Monday, September 19, 2022

How the Mayweather Match Helped Canelo Win the Golovkin Trilogy

How the Mayweather Match Helped Canelo Win the Golovkin Trilogy

"All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven." - Ecclesiastes 3:1 (DRB). I don't always quote The Good Book but when I do it's mainly when I talk boxing. Seems a nice fit.

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin first faced off in 2017. The fight ended in a split-decision draw. Lots of folks thought G won and were greatly upset at that perceived injustice. I just a couple days ago re-watched the bout (and the second bout that we'll get to in a bit) for the sole purpose of scoring. I don't like scoring bouts. I scored the bout 114-114 with a handful of swing rounds. Canelo didn't help his in-ring cause by tactically letting GGG walk him to the ropes. It bears mentioning the fight should have perhaps happened maybe a couple years earlier.

GGG landed more punches, many of which were jabs, and Canelo landed some good power shot counters from against the ropes, enough to keep Golovkin from opening-up and attempting more damaging blows off of said jabs. Interestingly, Alvarez fought, or tried to, a bit like Floyd Mayweather. 'Money' Mayweather, in 2013, agreed to fight Canelo at the most suitable for his own success time in their careers. Canelo had yet to hit his apex. This taught the Mexican the importance of the biblical quote above within the confines of pugilism.

He was taken to school that night. It wasn't his season yet. In turn, he did quite a similar thing within his vaulted Golovkin trilogy which wrapped last night as I write this. A final lop-sided victory over a 40-year-old yet still game and all-time bearded Golovkin, whom he made to wait and hence, age out of season.

The second fight occurred in 2018. I scored it 114-114 as well. It was even more of a draw than the first if there could be such a thing. A seemingly more svelte Canelo stood center ring. Golovkin showed nearly remarkable lateral movement. Another thing Canelo learned from Floyd Mayweather is a thing akin to a catcher 'framing a pitch.' You know, when he drags the ball over the plate if he didn't exactly catch it there. Sometimes you get that strike. That's a thing Canelo does, he narrates his efforts in the match to the ringside judges by framing pitches.

More generally, he works simply, cleanly, and quite visibly. Almost like a heel in wrestling calling his shots to a hissing audience, then telling them what he did. Also, Alvarez fights for officials, not fans.

In other words, if you're a judge looking for reasons to tally a 10 for Alvarez, he'll help you find them, even if he has to fudge it. And it does seem like many judges have looked at his matches with that in mind. I do not know why but the evidence of it is famously there. Perhaps he trained them to do so. Another and final thing Canelo learned in his Money showdown was just that--when CJ Ross scored the fight a draw. So Mayweather wasn't his only teacher on that formative evening. I suppose I should also mention here Adelaide Byrd's horrible Alvarez by 118-110 card for the first trilogy.

Then there was last night. Four years after the second bout. Time is undefeated. Just ask either my frozen shoulder or my hairline, but please don't bother both, neither are extroverts. As I said, GGG was game and heroically-so. But slow and hesitant and the fight seemed over after the first three-minutes. It was a Rocky Balboa sort of Herculean trial, Golovkin went the distance. Canelo could not stop him and in the end, the two embraced after many a bitter word in the match's build-up and over the years. Big matches often end in that manner, perhaps it has something to do with big matches having big purses.

Less evident is that Canelo is nearing, quite rapidly, the point at which GGG currently stands. Even in the eyes of two judges who scored it ridiculously close at 115-113, still all for Alvarez. Those judges, and the world, had their eyes on Golovkin, whose time is up. Sneakily, that might mean that the clock is ticking, and loudly-so on Canelo's season under heaven.

::: very :::