Let’s do it again.
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fought to a split draw Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in a punishing brawl that amazingly lived up to its prefight hype. The scrap wasn’t without controversy, as one judge’s scorecard raised some eyebrows, and the obvious next step is a rematch to possibly answer the many questions still lingering after such an eventful clash.
“Yes, of course. Obviously, yes. If the people want it, yes. He didn’t win. It was a draw,” Canelo said of fighting GGG for a second time, per ESPN.com. “I always said I was going to be a step ahead of him. We’ll fight in the second one, but I’ll win.”
Your thoughts, Gennady?
“Of course I want a rematch. Yes, the next fight I want a true fight,” Golovkin said. “I have a couple of ideas (for the rematch). I want a close fight, Mexican style.”
OK then. See everyone in May?
Both Canelo and Golovkin had their moments throughout the 12-round war. Canelo outboxed Golovkin in the early going, but GGG controlled the middle rounds. And just when it looked like GGG might have the fight in the bag, Canelo rallied late to shrink whatever gap had existed on the scorecards … or so we thought.
In reality, one judge, Adalaide Byrd, had Canelo ahead on her scorecard throughout the entire fight, ultimately determining that the 27-year-old won 10 of the 12 rounds to earn a 118-110 victory. Fortunately, her scorecard was offset by judge Dave Moretti’s scorecard (115-113 for GGG) and Don Trella’s scorecard (114-114), resulting in a draw, otherwise this controversy might be even greater.
“I think the first score we saw was a little bit rough, I don’t know how that one came out.” Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler said after the fight, per CBSSports.com. “It sets up a tremendous rematch if Canelo wants another crack at the titles. I will set that up with Eric (Gomez) and Oscar (De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions) if they want to make an offer.”
This was an incredibly close fight, with some calling for a draw and many others suggesting GGG should have been named the winner. Byrd’s lopsided scorecard is an absolute joke, as it points to a bigger issue hanging over the sport, with longtime boxing trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas even going so far as to cry corruption during ESPN’s postfight coverage.
In the end, there’s one positive from Byrd’s inexplicable brain fart: It all but ensures a rematch, which most fight fans likely will sign up for regardless of how undeniably ridiculous these all-too-prevalent scoring controversies are becoming. Canelo and GGG put on a show that met, or even exceeded, expectations, and we’re still left with questions that extend beyond Byrd’s scorecard.
Golovkin, an undefeated knockout artist, proved he’s worthy of the big stage against hands-down his toughest opponent yet, while Canelo again showed that he’s among the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet by serving as the immovable object to GGG’s unstoppable force. The fight was too close to call before the opening bell, and that’s still the case 12 rounds and 36 brutal minutes later.
Maybe the rematch, which is inevitable based on what transpired Saturday night, finally will offer the clarity we’re looking for in this tangled tale.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images
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