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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Canelo vs. GGG: A Boxing Retrospective

Every first Saturday in May, people with no real interest in horse racing flock to Churchill Downs to sip mint juleps and don silly hats. Most don't think another horse racing thought (as if they ever truly thought one) till the next May, at best. A scant few come back before then. Scanter few get bit by the bug and become hardcore fanatics. Boxing's most recent Derby was last month's May Mac exhibition-not-exhibition. Them newly minted Julepers whom returned -- them few them proud -- I guarantee came back for the Canelo vs GGG Supremacy card. To see what was coined alongside Supremacy as 'the real fight.' An impossible nom de ring to ignore for a newbie aficionado attempting to fake it till they make it. What did they see? Dunno. Here's what I saw:
After a rather prolonged feeling-out process of the opening two-into-three rounds, Golovkin cautiously stalked with a slightly more than pawing jab. Canelo circled on his toes looking quite lighter of foot than his normal flat-slowness. Canelo went to the body. GGG, upstairs. The only quickness shown by GGG was a short step back in rare-to-him reverse, in order to free his jab's distance. Canelo's speed in hands and countering reflexes impressed, planning and trapping so well. Neither pug was shook nor shock in this time-span. Or ever, truth be told and spoilers un-alerted.

Then, at the end of the third stanza, Canelo started landing power shots upper-cuts from underneath as Golovkin seemed predisposed to being the bent-over taller man. It struck me that GGG looked rather tight up till the Alvarez chin-checks. 

The fourth followed the third, as night follows day and on-ward the sweet science 'twas practiced and too, Gennady awoken'd. He began then to offer sharper then sharper, as the mid-rounds went on, jabs. He began using these jabs to back Canelo into the ropes. Repeatedly. Through the meat of the fight, in fact. From here to the ninth stanza, lettuce say, GGG imposed his will via controlling both tempo, distance twixt, and direction. Always forward. Always Canelo sharply countering off his back foot, finding his back against the ropes. For a moment around the 8th round, I tried to convince me that Canelo was prematurely relinquishing to Golovkin's advancing shift, thus neutralizing it. Getting a head-start on countering -- this only flew as far as my next thought -- Alvarez is winning in mid-ring. Losing on the ropes.

Then came a somewhat startling conclusion: Canelo, by nigh a decade the younger man, was being out-worked. He seemed to be able to possess only 20-30 seconds per stanza of the tempo needed to win. Then in the 9th, GGG ups the jab and lets fly a tick more leather, feeling an apparent tick less wary of counters coming at this point less sharply. Still some land. Still Canelo seems trapped too oft on the ropes. My championship round stoppage was looking good, gentlpersons!

In the 10th Canelo got going strong… then gets backed to the ropes again. jabjabjab (a later CompuSchmuck stat showed GGG to have landed more jabs and Canelo to have landed more power shots. But any punch that backs ya up is a power-shot, no?) Canelos hands looked maybe slowed again, he began missing some counters. Kap, I think to myself as the bell rings, yer a genius. Then came the 11th and my, an odd time for a lull. A whispered iteration of the fight as it had been since its third stanza. Read: golovkin still controlled action. Hither and thither, though, Canelo gets in shots and coulda well stole the round I picked for his canvass nap. Such is life. Can someone spot me a twenny till pay-day?
In answer to the final bell, Canelo came out as aggressor, in a rarity. GGG leaned into the most uppercuts ever, here. Doesn't seem to hurt tho. Just maybe it will on the cards? [insert ominous music here] Then, GGG backs Canelo up with a jabjabjab but Canelo circles out instead of back… where was that all along? The real fight. Supremacy. It ends swapping leather in mid-ring, as well it should.

It ends in a draw. A reasonable ending, though one never preferred outside a' soccer. Only one judge had it on the nose: 114-114. GGG was declared the 115-113 victor in another, and in the third: Canelo 118-110. Draws are OK and I feel remove the temptation for fans to scream "ROBBERY" whenst their man loses closely. A draw ends in neither owning nothing more than they arrived with; what then was pilfered? I actually think many more rounds should be called 10-10, which'd lead to more dra -- did I just type 118-110. Adelaide Byrd felt that GGG won only two of the 12 stanzas. Amazing.

Let's adjust and maintain, though. For we hath visitors from the May Mac Derby and shouldn't so hastily display our lunacy. A draw is reasonable and Byrd's vote for Canelo, aside from the absurd numbers, is not only excusable but acceptable. He countered well and powerfully-so almost throughout, after-all. He started and to a maybe lesser extent finished stronger. You gentlepersons can probably tell I thought Golovkin won, but I can't abide the likes of Steven A. Smith screaming a draw was a robbery whenst he scored the fight 115-113. So, a one-round flip is "B.S." as he tweeted? Seems perfectly reasonable from here.

Was the HBO and Golden Boy cash cow of Canelo rescued via crooked judging? Again: 118-110 means the same in the end as 115-113. On display there is Hanlon's Razor, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." But smart folks adjust and carry on and realize 'twas a heckuva fight.
Again and in closing, might I address those May Mac Derby fans directly? Thanks. As if I need yer permission at my own blog. Ignore the bitter biting via jaded fans who demand to see their man win or else cry foul. You saw a great fight, remember that. There'll be a rematch which Canelo shall win. Remember that. And remember, above all, to keep visiting this blog. Because being the calming voice in pugilism don't pay the bills easy, and don't garner much interest amongst typical boxing fans.

Howard Lederman SCORED IT 116-112 FOR GOLOVKIN and Teddy Atlas WOULD QUIT BUT HE'S PUT 40 YEARS IN. Oh, and I had it the same as Steven A. -- which leads me to believe a re-watch is in order.

IN ADDITION:
You can and perchance SHOULD listen to the latest Kaplowitz Radio installment "Peeing in the Fridge," wherest I talked more review of this big bout: