Video: HBO Boxing
AS Gennady Golovkin entered the ring to help announce his long-awaited showdown with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, after the latter dispatched Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in May, there was a huge sense of relief and satisfaction within the boxing world.
It was finally done and dusted. The two most powerful warriors at middleweight are ultimately set to collide, with ‘GGG’ having remained patient in his pursuit of such a desired mega-fight, while Canelo’s advisors had allowed enough time for it to marinate and come to fruition.
Once the dust had settled in the T-Mobile Arena ring following Floyd Mayweather’s expectedly comfortable stoppage victory over Conor McGregor in recent weeks, focus immediately turned to the year’s middleweight blockbuster at the same prestigious venue.
After a match-up that was widely regarded as nothing more than a cash-grab, one that ended in a 10th-round TKO success for a now 50-0 ‘Money’ Mayweather, the Las Vegas arena now prepares to host a properly matched battle between two of the world’s best boxers.
Unified 160lbs kingpin Golovkin has long been in search of the mega-fight he has impressively earned with his rampant run through the division which he has dominated since winning his first world title in 2010.
The Kazakhstan knockout artist will finally collide with Mexican superstar and Golden Boy Promotions’ leading light Canelo on September 16th, in a clash which will showcase two intriguingly contrasting, yet similarly aggressive, styles.
For those let down and left desiring much more for their money from the recent mismatch keeping eyes cast towards Las Vegas is a wise move. Meanwhile, for those who were drawn in by the outlandish intrigue of such a pairing but found enjoyment from the captivating one-off event, stick around as boxing has much more to offer in Sin City.
In the same squared-circle that ‘Money’ Mayweather dismantled an outmatched but gallant McGregor, Canelo and ‘GGG’ look likely of producing an epic encounter.
Ironically, all those extra eyes that tuned in for the recent Vegas sideshow may stick around for this upcoming battle for middleweight and potentially pound-for-pound supremacy, which is only good for the sport.
Following on from an enthralling ‘Superfly’ card in California, on which Golovkin’s friend Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez was stunningly knocked out by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in four rounds, another dramatic night lies ahead for fans worldwide.
Previously, an unnerving aura of invincibility surrounded fearsome Kazakh puncher ‘GGG’. That was until an evasive yet game Daniel Jacobs forced him to hear the final bell after 12 rounds for the first time in his destructive career so far.
Earlier encounters have seen the undefeated former Olympic silver medallist deal with his foes in typically brutal fashion, most notably when dispatching David Lemieux in October 2015.
The seventh round, one before Golovkin ultimately finished his merciless beating, highlighted the rawest form of pugilism possible. Entertaining referee Steve Willis called a break to proceedings in order for the ringside doctor to examine Lemieux’s badly bloodied and bruised nose, before allowing the overwhelmed fighter to carry on.
A respectful touch of gloves followed between both men at the centre of battle; a gesture to show that the Canadian was ready to continue taking his beating. Golovkin happily obliged and maintained his vicious pounding before an eventual eighth-round TKO success.
The truth of the matter is, men get hurt when Golovkin hits them, and that’s why thousands of bloodthirsty fans cram to the rafters to watch the Kazakh bulldozer, while many more tune in for a taste of the brutal action in their own homes. Even shots caught on the gloves of opponents shake them up and cause substantial damage. Lemieux, again, is an example, as he was sent staggering on numerous occasions after catching Golovkin’s thudding hooks on his high guard.
That could potentially be a worry for the Mexican fans in support of their latest prodigal son Canelo, who has showed during his recent ascent he is fond of such a defensive trait before unleashing counters of his own.
Another possible problem along the way on September 16 could be the red-headed fighter lying on the ropes, either for a temporary breather during the action or to draw an opponent in for a swift retaliation. Although, while Canelo has yet to face as severe a puncher as Golovkin in his career so far, the Kazakh bruiser is also without an opponent as technically astute as his imminent foe on his own record.
It’s the Mexican who will enter as the underdog for this high-risk, grand-reward clash with his long-mooted rival, who boldly declared “there are no survivors in my fights” in the build-up, but he possesses all the attributes capable of taming such a formidable foe.
Golovkin may be the bigger, stronger fighter, but Canelo is perhaps the more accurate and sharper of the two, while his defensive capabilities are much more impressive. If he can withstand the relentless pressure of ‘the most feared man in boxing’, then the Mexican is in with a shot of prevailing in his finest hour.
With so much at stake in undoubtedly boxing’s biggest match-up, the winner of this long-awaited throwback battle at the modern day coliseum of the T-Mobile Arena will be able to declare that they came, they saw and they conquered when the sun rises over Las Vegas come Sunday morning.