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Gennady Golovkin vs. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez Pick

Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs)
When: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: PPV
Weight Class: World Middleweight Title
by Scott of Predictem.com

Betting Odds: Gennady Golovkin (-170), Saul Alvarez (+150)
Total: Over 9.5 (-220), Under 9.5 (+180). Bet the fight using your credit card to deposit and get a special 100% bonus at GTBets!

Fight Analysis:

Gennady Golovkin takes on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on September 16 in the fight of the year. Not only are these considered the two best middleweights in the world, but they are also two of the best fighters in a pound-for-pound sense. This is a rare moment in the careers of two top fighters where a legacy-defining fight is at hand. The opinions of this fight vary greatly and have created stirring debate. Let’s see if we can’t make sense of this and crank out a good pick. Honestly, a salient case can be made for both competitors.

Golovkin is 35. It hasn’t been easy for him to lure top fighters into the ring. He’s been monstrous in spots, seeing a KO streak of two dozen fights come to an end just in his last fight. He finally gets his chance to shine on the biggest of stages and the task is a big one in Canelo Alvarez. Once-beaten in over 50 fights, with that loss coming young against the best in Mayweather, Canelo has been improving since that fight and the time is ripe for this matchup.

A lot of this comes down to timing, with Team Canelo not appearing in much of a hurry to jeopardize their meal-ticket by throwing him in against a killer like GGG. But Golovkin looked more-human in his last two fights. First, he had a fight on his hands briefly with Kell Brook before finishing off the English welterweight. And in his last fight, he had a close 12-rounder with titlist Danny Jacobs, by far the closest fight of Golovkin’s career. Therefore, the Canelo team, seeing that GGG is 35 and might be slowing down, took the fight. And truth be told, now is about as good a time as ever. We can’t, however, rule out the chance that GGG let his foot off the gas in his last two fights to do something he hasn’t been able to do—lure a big name into the ring with him.

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While it is true that Golovkin is aging and has looked more-vulnerable in his last few fights, I’m not sure that signals a definite downturn. People seemed taken with the fact that Brook had some good moments against GGG, though he had to retire halfway through with a broken orbital bone. And against Jacobs, that might have been Golovkin’s toughest opponent and he still pulled through with what seemed like a fairly-clear win, despite some claims to the contrary. After destroying everyone in his path, winning a decision was just a different look for GGG. At his age and with two of his less-dominant performances in his most recent outings, the storyline is that GGG might be headed downhill. I’m not so sure that has been proven with any clarity.

Still, Canelo enters this fight with some advantages. He has been improving and flashing more power as of late. He’s nearly a decade younger than Golovkin and this is a sport where youth is served more often than not. And in a sport like this, we need to be realistic. A Mexican superstar fighter in Las Vegas always seems to have a built-in house advantage. Those forecasting a close distance fight need to account for the politics of the sport. And in this spot, thinking that GGG might have to do more than Canelo to get a decision isn’t an entirely misplaced sentiment.

Stylistically, there is a mixed bag. Canelo hasn’t seen things go all his way in his career, losing to Mayweather and struggling with guys like Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara. All of those fighters are slick boxers. Not to paint GGG as a Neanderthal slugger, but he’s not a slick mover, either. In other words, Canelo won’t have to go looking for him and that might be more up his alley. But Golovkin is perhaps a little more-subtle than some give him credit for.

Golovkin is a slugger if you were forced to call him something. But it’s with a twist. He’s not a slugger like a Joe Frazier or Mike Tyson. He operates with room. He’s more of a mid-range slugger, using space and range expertly to set up his power-shots. Alvarez, as he has shown time and again, is more-suited to in-close action. His punches are compact. His offense at mid or long-range can sometimes be lacking. The range of his offense at its best is somewhat limited. Golovkin doesn’t take a lot of jabs, as he uses range to circumvent his opponent’s attacks. The concern is that Canelo is pretty stubby for a 160-pounder. GGG won’t be facing a long middleweight like he did when he fought Jacobs.

I see range as being key in this fight. Canelo has shown improved power in recent fights, sometimes of the one-punch variety. He employs a heavy dose of body-work. And most, if not all of his significant punches are landed at close-range. Golovkin and his team surely know this. And at mid or long-range, Canelo might be in trouble if the fight stays there.

The plotline of Golovkin getting old and fading might not hold as much merit as Canelo’s better level of competition. Whereas Golovkin has had trouble getting top fighters in the ring, Canelo has swapped leather with some top guys. He will still be only 27 by fight night, but sports a real veteran’s ledger, having taking on a lot of good fighters with varying styles. If looking for the top five guys these two fighters have faced, all five would likely be Canelo opponents. With Golovkin, there is more projection involved. We know, but we really don’t know. After all, he has built his reputation on beating “the best of the rest.” And after all that, Canelo might be a bigger jump in class than some are suspecting.

Neither side of this bet has a foolproof case and that’s really the way it’s supposed to be in a superfight of this nature. With Golovkin’s fearsome form waning in the last few fights, his lack of a true signature win, and the fact that Canelo is the A-Side in this fight—a good case can be made for Canelo. I just see certain stylistic elements shaking out better for Golovkin, who I feel will rise to the occasion and score the big win. I’m taking Triple-G.

My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on Gennady “GGG” Golovkin at -170. While not a perfect fighter, Golovkin won’t have trouble finding Canelo. With a more-robust offense and fight-ending power, in addition to his handling of range and ring-geometry, I see GGG’s package of skills being enough to surpass what should be a strong effort from Canelo in what could be a great fight. For the largest amount of betting options on the Golovkin/Canelo fight, check out 5Dimes!

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