Golovkin-Canelo and The Predictable Controversy


By Tris Dixon, photo by Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos

IN the end we got what we wanted but we had to take it with one hand while accepting what we least desired with the other.

Gennady Golovkin-Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez was riveting rather than wild, captivating rather than scintillating, but as a fight that is good enough. Yet when it was all over it was the scorecards that were causing the fight to trend on social media, not the performances of the boxers.

Two scorecards were plausible but one, belonging to Adalaide Byrd, was simply outrageous.

Early on there was more imagination and variety from the younger Mexican and Golovkin looked a little predictable. Gradually that predictability became a constant, grinding pressure. He had looked short on ideas yet still he came forwards and in the fifth the bombs began to detonate. They smiled when they landed and shook heads when they took shots, acknowledging success and damage in equal measure. The fight simmered and began to boil at stages in round six. Golovkin led, Canelo countered. Yet in the seventh Alvarez began to wait for his second wind and it seemed reluctant to come.

By the eighth, and with little between them, you could feel a controversial climax on the horizon. It was hard to separate the two, whether you preferred the eye-catching shots of the Mexican star or the volume of the Kazakh machine.

Both showed signs of wear and tear in round 10 but, if it was of any help to the judges, Golovkin was apparently enjoying it more and looked comfortable. Canelo reverted to the back foot and at one point Golovkin even burst forwards in pursuit of him, not allowing the redhead any respite.

At the bell to signal the end, both celebrated with the audience who had witnessed quite a fight. There was plenty to cheer, after all. It didn’t last, of course. Why would it? It’s boxing. We are used to glory being replaced by frustration. We swim in the murkiest waters of sport, so much so that we have allowed ourselves to be isolated by a mainstream that has grown weary of this tiresome garbage. 

Controversy is now boxing’s default setting, that the ‘home’ fighter or the ticket-seller gets the good end of the stick while the ‘away’ fighter gets the sharp end.

Whether you preferred stoic Golovkin’s pressure, intensity or more clinical approach or Canelo’s more flashy punches, pluckiness and composure under fire it was close. It was a quality bout between two top-drawer boxers. The majority may have scored narrowly for Golovkin. Some felt it was all level. Other believed Canelo might have just edged it. But Byrd had it a complete rout for the Mexican, with Golovkin winning just two sessions out of the 12 rounds.

Who would have predicted that going into 2017’s two biggest money spinners in Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor and Gennady Golovkin-Saul Alvarez we would have been left with the more sour taste from the latter.


Yes, it was superior fight but the aftermath has sabotaged that, certainly for those who do not dig for information beyond the highlight reels or the headlines.

It was supposed to be the event for the ‘real boxing fan’. It was supposed to be a reward for tolerating the excess of what went before, on August 26. It should have been a tonic. Instead, Byrd’s scorecard left the sport open to ridicule once more.

Mayweather entered the ring against McGregor wearing a mask, signalling the monetary heist that was about to take place. It should have been Byrd, as she robbed the sport of credibility and integrity it needs from the highest level down. It would have made the sport a laughing stock, had we not seen it all before.

We may have grown tired of the empty whisperings of conspiracy theories and corruption but many seasoned observers from press row predicted controversy beforehand. It is the way it goes. Boxing lurches from one to the next like a drunk knocking into streetlights on a weary walk home. Just when we think we have two stars we can rely on for our kids to look up to, a fight we can tell our non-boxing friends to tune into and an actual bout to be proud of, the rug gets pulled from under us and we are all made to look rather stupid again. The joke is on us for associating ourselves with this sorry old racket.

What will be done about it? Nothing [Byrd has been stood down from major fights, as was CJ Ross after the bizarre 114-114 Canelo-Mayweather card. Yet we know it will happen again]. When will it happen? Never. And this is not just a Las Vegas thing. It’s not only Sin City that often sins, though the Nevada State Athletic Commission is often held in high esteem and cited for it’s progressive nature.

Yet nights like this undermines the work it does on fighter safety and the work it does with drug-testing agencies. Everything gets undone when things like this happen. We can still celebrate Golovkin and Alvarez and their ability to take the type of blows that have sent other man into oblivion as they pushed each other to the wire. But should the rematch happen we will be bracing ourselves once again.

There might be a cherished few who savour the contest, who have rewatched and scored it again with no commentary, trying to get to the bottom of what happened for their own piece of mind. They might not have found the answers. Byrd’s card was hard to justify and impossible to explain.

It is the one thing we did not want yet it is the one thing many of us expected.

