The matchup between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin ended in a draw and did not disappoint, except when it came to the scoring from one particular judge named Adalaide Byrd.
The two battled like veterans in the ring and delivered a fight for the ages. In the first two rounds, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) dominated, coming out and throwing off Golovkin’s (37-0-1, 33 KOs) normal ring generalmanship and cadence. Canelo razzled with power shots, combinations and excellent footwork that left GGG without a target.
“I thought I won the fight,” said Canelo Alvarez during the post-fight interview. “I think I was superior inside the ring. I won at least seven or eight rounds. I was able to counterpunch, and even make Gennady wobble a couple times. It’s up to the people if we fight again. I feel frustrated over this draw.”
When asked if he felt Golovkin’s power, Canelo said, “No, truthfully, not really. There wasn’t any power that surprised me. In the first rounds, I came out to see what he had. Then I was building from there. Yes, of course I want the rematch. Obviously, if the people want it, then yes.”
Towards the middle rounds, Canelo allowed GGG to walk him into the ropes and the corner where he teed off at will, finally re-energizing the Golovkin we all know. As the rounds peeled off this would be the dance that the two engaged in, and as Alvarez began to tire the more susceptible he became to the technical prowess of GGG.
“It’s a big drama show,” said Gennady Golovkin in teh post-fight interview. “I want to thank all my fans. I want to thank all my Kazakhstan fans for supporting me, for coming out. Of course I want a rematch. This was a real fight. Look, I still have all the belts. I’m still the champion.”
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This was a battle of technical excellence versus power with GGG being the technical wizard. Surprisingly, Alvarez took GGG’s power and wound up winning the power shots battle to the surprise of many. However, Golovkin’s jab was so on point and the succession of short hooks that followed so accurate that it literally polarized the match between finesse and fundamentals.
The 10th and the 12th round were the most ballsy where both Alvarez and Golovkin went for broke the most consistently. Toe-to-toe exchanges and a mix of inside scrapping and aggressive outside measuring made these two rounds the highlights of an all-star fight.
Still, the judges had the bout 118-110 for Canelo, 115-113 for Golovkin, and 114-114 with a draw that left the crowd of 22,358 disappointed and the world collectively scratching their heads at the wide gap of 118-110 by judge Adelaide Byrd, some immediately bashing the sport of boxing for these types of decisions or outright calling it corruption.
Teddy Atlas: “They are corrupt.” #CaneloGGG https://t.co/Qp9FqNwZVC
I’ve never seen a guy so close to punching a TV while on TV. Teddy and Stephen A deserve each other. #CaneloGGG https://t.co/OxY9uSyGzG
The only judges that would score this fight 118-110! #CaneloGGG
I am taking a victory lap on this one. Been saying and writing all week that Adalaide Byrd was going to do this. Incredibly predictable.
The fight still lived up to its billing as the true fight of the year and despite the suspect scoring of Adalaide Byrd, boxing has only been enriched by the great fearless exchanges between the two top-tier competitors.