The Modern Superfight: Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin

By Jimmy Krug –

I believe we’ve entered a new era of Superfights. It’s an era in which marketing plays as big a part in a match-up as does the fighter’s accomplishments in the ring.

Canelo Alvarez is a good fighter. He’s exciting to watch. But I’m hard pressed to find a way for him to beat Gennady Golovkin on Saturday, September 16th. It’s possible Golden Boy Promotions believes Golovkin has either grown old or was overrated from the start. On the other hand, if Daniel Jacobs is really just a cut under Golovkin in terms of ability, then Alvarez is headed towards the second defeat of his career.

Nothing is wrong with any of the above. It’s the fight game and there has to be a winner and a loser. Keep in mind, you can watch exciting fights with fighters who will never crack to top twenty let alone the top ten as far as rankings go. If you’re talking in terms of a superfight – that’s a totally different animal in my book.

A Superfight, at least in my mind, conjures up much different images and a totally different scenario. Today, a superfight is as much about gate receipt and marketing as it is pairing two fighters with the skill-set of Ali or Frazier.

I think in the terms of fighters at the top of their game (Hagler vs. Hearns; Duran vs. Leonard I, Ali vs. Frazier, etc.). I see this as more of a Hopkins vs. DeLaHoya type of matchup.

Golovkin is the best of his era, but can you really see him beating a Marvin Hagler? I can’t picture him beating Roy Jones or Bernard Hopkins at 160? Can you?

Hagler walked through the bombs of John Mugabi. Although Golovkin may have beaten Mugabi if he landed first, I find difficult imagining him walk through the same shots Hagler did.

Yes, none of this is fair to Golovkin. I’m just putting these thoughts out there because I guess I’m growing into one of those grizzled, old, boxing cynics over the years.

I haven’t even gotten to Canelo yet.

The point is, today, it’s about more about selling the “what if’s” than selling the fight itself.

What if Mayweather and Pacquiao recapture the youth of their prime one last time? They didn’t.

What if Connor McGregor is just too young and too strong for Mayweather. He wasn’t.

Back in the day, a Superfight meant the experts, fans, writers, historians and everyone else were basically evenly split on who would win and why.

Okay, that’s enough of waxing nostalgic about the good old days.

What makes Canelo vs. Golovkin an interesting fight is the fact that both men will actually fight. We won’t have a snooze-fest on our hands. That alone is worth celebrating. This won’t be twelve rounds of two men leaning on one another or employing a punch-clinch strategy from one round to the next. This will be (or should be) the night Gennady Golovkin puts and exclamation mark on a career that in retrospect will clearly position him as being the best of his time.

In a time when boxing has become more of a niche sport and only a handful of fighters are household names (outside of their towns or cities) that will have to be enough.

Besides the fight itself, I don’t see Canelo Alvarez having much to lose in terms of the big picture. If he gets knocked out, many will say he was never a true Middleweight and that will be that. Julian Jackson, John Mugabi, Thomas Hearns, etc., were arguably much better Jr. Middleweights than they were Middleweight. He’ll be in good company in that respect.

If Canelo goes down swinging, who knows, he may capture an even larger fanbase with his efforts. Remember Fernando Vargas’ wars with Felix Trinidad and Oscar DeLaHoya?

There are good fighters at 154lbs (Jr. Middleweight). The problems is, most people have no idea who these fighters are. You can’t blame the fighters for that. The number of fighters that are effectively promoted are probably less than 1%. The sport as a whole has taken a backseat to Mixed Martial Arts.

Whether or not the MMA will remain popular, who can say? It appears to have already been lost to an entire generation of potential fans.

Anyway, enough of all that. I said my piece, and I feel a little bit better for having done so.

At least we have what appears on paper to be an entertaining fight on the immediate horizon. I’m going to go with Golovkin by mid-rounds knockout.

 

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