I thought Gennady Golovkin won the first fight with Saul Alvarez. People, hipsters usually, partially convinced me there was a case for the draw that the three key observers conjured between them in September 2017. I also thought Gennady Golovkin won on Saturday night in the rematch. Again, I was willing to indulge those who felt it a draw too and more readily than I was the first time around.
However, in twenty four rounds, I’ve awarded Saul Alvarez a total of 7, with 1 even round, a possibility more readily accepted in British rings than for fights occurring in Las Vegas I concede, but nevertheless one which I couldn’t argue were it ticked for the 28-year old ‘Canelo’ as opposed to Golovkin. Still only makes 8 rounds from 24.
With that in mind, and with a levy retrospectively applied for the irrefutable influence of commentators in defining one’s perspective, I’m minded to believe a draw is a credible view of the second bout. One smart young thing at FightNights.com collated the viewpoint of a 194 different boxing journalists and writers, some who were ringside, some, like me, watching from afar. 9 scored a Canelo victory, 36 finished with a draw. 150 determined the 36-year old champion to be winner. Please don’t dismiss the validity of this summary due to the obvious mathematical error present in those findings, the over-arching theme, or consensus if you will, remains explicit.
Gennady Golovkin won the fight. Or more perhaps more presciently; Saul Alvarez did not.
Golovkin must, in the cold light of days that follow, with the physical pain of the damage he suffered providing an omnipresent reminder, wonder what might have been if fight outcomes were still determined by the newspapers of the following day. A press decision would have been a welcome arbiter on the basis of FightNights.com’s findings.
It was a close fight. I wouldn’t argue with a draw. Well that isn’t true, I would argue with a draw but I’d respect that conclusion and the viewers who put forward that outcome. But I do struggle to countenance that Alvarez won 7 rounds of a fight that almost 75% of the boxing media felt the other guy won. Mirroring their first encounter when again, the consensus view lent towards Golovkin.
With six months likely to lapse before any third fight could be compiled, an all too rare trilogy at the elite level of the sport, Golovkin would be closing on 37 years old. He would be the away fighter and the challenger. For all his drive and presumed sense of injustice it is hard to contemplate improvement or tactical variation for the proud Khazak fighter, now based in Los Angeles, California. 37 year olds don’t tend to win Pay Per View fights. As a rule.
The regret and sense of injustice that will now lay heavy on Golovkin’s shoulders, an unbeaten fighter no more, and with his fearsome reputation slightly diluted by the loss to the younger man could push him toward retirement. Perhaps it should. There is only marginal commercial imperative to encourage a third bout for Canelo despite those advancing years. Canelo is the pay per view attraction and he can earn large purses without tackling Golovkin next. Saunders, Jacobs and Lemieux all credible and with varied renown against which to play.
I don’t believe there is a conspiracy at work or that the judges were unjust in their tallies, particularly as they scored 8 of the 12 rounds identically.
But the coincidence of another favourable outcome for the fighter who sells 3/4 of the PPV whilst, simultaneously, a similar 3/4 of the watching experts believe the other guy won does furrow brows and tempt those in love with a cynical view of life.
Me, I just feel sad for dear old Gennady. Waking up hurt and without the win he deserved from at least one of these two bouts. In agreeing to fight Canelo, despite the failed tests, the waiting around he had to do while the Mexican decided whether he really was a Middleweight or not and the reality of his opponent’s status as the sport’s number one cash cow, Golovkin accepted a deal with eyes wide open.
Or as we say in Great Britain, ‘he knew the score.’