Until next time.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by aboutfkntime on 09-20-2017

[QUOTE=Scipio2009;18072027]Simply walking forward and letting punches bounce off of your face isn't something I'm going to simply reward; the round was clearly closer, but [B]I rewarded Canelo's cleaner work[/B].[/QUOTE] yep....... [QUOTE]Na. I just [B]favor clean, effective punching over chasing a…

Comment by Scipio2009 on 09-20-2017

[QUOTE=BennyBlanco;18069507]Round 7 was easily Golovkin's best round of the fight, and you gave that to Alvarez??? And in round 8, Golovkin outlanded Canelo by a bigger margin than any other round...but that one goes to Canelo too? Are you related…

Comment by BennyBlanco on 09-19-2017

[QUOTE=Scipio2009;18063064] Canelo basically took the first 4 rounds, Golovkin won Round 5, Golovkin maybe won Round 6, Alvarez edge Round 7, 8 was close, Alvarez won Round 9 and 10, 11 was close, and Alvarez won the 12th going away.…

Comment by aboutfkntime on 09-19-2017

[QUOTE=Rock&Roll;18067157][B]Being agressive is NOT a style, it's a disposition.[/B] Outside fighters can be aggressive and inside fighters can be defensive. You should watch amateur boxing, not professional boxing. How many time have you been told PRO BOXING IS A BUSINESS!!?!?!…

Comment by Rock&Roll on 09-19-2017

[QUOTE=aboutfkntime;18066961]no, that is absolute rubbish it used to be that way TV networks spawned ruling for the guy going forward..... in an attempt to encourage dummy-boxing..... or rock-em-sock-em robot boxing..... so that fat lazy yanks - who have little appreciation…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (57)
Top Headlines Eddie Hearn Wants Fast-Moving Josh Kelly to Fight in America Paddy Barnes To Challenge For WBC Flyweight Belt, Aug 18 In Belfast Jamie McDonnell: I'm Going To 126-Pounds, Will Target Big Fights Lewis Benson believes he is taking reasoned risk in Coyle fight Usyk vs. Gassiev To Land in Moscow on July 21, Says RBF Exec Joe Joyce Willing To Face Bryant Jennings Next Hurshid Tojibaev, Two-Time Olympian, is Eager To Go Pro Arum Names Amir Khan as Possible Foe For Terence Crawford Ohara Davies Confident That He Would Beat Maurice Hooker Vijender Singh Aims To Impress Against Lee Markham, Win Title Errol Spence Continues To Make It Look Easy WBC Prez in High Spirits: Canelo-GGG Rematch Can Be a Classic! Miguel Berchelt Already on Weight, Feels Very Strong For Barros Yordenis Ugas Wants His World Title Crack at Errol Spence Arum Shakes Head at "Bad Blisters on Feet" Claim For Jeff Horn Artem Dalakian Knocks Out Thaiyen in Eight, Retains WBA Belt Artur Beterbiev is Appealing Recent Legal Victory For Michel Chris Byrd: Wilder Can't Take Pressure, Almost Lost To Old Man Photos: Angel Acosta Stops Carlos Buitrago To Retain WBO Belt Paul Smith Announces His Retirement From Boxing Danny Roman: I'd Like To Unify With Rey Vargas or Isaac Dogboe Spence Unimpressed: I Only Did What I Should've Done to Ocampo Photos: Danny Roman Outboxes Moises Flores, Keeps WBA Title Granados: Fortuna Was Looking For an Excuse, Let's Rematch! Photos: Granados vs. Fortuna Ends Early With Freak Accident Photos: Errol Spence Crushes Carlos Ocampo in One Round Spence: I Want Garcia vs. Porter Winner Whenever it's Available! Photos: Josh Kelly Breaks Down, Stops Kris George Photos: Lewis Ritson Crushes Paul Hyland Jr. in One Round Photos: Ricky Burns, Gavin McDonnell Get Big Wins in Newcastle Tony Bellew: I'll End Tyson Fury's Comeback Run, No Problem! Ocampo: I Got Overconfident at The End, Spence Caught Me Spence: A Little Disappointed, Wanted it To Go Until 4th or 5th Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Retires Cristian Mijares With TKO in Three Angel Acosta Stops Carlos Buitrago in Final Round, Retains Title Hearn: Canelo-Golovkin Deal Pushes Back Joshua-Wilder Fight Jose Zepeda Survives To Score Dramatic Knockout of Carlos Diaz Richard Rivera Stops Jaime Solorio in The Eight Round Errol Spence Wipes Out Carlos Ocampo in One Round Errol Spence vs. Carlos Ocampo - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard

Latest Active Forum Threads