Walking Down the Machine: Canelo, the aggressor, shines in victory

By Christian Giudice on September 15, 2018
Walking Down the Machine: Canelo, the aggressor, shines in victory
Alvarez, the aggressor, kept the vicious puncher on the outskirts of the ring. (HBO Boxing)

Alvarez proved to the world that amidst the allegations and suspensions that plagued him over the last year, he found solace in the ring…

Every great fighter learns something about himself by facing the toughest, most skilled opponents. After battling for 24 rounds over the last year, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin grasped the magnitude of the new level of respect they shared for each other in the ring. Making necessary adjustments after a controversial first fight last September, Alvarez beat his nemesis, Gennady Golovkin, by a majority decision to win the IBO, WBC and WBA titles along with the Ring Magazine title. Lacking the controversy of last September, judge Glenn Feldman scored the fight a draw (114-114), while Steve Weisfeld and Dave Moretti had Alvarez ahead 115-113 after giving him the twelfth round of the fight.

With much talk about what role Alvarez would play this time around, he shocked many in the boxing world by moving from primarily a counterpuncher who slid along the ropes for the majority of the first fight to an aggressive lead fighter who dictated the pace of the fight. By many accounts, it proved to be an extraordinarily brave move that placed him in danger for most of the fight.

Yet, Alvarez did not even hint at going to the ropes until the first minute of round eleven. Even then, Canelo did not stay there, and managed to earn the second half of that round. When asked after the fight about meeting Golovkin one more time, Canelo did not hesitate.

“I want to enjoy it first with my family,” he responded. “But if people want another fight, we will do it again, no doubt.”

Unfortunately, for Golovkin over the first couple rounds, that same doubt appeared in his demeanor as he allowed Alvarez to take charge. If Golovkin stalked in the first fight, he relented in the rematch. Even Alvarez’s corner acknowledged the reality—“See he’s more cautious”—between the first and second rounds.

A big check hook by Canelo in the first minute of the second round foreshadowed what was to come. Alvarez scored several eye-opening combinations in the same round followed by damaging uppercuts in the third, all the while doing something that is unheard of in boxing circles—walking down the Machine. What was so intriguing was that in the first fight Canelo landed more power punches—114-110—but none severely punctured Golovkin, while a host of Golovkin’s shots (in that fight) were clearly impacting Alvarez.

Using the fourth through sixth rounds as a barometer, Alvarez was the guy landing the bigger punches, while Golovkin piled up points on intermediate punches that lacked real substance. More importantly, no one reminded Golovkin early on that the body shots opened up the rest of his arsenal as he stayed away. Once again, Golovkin went back to the head with hooks and uppercuts, but only settling for one or two punches at a time.

Rabid Golovkin fans had to patiently wait until the fourth round at 1:48 for Golovkin to land a significant punch, a right uppercut. Leading into the seventh round, the narrative had been established: Alvarez, the aggressor, beat Golovkin to the punch as he kept the vicious puncher on the outskirts of the ring. To that point, Alvarez had made changes, and Golovkin did not.

Additionally, Alvarez appeared the fresher fighter.

It would be unfair to assert that Golovkin did not have brief moments of success; however, Alvarez matched him at every juncture as if to confirm to Golovkin this is my fight. Few would have argued that sentiment until the end of the eighth round when the old Golovkin finally came forward, literally. Finally committing to punches with a sense of purpose and with the bad intentions that defined his 18 knockouts in 20 title defenses, Golovkin managed to negate three right crosses by Alvarez at the beginning of the round by landing a right on Alvarez’s bloody left eye in the last ten seconds of the round. Previously, Golovkin did not attempt to engage or move inside, which contradicted everything he stands for.

By switching gears, Golovkin shifted the dynamic of the fight. What Golovkin lost in the previous eight rounds, he had begun to regain in the ninth. And he started by determining the momentum of the round and then jamming a forceful right hand in Alvarez’s face, now bleeding from the nose and eye, as the round closed out.

