At last, the superfight all boxing have been waiting for is here.
Gennady Golovkin will put his IBF, WBC and WBA middleweight belts on the line when he fights Canelo Alvarez at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Having defended his middleweight crown 18 consecutive times, Golovkin enters the fight as the favorite. But Alvarez presents perhaps Golovkin’s toughest challenge yet, as his combination of power and movement has overwhelmed his opponents in recent fights. Still, this is Alvarez’s first bout at 160 pounds, a weight Golovkin is well-accustomed to fighting at. While Alvarez certainly can throw a punch, it will be interesting to see if he has the power necessary to combat Golovkin’s huge blows.
So, will Golovkin move one step closer to Bernard Hopkins’ record of 20 consecutive middleweight title defenses, or will Alvarez prove he’s the best middleweight fighter in the world? We asked our NESN.com staff to make their predictions, and here’s what everyone came up with:
Dakota Randall: Golovkin by unanimous decision. Alvarez is an absolute beast, but I think Golovkin’s experience at 160 pounds ultimately wins out. Sure, Alvarez has looked impressive since vacating his WBC middleweight belt in 2016, but so has Golovkin, the current champion. I think Alvarez will be competitive for the first half of the fight, but Golovkin will start to overwhelm him in the later rounds.
Ben Watanabe: Golovkin by KO, tenth round. I keep wavering. Golovkin is one of the most fearsome punchers on the planet pound-for-pound, and he’s had some trouble — relatively speaking — against opponents who can box and move. I see Alvarez keeping Golovkin guessing, kind of like Daniel Jacobs did earlier this year, before Golovkin lands a left hook that sends Alvarez to the canvas late for the first time in his career. I do love Tecate, though.
Adam London: Alvarez by split decision. One thing we won’t have to worry about in this fight is the entertainment factor — both boxers are going to come out swinging. Golovkin has exceptional power, but Alvarez’s defense is strong enough that he should be able to neutralize it to some degree. Also, the age factor cannot be ignored, as Alvarez (27) is eight years younger than Golovkin (35). I think the fight will go the distance, but Alvarez’s world-class counterattack will end up being the difference.
Cameron McDonough: Golovkin by unanimous decision. This should be an entertaining fight, and well worth the pay-per-view price if you’re a boxing fan. I personally am a fan of Alvarez, and always like to watch him fight. However, GGG is the favorite in this one, and I think he’ll keep the good times rolling and hold onto his middleweight belt by unanimous decision.
Nicholas Goss: Alvarez by unanimous decision. I’m not sure why Alvarez, who has better defensive skill and mobility than Golovkin, isn’t getting more support. He has 49 wins and his only loss was to a legend in Floyd Mayweather. Alvarez is younger, faster and his stamina advantage will give him a huge edge when the fight goes to the judges’ scorecards.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images