Canelo vs. Golovkin 2: The Codependency Continues

By Paul Magno on June 19, 2018
Canelo vs. Golovkin 2: The Codependency Continues
The rematch is now set for September 15 and we can again expect to be disappointed.

Ever know a couple—or maybe you’re one-half of such a couple—that is just so awful for one another, yet they stay stuck to each other?

Ever know a couple—or maybe you’re one-half of such a couple—that is just so awful for one another, yet they stay stuck to each other? He cheats on her, she cheats on him, he poisons her cat, she burns his clothes. They vow to never get back together. They vow to be fully committed to moving on. Two weeks later, though, they’re back, living together and brewing new drama. For whatever emotional/psychological reason, they are drawn to the dysfunction and to the drama.

In boxing, Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are that couple.

In the case of Golovnelo, it’s not hard to understand what keeps drawing them together—it’s money. Fighting each other delivers a bigger payday than fighting anyone else. There’s some professional pride there, too, especially from the Canelo side of the coin, as he was pretty much shamed into taking the first fight and now has something to prove in the second, but this is really about money.

Of course it’s about money, right? It’s prizefighting—something that tends to be forgotten by some fans and media when a fighter like Golovkin plays to their desperate need to believe in the macho fairytales they tell themselves about boxing.

For Golovkin, fighting Canelo was always about the money and when the red-headed step-champion ventured up into Triple G’s middleweight turf, it was time to cash in with a fight that was not only a HUGE monetary score, but also a winnable bout against a fighter who had never fought a true middleweight before.

The young Mexican star was never really a middleweight, despite testing the waters for odd 155 lb. Caneloweight bouts, and went full middleweight just for a big-money fight with WBC middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto, who, himself, was just moonlighting at the higher weight. Canelo wanted the ego boost of a belt at 160 and the bragging point of being a two-division world champ.

But Golovkin became obsessed with a middleweight Canelo and his team (with the aid of his loyal Golovkinites and fawning media) set about forcing Canelo to stay put so their guy could get that big payday they had all been pining after.

If it was about “big drama shows” or simply the drive to kick the baddest asses out there, the Kazakh KO machine could’ve gone up and met Andre Ward when Ward was still ready and willing to accept the challenge just one division higher than Golovkin. But Golovkin preferred to long after Canelo, as he had longed after an aged Sergio Martinez with two rickety knees in 2013 and then the undersized Cotto in 2015. And while lusting after what his people surely viewed as highly winnable paydays, he piled on soft touch paydays with full and complete impunity—18 world title romps in total—without anyone ever pointing out that not getting his two dream paydays probably shouldn’t have entitled him to a lifetime of tailor-made opposition.

But Golovkin is nothing if not bursting with entitlement. As I wrote over at my other gig:

“Looking over a career that has been remarkably hand-rigged and filled with a copious degree of entitlement, GGG rose to prominence fighting smaller men and those stylistically tailor-made to make him look good. A casual look at Golovkin’s résumé shows that of twenty ‘world’ title fights, at least ten have come against fighters moving up in weight from at least one division below and none—until Daniel Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez—have come against anyone with the physicality or skill level needed to even make Golovkin breathe hard.”

Saul Alvarez, meanwhile, also knows a thing or two about entitlement.

He was gifted the WBC junior middleweight title in 2011 when he was allowed to fight welterweight no-hoper Matthew Hatton for the 154 lb. title. The WBC, smelling money in the then-20-year-old, followed that with a free pass on five straight soft touch defenses.

To be fair, Alvarez did step things up with fights against tough and very difficult stylistic match-ups in Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara, as well as agreeing to terms with the much-avoided Paul Williams before Williams’ career-ending motorcycle accident. During that run of integrity there was also Miguel Cotto and, of course, Floyd Mayweather. But that stretch of legitimate matchmaking didn’t last too long as an increasingly jaded Canelo willfully dove into shallow waters for bouts with welterweight Amir Khan, Liam Smith, and cash-starved underachiever Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Then, the two met…finally. Predictably, the bout was an overall disappointment as it became buried in whining and excuse-making from both sides of the great Golovnelo divide. The fight, itself, was solid and most people agreed with that—until the “right” guy (i.e. “their” guy) didn’t win. Nobody was happy with the draw and everybody blathered on about the injustice of a bout where, realistically, a draw was not an outrageous decision. But, damn it, they had chosen a “side” and they were gonna keep fighting!

