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Canelo vs Golovkin rematch prediction: Remember Holyfield vs Lewis

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Tonight, middleweight champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin faces superstar Canelo Alvarez in a rematch of their September 2017 affair when the world's best middleweights battled to a 12 round draw in an exciting, action-packed affair.

And while most, including yours truly, had Golovkin winning decisively, the judges weren't on-board.

Judge Adalaide Byrd scored the bout 118-110 in Canelo's favor while Judge Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 for Golovkin and Judge Don Trella had it a draw, 114-114.

People questioned which fight Byrd was watching and were perfectly reasonable in doing so. She had an awful night and there's no defending her score. However, she should have been overturned by the other judges.

So, what happened? Even Dave Moretti's of 115-113 tally for Golovkin was a little too close for comfort.

Answer: As FightSaga had predicted, a relatively close, competitive bout would favor Canelo. In boxing, the A-side fighter usually enters the ring with a slight, albeit unfair, advantage and it's nothing new

Here are a few examples:
Joe Louis vs Jersey Joe Walcott I, Muhammad Ali vs Ken Norton III, Sugar Ray Leonard vs Marvin Hagler, Oscar De La Hoya vs Felix Sturm, Ward vs Kovalev I, De La Hoya vs Whitaker, Ali vs Shavers, Marciano vs LaStarza I and more....

Oftentimes, the A-side fighter will get the benefit of the doubt in rounds that are anywhere near close. In fact, it's as if the A-side fighter gets awarded the round before it starts, putting the onus on the B-side fighter to do something a little extra to erase the preconceived score.

In last year's Canelo vs Golovkin showdown, if there were 2 or 3 other rounds a judge deemed very close Alvarez was likely awarded those stanzas even though he failed to win those rounds outright in that judge's eyes. The system isn't rigged... It's how things are and always have been.

Judges should be encouraged to score even rounds because it would solve a lot, but that's another topic for another article.

How the Canelo vs Golovkin rematch will be different
Tonight, the judges are well aware there will be a heightened emphasis on the scorecards because of what happened in the first fight. That's why we seldom, if at all, see back-to-back controversial scoring issues in rematch situations.

Judges will be less likely to subconsciously award close rounds to Canelo just because he's the bigger star. No one wants all that post-fight scrutiny following an unpopular decision.

Also, and this will play into Golovkin's hands, Alvarez's stock has dropped a bit since his positive drug test. Combine that with public sentiment about who won the first fight and Canelo is not as strong of an A-side for the rematch.

Canelo vs Golovkin rematch prediction / Holyfield vs Lewis
I see Gennady Golovkin winning a non-controversial decision is another close, competitive fight. In fact, this bout may be closer and more action-packed than the first. And don't be surprised if Canelo floors Golovkin or gets him in trouble this time.

Does history repeat itself?

If so, Canelo vs Golovkin 2 will resemble the two fights between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis in 1999.

Back then, Holyfield, like Canelo, was the bigger attraction and A-side while Lewis, like Golovkin, was a well-respected opponent and B-side. And their first fight, like Canelo vs Golovkin, resulted in an unpopular draw.

In that battle of champions, most believed Lewis, like Golovkin last year, had done more than enough to unseat the more popular titleholder.

"Lennox Lewis has just been robbed of the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. He won it, and he didn't get it," stated HBO commentator Jim Lampley after the fight.

Even Rudy Guiliani, mayor of the host city, New York, at the time, chimed in: "I am embarrassed as a New Yorker. I know boxing as well as I know being mayor. There's no way that Holyfield won the fight. This is a travesty what happened."

And Frank Bruno, former WBC heavyweight champion said,"The judges verdict was the most disgusting decision I've ever seen in boxing."

Eight months later, Holyfield and Lewis would meet in a rematch and, this time, Lewis was awarded a unanimous decision by the scores of 116-112, 117-111 and Roth 115-113.

In fact, although observers were unanimously in-line with the verdict, many stated it was the rematch, not the first bout, that could have conceivably been a draw.

Holyfield gave a better account of himself this time, even rocking Lewis in Round 7. Evander unleashed such a beating on his foe in that stanza, some didn't expect Lewis the survive the 8th Round after weathering the storm in the 7th. Holyfield certainly had strong moments but it wasn't enough to overcome Lewis's points advantage.

Tonight, look for Canelo, like Hoyfield against Lewis in their rematch, to be better than he was in the first fight. However, if Golovkin is well-prepared and can weather a successful Canelo attack, he, like Lewis in the Holyfield second match, won't be robbed of a decision he deserves.

Please share your Canelo vs Golovkin rematch prediction.


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