The fight “real” boxing fans have been waiting for is almost here, as Gennady “GGG” Golovkin his set to defend his middleweight titles against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Hailing from Kazakhstan, the 35-year-old Golovkin has defended his middleweight title an astonishing 18 times, two shy of Bernard Hopkins’ record. And although Alvarez, a Mexico native, will be making his first fight at 160 pounds, he’s considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, and likely is the fighter currently best equipped to take down Golovkin and claim his IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight belts.
Here’s how the two fighters stack up in the Tale of the Tape:
In the wake of the manufactured hysteria that was Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Conor McGregor, the Canelo-Golovkin bout should satisfy boxing purists who’ve been dreaming of this fight for years.
Since losing to Mayweather in 2013, Alvarez has won seven consecutive fights, including defeating Miguel Cotto in 2015, which earned him the WBC middleweight belt. But Alvarez, backed by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, needed more seasoning before moving up to 160 pounds to face Golovkin.
He followed up his performance against Cotto by knocking out Amir Khan in May 2016, and subsequently inviting Golovkin into the ring, setting the state for the future superfight. Shortly after defeating Khan, Alvarez vacated his WBC middleweight title, which was awarded to Golovkin, who already owned the IBF and WBA middleweight crowns.
Since coming face-to-face in 2016, Alvarez and Golovkin have dominated their opponents.
Alvarez knocked out Liam Smith in a light middleweight fight last September, and beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by unanimous decision in a catchweight fight in May 2017. In that time frame, Golovkin knocked out Kell Brook and overwhelmed Daniel Jacobs.
Now, the stage is set, and fans finally will know who the best middleweight boxer in the world is.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images