Updated:Sep 17, 2022 2:46 pm
One draw, and controversial Canelo win in lead up to defining fight
Bad blood feud reaches its conclusion tonight in Las Vegas
This time ‘it’s personal’ for Alvarez
Ali-Frazier, Leonard-Duran, Gatti-Ward, Fury-Wilder: the great boxing trilogies have been all the rage this week with Tyson Fury calling out Dereck Chisora for a fight that could see the Gypsy King become the first boxer in history to take part in two trilogies.
And tonight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, two pound-for-pound champions take to the ring for the third and probably last time to complete their own epic three-fight contests to decide not only the King in the Super middleweight division but also for the pride of legacy status amongst p4p greats.
For this third fight, Saul Canelo Alvarez will put his super-middleweight straps on the line, and Gennady Golovkin will come up in weight from his natural territory of Middleweight, from 160 to 168, seeking to become a unified two-weight champion.Embed from Getty Images
The last 5 years have seen a running, burning feud between the pair, the bitterest of rivalries among two elite fighters which, for Canelo, if recent comments are anything to go by, is deeply personal. Normally, the Mexican listens calmly to all the trash talk. All the promises that he will be beaten, as he did against Khan, Billy Joe Saunders, Daniel Jacobs et al., and then emerges from the bell to effectively, dismantle, punish and brutally stop his opponents leaving their empty words to come back and bite them. Recently, Caleb Plant got under his skin more than most and got a beating for his troubles, but none have rankled Saul Alvarez more than Gennady Golovkin.
In the lead-up to the fight on the Strip, Canelo has spoken disparagingly of his rival claiming, “It’s personal for me, I just can’t wait to be in that ring. He pretends to be a nice guy, but he’s not. He’s an asshole.”
Golovkin has, on the surface at least, been his familiar business-as-usual self. “I don’t take this [fight] as personal. I think of this as a sport. I am who I am, I go out to box. If he has something personal against me, it’s his problem, not mine.”
The evident bad blood has not been helped by the scores of the first two fights, which have been dogged by controversy and led to claims of fixing, bias, and fraud.
They first fought in 2017 – a hotly disputed draw, which many pundits thought the busier Golovkin had won, and in 2018, at a time when Golovkin was voted The Ring Magazine’s world’s best pound-for-pound boxer. On that night, under the neon-coated stars of Las Vegas, Canelo was given the nod on the judges’ scorecards by majority decision, much to the dismay of his opponent and by and large to the disbelief of the boxing fraternity. As in the first fight, Triple G landed many, many more scoring punches than Saul Alvarez, but the Mexican had the most eye-catching, which seemed to sway the judges in attendance.Embed from Getty Images
With all the power that the fighters possess in either fist, it is a testament to their stamina, conditioning, and ability, that despite all the firepower and skill on display in the first two fights, both took the best of the other, and neither gave an inch.
They are so well-matched that they have been unable thus far to settle their differences.Embed from Getty Images
Tonight in Vegas, a winner must emerge. 40-year-old Middleweight King Gennady Golovkin has promised to take the result out of the hands of the judges. Canelo the crown prince with all the Super middleweight gold, has vowed to end Triple G’s career.
We await an epic decider and trust a thrilling finale for boxing royalty will be concluded once and for all.