Brimming with confidence, Golovkin looked to build off the success.

Deep down the round meant something as it proved to boxing fans that great fighters, like Golovkin, even at 36, understand how to revert back to what made them great. That greatness emerged in the tenth round as Golovkin surprised Alvarez, now reeling, with a straight right—his biggest punch of the fight. To Alvarez’s credit, he displayed his heart and fighting spirit as he refused to back down and returned fire with a right and uppercut. In a round where Golovkin landed a five-punch combination, his first of the fight, both men can look back on their individual performances with pride as Golovkin steadfastly searched for that elusive knockout and Alvarez never wavered from his own attack.

Through the late rounds, Golovkin still peppered Alvarez with his sharp jab, and ironically, nearly landed the same amount (118-108) that he landed in the first fight. But the difference was evident: the jab in the first fight opened up his offense; in this bout, the jab represented a one-punch offering, often with no follow-up. In the eleventh round, Golovkin ignited a furious rally where he bested Alvarez, but the Mexican champion came back to rally with multiple right hands at the end of the round. These types of rounds proved difficult to score because both men exhibited periods of control or dominance. Since this pattern had developed throughout the fight, the twelfth round became just as critical as it had been in the first fight.

Eager to get to Golovkin in the twelfth, Canelo hustled out and walked into a left hook. Soon Alvarez took the initiative and scorched Golovkin with three straight rights, the last one landed as he accidentally slipped to the canvas. After trading rights and uppercuts through the middle of the round, the exhausted fighters were no longer able to maintain the same intensity. Prior to the bell, Golovkin landed one more right hand and closed out the fight with an uppercut. The gladiators hugged in the middle of the ring. Two of the three judges felt Alvarez did enough to win the round. Aside from the scoring, the men clearly understood the ramifications of what they accomplished.

Their names forever intertwined, but on this night, Alvarez proved to the world that amidst the allegations and suspensions that plagued him over the last year, he found solace in the ring. After Alvarez shouted “Viva Mexico” to his adoring crowd and raised his hand in victory, Golovkin, who rushed off, was nowhere to be found.

Christian Giudice
Author: A Fire Burns Within: The Miraculous Journey of Wilfredo Gomez
Author: The Rise and Fall of Alexis Argüello
Author: Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran

Website: christiangiudice.com
Email: christiangiudice@hotmail.com

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Геннадий Головкин - Канело Альварес 2 Full Fight 2018

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  1. don from prov 09:10am, 09/22/2018

    “watch now as Canelo (and Golden Boy) protects those belts more than anyone before him.”

    One of the reasons the sport, for me, is growing tired.
    Good post, Mr. Rax—

  2. raxman 07:05pm, 09/21/2018

    Thank you Don from Prov - I believe the proof was in the pudding. A truly great amateur was fighting opponents nowhere near his quality and we were all getting way too excited about it. People get carried away with how a banger bangs rather than who he was banging against… but
    watch now as Canelo (and Golden Boy) protects those belts more than anyone before him. I think its sad too - in the modern game the most talented fighters don’t test themselves anywhere near enough - unless your name is Lomachenko and then you struggle to find opposition to fight you - but at least he’s journeying into 135 territory to tempt the better bigger guys by giving them a size advantage (both Loma and Mikey Garcia are suffering from the same dilemma of their not being a big talent pool in their weight class - however they’re prepared to go north - at GGG career highest point he looked south, fighting blown up super welter after blown up super welter - enough said)
    But back to the point at hand - does anyone really think that Canelo is going anywhere near Charlo? Watch as he and Golden Boy try to tempt Errol Spence up 13pounds - before he’s ready to do so - just to make a big fight whilst giving Canelo a bigger advantage. But in the meantime does anyone believe David Lemieux was on this card by accident? The first Canelo defence will almost certainly be the guy who already lost to GGG and BJS