Canelo’s clenbuteral scandal has added even more fire to the dysfunction since then, fueling both sides and pretty much guaranteeing another level of joy-snatching drama for the event and its aftermath.

Despite some early hope that the toxic pairing had finally split up over money issues, last minute wrangling “saved” the fight. So, the rematch is now set for September 15 and we can again expect to be disappointed.

If Canelo wins, Golovkinites will cry about Golovkin being too old or about the judges being in Canelo’s pockets. If Golovkin wins, Canelo fans will piss on Golovkin for beating up a junior middleweight or for getting consideration after pitching a hissy fit at the scoring last time. There’s zero chance of walking away satisfied after the rematch and 100% chance of both sides trying to parlay the frustration from another anticlimactic encounter into a part three.

Then, it’s on to Cinco de Mayo, 2019 for the next stop on the Canelo-Golovkin Codependency Tour.

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  1. Kid Blast 02:52pm, 06/25/2018

    James Steel has the beat

  2. JamesSteele 10:58am, 06/25/2018

    I’m looking at all the Magno criticism of GGG. Kid Blast is correctly supporting GGG. It’s important to point out the horrible judging that allowed Canelo to escape with a draw when GGG clearly won a unanimous decision. The evil creature called Adalaide Byrd had it 118-110 for Canelo…lol !
    Sadly we have to endure the occasional corrupt nature of boxing. While I’m a big fan of the great Andre Ward he was obviously handed the win in the first fight over that jerk (Kovalev) by corrupt or incompetent judges in the first fight. While I’m glad Kovalev got screwed over the point remains that all of us are commenting on what clearly is a flawed and corrupt sport. No other sport short of Pit Bull or Cock fighting is more corrupt.

  3. ceylon mooney 07:39pm, 06/21/2018

    alvarez-cotto was not at middleweight it was at a catchweight (155).

  4. Jason M 10:07am, 06/21/2018

    I think my issue with this article is that is somehow implies GGG was ducking or cherry picked his opponents, to the point of avoiding other, better deserving fighters. Rosado was a tough guy, Macklin, big, strong, middleweight, Stevens, huge puncher, was in the title mix for real when GGG fought him, Geale, champ, Rubio, champ, Murray, big, hungry, took Sturm and Martinez to the limit, Monroe, tough, slick, not easy to look good against, Lemiuex, star power, HUGE puncher, titleholder, Brook, super fast, tough dude, took it to GGG, then Jacobs, the middleweight boogeyman (whom he beat in a GREAT tense fight, but clearly outboxed DJ) then Canelo, whom he clearly outboxed, so who was he supposed to fight? I wanted the Ward fight myself—-Everyone knows Ward is a giant pain in the ass to deal with…plus he practically hid out in Oakland for like 6 years. Andre Ward wasn’t giving up anything to fight GGG, and GGG wasn’t giving up anything to fight Ward. No issue the guy is 2 divisions north of GGG..I still hold out hope that fight happens. But anyway, I always appreciate different perspectives, but GGG is taking on his division..I do hope he goes to 168 and fights DeGale or Zurdo, then calls out Ward.

  5. Koolz 02:02pm, 06/20/2018

    I just want to say also GOD DAMN!!! Mexico you did it you beat Germany!
    that was Great!
    The Germany that beat Brazil four years ago was a conspiracy and it involved later a coupe of the real president.

