After hearing the judges’ decision declaring his opponent, Canelo Alvarez, the winner of Saturday night’s middleweight boxing championship bout by a majority decision, Gennady Golovkin exited the ring without participating in the postfight interview.
It was understandable. Just as he had one year ago, Golovkin appeared to defeat Alvarez, connecting on twice as many jabs and controlling the second half of the fight to seemingly defend his title. The judges saw it differently. Glenn Feldman scored it 114-114, while Steve Weisfeld and Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Alvarez.
It came down to the last round, with two of the judges giving the 12th round to Alvarez.
The decision was more respectable than the one from a year ago, when Golovkin appeared to rally from a slow start to outbox Alvarez and defend his title. That bout ended in a draw. Most observers, including HBO announcers Max Kellerman and Jim Lampley, thought Golovkin won the first fight. But neither were outraged, knowing it would lead to a rematch.
“At the end of the day, a draw is a result that should be satisfying enough for boxing fans, because it means we’ll get to see it again,” Lampley said moments after last year’s fight.
Well, not exactly. Even if the judges did their job and scored the first fight for Golovkin, both fighters did enough to show that this weekend’s rematch was warranted.
This time around, Alvarez (50-1-2) was the aggressor early, pressing forward and making Golovkin retreat. He took the first two rounds and was not as cautious as he was in the initial fight, landing several powerful body shots.
Golovkin (38-1-1) used his jab effectively to limit the damage and get back in the fight. After six rounds, the fight was even. It was in the final six rounds that Golovkin was able to create some separation, work inside, and connect on a few uppercuts to Alvarez’s chin.
Alvarez stayed busy as well, and certainly did not concede any rounds, using his left hook to continue to pepper Golovkin.
Kellerman, famous around these parts for declaring Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was “going to fall off a cliff” and would “be a bum in short order” more than two years ago, seemed to be taking the same approach to Golovkin, 36.
“Take nothing away from GGG, he looks more like an old fighter than he did even in their first fight,” said Kellerman toward the end of the eighth round. “Maybe he is starting to slow down.” Yet Harold Lederman, who was scoring the fight for HBO, had Golovkin ahead, 87-84 through nine rounds and considered Golovkin the winner, 116-112.
It was a much better performance for Alvarez than one year ago, and a much closer fight. Had the first fight been scored correctly, and Golovkin been declared the winner, Saturday night’s decision may have even been more palatable to some.
Lampley’s observation after the first fight also would have been more appropriate this time around, because boxing fans likely would have deemed a draw to be a reasonable conclusion Saturday night, and would sign off on a third chapter for this rivalry.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya cited the bad blood between middleweights Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan and David Lemieux when he said this had the potential to be the fight of the year. Lemieux had something else in mind
While both fighters made weight at 160 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in, Lemieux rehydrated to 179 pounds before the fight. O’Sullivan, who fights out of Murphys Boxing in Boston, entered the fight at 164 pounds. Lemieux’s power showed, landing a left hook on O’Sullivan with 25 seconds left in the first round to drop O’Sullivan and win by TKO.
Junior middleweight Jaime Munguia improved to 31-0 with 26 knockouts with one-sided, third-round TKO of Brandon Cook.
The opening fight saw Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez defeat Moises Fuentes with a TKO in the fifth round. All was not lost for Fuentes, who told HBO that he took the fight so he could buy a third car for his Uber business
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