  3. don from prov 12:10pm, 09/20/2018

    Alvarez had the better team—
    aware of golovkin’s lack of speed &
    his tendency some have noted in the past to gas but use the jab to hide that
    + the long rumored idea that golovkin did not take body shots well
    ( age/better competition level would exacerbate some of the above)

    Knowing these things and working off the first fight, Alvarez coming in smaller, quicker, going to the body and pushing Golovkin back was smart.  Sanchez not understanding why Golovkin, given the fight he supposedly wanted, refused to fight it, was bad.  Whatever stamina issues GGG has, Canelo’s are worse.  Going LESS to the body than in the first fight was not smart on the part of Golovkin.  If GGG’s chin is as good as most feel, the refusal to take chances on being open (which he was going to be anyway) by going to the body/forcing the fight shows something missing in Golovkin.  Anyone imagine LaMotta doing the same?  Raxman has been saying “slow down” about GGG for a long time—he is/was right.  Both fighters overrated IMO.

  4. Kid Blast 12:36pm, 09/18/2018

    Canelo potshotted. GGG jabbed, Neither used many combos. SAD

  5. Koolz 10:20am, 09/18/2018

    watching the fight for a second time and well…No GGG is still winning this fight he really did control fight in the middle made Canelo miss huge shots and jabbed his face through out the match.

    Canelo hit with some huge shots but none of those even come close to GGG’s jabbing him in the face. 

    God I just have to say it again GGG’s boxing is just AMAZING!  This guy has Canelo throwing these huge shots that miss then he comes back with a jab, then turns and makes Canelo miss again!  I also loved his foot work and his turning to put his shoulder in Canelo’s face.

    GGG really out boxed him with jabs.   

    It’s not enough to take GGG’s belts.  No Way!!!!!!!!!!  Politics was involved in this.

    Canelo did a great job!  But damn did he eats some shots!

  6. thrashem 05:14pm, 09/17/2018

    I drank too much that night, enjoying the fight and had Canelo winning. The next day I reviewed the fight with my karate friend and we had GGG winning. He was ahead 2 or 3 rounds.
    The first fight between the two was much better. Canelo had to prove some points: he could trade with GGG and come forward. That he did, but it doesn’t win fights because GGG was getting off first, throwing more punches and his accuracy much better. Canelo was countering, swinging wildly and missing. There were some good exchanges.
    GGG won!

  7. raxman 04:12pm, 09/17/2018

    ringboxer - you’re not giving ray leonard enough credit or hagler enough criticism. Sugar Ray basically invented stealing a round by 30 seconds of action. It was tactical genius, and for that alone deserves some reward. In contrast Hagler was obviously having some sort of mental meltdown before-during- after that fight. Firstly why would he and his corner not realise SRL tactic after a couple of rounds and not allow it? And secondly what was with the god damn orthodox stance? Why would he feel the need to win whilst handicapping himself??? I have no sympathy for Hagler for that fight - he didnt fight the right fight.
    But really there should be no comparing this fight with the one we just saw. GGG vs Canelo was a close fight - saying anything else is bias. In fact I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a fight so even - if GGG gets the last round on all cards the fight is unanimous draw! I don’t think there has ever been 114-114 x3!
    In my opinion, the judges were swayed by the fact that GGG wasn’t able to fight the way that GGG usually fights. Canelo was able to keep the fight in the centre of the ring, and often had GGG backing up - in close rounds, that surely stood out to the judges- and in rounds where both fighters were causing each other the same damage, that could’ve been enough to give Canelo the round.

  8. Lucas McCain 02:28pm, 09/17/2018

    ringboxer, I think I recall Don King coming up to Dick Tiger after a decision loss (many years ago!) and telling him “if you had gone with me, you’d be winning decisions like these.”

  9. ringboxer 12:15pm, 09/17/2018

    You have to beat the champ to be the champ, Canelo was good but not good enough to take GGG’s title. Golden Boy and Oscar had a lot to do with this win. I have been a judge for 30 yrs .The same thing happened to Marvin Hagler when he fought Ray Leonard . But that’s Boxing.

