By Anthony George
When the calendar hits September 7 the buzz for the Gennday Golvkin vs. Saul Alvarez, or better known as GGG and Canelo, will reach a fever pitch. While both pugilists have faced a tremendous amount of scrutiny over the years, there is no doubt this is the only pure Superfight of 2018. A PPV bonanza if you will.
The bells and whistles will be ringing loudly for this puppy and when the bell rings the action will be scintillating. At least that is what my gut is telling me.
I did not feel this way when I first heard about this rematch, however.
The reason for my initial scorn for this fight is because, although he did not physically beat him up, I thought GGG was a clear winner in a fight that was lukewarm at best.
Had judges Adalaide Byrd and Don Trella handed in the correct scorecards virtually nobody would be clamoring for this rematch.
But such is boxing, the fight was called a draw and here we are waiting for it again.
My recent benevolence for this fight is two-fold. First, in rethinking this fight, Canelo’s late surge, combined with another year of mileage on the GGG Cadillac, now make for an intriguing fight in my mind. I see both fighters willing to go for it more the second time around.
Second, I cannot help but feel bad for both GGG and Canelo.
All GGG has been over the years is a fighting champion, who enjoyed one of the greatest knockout streaks of this era. Yet, I read more negative posts about him on social media than positive. Perhaps twenty years after he is active, Golvkin will get more praise than poop from boxing fans; the old-man card works in mysterious ways, but we should not have to wait so long for such a great gift in boxing to get his just due.
Then there is Canelo. I get the current criticism about the failed tests. But there is no way anybody knows for sure it was not tainted meat that caused the positives. Well there are a few people who do, Canelo for sure, but who will believe him? And yes, he was a bit of a diva with the weight.
However, Canelo got hammered on social media even before these events. Canelo is a great offensive fighter and proved against GGG that he can take a punch. Perhaps it all gets erased now because people think he was on ‘that shit’ as Roger Mayweather used to say.
But I would love to know what PED that can make you throw thunderous, accurate, punches in the pocket; as Canelo has done so marvelously his whole career. Can red hair on a Mexican, as well as good looks, cause so much ire?
I am glad to see both fighters getting another huge payday.
The PEDs add to the intrigue of this fight. The reason being, the consensus will be that Canelo will be ‘clean’ for this fight; at least that is what I think the consensus will be. If that is the case, then a win by Canelo should give him some stock back.
The bottom line is both fighters have accomplished a lot in their career, and yet at the same time, both fighters have a lot to prove. Assuming there is not a repeat draw, the loss will be a devasting one for either GGG or Canelo. Devasting. That alone, should be enough intrigue for the fans to want to see this one.
Of course, the biggest let down for this fight is that the fact that it is for the middleweight championship is buried way down in the credits. There is no doubt that the winner of GGG vs. Canelo should be recognized as the supreme middleweight champion, yet the last thing this fight is being advertised as is a big middleweight showdown. It is almost like the 160-pound championship is an afterthought with this fight, or no thought at all.
But this is a common theme in boxing, where championship belts no longer mean anything, or very little. Yes, they still mean plenty to the fighters, but promoters, fans and the media seem to ignore the hardware that is at stake when the bell rings for these fights.
True, part of it is because there are way too many belts in boxing today. Indeed, the WBA has mastered the art of making belts appear as meaningless trinkets alone. But, that does not mean we cannot be smart enough to know how to compartmentalize when a title fight is genuine.
The winner of GGG vs. Canelo should be considered the middleweight champion the same way Sugar Ray Robinson, Carlos Monzon, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and company have been over the years.
Of course, the sad reality is that status will probably disappear fast, as I do not see either GGG or Canelo willing to fight any of the tough middleweight contenders out there today. I hope I am wrong about that, but for now I am just calling it as I see it.
Speaking of which, September will be a fun month for boxing fans as we gear up for a rematch that I feel will be better than its predecessor. On paper, the undercard appears to be better as well. So, stock up on your popcorn, or whatever it is you like to munch on for a prize fight; hopefully it is vegan, and get ready to enjoy a great night of boxing.
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