No matter where you sat on the fight, it was almost impossible not to get sucked into the hype of the Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor bout. Was McGregor a legitimate contender, or would Mayweather school the Irishman like he had done to so many others before?
Despite an early flurry the answer would soon become painstakingly obvious. Mayweather’s superior boxing skills came to the fore, and he prodded and poked McGregor around the ring before securing a late stoppage.
The two combatants made plenty of money from the contest, and in an occasionally barbaric sport where the object is hit or be hit, that is fair enough. But what did boxing gain from the fight? Nothing, except the sense that a lack of modern day stars is affecting the box office, and so hype bouts like Mayweather vs McGregor have to be created.
And that’s said, because Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will go toe to toe in the early hours of Sunday morning – and the fight has barely raised an eyebrow outside of the hardcore boxing fraternity.
These are two of the pound-for-pound best on the planet, and their matching style – both have sledgehammer-like punch power and seemingly granite chins – mean it could well be a fight for the ages.
Forget Mayweather’s sparring session with McGregor….if any fight deserves to sell out a 20,000 seater arena and make tens of millions of dollars in PPV revenue, it’s this one.
GGG’s Unbeaten Record on the Line
When pundits look at Golovkin’s boxing CV, many point to a lack of star names as some kind of stain on his record.
But the simple fact is that many fighters have simply avoided fighting the Ukrainian; they don’t want a part of the mental and physical disintegration that ‘Triple G’ routinely delivers.
Golovkin broke the spirit and bones of Kell Brook, and he has looked a shadow of his former self ever since. The brave Daniel Jacobs took him 12 rounds, but was ever really close to causing an upset. GGG put his opponent on the mat in the fourth, but could not sustain his 23-fight knockout success rate and ended up taking the contest comfortably on points.
So how good is Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin? The truthful answer is we don’t actually know, although we suspect he is rather darn good.
Saul Man Ready for Return to the Big Time
In stark contrast to GGG, Saul Alvarez has been in with some of the very best in the business – and more often than not come out on top.
His sole defeat on a 51-fight record came against Floyd Mayweather, and even that was on a split decision with Canelo taking one of the judges’ cards. Since then he’s despatched James Kirkland, the old warrior Miguel Cotto and two of Britain’s finest in Amir Khan and Liam Smith.
In his last outing Canelo outpointed Julio Cesar Chavez, a wily veteran who simply refused to let the Mexican settle. GGG is far less slippery, and that’s why many fancy that Canelo has a strong chance of ending the Ukrainian’s unbeaten run.
There’s plenty of gold on the line here, but in truth this is a fight that’s about earning respect and maintaining a legacy. If Golovkin wins, he goes down as one of boxing’s all-time greats, no doubt about it. The history books will remember him as defeating all dared to take him on – and that list is fairly thin on the ground.
For Canelo, this is the perfect chance to be crowned the ultimate middleweight on the planet. He has done things the hard way in his career, and now is the time for the Mexican to cash in.
This fight is all about Golovkin. If he can get his jab away and continually land, he may just slow down Canelo to a pace that’s to his liking.
But Alvarez is a slippery character, and if this turns into a technical boxing match – rather than a slugfest – he will very quickly make a mockery of his 7/5 odds with the bookmakers. As outsiders go, he is one of the very best value bets you’ll see.