Canelo vs Golovkin: Et tu, Canelo?Written by Marc Livitz
Saturday evening's grand finale of Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas truly delivered.
In short, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's sixth round resounding, debilitating knockout of Amir Khan finalized the backdrop to the showdown for which the boxing world is now officially awaiting. Once for hopefully for all, how grand is the feeling that the next titanic matchup in the sport doesn't involve either fighter whose likeness and every move dominated the last decade?
A reported 16,540 fans packed the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas to witness the curtain raiser in terms of a boxing event for the shiny new venue. 92% capacity certainly means that fans are willing to pay through the roof to see Canelo fight, wherever he ventures.
The win over Khan is now tossed in the bag alongside victories over Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara and Alfredo Angulo. The redheaded anomaly from Guadalajara has bounced back in the most convincing way since he was thoroughly bugged and bewildered against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. a few years ago. The loss wasn't really his fault, as he was in no way ready for the challenge. The bout, promotion and surrounding hype were all about the money and man alive, did they ever rake it in.
So, we can only hope that from here and moving outward that Canelo's team of advisers care less about maintaining the sanctity of their product and more about matching the best against the best.
Does a contest against Gennady "GGG" Golovkin need time to "marinate"?
Think about it just for a moment. More than thirty years ago, the handlers of greats such as Hagler, Hearns and Leonard put boxing fans through the grater and made them lie in wait. Their then hypothetical dates in the ring were the talk of the water cooler. Well, it's 2016 now. Who needs a water cooler in the age of social media? Who's able to simply watch a fight anymore, anyway? What's happened to just "being" there?
It's all about tweeting, posting and the like, just as no one sits in their living room and listens to the entirety of a new album of music anymore. We want it and we want it now, so give us what we want. Golovkin entered the ring after the Alvarez victory and openly challenged him, a slap of the glove to the face to which Canelo proudly professed that he doesn't "(expletive) around". Well, neither does Golovkin, unless he's the one doing the (expletive)-ing.
Of course, there are those who are already convinced that Golovkin (35-0, 32 KO's) will flatten Canelo (47-1-1, 33 KO's) whenever and wherever they meet.
Not so fast, as examination of the respective ring transcripts between the two points to an edge for Alvarez in terms of overall competition.
Such a high knockout ge for Gennady doesn't necessarily mean that he's going to steamroll past his Mexcian superstar opponent. After all, has he faced a power puncher like Alvarez? Has the Kazakhstani slugger faced an adversary who doesn't look shellshocked and frightened after he's been hit a few times?
The upside for Canelo is that he won't have to drain himself to meet a catchweight, as was evident in his frame which almost resembled a light heavyweight on Saturday night. The next big one is coming, of this we can be sure. The diehard, ardent fight fans of Mexico won't accept Canelo facing anyone other than the Eastern European juggernaut whom they've somewhat adopted as their own.
This can truly be a fight for the people, so perhaps a locale where the least expensive ticket goes for $150 isn't the best bet. This can be a throwback of sorts if someone like Jerry Jones, for example decided to pony up the monstrous site fee to hold the lineal middleweight championship in his coveted AT&T Stadium.
The countdown is on. September 17th is just around the corner.
Don't make us wait.