WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew (28-2-1, 18 KOs) says Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) would beat IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) if that fight happens. Bellew likes the 26-year-old Canelo’s counter punching ability, his well-balanced power, defensive skills and his fluidity. These thoughts are also echoed by Amir Khan, who sees Canelo as being the better fighter than Golovkin in the defensive, power and the boxing skills department.
Of course, it means zero what either of these two guys thinks, because we’ve already seen Canelo beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr. Erislandy Lara gave Canelo fits in 2014. That was the last time that Canelo fought a good opponent that was around the same weight as him. Canelo’s win over the 5’7” Miguel Cotto in 2015 was a size mismatch, as Cotto was clearly outweighed by Canelo in that fight.
Bellew said this to skysports.com about his opinion on Canelo being better than Golovkin:
“I believe Saul Alvarez is the only man close to middleweight who can beat Gennady Golovkin,” said Bellew. ”I do think ‘Canelo’ would beat ‘GGG’. I just think he’s the best counter puncher left in boxing, since Floyd Mayweather retired. He’s got power in either hand, he’s fluid, he got a fantastic defence and I just think him and ‘GGG’ would make for an amazing fight,” said Bellew.
Golovkin might open Bellew’s eyes by choosing to box Canelo the same way that he did in beating David Lemieux. I think Bellew is guilty of forming his opinion on Golovkin based on his fights against Dominic Wade, Martin Murray, Gabriel Rosado, Kell Brook and Willie Monroe Jr. Golovkin didn’t use defense in this fights. He charged straight ahead and swung for the fences. Golovkin didn’t need to use defense against those fighters, because they were out of his class. In Golovkin’s fights against Curtis Stevens and Lemieux, he fought much different by using his powerful jab to control the fight from the outside. When Golovkin did throw shots, it was single punches from the outside. He wound up wearing both guys down and getting stoppages.
Golovkin has the boxing ability, size, reach and the talent to beat Canelo just like he did in defeating Lemieux. It might not be as exciting if Golovkin elects to jab Canelo from the outside, but he’ll be able to avoid Canelo’s counter left hook that he throws. That’s Canelo’s bread and butter punch. He’s always looking for the left hook counter. Mayweather realized that back in 2013, which is why he jabbed Canelo all night long to get an easy win.
The fact of the matter is, Canelo is a limited fighter with a predictable style that is easy to beat if you have talent and a good boxing brain. Golovkin will get the results that he’s looking for if the fight takes place in 2017. If the fight is put off into the distant future, then Golovkin might get old waiting for the match, and then Canelo will his best chance of winning.