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The Trilogy For Canelo And Golovkin

Credit: DAZN

New York – Four years later and after 24 rounds ending in controversy the trilogy comes to a culmination Saturday evening in Las Vegas. Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed champion at 168 meets his adversary Gennadiy Golovkin.

And this time there has to be a decisive winner because the trilogy has always ended a long and nasty feud of two fighters that want the right outcome. The first time, Alvarez and Golovkin had a controversial draw for the middleweight titles.

The next time, of course, another controversial outcome as Alvarez won a close and majority decision, only adding to the bitter rivalry of these two and a demand for a third fight that took four years to make. Alvarez was suspended for an illegal substance and Golvokin had a lot to say which got us to this point.

Alvarez would leave his Mexican counterpart, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions, signing a $350 million fight deal with streaming network DAZN and Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn which became a boxing record out of the ring.

There were legal issues with De La Hoya. Legal issues with DAZN. And then this two fight lucrative deal with the network that included a loss to Dmitry Bivol in attempts at getting another title at 175 and a trilogy with Golovkin.

It only added to their bitter and personal feud. And later, Golovkin confronted his issues as the talk continued. Then, Alvarez moved up in weight and became the undisputed King at super middleweight with a mission of continuing to be this best fighter on the planet.

In May, Alvarez had a quest to continue his legacy and failed to take the light heavyweight title from Dmitry Bivol, perhaps his worst defeat during this amazing run that designated him as best pound-for-pound.

Alvarez wants a rematch with Bivol, and perhaps that will come. But first this trilogy is more important for his legacy. And more so to finally determine who is the better fighter. The significance of course, for Golovkin, is to dethrone Alvarez of those undisputed titles that cemented a legacy he always wants to continue.

Well, perhaps the best and next to best will fight this time at 168, a weight Alvarez is accustomed to and at his best. All the belts are up for grabs and the anticipation is over. Both easily made weight Friday afternoon and late Saturday night there hopefully will be a decisive winner that will be televised exclusively in DAZN Pay-Per-View.

As I wrote months ago, when this fight was announced, the word trilogy and the association with boxing, though some the third time didn’t live up to expectations. This fight, though, should not be in that category of disappointment, yet, I can mention three fights with the late Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward and two that received Fight Of The Year accolades.

This one, though, again will see two fighters that know each other. They met this week face-to-face. No words exchanged and determination from both that made weight. The face-off had no fireworks and that speaks for the anticipation of Alvarez and Golovkin doing their thing in a ring at the T-Mobile Arena.

They are not friends and that has been obvious from their past encounters, though this week we heard Golovkin praise fans of Canelo and saluted their heritage. Alvarez had nothing to say about Golovkin, only once referring to him as a good fighter.

Then again, when was the last time Canelo Alvarez praised another fighter as being better than him, leading more to his claim as the best fighter on the planet? Though, Alvarez claims he won more than three rounds in the Bivol fight, and looking at that encounter numerous times will show he was a defeated fighter.

Canelo Alvarez lost that fight, unanimous on the scorecards and that showed. Bivol was more active and took that fight to Alvarez. He came at him and Alvarez’s punches had limited impact on the Russian champion.

Golvokin, the middleweight, is moving up in weight and that will be a focus, but this time weights will not matter because the punches will be thrown early and often. Three judges at ringside could have a difficult time, if as expected there is a slugfest.

They will both go for the knockout leaving this one out of the judges hands. More so, Golovkin, now 40-years of age, sustained his first loss in 44 fights to Alvarez. No fighter wants that blemish on their record, especially a controversial loss and then that draw as many said could have gone to Golovkin.

Golovkin sustained his first loss to Alvarez, a majority decision and that still stings.

So at the weigh-in, again no theatrics or controversy, Golovkin said in front of an oversized crowd of Alvarez followers, outside the T-Mobile Arena, “If you’re really boxing fan, you know who’s the real champion,”

The Mexican supporters of Alvarez were supportive of the opponent from Kazakhstan, aware their champion is confident and will come out as the decisive winner.

In the meantime, Alvarez came to the scale and remained silent, he is leaving all the business to take place in the ring Saturday night. The final faceoff had no room for theatrics and both went their separate ways.

“I want to finish it inside 12-rounds and I’ll be looking for it from the first round,” Alvarez said, who will be fighting on Mexican Independence weekend. “I know it’s not going to be easy, he’s a great fighter.”

For this fight the champion gave his compliments, Again, no nasty war of words or pre fight punches thrown, perhaps Alvarez realizes this is the fight he has to win after that bad performance against Bivol.

This is the natural weight for Alvarez, a division where he belongs and made boxing history as the first united champion in the four-belt title era. His legacy will be told on his quest to unify that was achieved Regardless of the outcome, he will go in the annals as a Hall of Famer and to many the best in this era next to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

But Golovokin has a different plan and finally gets his opportunity to dethrone a legacy that has been established. His time as a champion is coming to an end, the terrific knockout ratio has not been seen in his fights with Alvarez.

Two of his last four fights since meeting Alvarez the last time have ended in a stoppage, though this was not his adversary in the ring.

Yes, this is the trilogy and boxing fans hope for a decisive outcome with no controversy, though in the hands of the judges it always leads to suspense in a close fight.

And this could be another close encounter. If Alvarez can’t stop Golovkin within eight rounds, then it goes the distance. If so, I expect a close decision going again to Canelo Alvarez.

Then again, this is boxing. Thi is a trilogy that should live up to expectations and finally settle a score four years after they last the same arena.

Rich Mancuso is a senior writer Twitter@Ring786 Watch “Sports with Rich” live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with Robert Rizzo Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network.

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