By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Abel Sanchez realizes there are plenty of things Gennady Golovkin could’ve done better to beat Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night.
But after antagonizing Alvarez over the past year for “running” in their first fight and his subsequent clenbuterol scandal, Golovkin’s trainer thinks it’s time to praise Alvarez for his performance in their rematch. The Mexican superstar’s sustained aggression and granite chin helped him edge Golovkin by majority decision in their second 12-round fight at T-Mobile Arena.
“Obviously, we wanted [Golovkin] to do a lot of different things,” Sanchez said during the post-fight press conference. “And I’m sure ‘Chepo’ and Eddy [Reynoso] wanted Canelo to do a lot of different things. But when they’re in the ring, they’re gonna do the things that they see available to them. Canelo fought the fight that he needed to fight today to win. The judges saw him win. That’s what’s important. You have to give credit to Canelo, instead of trying to say what we didn’t do. He fought a great fight.”
Two judges, Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld, favored Alvarez by the same score, 115-113. The other judge, Glenn Feldman, scored the fight a draw (114-114).
CompuBox’s unofficial punch statistics gave Golovkin a slight advantage in overall punches (234-of-879 to 202-of-622). CompuBox counted more jabs for Golovkin (118-of-547 to 59-of-256) and more power shots for Alvarez (143-of-366 to 116-of-332).
At times, Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) made Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) fight moving backward, which Alvarez and his team considered an important part of their strategy. The new WBA/WBC/IBO middleweight champion rarely fought off the ropes and didn’t move nearly as much during this highly entertaining encounter as he did when they fought to a controversial draw a year ago at T-Mobile Arena.
“I think, first of all, we have to congratulate Canelo,” Sanchez said. “Two guys fought a great fight. They gave us [their] all in the ring. Canelo is a champion today. He deserves it. He fought a great fight. Hopefully, we can do this again. I think the judges had it, what, two points or one round apart? So it’s obvious that these guys can make for great fights. So hopefully they can do it again.”
Sanchez also reiterated what he said in Golovkin’s locker room regarding the decision. He thinks their 12-round rematch should’ve resulted in a draw, yet he realizes this extremely competitive contest was difficult to score.
“We appreciate all the support,” Sanchez said. “But we can’t be hypocritical, standing here and standing here and complain about every damn decision we lose. Look, the judges were good judges. They saw the fight in Canelo’s favor tonight. Maybe next time they’ll see it our favor. But Canelo fought a great fight, man. You can’t take that away from Canelo.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.