    You Had that silly Snowden (get it Snowed In!)  like Catch 22 yea he is fool of goo he is boo whoo a lying psycho of the Rockefellers.  And Wikileaks creates a huge Protest in Brazil that removes the real president.  Wikileaks is like the Great Treasure box that has the net above it you don’t see.
    It also has a Kill Box for those who speak out and do some real leaking.
    Yes this ties all together with Germany Beating Brazil and Mexico Beating Germany in the World Cup. 
    Now as for Mexican Pride in boxing well….you win some you lose some…
    Is it really smart to fight Mexican style.  Hit but don’t be hit seems to be the complete opposite of Mexico.
    Canelo will fight at Angles backing up and countering GGG coming forward.  Didn’t that happen in the first fight?

  6. Ollie Downtown Brown 01:32pm, 06/20/2018

    “The Brawl In Montreal” turns 38 today. Now that was a REAL superfight. That was one fight, “The Fight Of The Century,” the other one, that actually lived up to the hype.

  7. Koolz 12:59pm, 06/20/2018

    One thing I find interesting is GGG vs Canelo really is the biggest fight in Boxing right now.

    The only other that competes would be Joshua vs Wilder.

    We have GGG vs Canelo.

  8. Koolz 12:53pm, 06/20/2018

    GGG said let’s meet half way instead of the full 168 and Ward wasn’t having it so that fight didn’t happen.
    Of course the Lemiux being in the mix is part of an excuse as to why the Ward fight didn’t happen.
    No Ward wasn’t ready for GGG that’s silly.  Ward needed a few more fights to be ready for Kovalev. 
    GGG’s team didn’t just turn tail and run.  GGG’s team made some crazy offers and Ward wasn’t having it.
    At no time did GGG’s team agree to terms for a 168 fight with Ward.
    Golovkin considers himself the A game here no matter who is fighting remember that.

    GGG and Froch in the UK would have been Epic but Froch decided he has had his Glory and he is done.  Or I should say his wife asked him do you really want to fight again?
    Follow your Heart not your Mind.
    Does anyone even box in the Canelo vs GGG fight both guys are really upset with each other and it’s not hyperbole.

  9. Da Troof 12:43pm, 06/20/2018

    IF we lived in a perfect world, GGG would have been awarded the decision against Canelo and he would be the “A-side” fighter in this situation. Canelo is another overhyped MANUFACTURED creation of the media. Your “guy” lost, get over it.

  10. don from prov 11:27am, 06/20/2018

    Thanks for the link!

  11. Kid Blast 11:12am, 06/20/2018

    Who elected you the great mediator? I write for another site, thank you. I have no interest in writing a rebuttal. Both you and Paul know damm well what my salient point is. I’m just plain sick of the syllogism that says, I am Mexican. I love all fighters who are Mexican. Canelo is a Mexican. Therefore, I love him. I’m not accusing Paul of this but I get a daily dose of this via Tumbo and I’m sick of it and frankly, I’m sick of Canelo and even more frankly I getting sick of you!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just fucking ignore me if you disagree with me but the more you rebut, the more it seems I am getting to you which is not my intent. My intent is to be done with this thread, and especially your piling on .

    Now you can compare me with Steven Miller, or Rudy, or the Biblical Sessions, or the feckless——, but I will not respond.

