Monster hitting Gennady Golovkin enters as a marginal favourite when he puts his WBA Super, IBF and WBC middleweight gongs up for tender against Mexican terror Saul ‘Canelo’ Alverez in the BoxNation screened shootout on September 16th.
But the ace faces of British boxing begged to differ with the bookies when Glynn Evans canvassed the trade ahead of what is surely the Fight of the Year.
Anthony Yarde (Unbeaten Light-Heavyweight Prospect)
‘Canelo’ wins a very tough fight and I think there’ll be a knockout.
Alvarez has fought the bigger names on the bigger stages and he’s also got youth on his side. I also think he has the better boxing IQ. Golovkin’s two biggest stages were his last two fights and he didn’t produce in either.
Anthony Farnell (Manchester trainer)
This can only be a great fight and I believe Golovkin stops him. I love ‘Canelo’ but Golovkin hits too hard and is too good.
If ‘GGG’ leaves his chin out like he did against Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs, he’ll come a cropper. But when he fought David Lemieux and his back was against the wall, his jab was great, his defence was superb and he just didn’t get caught. I think he’ll be similarly switched on against ‘Canelo’.
People forget Golovkin was a brilliant amateur. He’s got loads of attributes other than just power. It’s a tough challenge but I think he’ll make it look a lot easier than people expect it to be.
Dom Ingle (Sheffield trainer)
I’m going to say ‘Canelo’ will pip ‘Triple G’ at the post. He’s younger, fresher, has less mileage. His last few fights haven’t been as hard as Golovkin’s. And he’s not a small middleweight. Alvarez struggles with the weight. He’s naturally a good bit bigger than Kell (Brook) and Golovkin couldn’t drop Kell. I think he’ll stand with Golovkin and have a scrap. Alvarez can take it as well as give it.
Also, in his last two fights, Golovkin has shown vulnerabilities we previously hadn’t seen. If anyone is to trip him up it’s Alvarez. I’ll go with the Mexican on points, possibly a split decision.
Dereck ‘Del’ Chisora (Ex World Heavyweight Challenger)
It’ll be a good fight, for sure, and I’m going to go with Alvarez, the man with the better skills, by stoppage. A pure puncher generally struggles against a quality boxer.
Enzo Maccarinelli (Ex WBO Cruiserweight Champion)
I expect an exceptional fight and I tentatively go with ‘Canelo’. He’s such an accurate counter puncher and I think he’s picked the right time to take this fight which has been mooted for a while. Oscar De La Hoya rarely makes mistakes.
In his last two fights, Golovkin has lost a bit of that aura of invincibility he had. It’s possible he underestimated Danny Jacobs but he struggled with Jacobs’ movement. Previously, he looked brilliant controlling David Lemieux but Lemieux is nowhere near as good as Alvarez.
Craig Evans (World Rated Lightweight)
I go with ‘Canelo’ to pick him off and win on points. Golovkin walks forward and takes too many while Alvarez delivers his shots very well. I don’t think Golovkin is over the hill but he got exposed a bit in his last two fights. It’ll be a good fight, obviously.
Daniel Dubois (Undefeated Heavyweight Prospect)
I’m expecting a very good fight while it lasts but I think ‘Triple G’ carries the power to go through ‘Canelo’ and stop him around the ninth or tenth. He’s coming off a couple of bad nights at the office but I expect him to rise to the occasion, here.
Derry Mathews (Ex WBA ‘Interim’ Lightweight Champion)
I go with Golovkin in about eight rounds. He’s not shown his best for a while but he’ll get up for this and, if he’s anything left he’ll win. Alvarez is brilliant at opening opponents up but I don’t think he possesses enough power to hurt Golovkin and I expect he’ll get beaten at his own game.
Adam Booth (London trainer-manager)
It’ll 100% be a great fight and my pound is with ‘Canelo’ on points.
Golovkin has an edge in brute power and if ‘Canelo’ tries to stay long, he’ll get marched down. But I think ‘Canelo’ is too bullish to let that happen. Alvarez is the more accomplished all round and the more skilled up close. He’s not easy to catch on the inside. It’s ‘Canelo’s’ defensive ability that will be the key to him winning this fight.
Gary Lockett (Cardiff trainer)
I’m expecting ‘Canelo’ to outmanoeuvre Golovkin. It’s a young man’s sport and Golovkin’s not getting any younger. Alvarez appears to be improving with every fight whereas a lot thought Golovkin lost to Danny Jacobs, a fighter who managed to keep him on the outside.
We’ve not really seen Golovkin’s chin tested. Curtis Stevens is a banger but never really hit Gennady clean. Alvarez throws great combos but also punches with enough power to hurt ‘Triple G’.
Terry Flanagan (WBO Lightweight Champion)
Tough one. It’ll be very exciting to watch. I’ll go with ‘Canelo’ on points in a very close fight. I’ve never seen either of them really hurt so I doubt there’ll be a knockout.
