Will this Saturday’s rematch be another classic?
The fighters’ first showdown featured crazy shifts in momentum. Canelo outboxed GGG in the early going before the latter bounced back in the middle rounds to seize control. GGG couldn’t finish the job, though, and the younger Canelo rallied late to tighten the bout.
Adalaide Byrd’s ridiculous scorecard — 118-110 in favor of Canelo — stole headlines and left the boxing community scratching its head. Fortunately, it was offset by judge Dave Moretti’s scorecard (115-113 for GGG) and Don Trella’s scorecard (114-114), resulting in the draw.
It wasn’t exactly the result boxing fans were looking for, as the much-anticipated fight was supposed to crown a definitive king of the middleweight division. But it ensured a rematch, and we’re not complaining given how wildly entertaining the first fight was for 12 full rounds.
And you know what? The rematch feels even less predictable. GGG turned 36 in April, and Father Time often is the most formidable opponent. Canelo, meanwhile, just turned 28, but there are questions about whether his failed drug test — which forced the cancellation of the originally agreed upon May 5 fight date — really was the product of taking a substance that enhanced his performance.
In other words, we could see a slower version of GGG this Saturday night, just like we could see a smaller, less powerful version of Canelo. Or maybe both fighters will be in tip-top shape, much like they were last year when the fight literally was too close to call.
Regardless, there seemingly is more hatred between the fighters this time around, in large because of Canelo’s failed drug test. The whole ordeal didn’t sit well with GGG, who fired back with verbal haymakers that angered Canelo’s camp, creating a genuine rivalry outside the ropes.
So, who will emerge victorious in Canelo vs. GGG 2? Let’s break it down.
Tale of the Tape
Hometown: Guadalajara, Mexico
Record: 49-1-2 (34 KOs)
Titles: Lineal middleweight
Reach: 70.5 inches
Odds (per Bovada): +125
Hometown: Karaganda, Kazakhstan
Record: 38-0-1 (34 KOs)
Titles: WBA, WBC middleweight
Reach: 70 inches
Odds (per Bovada): -155
Prediction: Canelo by unanimous decision.
GGG stayed sharp since last September’s fight against Canelo by beating the bag out of Vanes Martirosyan. Canelo, meanwhile, made headlines mostly for his failed drug test, which he blamed on eating contaminated meat. That said, Canelo is smack-dab in the middle of his prime and holds the same advantages he held before the fighters’ last dance: He’s quicker and more technically sound.
GGG has big-time power and a strong chin, but Canelo is an elite counter-puncher capable of tagging opponents who get too aggressive. If GGG goes for the kill, Canelo will fend off the attempts, slip in some shots of his own and ultimately wear down his older rival.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images