The third instalment of a long-standing classic trilogy takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday night, as Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin look to settle their rivalry. Alvarez brings all the marbles to the table here, with his undisputed super middleweight title on the line.
DAZN televise Canelo vs Golovkin live on pay-per-view.
Both need little introduction, with Alvarez ruling in four different weight classes on a number of occasions, and ‘GGG’ a two-time unified champion at 160 pounds.
The pair originally met back in September 2017 at middleweight, where many observers felt the pair were hard to split, and so it proved in a split draw, with one judge somehow scoring Canelo a 118-110 winner, thankfully cancelled out by the other two arbiters.
A rematch was a natural, but it was tainted and delayed due to an adverse sample returned by the Mexican, and when the pair finally met again, almost a year to the day after their original contest, Alvarez took a razor-thin majority verdict.
Since then, the two have gone their separate ways. Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs) reigned at super middleweight and light heavyweight, and became undisputed champion at 168 pounds in November last year, halting Caleb Plant in eleven rounds.
His bubble was burst though for the first time since Floyd Mayweather Jr handed him defeat in 2013, when he was superbly outscored by Dmitry Bivol in an unsuccessful challenge for the WBA ‘super’ belt.
Golovkin (42-1-1, KO37) is now 40, and has shown signs of gradual decline from his prime.
The Kazakh has remained at middleweight, regaining the IBF and IBO titles in October 2019 with a hard points win against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and then retaining in seven against Kamil Szeremeta.
His last outing came in Japan in April, where he added the WBA ‘super’ title with a hard fought ninth round stoppage of Ryota Murata in Saitama.
Prediction: I can see this being yet another give and take, hard to score contest that will keep fans on the edge of their seats. The weight for me is the deciding factor, and the extra eight pounds will limit mobility for Golovkin, and I think Canelo can take advantage of that to record another win against his old foe, this time by unanimous decision.
Rodriguez defends world title
The undercard features Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KOs) who has had an excellent 2022 to date.
The Texan came in at short notice to take the vacant WBC super flyweight title in February with a points win against Carlos Cuadras, and backed that up with a superb eighth round stoppage of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in June.
He should have too much for Israel Gonzalez (28-4-1, 11 KOs) a three-time former world title challenger.
Prediction: Rodriguez can retain inside schedule.
Akhmedov faces Rosado
Ali Akhmedov (18-1, 14 KOs) continues his rebuild following a shock last round knockout loss to Carlos Gongora in December 2020, and he should deal with the teak-tough Gabriel Rosado (26-15-1, 15 KOs), but will likely need all ten rounds to claim the vacant IBF North American super middleweight title.
Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (11-0, 9 KOs) can take the vacant WBA International middleweight title with a points win over ten against Northampton’s Kieron Conway (18-2-1, 4 KOs), and Diego Pacheco (15-0, 12 KOs) should take the vacant WBC United States super middleweight bauble with a stoppage of Puerto Rico’s Enrique Collazo (16-2-1, 11 KOs) in their scheduled ten rounder.
Marc Castro (7-0, 5 KOs) can take another early win in his lightweight clash against Kevin Montiel Mendoza (6-1-2, 3 KOs), and Aaron Aponte (6-0, 2 KOs) can take victory on the cards in his eight round super lightweight encounter against Fernando Angel Molina (8-0, 3 KOs).
The sole six rounder comes at super flyweight, where Anthony Herrera (2-0-1, 2 KOs) can halt Delvin McKinley (4-3-1, 4 KOs).