When middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez step into the ring again, their rematch will be better than the first fight.
Last September when unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) and Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) fought to a disputed draw, it was one of the best fights of 2017.
Golovkin was the busier fighter as he landed 218 out of 703 punches (31 percent) but Alvarez was slightly more accurate connecting on 169 out of 505 punches (33.5 percent) and landed the cleaner punches.
As entertaining as the first fight was, it was more of a technical boxing match than the all-out brawl that many expected. But when these two meet again at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sept. 15, expect an all-out brawl as both men will look to settle the score once and for all.
Here’s why the rematch will be better than their first fight.
— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) June 18, 2018
1. They’ve tasted each other’s power
Neither fighter will admit it, but going into this first fight, both men had to be leery and cautious of the other’s punching power. After all, they had a combined 67 knockouts between them.
Both men showed that they can take each other’s best punch and therefore won’t respect the other’s punching power as much this time around. They’ll be more aggressive from the opening bell, and as a result, we’ll see more hard-hitting combinations. The rematch won’t be Hagler versus Hearns but it could be pretty close to it.
2. They’ll make the necessary adjustments
Each fighter had a crucial flaw in their preparation and game plan in the first fight. For Golovkin it was not attacking Alvarez’s body.
One of the reasons Golovkin became the most dominant middleweight of this era is because of his consistent and sustained attacks to the body. But for some reason, he was reluctant to throw body punches against Alvarez. Maybe it was because he was concerned Alvarez would counter his body shots. Whatever the case was, Golovkin will not make the same mistake in the rematch.
The mistake Alvarez made in the first fight was that starting in Round Four, he began to show signs of fatigue. As a result, Golovkin was the far more effective fighter in the middle rounds.
Perhaps Alvarez began to fatigue due to an error in his conditioning training leading up to the fight, or that Alvarez was too tight and tense at the beginning and that caused the fatigue.
Alvarez and his team will make sure that he is in better condition this time around.
3. Growing animosity
The first fight Alvarez and Golovkin had genuine respect for one another. But that has gone out of the window ever since Alvarez failed a drug test in February for the banned substance clenbuterol. This resulted in Alvarez being suspended six months by the Nevada Athletic Commission and canceled the original rematch on May 5. The two camps have thrown verbal jabs at one another since.
Then when negotiating the purse for the Sept. 15 fight date, Golovkin’s team demanded a 50/50 split of the purse despite Alvarez being the biggest draw in boxing. The two sides agreed on an amount but the bad blood grew between following the negotiations.
In an interview on the ESPN Deportes boxing program A Los Golpes, Alvarez accused Golovkin and his team of “hypocrisy,” saying that during match negotiations they were interested only in money, not the respect they spoke of publicly.
He let it be known that there will be no cordiality outside the ring in the leadup to the Sept. 15 fight and that he wants to “tear [Golovkin’s] head off” that night in Las Vegas.
It’s abundantly clear that both fighters not only want to win, but they want to knock the other out. The rematch has the potential to not only be the fight of the year, but one of the best middleweight championship-fights in the last 25 years.