Canelo-Golovkin Ends in Controversial Draw
Published: September 17, 2017
LAS VEGAS – In a fight that in the ring lived up to the hype, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) fought to a dubious draw. The scorecards read 118-110 in favor of Canelo, 115-113 for Golovkin and one score of 114-114. The 118-110 scorecard by judge Adalaide Byrd may be one of the worst scorecards in the history of the sport. Canelo-Golovkin was tightly contested, and neither man won ten rounds.
The fight played out as more of a highly intense chess match than an absolute war. However, there was enough action-packed moments and exchanges to give fans their money's worth. The first three rounds saw both men box in the middle of the ring with Golovkin landing his jab. Alvarez had success using lateral movement and throwing punches in combination. Alvarez in the first half of the fight made sure to avoid staying on the ropes. One thing that was clear after six rounds was that Golovkin was going to come forward and continuously apply pressure on Alvarez. The Kazakhstani puncher took over in the middle rounds to go up on most observers’ scorecards. Alvarez gave a valiant effort in the final three rounds by starting the rounds landing combinations. However, in the second half of each round, Alvarez found himself backing up into the ropes in constant retreat. Judge Adalaide Byrd who scored the fight 118-110 for Alvarez gave the Mexican the last five rounds. The other two judges gave Alvarez the last three rounds.
Now that the biggest boxing event of the year was scored a draw, many fans and pundits are going to look forward to a rematch. Neither man was able to score a knockdown or land a punch that put either fighter in real danger of the fight being stopped. Alvarez may need to work on his stamina to combat the constant pressure delivered by Golovkin. On the other side of the coin, Golovkin did not go to the body with his usual persistence, which could have been the difference between him winning a decision or stopping the young Mexican.
The most important aspect of the fight beside Byrd’s erroneous scorecard is that the fight delivered as an event. Fans of all ages will be in anticipation of the rematch.
The main co-featured bout showed Joseph “JoJo” Diaz (25-0, 13 KOs) defeating the undefeated Rafael Rivera (25-1-2, 16 KOs) in a WBC featherweight title eliminator. Diaz is now the number one contender for current WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. The young fighter showed versatility fighting off the backfoot and countering Rivera throughout the fight. Diaz landed 229 of 449 of his punches at an impressive 51% en route to a unanimous decision victory.
In a battle of young undefeated Super Bantamweights (122) Randy Caballero (24-1, 14 KOs) faced off with Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs). De La Hoya put on quite a performance by landing the sharper and harder punches all night en route to winning a wide unanimous decision. From the beginning, De La Hoya was able to put himself in the right distance to land flush right hands. After going ten rounds and winning almost every round in the eyes of most observers, De La Hoya may be ready to step and challenge one of the titleholders in the division.
Opening the night on the HBO telecast Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (20-0, 11 KOs) won a razor-thin split decision over Francisco Rojo (20-3, 13 KOs). The scores were 98-94 for Rojo and 96-93, 95-94 for Martin. The bout was decided by one point in favor of the young Martin.
(Feature Photo: Kelly Owen/Frontproof Media)