  10. Koolz 01:19am, 09/17/2018

    you won’t be seeing Canelo till 2019.  He took way to many shots to the head.
    Really impressed by GGG’s boxing in this fight.  It was such an impressive Fight!
    Thank You Pete!

  11. raxman 06:40pm, 09/16/2018

    now the problem is, who does Canelo fight next if not a 3rd time vs GGG? To me the top guys at 160 - Charlo, and the winner of Jacobs v Derevyanchenko - tick high in the risk column and very low in the reward; and as far as watching a fight goes, Billy Joe Saunders is just a terrible match up - it’d be like Canelo v Lara - where Canelo had to chase him around the ring. Canelo isn’t going to pull off stalker mode vs BJS - it just feels a total boring fight for us.
    Obviously the goal has, for many years, been to match up Canelo with Spence Jnr. But ESJ is probably still a couple of big fights away (at 147) before he jumps to 160
    My fear - and prediction - is Canelo fights David Lemieux next - the same guy that was battered by Golovkin and schooled by BJS - a terrible fight for we fans but probably the exact same money for Canelo as fighting Jacobs, Charlo etc.
    At least GGG vs Billy Joe is a big chance - if the #3 doesn’t happen - and maybe Charlo vs the Jacob/Derevyanchenko winner - so not all is lost at 160 despite 80% of the titles being wrapped up tightly in Oscar’s grubby paws

  12. Kid Blast 06:19pm, 09/16/2018

    GGG always breathes like that between rounds.

    The referee had an easy evening as they never fought off the ropes.  Brilliant game plan by Canelo’s people

  13. Pete The Sneak 03:38pm, 09/16/2018

    Koolz, great and honest post my friend. You nailed it,

  14. Koolz 02:34pm, 09/16/2018

    It’s going to be the GGG vs Canelo Trilogy!!!!

    May 2019!

  15. Lucas McCain 02:24pm, 09/16/2018

    Is it possible GGG, at 36, is aware of his stamina limitations and didn’t want to get into the trenches until the later rounds?  In part, it showed the shrewdness of Oscar in stalling until they started their series.  The fight proved that Canelo, at his best, is on a par with a still dangerous but now past-his-best Golovkin.  Can’t take anything away from Canelo, any more than you can blame Marciano for running over Joe Louis and Ezzard Charles, but you might consider how cunningly his emergence was planned.  And credit to GGG.  I was impressed by the fact his chest was heaving as he gasped for air as early as the 4th or 5th rounds, yet he still ground it out until the bitter end.

  16. Chico Salmon 02:07pm, 09/16/2018

    The 115-113 score sounds about right IMO.

  17. Chico Salmon 01:59pm, 09/16/2018

    GGG had his moments, but he was way too cautious. Canelo dictated the fight,  did the work, used his superior speed and even appeared to be the stronger fighter. GGG caught Canelo with some good shots, but the title of this article describes this fight perfectly. Old cinnamon head did indeed walk down the machine. Clear victory IMO for Canelo. Good fight and both fighters put on a helluva show, but this was Canelo’s night. IF fights like this would be shown on network television, boxing would return to its former status as a first tier sport. MONEY destroys everything. Just take a look at the scum taking advantage of the hurricane, making a bottle of water more expensive than a steak dinner or jacking gas prices up in ying yang. .

  18. Kid Blast 01:11pm, 09/16/2018

    raxman has the beat

  19. Chico Salmon 12:45pm, 09/16/2018

    Koolz in the hizzouse. Tanks fo’ the link, Koolz. FURY ROAD !!

  20. Koolz 12:29pm, 09/16/2018

    I could edge this fight to Canelo it was terrific fight!  GGG showed amazing foot work and slipping jabs.  But Canelo showed great speed and countering.  GGG always falling for that Counter Hook when he dips his head down.  GGG’s Jab is still just amazing!

