Canelo vs GGG: Why it might be a snoozer

Lee Cleveland Updated
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The biggest match-up in boxing, Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin, is official for September 16th, 2017.

They are two of the best fighters in the world - and most exciting. Moreover, the odds are nearly even and both fighters are explosive and relentless in the ring.

(Image courtesy of

Consequently, fans are expecting fireworks. In fact, action is guaranteed, right?

... Not quite.

Given the strength and offensive prowess of both fighters, don't be surprised if Canelo vs GGG more of a tactical chessmatch than all-out war. Both fighters are capable of hit-and-move boxing, especially Golovkin.

GGG is a 'master of timing, distance and angles.' Remember the first several rounds of his fight with David Lemieux? At the world class level, a fighter who masters timing, distance and angles has definitive advantages over opponents who may punch much harder and/ or possess far greater hand speed. 

Also, since the stakes are so high for this fight, they might take a more cautious than usual approach in the ring. We saw what happened when Amir Khan started got brave against Canelo. 

Imagine if Canelo is piling up points, round after round. Would he gamble and go for the knockout over a fearsome puncher like GGG?

Probably not?

Sometimes when big punchers collide we don't see that 'knockdown, drag-out' we expect because the fighters respect each other's power.

Foreman vs Morrison
George Foreman and Tommy Morrison faced each other for the then-lightly regarded WBO heavyweight title in 1993. Combined, the fighters had a record of 108-4, 99 KO with a blistering 88 percent knockouts-to-fights ratio. In fact, the fight was promoted as a match-up between boxing's hardest punchers, the 'Immovable object vs Unstoppable force.' But to the disappointment of some and surprise of many, neither fighter scored a knockdown nor had their opponent in any real danger, and the 24-year-old Morrison won a clear decision over twelve rounds via classic hit-and-move boxing.  

Ping, ping and move... Ping, ping and move.

It was your classic hit-but-don't-be-hit bout as Morrison, reluctant to trade, was content to pile up points round after round on 44 year old boxing legend. And while there were a few sparks, the quintessential brawler fooled us all by "boxing," much to the dismay of fans who were expecting a slugfest.

Other fights between big punchers that didn't live up to the hype

Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson: No, it wasn't a snoozer but it certainly wasn't Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs Thomas Hearns either. Lewis moved well, was very smart and wore Tyson down before stopping him in Round 8.

Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad: This fight was supposed to be the next Leonard-Hearns I. In De La Hoya vs Trinidad, we had two undefeated fighters in their prime who could bang.  But the fight itself didn't have a lot of good action and there was never much talk of a rematch.

And although not considered big punchers, the third fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran had all the makings for a high-pitched war.

Duran had just shocked the world by defeating Iran Barkley to win a middleweight title in a 'Fight of the Year' candidate and Leonard had previously drawn with Thomas Hearns in what was the '1989 Fight of Year.' And as welterweights, they'd provided one of best fights of the century ten years prior.

Action was guaranteed, right?



Canelo vs GGG
Date: September 16, 2107
Broadcast: HBO PPV (US)

Division: Middleweight
Champion: Golovkin (Consensus)


As more powerful middleweights, perhaps Leonard and Duran gave each other too much respect. Duran fought timid and Leonard was cautious as the crowd booed wistfully during the last several rounds.

Back to Canelo vs GGG...

Even if it doesn't live up to the hype, it'll be worth every penny because of the drama, alone, and overall significance.

I have a feeling Golovkin vs Alvarez will be an awesome fight but fireworks aren’t guaranteed - especially when two big punchers face each other.


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