout streak of 23 in a row.
While Golovkin’s resume can undoubtedly be nitpicked to death, it does not take away from the fact that the Kazakhstani has been one of the most consistent fighters in the sport. He has also been one of the few fighters who has been willing to fight more than twice a year. This era’s middleweight division will not be looked upon as one of the best in middleweight boxing history. In an age where fighters only temporarily stay in divisions to make just one or two title defenses without any unification bouts, it is a plus that makes Golovkin’s middleweight run significant as he attempted to gather all four major world titles.
Today’s sports landscape allows for many professional athletes to play well beyond the age of 30. At 36 years of age with over 350 amateur bouts and almost 40 professional contests under his belt, it’s hard to imagine Golovkin’s career lasting another five to ten years. Also, unless Floyd Mayweather decided to come back to face the power punching middleweight, it is likely that the rematch with Alvarez will be last major significant bout of his career. Depending on the outcome of the Canelo-Golovkin sequel a final trilogy bout could be made, however, it seems that the two men want to put an end to their saga in the rematch.
A clear victory over Alvarez for Golovkin will be the proverbial mountaintop. A defeat will allow critics to lambast him as being more of a genius-marketing scheme than a great fighter. It’s possible that Golovkin is aware of what the Alvarez rematch means to his legacy. There is enough motivation for both men who have much to prove to provide fans a fight that surpasses the original.
(Featured Photo: Naoki Fukuda)