Golovkin’s got a good jab and underrated boxing ability. He’s not just a powerhouse. But ‘Canelo’ has improved massively since his loss to Floyd Mayweather and I expect him to really target Golovkin’s body. I see the judges giving all the close rounds to ‘Canelo’, whether he deserves them or not!
Martin Bowers (London Trainer)
It’ll be a cracking fight and it’s very hard to call. Their styles are made for each other.
I think youth is going to take over and ‘Canelo’ will prevail, probably on points. I think he’s getting Golovkin at just the right time.
I like the way Golovkin conducts himself and he brings the edge in experience and power but against Danny Jacobs, he seemed on the turn, battle worn. He’s already made his mark, made his money.
‘Canelo’ can be reckless but you’ve gotta love his aggressive style and his attitude. I love his short work and he always sells a fight well. To win, he has to push Golovkin onto the back foot, kill his space, smother his work. He’s capable of that. He covers up good and keeps his hands high.
Liam Smith (Ex WBO Super-Welterweight Champion)
I think this is going to be an unbelievable fight for the fans. Both are real class acts. I edge to ‘Canelo’ on points. I think he’s now big enough to handle Golovkin’s power and is superior to ‘Triple G’ in most of the other departments.
Liam Williams (British Super-Welterweight Champion)
It’s a ‘pick ‘em’ fight but I go ‘Canelo’, probably on points. He’s the more skilful. I like his ringcraft, shot selection, upper body movement.
I expect them both to be wary over the first four to six rounds but eventually it’ll open up into a corker. Golovkin hasn’t looked too great in his last two. He could shine again but I sense he’s just gone over the top.
Alan Smith (London Trainer)
Easy one. I think ‘GGG’ will be far too good for ‘Canelo’. Alvarez couldn’t stop Matthew Hatton and took a long time to break Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, a fighter who ‘Triple G’ would’ve destroyed.
You’ve got two kids who come forward so it’ll be a great fight for the fans. I don’t think Golovkin is over the top as some are saying. You can’t look great in every fight and Alvarez has been around just as long and has had far more fights.
‘Canelo’ has got impressive hand speed and ‘Triple G’ isn’t hard to hit but he has an incredible chin. Golovkin wins because he’s the tougher man, probably on points.
Bradley Skeete (World Ranked Welterweight)
‘Triple G’ for me. On current form, most seem to be going for ‘Canelo’ and he’s certainly matured a lot since Mayweather schooled him. But Golovkin has the better power and better boxing brain.
It’ll probably be cagey to start but once it heats up it’ll become proper lively. Golovkin’s current form ain’t good – he was poor against Danny Jacobs – so he’s due a good one. I see him overpowering Alvarez and stopping him late.
Jack Catterall (World Ranked Super-Lightweight)
These are two greats whose styles should gel nicely. Both get stuck in and go to war so hopefully there’ll be fireworks.
Golovkin has very heavy hands but I fancy ‘Canelo’. I think he’ll be far more comfortable up at middleweight. He’s improved big time since he lost to Mayweather. He’s got a good boxing brain, clever angles and footwork, plus his defence is good.
Tommy Langford (British Middleweight Champion)
Mate, I keep chopping and changing! It’s gonna be a helluva fight between two class acts. They’re definitely gonna meet!
Twelve months ago, I was 100% on Golovkin but recently he’s shown a little bit of age and started to neglect his good boxing. He just walked after Danny Jacobs and his defence was really poor against Kell Brook. If he defends like that against Alvarez, he’ll get broken up and potentially stopped. Then again, if the Golovkin that slaughtered David Lemieux turns up ....
I’m gonna go with ‘Canelo’, based on the age of Golovkin and his last two performances. He’ll not get away with that level against Alvarez. It’s only a 51-49 pick, mind.
Tunde Ajayi (London Trainer)
‘Canelo’ wins, a million per cent!
He’s younger, fresher, the man on the up, has the better boxing IQ.... People criticise him for being flat footed but I don’t see that. You can’t transfer the weight from your legs to your fists if you’re bouncing around but I think Alvarez’s footwork is good.
No way would Oscar De La Hoya risk his cash cow unless he was very certain. Golovkin’s on the way down and ‘Canelo’ might even stop him in the final third.
Josh Leather (Undefeated Light-Welterweight Prospect)
I can’t wait for it. They’re both really powerful and both have great chins so I think it’ll go the distance. They’ll go toe to toe for 12 rounds and batter each other with body shots.
It’s a hard one to pick. Alvarez is much younger and more frisky but I go for ‘Triple G’ based on the strength and power he’s got. He drains every opponent down with his pressure.
Jamie Conlan (World Rated Super-Flyweight)
This has to be the best fight in boxing at the minute. For me, ‘Canelo’ wins. I always rated Golovkin as the best fighter in the world but he’s now taking too many, just to prove he’s a hard man. Danny Jacobs showed the problems Golovkin has with his feet and Alvarez hits far harder than Danny Jacobs does.
