Light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford is siding with middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) to knockout Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) in their big fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Crawford says Golovkin will wear down Canelo and stop him in the later rounds after catching him with a big shot while he’s trying to counter. Crawford sees GGG as being the stronger puncher of the two, and the more dangerous guy with the short, crisp punches he likes to throw. Crawford feels that Golovkin’s powerful jab is better than Canelo’s jab.
Crawford does think Canelo can win the fight if he can cut Golovkin early, and if the fight goes to the cards. Crawford doesn’t have faith that Golovkin can win a decision over Canelo in Vegas. So in other words, if the fight goes to the scorecards, Canelo wins the fight even if he appeared to have lost it. The judges won’t give it to Golovkin.
“I think Triple G wins it,” said Crawford to ESPN’s First Take. “Being the stronger puncher, his jab is more crisp. He’s just going to punch in the middle of Canelo’s combinations. I think Canelo is going to try and counter him and box him. But if Canelo can cut him up, he can beat him,” said Crawford.
Crawford is correct about Golovkin being the stronger puncher than Canelo. There’s no mistake about that. Canelo seems to fall in love with his counter punching in his fights, and he tends to get hit back after he counters. Getting hit back by a light puncher like Amir Khan or a weight drained fighter like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is one thing, but if it’s Golovkin that is doing the punching, it could be disastrous for Canelo. He can only take so many of those big shots before he winds up suffering the same fate as past Golovkin opponents that have been knocked out by him.
Canelo has a lot of talent, but his chin is probably no better than a lot of the guys that Golovkin has stopped in the past. Canelo hasn’t faced punchers during his career. The punchers that Canelo has faced, James Kirkland, Angulo, Chavez Jr., Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto, were older and in some cases not in the best of shape. Canelo has a lot of boxing ability, but it’s going to be a problem for him to box for a full 12 rounds without getting caught by Triple G with a big body shot or head shot and knocked out.
”A lot of people don’t give Triple G credit where credit is due,” said Crawford. ”He cuts off the ring well. He traps his opponents well. He goes to the head and to the body, and he uses his jab, and he uses distance. So that’s going to play a big factor in the fight. Canelo uses his jab too, but at times he tends to slow down in the later rounds. He tends to get hit with a couple of shots, and so does Triple G. We’re going to see who has the best chin in this fight,” said Crawford.
Canelo didn’t slow down in his last fight against Chavez Jr., but that’s because it wasn’t a fight. It was a mismatch. Canelo gets tired even in the early rounds of his fights when he’s forced to brawl. If his opponent boxes him at a slow pace like Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, and Floyd Mayweather Jr., then he does better because he can get lots of rest breaks. But it’s a different story if he’s forced to fight fast and hard for a long duration fight, which is Golovkin will be doing to Canelo on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Nevada.
“I think he’s going to wear him down,” said Crawford to Thaboxingvoice about Golovkin wearing Canelo down. “Triple G is going to throw short shots, crisp from the shoulders. Both of them are big dangerous punchers, but I just think Triple G is the bigger puncher in this fight, and Canelo is moving up in weight. I think he’ll stop him late,” said Crawford in predicting a knockout win for Golovkin.
Golovkin knows how to beat Canelo. He knows from watching Canelo’s fights that he’s always had stamina issues, even when he was fighting at 147. Canelo throws fast shots, and then he must rest for him to recuperate to come back for another burst of punches. Canelo does do well if he can just throw single shots against a fighter that is letting him have his way in the ring, but Golovkin isn’t going to do that on Saturday. He’s going to make sure Canelo is ready to brawl whether he likes it or not. It’s going to come down to whether Canelo can take that kind of pace that Golovkin will be setting in the fight.
Canelo is younger at 27 compared to Golovkin’s 35, so he should be the stronger guy and capable of fighting harder than GGG. Unfortunately, that’s not how boxing goes. A fighter can be younger than an older opponent, and still with worse stamina. Canelo isn’t built for the way that Golovkin fights. Canelo never has been built for that kind of fighting. He needs a slower pace and/or he needs an opponent that will crumble quickly and get knocked out like James Kirkland or Amir Khan.
Canelo never had to get his stamina tested in those fight because he knocked them out so quickly. The match-making hasn’t been good enough for Canelo to see his stamina tested since his close/controversial win over Erislandy Lara in 2014. Golovkin is going to be a big shock for Canelo if he can’t figure out a way to stop him early on or get him to turn the fight into a boxing match like he did against Danny Jacobs and David Lemieux. That’s the type of fight that would play into Canelo’s hands. A tactical battle works for Canelo and hurts Golovkin. He’s not made to win fights like that against a guy with Canelo’s popularity.
”If it goes to the cards, Canelo wins,” said Crawford. “Of course,” said Crawford when asked if Las Vegas will favor Canelo. “I think he’ll outpoint Triple G if it goes to the scorecards.”
Crawford says it all when he points out that Canelo wins if the fight goes to the scorecards. That means Crawford wins based on popularity rather than through a fair athletic contest that is being judged based on who the better fighter is. But this is what a lot of boxing fans have been saying since the Canelo-Golovkin fight got signed. It’s thought that Canelo wins the fight if it goes to the cards, because he means so much to boxing due to his popularity.
It’s good that Golovkin and his trainer Abel Sanchez have been aware of the potential for robbery, because they’ve had plenty of time to prepare for the right fight to get a knockout. Golovkin has only one job to do on Saturday night, and that’s to knock Canelo out. Canelo will need to decide whether he wants to try and go for the knockout or play it safe and look to win by a decision by boxing and keeping Golovkin from landing his big shots.
Boxing News 24 prediction: Golovkin by 5th round knockout over Canelo.