Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin v Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez Preview

My advice to the millions that paid inflated PPV prices to watch Mayweather v McGregor last month is to forget all about that circus act and watch a proper fight this weekend.

Mexico’s Saul Alvarez (49-1-1 34KO’s) and Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin (37-0 33KO’s) finally meet in the ring at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday night in what is set to be a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate, already likened to Hagler-Hearns, which is arguably one of the greatest fights in boxing history.

It’s been titled ‘Supremacy’ for a reason as the winner will become the next pound-for-pound superstar and cement their place in boxing history forever.

The Mexican magician’s showdown with the Kazakh killer is one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events in recent history.

A match-up between two of the world’s best boxers who happen to co-exist in the same era operating around the same weight category is very rare, especially when one is still unbeaten and holds four world titles – WBA Super, WBC, IBF and IBO.

Both fighters are daring to be great by meeting each other in the ring. It’s a 50-50 fight and not one that can be analysed in just a couple of paragraphs, so I’ve attempted to break it down here as best I can to give you, the reader, the best chance of figuring out for yourself who wins and why.


This has been one of the biggest talking points, in my view.

Golovkin’s last fight against Daniel Jacobs went incredibly close to the wire, with many spectators genuinely believing that the “Miracle Man” had done enough to win. It was the first time the undefeated middleweight had been made to go the full 12-rounds in his 11-year career and ended his 23-fight knockout streak, dating all the way back to June 2008.

It was also the first time that that the aggressive, unrelenting Kazakhstani had been forced backwards in a fight.

Because of the opponent’s success, there’s the understandable arguments floating around that Golovkin’s time at the top is ending (at 35, he is eight-years Canelo’s senior).

I personally think the scorecards were right in that fight as I had “Triple G” winning by a round or two, especially with the fourth-round knockdown in his favour.

I also think that Jacobs has been wildly undervalued as an opponent – he was a world champion with only one defeat and an 87% KO ratio! He’s a ferocious puncher and a formidable opponent, and the fight going to points is testament to his ability and should have come as no surprise, really. People are either thinking far too much of Golovkin or way too less of Jacobs; or a bit of both.

The preceding fight to that one was against Kell Brook in London last year. Brook was stopped in the fifth-round when his corner rightfully threw in the towel. Golovkin walked through the welterweight’s shots in order to land his own and finish the fight early. Although critics saw “GGG” forget his boxing skills and subsequently caught too many times by Brook.

I saw it as one fighter in a hurry to end the contest by trudging through shots that had no effect on him to walk the other down and force him into quitting. It worked.

Canelo has enjoyed a good run of form recently, riding on the back of seven straight wins against world-class opponents, picking up two world titles along the way – the WBC middleweight and WBO super-welterweight belts.

So, you must say that, going by recent form, “Canelo” has the edge over Golovkin, but that isn’t conclusive enough evidence to support his case when the level of opposition hasn’t been as great as his opponent’s.

We spoke to BetSafe’s Ian Balchin, Boxing odds compiler for the Betsson Group, ahead of the fight to get their views….

So far, as the betting suggests no one can pick a winner with punters backing both boxers in near enough equal amounts.

Mayweather vs McGregor was the hype fight of the year but this will be the boxing match of the year.

Three of the biggest fights this year have ended in the latter stages of the fight with Betsafe Ambassador Tony Bellew taking down David Haye in the 11th round, Anthony Joshua knocking out Klitschko in the 11th and Betsafe Ambassador Conor McGregor getting stopped in the 10th.

To keep up the trend of big fights finishing late Betsafe are offering 9/1 on GGG to win between rounds 10-12.

With some massive punching power going toe to toe this weekend Betsafe also have some tasty prices on each fighter to win on points with Saul Alvarez On Points @5/2 and GGG On Points @7/2.

Our current match prices are 1.67, 26.00, 2.35.

For all odds and markets on the boxing this weekend, please go to:


I mentioned before about the epic 1980’s middleweight mega-fight when “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler knocked out Thomas “Hitman” Hearns in the third round.

“The Motor City Cobra” had moved up from welterweight to face Hagler, who’s power and aggression blasted him away after eight-minutes of a frenzied, bloodied, beautiful boxing display.

Alvarez himself has moved up from welterweight, making his debut at 155lbs with a win over the Puerto Rican legend, Miguel Cotto in 2015.

Golovkin has spent his entire career at middleweight and the unified world champion has a perfect record that includes an incredible 33 knockouts, all against fully-fledged 160-pounders. This is his division and, despite Canelo being big for his weight and entering the ring well above 160lbs on fight nights, he has not taken punches from complete middleweights throughout his career like his forthcoming opponent has.


Again, this is where I would favour the Kazakh.

We have seen Canelo genuinely hurt in his fights before and out-boxed considerably.