‘Canelo’ has the ability to control the distance and keep the fight at range. Stop him? Not a chance! Golovkin eats punches for fun!
Joe Gallagher (Manchester trainer)
I change my mind every couple of days but I go with ‘Canelo’. I think he’s been in with, and beaten, the better class of opposition; guys like (Erislandy) Lara and Austin Trout. Even the loss to Mayweather was a great education for him and that was before he matured into a man.
By contrast, Golovkin hasn’t had good dance partners. He’s not really been in with any of the top guys. Lemieux and Danny Jacobs are about the best he’s fought.
‘Triple G’ brings the better amateur pedigree. It’s possible he beats ‘Canelo’ with his feet and he’ll be keen to deliver ‘big drama show’. Anyone he hits clean around the temple, he’ll put on Queer St. Perhaps Danny Jacobs has knocked some of the complacency out of him.
But, for me, ‘Canelo’ is better at mid range, better at long range and hits frighteningly hard to the body. Alvarez on points. There’s no way Golovkin wins a decision against a Golden Boy fighter in Vegas.
Lyon Woodstock (Undefeated Super-Featherweight Prospect)
I have no idea. I can’t decide. ‘Canelo’ could box his head off or, conversely, Golovkin could knock Alvarez out at any time.
I want ‘Canelo’ so I’ll go with him. I like how he is as a person and he’s definitely the better technician. Golovkin is a bit one dimensional, doesn’t have as much in his arsenal. You can’t imagine him on his toes. Danny Jacobs exposed some weaknesses.
Alvarez has got great head movement, good feet and he’s patient. He waits for his shots, chooses the right steps.
Peter Fury (Manchester Trainer)
I see a 12 round fight and if Golovkin boxes, he wins. If he goes for a kayo, he risks walking onto shots and Alvarez hits hard enough to knock him out. Golovkin’s not invincible, he’s only a man.
I favour Golovkin to dominate because he’s the naturally bigger man but if he decides to have a tear-up, it’ll be ‘Canelo’s’ night.
Barry Jones (BoxNation analyst)
It’s a genuine 50-50. Much has been made of the Kazakh’s subpar performance last time but Alvarez has a very different style to Danny Jacobs. He should suit ‘Triple G’ better.
‘Canelo’ has great judgement of distance and excellent timing but I think he’ll need to be more fleet footed here because Golovkin will land anywhere and hurt you. Though Canelo’ is the more versatile and can adapt quicker, Golovkin never really needs to adapt.
Tactically, you’d say Alvarez needs to hold his feet and back Golovkin up but when fighters hold their feet against ‘Triple G’ they usually end up on the floor!
Alvarez is a warrior but he might start to feel sorry for himself when he realises he can’t budge Golovkin, just as he felt sorry for himself when Floyd Mayweather repeatedly made him miss.
I edge marginally to Golovkin because of his power but both are real fighters so the sport doesn’t lose whichever way it pans out.
Paddy Barnes (ex double Olympic Light-Flyweight Medallist)
I go Golovkin. He’s extremely tough and technically much better. I love his Eastern European style. He carries serious kayo power and has a granite chin.
I like Alvarez. He’s fast and the way he puts his punches together is very exciting plus he’s Mexican....and he’s ginger!
But whereas Kell Brook and Danny Jacobs fight in a certain elusive way, ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will try to match fire with fire and that will be his downfall. He’s very good but I think Golovkin is on a different level and will stop him.
Josh Warrington (World Rated Featherweight)
‘Canelo’. He’s the better boxer and has the better boxing brain. He’s younger, fresher, more intelligent. ‘Canelo’ will need to box smart; go back foot and try to draw ‘Triple G’ in. It’ll be entertaining because there’ll be times when he has to meet Golovkin head on.
‘Triple G’ is the bigger puncher and can be quite subtle but likes to ship punishment. I’d not say a stoppage is out of the question. Both know how to finish.
Joe Pigford (Undefeated Super-Welterweight Prospect)
It’s a really close fight. Both are very exciting. If anyone can beat Golovkin it’s ‘Canelo’. He’s come on loads of late and beaten top people. He’s got very good skills.
Obviously Golovkin carries a knockout punch but his boxing ability is very underrated. He’s been at the top for a long time now and didn’t look great last time so I go ‘Canelo’ on points.
Liam Walsh (British Super-Featherweight Champion)
I’m really looking forward to this. Alvarez is one of my favourite fighters. He can do everything. But I think Golovkin has got the edge.
I don’t expect an all out brawl, like most are predicting. Golovkin has a great jab is a great judge of distance. He was unbelievable against David Lemieux. I expect him to be more cautious than he’s been in his last two fights and break Alvarez up with his jab.
Gary Corcoran (British Welterweight Contender)
Golovkin will be too powerful. He wasn’t really up for his last two fights but he’ll be up for this.
I fear Alvarez might be a bit too small. So far, he’s shown a very good chin but who’s he been hit by? Certainly, no one like Golovkin. ‘Triple G’ wins a very good fight, probably on points.