As advertised, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered an amazing fight. What blindsided most of us, though, was that the hard-fought battle ended in a split draw. Many thought GGG’s relentless assault and power punches were enough to get him the victory, while others elected Canelo as the victor for his flashier combinations and eye-catching counters. The dissenting opinions among fans, however, sort of justifies why the decision was a stalemate.
The bout was really close, as both men dominated in different portions of the match. To put the middleweight showdown in a nutshell, GGG clearly owned the middle chapters and Canelo scored significantly in the beginning and again, in the last three frames. The only real questionable part of the result was official judge Adelaide Byrd’s scorecard that had Gennady winning only two rounds. We’ll say no more about the lady’s blunder, as the boxing public has already scorned her enough for it.
Off to the more interesting, more fun discussion, now that the smoke has cleared. What’s next for the GGG and Canelo?
The next step that makes the most sense for Gennady and Canelo is to go at it again as soon as possible. Signing up for a rematch will secure both boxers their biggest paychecks—yes, more than the $15 million purse they earned in their first tiff—and another chance at notching a win that would elevate their names to legendary status.
Taking a tune-up fight would be unwise for both fighters, as it would open up a window for an upset that would really make Golovkin-Alvarez 2 a lot less attractive and lucrative. In terms of cashing in and elevating their legacies, an immediate do-over would be the best. With the prizefighters having already expressed their desire to face each other again and the truckloads of money that the promotional companies are set to make, we strongly believe that an encore will take place.
From a promoter’s standpoint, however, scheduling the fight on the weekend of Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo holiday would be perfect for the reprise. Riding the wave of the festive mood, especially within the Mexican fight fans would certainly generate more revenue. The only problem is the seven months in between the initial meeting and a May 2018 re-encounter. It might do more harm than good if GGG and Canelo would sit it out till the big day. In that case, the boxers might be forced to step inside the squared circle before showdown no. 2. To shake off the ring rust, build up more momentum and make the rematch one of the biggest prizefights ever, GGG’s camp and Team Canelo would first want to win spectacularly against these guys:
GGG vs Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam
Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam holds the regular version of the WBA World Middleweight Championship belt as opposed to Gennady’s WBA Super World Middleweight Title. With that in mind, GGG going after him sounds just right. Becoming the WBA’s sole 160-pound king by beating a banger with a deadly right hand would certainly be a good look for GGG. And in disposing N'Dam N'Jikam of France, especially if he can do it with little trouble, Gennady would be doing his part in hyping up Golovkin-Alvarez 2.
Canelo vs Billy Joe Saunders
Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders is the WBO World Middlweight champ. He’s an undefeated southpaw, who’s light on his feet and likes to throw fast combinations. Dethroning him in decisive fashion should be Canelo’s primary objective if he wants his second date with Gennady to blow up. GGG already has 4 belts in his possession and with Canelo winning one more, every single major middleweight crown will be on the line when they duke it out for the second time. Talk about spicing things up!
Best fights aside from a rematch
With the tremendous show that they put on the last time, GGG and Canelo have become the sport’s most celebrated fighters. To keep it that way, a rematch must take place. But if somehow, someway, if the Boxing Gods would just want to screw us over and the impending Golovkin-Alvarez trilogy gets derailed, GGG and Canelo could still remain as the alphas of boxing if they’d take on these names:
GGG vs Andre Ward
Even if GGG can’t land a rematch with Canelo, Gennady is still the undisputed middleweight ruler. His belts (WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO) would gladly speak for him. But with no meaningful opponent in the weight category more than Alvarez, it’s time for GGG to take on a new challenge. He should set his sights on the light heavyweight division and go up against its top dog, Andre Ward. Should a match with the highly acclaimed 175-champ get arranged, GGG would be a huge underdog as he’ll be at a disadvantage in every physical aspect. However, win or lose, if he can hold his ground against a pugilist in the caliber of the former Olympic Gold medalist, Gennady Golovkin will be remembered as one of this era’s true warriors.
Canelo vs Daniel Jacobs
With GGG out of the picture, Canelo should aim to accomplish exactly what Gennady did and clean up the 160-lb weight class. He should start with the best among the bunch, Daniel Jacobs. The fighter, nicknamed the Miracle Man is big, fast and powerful. And he almost handed GGG his first loss. A win over this middleweight standout will make Canelo Alvarez the most important person in boxing. He’ll have fortune he’s never dreamed of and he’ll get to call the shots as he moves on with his career. Should he fail, Jacobs will be in the mix of boxing’s biggest draws.