Best bets for Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin trilogy fight

LAS VEGAS — Canelo Alvarez was badly behind on the scorecards after nine rounds of his September 16, 2017 middleweight title fight against Gennadiy Golovkin. He had to do something dramatic to stand a chance, and he did.

Alvarez drew out the final three rounds and ended up earning a majority draw.

A year later it was the other way around. Alvarez led the cards 87-84 after nine rounds. Golovkin swept 10, 11 and 12 on Glenn Feldman’s card and won 10 and 11 on Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld’s cards, but Alvarez stayed on to win a majority decision.

On Saturday, four years after the rematch, the men meet again in their match on DAZN PPV at the T-Mobile Arena to win the undisputed super middleweight title.

The stakes are high: Golovkin has been largely overlooked since that rematch and his opponents have been vastly outnumbered by Alvarez. Since 2018, Alvarez has fought Rocky Fielding, Daniel Jacobs, Sergey Kovalev, Callum Smith, Avni Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders, Caleb Plant and Dmitriy Bivol.

Most recently he fought against Alvarez, Golovkin faced Steve Rolls, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Kamil Szeremeta and Ryota Murata.

Alvarez rose to No. 1 on most pound-for-pound lists after defeating Plant to become the undisputed super middleweight champion, though he fell back somewhat after losing to Bivol in May.

Alvarez has won a light heavyweight belt and all belts at 168 and believes there is something worth taking on the challenges he has taken on.

“I think I’m the best fighter in the world because nobody does what I do in boxing,” he said. “No one takes risks like I do, and I don’t need to take risks. I love challenges and I still feel like the best.”

Golovkin is 40 and while he doesn’t look any different than he did when he was 30, that’s the main reason he’s such a huge underdog. Alvarez is a -450 favorite at BetMGM, although bookies across the city say not much action has been wagered up to this point. Golovkin is +340.

Canelo Alvarez (left) and Gennady Golovkin (right) pose during a news conference Thursday, September 15, 2022 in Las Vegas.  The two will compete in a super middleweight title match in Las Vegas on Saturday.  (AP Photo/John Locher)

Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin pose during a press conference Thursday, September 15, 2022 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Highly respected trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards says Golovkin’s age is a concern even if he is in excellent shape.

“A clean fighter at 40 is still a 40-year-old fighter,” said Edwards, who trains in Las Vegas. “I don’t know if Triple-G’s style ages well and in my opinion he needs to overtake Canelo to win. I don’t know if he has a gas tank like that now.

“I watch him fight and he’s always breathing heavily. I just don’t think he can outsmart Canelo. … It’s good that Triple-G doesn’t have to shave off the extra eight pounds and he should be feeling fresher. Still, I think Canelo is in a better place in his career.

Neither man has ever been knocked down in his career, although Alvarez insists he will stop Golovkin on Saturday. Alvarez is upset by what he believes to be nonsense from Golovkin and has called him a swindler.

Edwards said that coming to terms with defeat was a new experience for Alvarez. His only other loss came in 2013 when he was defeated by Floyd Mayweather Jr. as a young fighter.

Edwards said it’s something to watch.

“People just assume Canelo will get over this loss,” Edwards said. “He lost. He got his butt kicked. And look, Canelo has over 60 fights under his belt, he wears a knee brace and sometimes you get little cracks in the ice before it all falls apart. Canelo could also slip. He has many career struggles. He’s fought a lot of tough guys. He’s been at it for a long time.

“You have to watch out for that, although I think Bivol had his ticket just that night.”

Golovkin was once a vicious body puncher, but he doesn’t go to the body that much anymore. Edwards said that Alvarez counters when opponents go to the body and therefore it’s risky for his opponents to take him that way. But given that Alvarez has such a great chin and speed advantage, this will be Golovkin’s only way to slow Alvarez down.

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Gennady Golovkin exchange punches in the fourth round during a middleweight title boxing match Saturday, September 15, 2018 in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin exchange punches in the fourth round during a middleweight boxing match Saturday, September 15, 2018 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Alvarez has developed into a great boxer-puncher and Golovkin had assisted much of the second half of the rematch.

Trainer Johnathon Banks said he would like Golovkin to dish out more punches than he did in the first two fights. This will be difficult, but it also increases his chances of winning.

“I think G’s game plan should be to go straight to him, face him and be ready to go as hard as possible for as long as possible,” Edwards said. “He has to hit him wherever he can. Head, hips, arms, body and just throw. But if you watched those other fights, Golovkin threw a lot of jabs because he can’t build a big offense against Canelo because of Canelo’s counter ability.

If Alvarez Golovkin holds back like he did in 2018, he’s on his way to victory.

This appears to be an Alvarez fight. He has age on his side, has the faster hands and has multiple attacking options. My feeling is that he wins another exciting fight.

However, it makes little sense to bet on Alvarez. If his Mexican and Mexican-American fans come to town, they’ll bet on him, likely putting the odds above 5-1.

At BetMGM, Golovkin is now +700 to win by decision. It’s much easier to bet $100 on a guy who almost won the first two fights and hope for a $700 payday than bet $500 or more to win $100.

I think Alvarez will take it by decision but it’s not out of the question as the first two fights have shown Golovkin will take it. So my official betting prediction is Golovkin by decision at +700. If Alvarez ever falls below 3-1, which is unlikely, I’d bet he wins. But without that happening, the Golovkin value play is by decision.

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