The end of the Trilogy disobeyed history, as Canelo Álvarez tried to be the same, but Golovkin was another. In the two previous fights, Canelo and Golovkin came out to put everything they had on the goal of victory. Instead, in this the Mexican went out to play from the start, printing rhythm and power games while the Kazakh preferred a strategic plan of expectation, distance and less risk. In such a way, it could be said that during the first seven rounds he remained cautious, responding to Canelo’s proposals and it was only from the seventh round that he began to wake up to start showing the best version of himself from the eighth round. It was already too late to reverse the advantages that the Mexican was achieving round after round.
It is true that the injury to the left hand reported by Canelo could have been a deteriorating factor in his attacking action, since the unloading activity had greater support on the rights. And there was one, volley in the fifth round, which caused a manifest deterioration in the prudence with which GGG would have to be handled.
This fight was not up to the previous ones because time takes away speed, resistance and power. And the six years of difference played in favor of the Mexican, since at forty the attitude of the individual athlete who depends only on himself diminishes his rigor and motivation considerably. But this was not all because being in the 168-pound class suited Canelo much better at six centimeters shorter than Golovkin at seven pounds overweight.
The boxing of our days has acquired such a formidable marketing that the previous, the presentations and, especially, the ascent to the ring predispose to an emotional state that sometimes coincides with the show that went to see, and other times exceeds so promoted. Show. Everything that surrounded the Trilogy between Golovkin and Canelo was superior to what both fighters offered in the ring throughout the twelve rounds. An old boxing assertion instilled in us for many years that when one doesn’t want to, two don’t fight. And this third version showed that only one -Canelo- wanted to fight and the other went up to last.
But before the development, doubts and certainties arose. Thus, looking back, it could be said that there were never third versions of a fight that surpassed what was seen in the previous two. One could only mention that of Muhammad Ali against Joe Frazier in Manila. As in this case, they knew each other a lot, they were already veterans and although they were not super millionaires like Canelo and GGG, Muhammad’s psychological condition was also the determining factor.
By the way, the fight was surrounded by the elves of the past. As soon as Canelo and Golovkin stepped into the ring, it was absolutely impossible not to remember the previous two versions. And then the dilemma was to guess if there would be a duel with different strategies or if the advance formula in the offensive would mark the course of the combat.
Johnaton Banks, the new technical director of GGG, was very clear that six years ago during the first version – when he had not even dreamed of directing it – the best thing about Golovkin was his attack. And while there were advantages for Canelo because of what was done in the first three rounds, everything had changed when the Uzbek went from defense to offense from 4th to 7th. It was during that period of the fight in which Canelo was surprised and outmatched. And only in the final stretch that he spanned from 9th to 12th did he manage to balance those laps on the basis of his determination to put forward the initiative at the cost of taking all possible risks.
It was because of that reiteration in the exchange of blows that the first fight between the two was vibrant. And although we had seen Golovkin win, the judges reached a Solomonic and suspicious tie, each giving different verdicts. What was never clear to anyone was the card of Judge Adalaide Byrd who signed 118-110 for Canelo. Such a ruling – inadmissible by any measure – earned him a suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission, but it served Canelo to reach that unfair draw. It is that the other two juries saw it very close, but with different visions because Dave Moretti had 115-113 for Golovkin and Don Trella “washed his hands” with a 114-114.
In these last six years many things happened in the lives of the protagonists. And perhaps the most important is the significant of the rematch carried out in 2018. This time the judges went further because they gave the match to Canelo after 12 rounds of high emotional tone that would have admitted a merciful draw but never the victory of the Mexican . Those cards were encouraged by two scorers favorable to Canelo by 115-113 (Glenn Feldman and Dave Moretti) and one – Steve Weisfeld’s – who scored an also generous 114-114.
As could be seen, the climate prior to this combat was different from that of the previous ones. We had to wait for the action in the ring to recover expectations, since that euphoria that always preceded Canelo’s fights seemed to be reduced to the tension of hope in suspense. Probably the defeat against Dmitry Bivol, as unexpected as it was extensive, contributed to placate that always noisy atmosphere of the T-Mobile in Las Vegas, when in coincidence with the Mexican Independence Shout – September 16 – a national idol like Canelo represents its flag and the incomparable lineage of its boxing.
This time it started differently until the crescendo of combat demanded it. However, and before this was happening with the result now known, the boxing people were clear that the fight had been made for Canelo to win. The intention was sustained by those wonderful – and uncertain – hypotheses that transform “can” (win) into “must” (win). And the list of assumptions emerges:
a) Golovkin had to gain three kilos to reach 167.8 pounds, which meant the 75,832 kilos that showed him stronger but slower; quite the opposite of Canelo who better harmonized the speed and power ratio with his 76,013 kg or 167.4 pounds; clearly more dynamic than when he lost to Bivol,
b) Golovkin had just beaten Murata in Japan, but Murata was a reference of relative value because he doesn’t hit and is messy,
c) In the second fight between the two 4 years ago, Golovkin landed 234 of the 879 punches he threw and only 6 of them went to the soft zones,
d) For Canelo to face a rival who only unloads his blows up is (or was in the presumption) taking a controllable risk,
and) Steve Weisfeld and Dave Moretti -two of the three jurors who failed in the previous two fights- returned to be judges as if they were members of Canelo’s staff, since both had seen him win in the 2017 and 2018 versions by the same score: 115-113 for Canelo. It is also true that against Bivol these two juries, who are always appointed to fight the Mexican, ruled in favor of the Russian for the same amount, a meager 115-113, and
F) Golovkin, above all factors, would enter the ring having exceeded 40 years, with a fixed purse of 8 million and the possibility of reaching another 35 million dollars – it would be 43 million dollars in total – according to the sales of the PPV system. What is said: a forty-year-old with a thousand worthy battles ready to retire with the glory of triumph or the tranquility of a millionaire.
It was the sum of these circumstances that prompted Canelo to retract everything he had said the same night he lost to Bivol; that he wanted an immediate rematch with him and that Golovkin was not in his plans. Well, time changed his wishes and the Matchroom Boxing company persuaded him that the “least risk” fight would be this one for the unification of the Super Middleweight (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO) for which The Mexican received a fixed amount of 10 million dollars and an optimized trial that could give him profits of up to 55 million dollars.
Now, all those speculations were buried by reality. And that reality made it clear to us that Gennadiy Golovkin has time to retire with dignity and Canelo to take a lot of time to rethink his future.
It is always opportune and worthy not to destroy the glory.