  12. Paul Magno 11:08am, 06/20/2018

    @Don…there’s plenty out there and I do keep up with the “politico”’s just the first thing that popped up…—96761.  the Ward-GGG ideas predate this article, too…at one point, Ward was laughed off by Golovkin as attempting to take advantage of Golovkin’s star power…Then the excuse was made that they had already signed a Lemieux bout,,but the contract offered to them had a provision for each fighter to face one interim opponent before their match-up…Again, I’m not going to play time machine matchmaker…but the “lots of names” that didn’t want to fight him really amount to Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto…so, forgive me if I’m not swayed to the GGG talking points that he had no choice but to fight hand-picked opposition for 8 years…The buck stops with you when it comes to finding big, meaningful fights…there’s a LOT we don’t know about the backstage business dealings in the sport and why fights don’t get made, so the only sane, fair thing to do is to hold all fighters to the same standards…But to believe that Golovkin—with a tremendous push from HBO and status as a sanctioning body sweetheart with world title bouts around his waist was this helpless lost warrior, looking only for meaningful battle…well, that’s bullshit…they parlayed this “most feared” image and a media free pass to 8 years of easy paydays…they played the business just like everyone else tries to do…what gets people riled up when I’m critical of GGG is that I’m only judging him like everyone else is judged—using black and white reality and not the image and cult built around him…As for the Ward stuff again…it’s clear that risk/reward was in their mind…I don’t see what counter-arguments could be made…the bout was discussed, Ward was on board, Golovkin’s side wanted deal-killing concessions and then moved on without a real period of negotiation…That’s their right and I don’t blame them for that…but what I find distasteful is the utter reluctance to admit that, yeah, this guy is also a real human being with a team that looks out for his best interest by trying to make the easiest fights for the most money…I’m arguing to treat everyone equally, by the same standards…these other people are arguing that GGG should be held to a different standard…I don’t buy it and never will…

  13. don from prov 11:00am, 06/20/2018

    Why these space taking squabbles about nothing?
    Ted, you complaint seems to be ” but the article, despite it’s title,  is heavy with the implication that GGG is the B Side and Canelo is A” yet you would say the exact same thing in another situation.  In fact, you are one of the people who keep telling me that boxing is a business and that the A side fighter is the one who can draw more fans/money, and that = Canelo.
    If you don’t like the writer or feel that GGG is a proven great fighter—

    then write an article showing he is.  And Mr. M, I AM trying to have a discussion and get some links/documents/opinions..  Forget the non-fight.
    Talk to me.

  14. kID bLAST 10:38am, 06/20/2018

    “;;;;or maybe because I’m Mexican, my judgement is clouded…”


    Now please ignore me before the editor gets pissed off and bans me. As I said, I’m done and done. Apparently, you don’t know what that means.


  15. Paul Magno 10:34am, 06/20/2018

    @Kid…what, exactly, would be the point I should concede? Not getting why I should agree with something I know to be wrong just for the sake of the other person’s ego…Prove me wrong and I’ll admit it…I’ve written several “boy was I wrong” articles…but I’m not understanding your point…If you engage me in debate, am I just supposed to roll over and let BS continue being BS? Or am I supposed to take attacks on my integrity with a little “aw shucks” grin? I don’t know about you, but I actually mean what I say and take this (proportionately) seriously…Am I supposed to say “I see your point in saying that I’m a biased, prejudiced POS…hurray, let’s have pie!” The one with the bias here is you…and that comes across quite clearly from seeing everything we’ve both written…so, why concede to that? You get what you send with me…if you want an honest discussion, we can talk in a civil manner…if you want to try and stomp on me and my character, then I will fire back…what’s not computing for you? I would never consider going on one of your articles and saying, not that I disagree, but that you are a disingenuous, biased liar for what you’ve written…YOU are the one who can;t see the other side…why is it always necessary for you to take shots at me, personally, for what I’ve written…shoot at the actual subject matter…or maybe because I’m Mexican, my judgement is clouded…

  16. don from prov 10:28am, 06/20/2018

    “Ward-GGG was being discussed prior to GGG’s fight with Lemieux…Golovkin’s team made catchweight demands and demanded the lion’s share of the purse…then walked away immediately…this is well documented…at the same time, though, GGG was willing to move up to full 168 for Froch and Chavez Jr. Loeffler, himself, said it was a risk/reward decision to not seriously consider Ward. ...” 

    Could you give me links to articles/stories/documents that back this?
    I am especially interested in “then walked away immediately”—
    AND Loeffler talking about not wanting risk/reward of Andre Ward.
    Plus, would you anticipate counter-arguments about what went on, and what would you say to those arguments?  Again, I don’t keep track of these politico parts of boxing, but then regret it.  Would much appreciate links.

    So, the part of your article I don’t agree with has to do with GGG as he was coming up: It does seem that a lot of folks did not want to fight him—
    Who do you think he could have/should have faced?  Could, in your opinion, his lack of early career major opponents = poor promotion/management/staying in Europe too long?

