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Boxing: The paths to victory for Canelo vs. Golovkin

Boxing: The paths to victory for Canelo vs. Golovkin article feature image
Styles makes fights.

If you are a boxing fan, or a fight fan in general, this is a credo you’ve heard on nearly every card you’ve watched.

Earlier this week, we took a look at what was going on around this Saturday’s superfight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady "GGG" Golovkin. Today, we will look at what could transpire in the square circle, and how to use that information to help make a play on the fight.

Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) is a pressure fighter. His game plan is simple – he seeks and he destroys. But there’s a lot more to what Triple-G does in the ring besides just coming forward and closing the show with his power. He’s a clever defender and pushes the pace so that the fight stays on his terms. Oftentimes a fighter who’s as aggressive coming forward as Triple-G leaves himself open for return fire, but Golovkin’s chin has held up to this point and there’s not much evidence to suggest it will fail him in this one.

Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) is a counter-punch maestro. The 27-year-old Mexican is happy to sit on the ropes and use his top-notch evasive movement and boxing to open up opportunities to counter with combinations. Alvarez is an accurate boxer-puncher with a ring IQ that befits a man with over 50 fights under his belt in 12 years as a pro.

It’s a classic battle between a boxer who wants to pressure his opponent and another who wants to be pressured.

For the slightly-favored Golovkin, the winning formula is to be able to keep Canelo against the ropes as long as possible. Alvarez is very comfortable fighting against the twine because he’s incredibly slippery and moves his head well, but he’s not faced anyone with the power that GGG packs. Triple-G is a master at cutting off the ring, and should he keep Canelo backed up, he should be able to wear him down over time to put himself in good position for the win.

With GGG expected to push the pace, Canelo will have his chances to hit the Kazakh KO artist with his combinations. Power-wise, Alvarez is at a disadvantage, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any thunder in his mitts. His fight with Daniel Jacobs aside, Golovkin hasn’t been in many close encounters, and if Canelo keeps things tight he should have an advantage on the cards.

Stylistically, this fight is fascinating, and that’s why the odds are so tight. Since the fight is expected to be so close and he is listed on the plus side of the line, Canelo figures to see the lion’s share of the bets on fight night. But there’s been some buyback on GGG over the past couple of days.

There’s a lot more to come during fight week, including our picks for Saturday night. How do you see this one playing out?

[Photo: Joe Camporeale, USA Today]

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