Canelo vs. GGG: “And the winner is…Father Time”

By Norman Marcus on September 17, 2018
Canelo vs. GGG: “And the winner is…Father Time”
Many who saw Saturday’s fight feel that Golovkin won it. It was that close. (Ed Mulholland)

When boxers hit their mid-30s it is usually time to hang up the gloves, check your bank account and maybe open a restaurant…

So this middleweight title fight is now in the Boxing Record. Do we know who is the better fighter? Here is just my take on the bigger picture.

I’m not going deep into why Canelo had Clenbuterol in his system last April and why the fight was cancelled at that time. Or why he quickly got his boxing license back after six months. Alvarez says that the drug came from eating tainted Mexican beef in training camp. He must have eaten a lot of triple cheeseburgers to make the drug tests pop twice on him like that. First a positive spot test on February 17th and another on February 20th. There was a lot of money to be made with that fight and time waits for no man!

Now Clenbuterol is basically used to pack on muscle before a steer goes to slaughter. But doctors will also tell you that it is often used as a masking agent to hide other heavy duty steroids put in the body of an athlete or a racehorse. It increases stamina, wind and muscle. But this issue was decided and settled last year so let’s move on.

The nearly 37-year-old Gennady Golovkin went with his usual battle plan Saturday night. GGG is a power forward. He cuts the ring off from his opponent. Hand speed and defense are not terrific but adequate. He likes to swarm and overwhelm his opponent. When he opens up with shots, he gets hit but he seems to have a jaw of iron. Nothing the other guy throws seems to bother him. He is not afraid to take a punch if he can unload a harder one. He also has a great left hook to the body.

Twenty-eight-year-old Canelo Alvarez, on the other hand, is more of a boxer-puncher. He likes to counterpunch and fire from a distance. The redhead likes to use his bulk to push his opponent around and take command of the action. He has a good right hook and uppercut.

But there was a third man in that ring last night and I’m not talking about Benjy Esteves, the referee. It was Father Time. He was there with his clock. It’s been ticking for Gennady Golovkin for the last couple of years. He turned professional late, at 26 years of age. Many trainers recommend turning pro in your late teens. They won’t even start to train a fighter in their early 20s. Amateur bouts are fine but just put an Olympic gold medalist in with a world champion. It was done once and it didn’t work out too well for the newcomer.

Let me explain: Pete Rademacher was a very experienced amateur fighter. He was a “four-time Northwest Golden Gloves champion, Army Champion and National Amateur Champion. He won the heavyweight gold medal in boxing at the1956 Melbourne Olympics.” The day before Pete’s win, Floyd Patterson had defeated Archie Moore in Chicago for the heavyweight title left vacant when Rocky Marciano had retired undefeated. The “Old Mongoose” was 39 years old at that time. Patterson was just 21. Floyd was the youngest heavyweight champion until Mike Tyson won the title at 19 years of age decades later.

Patterson’s first title defense, for the big money, would now be against this four-time amateur boxing champion Rademacher. The fight in Seattle on August 22, 1957 went just 6 rounds. Patterson was knocked down once in round 2, but then Rademacher was dropped seven times before Pete was finally knocked out.

Moving on with my story, GGG was on a KO streak himself in 2006. He had won 36 straight bouts by KO. No one wanted to step into the ring with that Kazakh with the sweet smile. Then, on March 18, 2017 without warning, an alarm went off. Gennady fought a good boxer named Daniel Jacobs. All the other contenders were said to be afraid to step into the ring with GGG.

Jacobs’ greatest victory had been his battle over cancer. It has been played up big in the press. I am not taking anything away from Daniel Jacobs. He is a good boxer and a good family man. But that night Golovkin had not been able to get the KO! Jacobs went the distance! It was a UD12 win for Golovkin (114-113 and 115-112 twice). But the streak was over. Perhaps it was a sign. GGG was now in his mid-30s. Canelo was in his mid-20s. The odds were shifting in the redhead’s favor.

Waiting is nothing new in boxing. When boxers hit their mid-30s it is usually time to hang up the gloves, check your bank account and maybe open a restaurant. Bernard Hopkins or Archie Moore, how many others can you name that have defied time? Some famous heavyweight bouts come to mind here. Look at these ages, Dempsey 31/Tunney 29, Marciano 27/Louis 37, Patterson 21/Moore 39, Holmes 31/ Ali 38.  The numbers are pretty consistent. Father Time usually wins.

Many who saw Saturday’s fight feel that GGG won it. It was that close, 105 to 104 going into the final round. It was an MD12 win for Canelo. The fight was a great one. But I would have loved to have seen it five or six years ago.

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Stephen A. Smith & Andre Ward debate if Canelo Alvarez deserved win over Gennady Golovkin| ESPN

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  1. fan 03:42pm, 09/17/2018

    offensive guy should not always chase good defender because judge do not give round to power forward.

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