Against Jose Miguel Cotto in his 2010 Las Vegas debut, he got caught flush by a left hook that travelled a long way to land on his chin, sending him reeling back to the ropes midway through the first round. The wide-eyed youngster looked so certain to get stopped, yet, somehow, managed to hold on with rubbery legs and make it through the rest of the opening round.

He is a different fighter now from when Mayweather taught him a boxing lesson back in 2013. Floyd schooled him and it was almost embarrassing to watch at times, even though I was willing the Mexican to win. He couldn’t get near him and when he did, he was masterfully outclassed.

He is now a completely different animal to that inexperienced 23-year-old that could only swipe the air around Mayweather’s head. Since that sole career defeat, he has bounced back stronger and continues to go from strength to strength.

Golovkin, on the other hand, has never been troubled in any fight during his entire career.

Against Jacobs, a formidable puncher, he took the time to nod his head in appreciation whenever his opponent landed strongly.

It was a close fight, there’s no denying that, but on the final bell sounding, Golovkin walked to his corner seemingly unfazed and unscathed by the epic event whereas Jacobs slumped down on the ropes in exhaustion.

He has taken the best of his 37 opponents’ shots and smiled through it all.

If Jacobs couldn’t get to him then I can’t see how the smaller, less powerful Mexican possibly can.


Known for his agility and his technical skills, Canelo’s boxing ability is top-notch. He is known for his flashy array of shots from all different angles, he punches in bunches and looks exciting when he does it.

What he does, he does fantastically well and he is a joy to watch.

Golovkin has an amateur career that is largely unrivalled with an astonishing record of 345-5 as well as a World Championships Gold and Olympic Silver medals at home.

Both fighters are world-class and potential hall-of-famers in the future. There’s no doubting that they are very equally matched on boxing ability. An argument over who has the better skills would never come to an end!


The strength undoubtedly lies with “GGG”.

He has the ability to knock out opponents cold with that freakish power of his. He can end a fight at any given moment, his punches break bones and he is a powerhouse of a middleweight, his 33 KO’s from 37 fights is proof of that.

Canelo also has carries power in his fists but not in the same devastating form as Golovkin has.

The man from Guadalajara has to work to break his opponent’s down and finish them with unrelenting pressure when they’re ready for the taking.

He doesn’t ice his opponents with one single power punch like “Triple G” does. Yes, I know he did against Amir Khan, admittedly, but he is a chinny light-welterweight, let’s be honest.

Canelo landed 228 punches on Chavez Jr in his last fight, who offered very little in return, even jeered by the crowd towards the end of the one-sided beat-down for his lack of action. Of those hundreds of punches that he landed freely, none really troubled his fellow countryman.


Golovkin has been a world champion since his 20th bout, almost seven-years ago now.

At 35, with a couple of under-par performances of late, you have got to question whether a decade of punching for pay has taken its toll on him, especially when you consider his aggressive style of fighting.

His incredible amateur career would also have added many inevitable miles on the clock. He reportedly began boxing aged eight, operating at the highest level from his teenage years into his 20’s.

At the tender age of 27, Alvarez has already fought 51 professional fights – 14 more than Golovkin – debuting at the age of just 15.

He has youth on his side and could use that to his advantage in this fight. If Canelo can use his pure boxing skills, shift his feet often, move well, then he has a fantastic chance of outboxing his man.

By the look of the footage being pumped out on social media regularly, he certainly has the conditioning to deliver an energetic 12-round performance.

Lastly, on this subject, I want to address the timing of this fight. Golovkin has been chasing Canelo for years, they have even gone head-to-head a few times before but fans were always left disappointed when the fight failed to materialise, as previously promised.

Canelo has even vacated titles in order to defer this fight, so why now? I have a sneaky suspicion that Canelo’s team have been patiently waiting for the right time to bring the curtain down on the Kazakh’s career, and they have seen something that suggests that time is now.

This fight has been available to Canelo for years but he waited until now to take it, after two somewhat uncharacteristic performances from his ageing rival. Coincidence?

You could argue that to make a fight truly great it has to be steadily built up over time, but the Mexican and his team may have strategically taken this fight at the right time with the right game-plan.


After all of that talking, analysing and to-ing and fro-ing, it has to conclude with a decision.

So, I believe that Golovkin, after initially being outboxed in some – not all – of the early rounds and frustrated by Canelo, will gradually close the gap, slow his opponent down and eventually manage to stop him in the later rounds.

I do think that Canelo could either match or beat Golovkin in many of the exchanges but the heavier punches coming back will ultimately take its toll on him.

I think that his conditioning and confidence will take Canelo far in this fight but only so far.

I’m picturing his lucky escape against Cotto that time and how he chose not to take a knee, not to hold and not to keep away, but to instead fight fire with fire despite his unsteady legs.

If I have to put a number on it then I would guess at the 10th-round.

For all odds and markets on the boxing this weekend, please go to:

Related Posts

This website is strictly for over 18’s. If you do have any concerns about gambling please contact GambleAware
© 2023 The Gambling Times. All rights reserved.