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Why Gennadiy Golovkin believes his original strategy can win the trilogy fight with Canelo Alvarez

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For all the talk about what has changed for Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin in the four years since their highly controversial rematch, most of the discussion mentioned has focused on GGG’s age.

While it is true that Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs), who turned 40 in April, may no longer be the force of nature that once set a 23-KO streak to set a defense middleweight record. titles, both he and his team believe the changes surrounding Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) will have the biggest impact. Saturday Trilogy Fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las VegasDAZN PPV 20:00 ET).

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“It’s a little weird because to really get into this trilogy, you have to delete the first two fights,” Golovkin’s trainer Jonathon Banks told Morning Kombat last week. “The reason I say this is because both fighters are different from the first two fights. Before the first fight, Canelo was known as a boxer and an ascetic. Four years later, he doesn’t move anymore.”

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Banks, 40, a student of Hall of Famer trainer Emanuel Steward at Detroit’s Kronk Gym, is entering his fifth fight as Golovkin’s head coach, but the first against Alvarez since GGG parted ways with Abel Sanchez shortly after the rematch.

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“[Alvarez] The first two fights involved the smaller guy, and the third fight was the heavier one,” Banks said. – When you have such a big difference in styles and fights, everything is different. Canelo will no longer try to move. Canelo will face each other and try to inflict as much pain as possible.”

Alvarez, the reigning and undisputed super middleweight champion, will defend all four titles against Golovkin in the first of three fights in the 168-pound division. The 32-year-old Mexican star has also fought twice at light heavyweight since two GGG fights, including a unanimous decision loss to WBA champion Dimitri Bivol in May.

For all the talk of Golovkin slowing down with age – which could explain his 4-1 loss on Saturday – little has changed in his style and intentions. The Kazakh batter has been 4-0 since losing to Alvarez in 2018 by a majority decision, including unification of the IBF and WBA middleweight titles. The only other flaw in GGG’s unmistakable Hall of Fame resume remains a controversial draw against Alvarez in their first meeting.

The combination of Golovkin’s age and Alvarez’s recent surge in power in the big weight classes has led many to believe that a knockout is possible for the young fighter. But GGG told CBS Sports last week that he plans to stay the course in terms of his jab style, which has been giving Alvarez problems throughout their streak, and doesn’t feel the need to change his strategy in the hope of finally convincing the judges.

“It’s hard for me to say what needs to be changed because it doesn’t depend on me,” Golovkin said through a Russian translator. “Of course, I know that I need to get into the ring and show the best of myself, the best of boxing and the best of what I have. But at the same time, we are talking about the human factor here, we are talking about honesty, fairness and the calling of judges.

“Sometimes you have to be head and shoulders above your opponent to win by scoring a goal, because [rematch] showed. You saw the glasses, and the glasses didn’t reflect what we saw in the ring. It wasn’t as close as the estimates. We’re talking about the human factor here.”

While most believe Golovkin was blatantly ripped off in their first meeting in 2017, helped by an unscrupulous 118-110 card dealt to Alvarez by Adelaide Byrd in a rematch a year later, everyone from the referees to the media and fans divided.

The narrative in the second fight was that the three judges gave Alvarez a close lead mainly due to his ability to flip the script halfway through and knock Golovkin down. But for Banks, this is largely a misleading story, mainly because he believes the judges were tempted to favor Alvarez simply because of his aggression.

“I think in the second fight, just because Canelo was going ahead, they gave him those rounds, even though G was throwing punches,” Banks said. Canelo didn’t beat going forward. He was too busy blocking, but they gave him that ammo. Who knows what they are looking for or what they are looking at?”

According to CompuBox hitting stats, Golovkin edged Alvarez 218 to 169 in the first fight and 234 to 202 in the rematch. Alvarez, however, landed more powerful punches in both fights, including 143 to 116 in the second fight. Golovkin’s lack of body return, where Alvarez had a 46-6 lead in the rematch, was also seen as one of the reasons why Sanchez, who helped teach GGG his beloved “Mexican style”, was fired as head coach.

One could question Golovkin’s strategy of using exactly the same game plan as he enters the third fight in a series in which he won only one of the six final score sheets. This moment is even more embellished by the fact that two of the three judges this weekend have already participated in this series.

Referee Dave Moretti, who scored 115-113 for Golovkin in 2017, will join Steve Weisfeld in the trilogy after both also scored 115-113 for Alvarez in a rematch. David Sutherland, who has yet to referee the Alvarez bout, will make his series debut to complement a team of judges that also includes veteran referee Russell Mora.

What’s interesting about Moretti and Weisfeld, two of the most consistent referees in the sport today, is that both also scored 115-113 points in Alvarez’s last fight to Bivol, who used a heavy jab style that’s not too different from Golovkin style. succeeded in this competition.

“Gee and Bivol are two completely different fighters, like night and day,” Banks said. “[But] what did Bivol do [against Canelo], I really felt that G had the first fight. I think Bivol took something from G, so G doesn’t need to take anything from Bivol. I think Bivol looked at the first fight and said, “Damn, that’s what I’m going to do.” I’m going to use my jab because every time G did it, Canelo’s head came back.” The only difference is that one guy scored for it and the other didn’t. Who is who, I do not say, but you understand.

So Golovkin’s best chance of winning is also his only? And has he changed over the five years of this rivalry simply by not changing at all?

After all, according to CompuBox, Golovkin remains one of the most statistically dominant players in the history of the sport. And that remains the only style other than the Floyd Mayweather magic that Floyd Mayweather inflicted on Alvarez in his first loss in 2013, which caused Canelo repeated problems.

But why not just eliminate the possibility of “human error” as GGG put it, and go all in looking for a knockout against Alvarez?

“You know, easier said than done,” Golovkin said. “Of course, the hypothetical approach is understandable. On paper, it’s “let’s knock it out, let’s get this out of the hands of the judges.” But at this level, with such opponents, it is very difficult.”

Neither Golovkin nor Alvarez have ever been knocked down like a pro, and both took each other’s best punches to the chin in both encounters without forcing either of them to take an unnecessary step back.

However, to protect Banks’ strategy, the gist of his thoughts on Alvarez’s evolution remains true. The last time he fought strictly as a counter-punching boxer was Golovkin’s first fight in 2017, before a change in attitude and weight gain made him an offensive attacker with more attention to his body. Using the jab to neutralize Alvarez and using his aggression against him in hopes of creating opportunities for Golovkin’s legendary right hand remains task number one – as long as his 40-year-old volume remains high enough.

“My job is all about the strategy and punching power of my fighter,” Banks said. “I just believe that if Gee gets out there and really boxes him and lets go of his hands, I think he’s going to have a lot of success and the judges will see that. Even if they go the distance or not.

“It seems to me that if you have a fighter walking backwards, then the one who is walking forward is considered the busier fighter, but this is not necessarily the case. mentality? I don’t know how the judges look at it.”

The strategy may look the same for Golovkin, but the meaning of a potential win – at age 40, no less, over his nemesis – will certainly be sweeter for his legacy this time around.

“That would be amazing. I’ll tell you more – it would be just a historical event,” Golovkin said.


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