Photo Credit- Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions
It’s not often that a rematch outdoes the original, but on Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the 2018 version of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (50-1-2 34 KO) v. Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1 34 KO) was far superior than its 2017 counterpart.
Arguably, you could credit Canelo’s sustained aggressiveness being the difference in 2018. In 2017, Alvarez fought well in many rounds but only for a small portion of the round, he did win some rounds in 2017 but the majority were clearly controlled by Golovkin. Standing-8 scored the 2017 fight 115-113 Golovkin.
Alvarez vowed to move forward and be more aggressive in the rematch promising a knockout, he accomplished all but the latter.
Alvarez moved forward from the opening bell and took the fight to Golovkin. Alvarez used some of the best head movement of his career in slipping many of Golovkin’s punches throughout the fight and his ring generalship and footwork were solid.
Although Golovkin’s jab was strong, Alvarez did something that had not been seen in a Golovkin fight with consistency, he backed up the former champion repeatedly onto his backfoot.
Alvarez also attacked the body early and often which visibly affected Golovkin and took a bit a steam out of his punches at times. Both fighters landed power shots throughout the fight and showed equally impenetrable beards. Both fighters were cut, Golovkin a slight cut over the right eye with an abrasion below it, no doubt a product of his adversary’s left hook, and the much more prominent laceration over the new champions left eye, a product of the Golovkin right.
Just when it seemed that Canelo was controlling Golovkin and beginning to brek him down, the former champion rallied late and controlled most of the final third of the fight, visibly stunning the new champion in the tenth.
Although Golovkin had the higher output, it was Canelo’s power and accuracy that most likely won him the swing rounds on the judges score cards.
Standing-8 scored Rounds 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 for Canelo and Rounds 1, 4, 8, 10, 11, and 12 for Golovkin. Standing-8 final card, a draw, 6 rounds to 6, 114-114.
The official scorecards-
This epic battle between two top pound for pound fighters was fought at the highest of levels. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find one clinch in the fight, there simply was not one, or at least one that I remember. You never saw the referee, he wasn’t needed. Prizefighting at its best, the sweet science on full display.
Said Canelo after the fight, “I’m very excited Viva Mexico” a fitting comment on Mexican Independence Day.
“I looked for a knockout, but he’s a great fighter….He was connecting punches but they were few and far between…If the people want another fight, we’ll do it again”.
Golovkin left the ring and did not provide a post fight interview prior to the end of the telecast.