Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin met for the second time last night in Las Vegas to settle a score that has been the shame of boxing since it occurred one year ago today. On September 16th, 2017, their first fight was declared a split draw with scores of 114-114, 115-113 Golovkin, and 118-110 Alvarez.
The problem? Barely anyone agreed with the decision. Out of the 24 media outlets followed by MMADecisions, 20 scored the fight for Golovkin, with three calling it a draw and only one person siding with Alvarez. The most common scoring of the fight had Golovkin taking it either 116-112 or 115-113. That makes notoriously sketchy judge Adalaide Byrd’s 118-110 score for Alvarez extra egregious, and many wondered whether the fix was in from the start.
There’s no screams of blatant corruption following Saturday’s Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 fight, but it wouldn’t be a major boxing event without some controversy. The fight saw Alvarez get his hand raised off a majority decision with 114-114, 115-113, 115-113 scores, and once again many think Golovkin wasn’t given his full due by the judges. But in this case, it was a much closer fight that boiled down to your interpretation of several tight rounds. Still, out of the 19 media scores currently on MMADecisions, ten scored it for Golovkin with eight declaring the fight a draw. Only one agreed with the deciding scores of 115-113 Alvarez.
This is going to be a hotly debated fight for years to come with Canelo fans pointing to his aggression and body work while Golovkin followers talk up his jab and moments where it looked like he hurt his opponent. But let’s get rid of our silly human opinions and turn to the CompuBox statistics and see if that makes anything more clear:
Final Punch Stats for #GGGCanelo2: Canelo had a 143-116 edge in power shots and landed a higher percentage. GGG landed 70 power shots in rounds 6-12 after landing just 46 in the first 6 rounds. pic.twitter.com/lgCsTTd8N1— CompuBox (@CompuBox) September 16, 2018
As you can see, Golovkin has the lead in total punches thrown and landed. He also landed double the jabs of Canelo. But Canelo had more power punches, and look at that body shot stat hidden in the total punches: 46 for Canelo versus 6 from Golovkin.
Overall stats still aren’t all that useful in such a close fight, so here’s the round by round breakdown which shows Golovkin with more punches landed in 8 out of 12 rounds, but Alvarez landing more power punches in 9 out of 12 rounds.
It is obvious that people look at different aspects of the fight & draw different conclusions. GGG out-jabbed Canelo 118-59 and due to that landed more punches 234-202. GGG is the longer fighter. So the difference is 32 punches. But Canelo beat him in power punches landed 143-116 pic.twitter.com/gudq9N8gIq— An unlikely MMA coach (Kostas Fantaousakis) (@kostasfant) September 16, 2018
It was just as close as it looked watching the fight: many of the rounds were edged by just one or two punches. And once you add in the extra weight of power punches over jabs, you can see why Alvarez has a legitimate claim to victory in the fight.
A fight this great and so close? The only real solution is to do it a third time. And while that may not be happening next, we’re pretty sure there’s way too much money and interest in Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 for everyone to pass on a trilogy fight.