By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Abel Sanchez wasn’t surprised Canelo Alvarez stood his ground and fought Gennady Golovkin in their rematch.
Golovkin’s trainer figured continually chastising Alvarez for “running” in their first fight would help make him exchange more with Golovkin on Saturday night. Alvarez didn’t move nearly as much in their second bout as he did during their first fight, which resulted in a controversial draw a year ago at T-Mobile Arena.
The newly crowned champion took Golovkin’s hardest shots, landed more power punches than the former champion and even forced Golovkin to fight moving backward at times on his way to winning a majority decision. Sanchez applauded Alvarez’s aggression and even said the Mexican icon redeemed himself following the performance-enhancing drug scandal that delayed their rematch four months.
“I expected Canelo to come out and give us the type of fight [he gave us],” Sanchez said during the post-fight press conference. “He was goaded into it. I said in many interviews he had a chance to erase the issues that he had in May. I believe that he erased the issues that he had in May. What a great champion he is. He’s the champion today. But that’s the kind of fight that I expected, that’s the kind of fight that the fans expected and when I talked to Gennady all along this training camp, I explained to him that I thought Canelo was gonna stand and trade with him.
“So in the fight, I was trying to have Gennady make it a fight. Instead of allowing Canelo to rest, I wanted him to fight more. But the fight was close enough that [there was a] one-round difference. It could’ve gone either way. I think the last round was the round that made the difference.”
Alvarez won the 12th round on the scorecards of judges Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld, both of whom scored the fight 115-113 for Alvarez. Judge Glenn Feldman, who gave Golovkin the 12th round, scored the fight a draw (114-114).
The 28-year-old Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) didn’t answer when he was asked if all of the pre-rematch criticism from Sanchez and Golovkin “goaded” him into employing the more aggressive strategy that worked well for him.
“It was my plan from the beginning,” Alvarez said through his translator. “At first, I aimed for the knockout. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the knockout. But I’m happy for the victory. It was my plan.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.