In case you haven’t heard, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez won a razor-thin majority decision over Gennady Golovkin, with two judges scoring the fight 115-113, and the third judge scoring the fight as a 114-114 draw.
In a shocking turn of events, Alvarez was the aggressor throughout the fight, pressuring Golovkin and landing consistent body shots on the larger fighter. However, this style came at a price as Alvarez consistently ran into hard jabs from “GGG,” who ultimately outjabbed the Mexican superstar 118-59. Still, that consistent bodywork seemed to slow Golovkin in the middle rounds, allowing Alvarez to outbox him in the middle portion of the bout.
The most controversial aspect of the decision will be the 12th round. Two of the three judges gave Alvarez the final stanza -- a round many fans and media members scored for Golovkin. Had they scored it the other way, every judge’s scorecard would have deemed the fight a draw.
Although the fight was very entertaining, fans felt slighted and were quick to scream “robbery.” Though that may have been the case in the first match, it’s a claim that is hard to support for this fight. This was a very close match with many rounds that could have gone for either man. As a matter of reference, Amir Khan, George Foreman, Claressa Shields and Shakur Stevenson all believed Canelo deserved the victory, while Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez acknowledged how close the fight was, saying “I can’t complain about the decision.”
After the fight, Alvarez who now owns the WBO, WBC and IBO middleweight titles, seemed open to a third fight between he and Golovkin, with Cinco de Mayo being the obvious date for the event to take place.
The undercard saw three very quick knockouts that forced the HBO commentary team to kill nearly 90 minutes of airtime before the main event.
First up was the explosive return of Roman “Chocalitito” Gonzalez. It took only five rounds and one brutal overhand right for Gonzalez to dismiss his clearly overmatched Mexican opponent, Moises Fuentes and remind the boxing world how good he still may be.
After the punch, Gonzalez immediately went to check on his opponent to make sure he was OK, a classy gesture that would likely win him many fans, had he not been fighting in front of an almost empty arena. Gonzalez’s star power may not be where it was when he was headlining HBO’s “Superfly” cards, but his ability to pressure opponents into making mistakes, and punishing them for making them, remains very strong. Hopefully, we will see him face a better opponent in his next fight on a loftier stage.
For all his athletic shortcomings, and his consistent struggles against opponents who can outbox him, David Lemieux still has a left hand covered in chloroform. If you don’t believe me, ask Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan, if he’s awake yet. In the first round of their fight on Saturday night, O’Sullivan landed a jab on Lemieux, then dropped his right hand to the side to throw a looping punch. Lemieux threw a monstrous left hook as O’Sullivan’s jab landed, and with no right hand to protect his chin, the shot quickly escorted O’Sullivan from the land of the conscious.
The future for Lemieux is uncertain. Although the victory made him the mandatory challenger for Canelo Alvarez’s WBA title, all signs point to Alvarez facing Golovkin for a third time, and with the money that fight would generate it’s hard to see a purpose for Alvarez facing the consistently dangerous Lemieux first. As for O’Sullivan, he should find a tutorial video to help him with that drop in his right hand before every opponent he faces in the future exploits it. I’m sure Lemieux has an extra Title Boxing DVD lying around.
WBO 154-pound champion Jaime Munguia promised he was going to show improved defense and to fix any technical mistakes his critics have pointed out he has made in other fights. But, while that may have been the game plan, Munguia ended up doing what Jaime Munguia does; he plowed forward, got hit more than his trainers would have liked, and threw powerful, heavy, loping blows that ultimately stopped Canada’s Brandon Cook in the third round.
Yet, despite the stoppage, once again, this performance was not enough to appease his critics. Yahoo’s Chris Mannix wrote on twitter that Munguia “has power to back up that aggressive style. But he gets hit a lot-a lot-and there are some big hitters at the top of junior middleweight.”
Rumors are that Munguia will fight on HBO sometime in December, and whether he will headline that card or or not, the 21-year-old from Tijuana has the style and the power to make him a fan favorite for years to come. However, the more Munguia listens to critics, the worse off he may be. At 31-0 with 26 knockouts, Munguia has pressured, battered, bludgeoned and beaten every opponent he’s ever faced as a professional boxer. There may come a time when this style doesn’t work against an elite opponent, but before he tinkers too much and turns into a completely different type of fighter, he should make somebody who fights for a living, not writes for a living, prove it.
Outside of HBO, ESPN’s Friday night card saw hometown favorite Jose Ramirez dropped twice, but fail to stop Antonio Orozco in a fight that was exciting, but not close enough to be a true “Fight of the Year” candidate. Ramirez dropped Orozco in the fourth and the eight, but Orozco was game and gave a valiant effort before ultimately dropping a 119-107, 119-107, 119-107 unanimous decision. After the fight, Ramirez called out the man most people consider the best 140-pound fighter in the world, Regis Prograis, which would be a very fun fight. Prograis is currently competing in the World Boxing Super Series and will face Terry Flanagan in October, so that fight would have to wait for that tournament to conclude.
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