Gennady Golovkin (-400) vs Canelo Alvarez (+275), Draw (+2500)
Saul Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KO) allowed 2016 to slip by without facing WBA, IBF, and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33 KO), instead opting to vacate his WBC middleweight title rather than fulfil his obligation to face Golovkin in a world title unification fight.
A lot of the blame has fallen on Hall-of-Famer Oscar de la Hoya, Canelo’s promoter. Alvarez is de la Hoya’s biggest cash cow, and a high profile loss to Triple G may lower the 26-year-old’s stock. De la Hoya has been accused of encouraging Alvarez to duck Golovkin for the time being, instead waiting until Golovkin is past his prime before scheduling a fight. The 34-year-old Golovkin is still looking phenomenal but it’s unknown how long he will last given his aggressive fighting style.
But on Wednesday, de la Hoya appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” and vowed that the superfight will take place before the end of 2017. That doesn’t make the fight official by any means, but it is a significant step towards finally giving the people the fight they’ve been waiting for.
If the fight happens, it will probably take place late in the year. Golovkin still needs to honor his mandatory title defense against Daniel Jacobs, and Canelo will fight early next year to defend his WBO light middleweight title.
Golovkin will be the heavy favorite if the two set foot in the ring together any time soon. (You can currently get him at -400 for a potential 2017 fight.) GGG has a size advantage over Canelo, who is most at ease in the light middleweight division. That’s not a disadvantage you want when fighting the boxer with the highest knockout rate in middleweight history.
At just 26 years old, Canelo boasts a strong record. Over fifty fights, he has only lost once and that was to Floyd Mayweather. A number of his wins (14) have gone to decision and his best bet against Golovkin would be to take the fight the whole 12 rounds. Golovkin has never been knocked down in his professional career, despite constantly putting himself in positions that leave him exposed.
Both fighters had an easy 2016. Canelo was matched with British boxers Amir Khan and Liam Smith, both of whom he beat easily, while Golovkin retained his middleweight titles against Dominic Wade and Kell Brook, knocking out both. Sooner or later, this super-fight is going to happen. Let’s hope both fighters are in their prime when it does. If it’s in 2017, I’d roll with GGG even at short odds.
Pick: Gennady Golovkin (-400)
Photo credit: “Golovkin/Lemiuex Press Conference” by RJ Cohen, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.