    And Froch—-your opinion that it was just wrong timing?
    Or do you feel a really large money offer could have changed things?

    P.S. I love “Forget about the whys—fighters are held to the truth of their black and white records…fighters and their teams need to find ways to meet challenges and grow their starpower..” have long believed same. But would still like to know some of the “why” have documentation on Ward/GGG.
    If it’s not too much trouble, I hope to see (and save) same.

  17. Kid Blast 10:17am, 06/20/2018

    Paul, have you ever conceded appoint to someone else. Have you have said “I see your position.” Christ, son, it’s not all or nothing. Grow some skin and if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen because writers do tend to get questioned from time to time.

    Done and done

  18. Paul Magno 09:26am, 06/20/2018

    @Don…Ward-GGG was being discussed prior to GGG’s fight with Lemieux…Golovkin’s team made catchweight demands and demanded the lion’s share of the purse…then walked away immediately…this is well documented…at the same time, though, GGG was willing to move up to full 168 for Froch and Chavez Jr. Loeffler, himself, said it was a risk/reward decision to not seriously consider Ward…My point has always been that—despite the he-man fetish that has developed around the idea of this guy—the reality is that GGG and his team have played the business extremely well…Forget about the whys—fighters are held to the truth of their black and white records…fighters and their teams need to find ways to meet challenges and grow their starpower…you don’t just say, “well, Sergio won’t fight me…so let’s find the most tailor made opposition out there for me”...nobody gets away with that, except Golovkin…Can you imagine the unholy hell that would be unleashed on Errol Spence if, 7 years from now and 17 defenses into his title reign, he was still fighting the Carlos Ocampos of the division, trying to blame his run on Keith Thurman not wanting to fight him? Please. People are already starting to grumble over Spence and his title run. It’s bullshit the way this man gets this free ride…and he gets the free ride because the media loves the image created around him…a smiling assassin who cares nothing for business, but only lives to kick ass…but he’s no different than anyone else…he wants that money and he wants favorable risk/reward bouts…now that he’s pretty much in the driver’s seat at 160 and there ARE some true challenges in the division, you don’t see him tossing caution to the wind to meet those challenges…No, his people are saying about Charlo, for instance, what Martinez said about Golovkin…there’s not enough money in taking that kind of risk…I’m not gonna play matchmaker in the time machine for this guy, but you know as well as I do that styles mean more than names when it comes to matchmaking…He was allowed to pick styles very favorable to him without getting one ounce of criticism…Until the Jacobs fight, he barely had to break a sweat at any point of his career…it’s not because he’s THAT awesome…He’s proven that—at best—he’s about at the level of Jacobs and Canelo (and neither is anything more than solid, high-end contemporary fighters)...He looked like a beast, in great part, because he was allowed to essentially handpick everyone put before him…Who gets to do that for 18 world title fights? More importantly for media, who doesn’t ever point this out while it’s happening?

  19. Paul Magno 09:05am, 06/20/2018

    @Kid Blast….you say that I’m biased because of an “innate dislike” for Golovkin, yet you use clever little nicknames for Canelo? That kills any credibility you may have when discussing this…I have an innate dislike for bullshit…something which I clearly made clear in this piece and over the last several years…Just tell me one fighter—anywhere and at any time in boxing history who would’ve gotten this same free pass for 18 straight world title fights—with not even a hint of criticism or critical thought applied…If you can’t see the craziness in that, then you must just have an “innate love” for this guy….As for A-side/B-side stuff…well, that is ALL determined by who can generate the most money…not by betting odds or who you think won last fight…believe it or not, boxing is a business…

  20. don from prov 07:50am, 06/20/2018

    Geez, sure as hell did not intend to set off full frontal!!

    What, you a pitbull thinks smelling meat just because questions posed?
    I just wanted Mr. M’s opinions.  Now I’ll never hear them.
    You should take a Valium—

    Allow DISCUSSION.  Nap your EGO.

