The rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez is on. The location is still being decided but the date has been set in stone: Cinco de Mayo (a.k.a. May 5, 2018).
Enough about the atrocious 118-110 scorecard from the first fight, or the sleazy negotiation tactics of Golden Boy Promotions. What’s important is that this rematch got made and we now get to see two of the greatest fighters of this generation touch gloves for a second time. There were so many ways this rematch could have fallen through, and thank god it didn’t. This will undoubtedly be one of the biggest fights (if not the biggest) of 2018.
The news was announced yesterday by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, which was weird but also oddly entertaining. While we wait for May 5th to roll around, let’s consider the opening odds for the fight and a couple side-bets, provided by Bet365. [Check out our in-depth Bet365 sportsbook review.]
Gennady Golovkin (-188) vs Saul Alvarez (+150)
Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) won the people’s scorecard in the first fight, and Saul Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) was met with a chorus of boos during the post-fight interview. It makes sense: Triple-G was the aggressor throughout the entire bout, applying constant pressure and throwing (and landing) a greater number of punches. Canelo took the more cautious approach, making use of his movement and relying on the counter.
Both Golovkin and Canelo have a much better understanding of each other now, but who will put that knowledge to better use in the rematch?
Usually, it’s the more technical and cerebral fighter who stands to gain the most. Recall last year’s rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. Ward, who boasts one of the highest fight IQs in the sport, returned to the ring after a close first fight and completely picked Kovalev apart.
Canelo is the more versatile, more adaptable fighter. After analyzing his 12 rounds against Golovkin, he’ll return with a handful of fresh ideas. To date, Golovkin has taken a very similar approach to all his fights; he applies constant pressure, relying heavily on his jab, and looks to set up his vicious straight right.
That’s not to say that Golovkin is not a technical fighter. He’s an Olympic medalist with a storied amateur career. But when it comes to his fighting style, there’s little variation. He’s content to march forward, eating a handful of shots in order to land a few of his own.
Then there’s the issue of age. Canelo is only 27 years old, still in his physical prime and only getting better. Golovkin will be 36 by the time of the rematch and his best years are behind him. Eight months may not seem like a long time, but for a fighter in decline, it could make all the difference.
Canelo now knows that he can handle Golovkin’s power, and Golovkin knows that he can handle Canelo’s. There shouldn’t be much of a “feeling out” period in the rematch, and it likely won’t take long for it to reach a boil. Both fighters know what they’re up against and they’ll pick up where they left off.
Due to the perception that Golovkin won the first fight, the Kazakhstani opens as the clear favorite. However, if you believe that the draw in the first fight was a fair outcome (and after going back and re-watching the fight, I think it was), then there’s great value in picking Alvarez at a neat +150.
Pick: Saul Alvarez (+150)
Odds of a Second Draw: +2000
For the first fight, the line for a draw opened at +3000 and closed between +1200 and +1600. The decision placed many bookmakers at a loss, and they’re little more cautious this time around. Another draw would set up one of the most exciting trilogies in modern boxing history. If you want to try to will the series into existence, sprinkle in a few bucks. For a fight this evenly-matched, another draw is very possible. But it will be difficult for the judges to forget the backlash over the first result. They will certainly try to block it out and score the rematch completely anew, but they’re only human and it could easily impact their scoring subconsciously.
Betting advice: stay away, but if you’re keen to bet on a draw, do it now before the line shortens closer to the fight (just like last time).
- OVER 11.5: -175
- UNDER 11.5: +125
Neither Canelo nor Triple-G came even remotely close to scoring a knockdown during the first fight. Regardless of who you thought should have won, we can all (barring Adelaide Byrd) agree that it was a close fight.
Betting advice: Unless there’s a drastic change in the rematch, Golovkin v Canelo 2 will enter the twelfth round. Take the OVER.