    But this fight seemed more like a Draw again.  Both these fighters are just incredible Middle Weights.  They’re Monsters!

    Not agreeing with the scores I mean Canelo didn’t even come close to winning round 9.

    As it was so close a second time there was no way GGG could win it by even a round or two rounds in Vegas Sanchez knew that.

    So Canelo edging makes sense.

    Also I like how it was Canelo coming forward and GGG showing and different gear in his boxing.  But it was GGG who had Canelo hurt bad in the 11th not the other way around.

    Fantastic fight!


  21. tetumbo 10:47am, 09/16/2018

    following a one-year layoff, Canelo essentially dared Gennady to KO him by not only standing right in front of him but forcing him backward the entire fight. did Gennady employ elusive defensive moves? did he counter with explosive punches? did he go to Canelo’s body to slow him down? NO because he’s only an average plodder with a TREMENDOUS chin and jaw. he’s also a Pouty PUSS and JACKHOLE for exiting the ring like a pouty and weepy little girl who got what they asked for but couldn’t handle it and without giving Canelo his props as IF he was robbed or somehow cheated(?!?). he’s done nothing but insult and impune Canelo’s reputation ever since he escaped with a “Draw” in their first bout. he then exhibits even worse sportsmanship by not accepting his loss like a true man and champion. he doesn’t deserve SHIT and Canelo should force him to work his way back into serious contention before granting him a third bout. otherwise, the sooner that POS exits the sport the better. he’s got nothing coming but retirement, which he should seriously consider following his struggles v. Brook, Jacobs, and convincing defeat at the fists of Canelo.

  22. Pete The Sneak 10:04am, 09/16/2018

    Great all around fight. Lots of action. I agree with the decision. GGG has no one to blame but himself. He spent half the fight letting Canelo dictate the pace and though his jab was working, Canelo was still able to walk him down for the majority of the rounds. Think about it, the man (GGG) that supposedly never takes a step backwards was doing so for half the fight. Sanchez knew it as well telling GGG “we’re losing.” With all that being said,  both men fought their hearts out. This was an outstanding fight, particularly towards the end where they were letting it all hang out and yes, Canelo does have some chin as he took some hellacious shots from GGG in the final rounds. No robbery here, at least not this time…Peace.

  23. Kid Blast 08:41am, 09/16/2018

    Max said Canelo “won the story of the fight.” WTF does that mean. Max showed way too much man lust for Canelo and constantly dissed GGG. It was sickening. Jones kept things level, at least. Max also talked about “muscle memory” as if he knew what he was talking about. He makes up things and then talks about them as if everyone knows what he is talking about. Enough. It was a great fight that I had GGG winning, but I can live with the decision. Canelo has one of the great chins in boxing history and only Cotto’s cousin ever really hurt him in a fight and that was a long time ago. Viva Canelo. Viva GGG

  24. Chico Salmon 07:43am, 09/16/2018

    Yo, Koolz…. Where you at, breh? FURY ROAD !!!

  25. Joaquin soto 07:09am, 09/16/2018

    I respect and admire both fighters.
    The difference in this fight is that Canelo looked as if he wasn’t afraid of GGG’s
    Power, hence going forward , which he didn’t much of the first fight. I watched all of
    Gennadys latest fight since 2013, and I’m not making excuses , however his conditioning didn’t look great .  It seem that GGG’ was quite aware that Canelo if not careful , could put him on the canvas, maybe not knock him out, but knock him down , which would give him the edge if it had gone the distance .Having said all that I wanted to see GGG get his victory he clearly won the first fight. However I’ve watched boxing since I was 17 and could tell when I thought a fighter was losing ,after the 5 round I saw the the fight was going Canelo way and that he was winning .. Even though Gennady rallied I don’t think it was enough to give him the decision ,
    congrats to Canelo he’s a true champion. My heart hurts for GGG I wanted to see him win.  Good jobs to the judges Dave and Steve u made a fair call.