  21. Balaamsass 07:40am, 06/20/2018

    Azerbaijani born Ramil Guliyev is the World Champion in the 200 meter sprint! Think about that for a Goddamned minute….these people in Eastern Europe and even beyond are just plain stronger than Western Europeans! Physicality! More fights are won because one fighter is more physically gifted than another than are won with “heart” and “guts”! Take a good Goddamned gander at Spence….ripped to shreds and vascularity up the ying yang….. the only thing that gives pause though is those telltale nips!

  22. Kid Blast 07:25am, 06/20/2018

    Oh yes. if I had one choice—and only one—to watch either Alvaroids or Gennady in a fight, the selection would be axiomatic. GGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Kid Blast 07:22am, 06/20/2018

    I’m not going to start a war here but the article, despite it’s title,  is heavy with the implication that GGG is the B Side and Canelo is A. Paul, I think you have an innate dislike for GGG for whatever reason and you simply cannot bury it. To most observers, he won the first fight. Also, to most observers, he will be a betting underdog in this one—given the way his last three rounds went against Clenalo. Fine, call it what it is.

    As for fighting Ward, that’s just plain baloney. That fight was never a likely one what with Kovalev around.

    Let’s get Billy Joe into the equation here. Charlo has been a tad exposed IMO. Jacobs also is in the mix.

  24. don from prov 07:13am, 06/20/2018

    There are some little, stupid typos in that post.

    And the site exploded the paragraphing.  Sorry—
    The questions remain, I believe, solid.

  25. don from prov 07:06am, 06/20/2018

    “...the Kazakh KO machine could’ve gone up and met Andre Ward when Ward was still ready and willing to accept the challenge just one division higher than Golovkin.”  I NEVER felt that GGG wanted to fight Ward, while Ward would have been more than willing to face him—logically, to me,and partially evidenced by Ward moving on to secure a fight with a supposed bigger, and badder,version of GGG in Kovalev.  The idea is often met with and argument

    saying that there was never a time that the Ward/GGG could actually be made and/or Ward did not want it either.  I am terrible at the politics of boxing and at dates about what could have happened when and who didn’t really jump at the chance.  One dependable boxing person backed up my feeling that GGG did not want any part of Ward with a time-line, etc. but it has left my mind.

    So, my question for you, Mr. M is can you lay out a logical time—reasonable offers or movement toward that fight—line, whereby you can say: Here, this shows that Ward was ready to go, but GGG /his team did not want the fight?
    All the while anticipating and countering counter-arguments that could/would come up?  I’d love to see that.

    On part of your article that I don’t necessarily agree with concerns GGG on his way up: Who was he supposed to fight who was willing to meet him?
    Where there things you felt could have been done to secure tougher fights as he moved toward the championship?  And with who? 

    Last question—
    Do you feel something could have been done money-wise to bring
    about Froch/GGG?  If so, could you defend that idea a little?
    I am not going to attack you but might ask questions.
    To me, this all = a worthwhile and interesting discussion.
    (Though having it in person would of course be better.)

  26. Balaamsass 06:53am, 06/20/2018

    Memo to GGG: You’ve got your money now so get the fuk out of Wlad mode and stay out! No more Goddamned fencing! You were so Goddamned scared that if he landed anything of note in any round in the first fight that they would gift him the round…..and you were right….Addy Byrd was giving him brownie points when he broke wind for Christ’s sake! But now it’s different….you’re set to retire at 36 for Ghrist’s sake! Legacy?! Your legacy has already taken two big hits in your last two fights….if this one goes the distance it’s shot for the simple reason that there is at least one guy at 147 and a couple at 154 that could not only beat the redhead but could even stop him in the process!

  27. Your Name 06:33am, 06/20/2018

    Let It Go.

  28. Kid Blast 06:31am, 06/20/2018

    Solid theory, especially if you follow the money.

  29. Your Name 02:48am, 06/20/2018

    Caneloroids will get beaten to a pulp before been ko by Golovkin.

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