  26. Lucas McCain 07:01am, 09/16/2018

    Chico—wait until the later rounds.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

  27. snowflake 07:01am, 09/16/2018

    Canelo won this fight. I’d rate myself as more of a GGG fan and someone who thinks Canelo fucked around, ran, dropped a belt, and avoided GGG for 2 years. I thought he lost the first fight pretty clearly and GGG had every right to be angry about getting jobbed, and the “Clenelo” incident was a bad look. But Canelo took the rounds he took cleanly. He backed his man up and consistently won the exchanges, even late in the fight. Almost every round I scored for GGG was close and could have gone the other way until round 10. He simply didn’t get going until Canelo slowed down a bit. More importantly, Canelo went toe-to-toe with the guy who comes forward constantly- and that guy backed off, over and over. If you listen to their corners during the fight,Sanchez clearly agrees- he was begging GGG to start a war because he knew they were down on rounds. I’m shocked by the tenor of the “robbery” comments as I came to see GGG win and thought it was a clear victory for Canelo. I can respect a draw and I can even find ways to score it 7-5 GGG (by being generous and giving every single swing round to him) so I see it as a close fight that could have gone either way. But I think people are allowing their hatred of Canelo to cloud their vision- they paid to see a come-forward punch machine and instead they have to try to rationalize their guy backing out, circling, and cautiously probing with the jab for most of the first 9 rounds. He looked ineffective and confused about how to get his game going, because Canelo was beating him to the punch and landing hard shots that made him question throwing caution to the wind. All that said, GGG did get back into the fight pretty well in rounds 10-11 and made it a great fight- both men should be proud of what they laid out last night. They are made for each other, truly well-matched rivals. But I doubt their will be a rematch anytime soon. Oscar has cashed his golden ticket and there are much easier fights out there that don’t see Canelo taking as much punishment as he took tonight. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Lemieux is next

  28. Chico Salmon 06:00am, 09/16/2018

    Here we go again. Haven’t seen the fight yet, ( would rather watch more important stuff like the documentary on the Jessica Chambers murder ) but the Knockout King should have left it out of the judges hands. Congrats to Canelo, he now has he unofficial title of “The Man” in boxing.. No mas to a trilogy, it would probably be another “close” decision. Will catch the fight later, I have a feeling that once again this fight didn’t live up to all the hype that surrounded it. Shame.

  29. Your Name 05:44am, 09/16/2018

    Jake Delfino, Andre Ward and RJJ have proven time and again to be biased. Always for the house boy. Of course you wouldnt care you’re a house boy too. GGG won by two rounds.. The house boy got the nod.  Ward and RJJ are the worst commentators in the sport BTW.

    Can’t wait to read Paul Magbags spin.

  30. raxman 11:41pm, 09/15/2018

    I don’t understand how anyone could be definitive in their opinion as to who won this fight. Most close fights have ebbs and flows with fighters controlling different rounds, the challenge then comes to realise that dominating five rounds and just losing the other seven, still means you lost the fight - its like the popular vote in politics!?!
    But this fight was different. I watched this fight in crowded pub in Port Melbourne, Australia, with neither HBO commentary or any group jingoism to sway my opinion - to me nearly every round was hard to pick; but as my general feel of the fight last time had GGG the victor, this time I felt Canelo had done enough. But having said that, if the score had gone GGG’s way, or been again drawn, I wouldn’t have complained.
    this was a great middleweight fight and I feel sorry for anyone who was unable to enjoy it as such

  31. Jake Delfino 10:42pm, 09/15/2018

    Roy Jones Jr. & Andre Ward, 2 of the 10 best lb for lb fighters of the modern era (both of whom are better than GGG or Canelo) had Canelo as the winner. I’ll trust those two Hall of Famers over anyone who took issue with this result.

  32. Jan Swart 10:31pm, 09/15/2018

    The Golden Boy fighter won in Golden Boy town, as one pundit put it. There is no way that Golovkin did not win this fight, or indeed the first one.

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