Canelo vs. GGG 2: Expert Predictions with Odds and Betting Analysis
You hear more and more buzz every day here in Las Vegas about the upcoming boxing rematch between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin on Sept. 15. The world's two best middleweights will battle again almost a year to the date of their controversial 2017 draw.
Once again, the world will be watching from the T-Mobile Arena here in Vegas. Let's hope the judging won't be as crazy! A quick review of the scorecards…from a fight most observers believed GGG won…
Canelo/GGG I: September 16, 2017
Dave Moretti: 115-113 for Golovkin
Don Trella: 114-114 draw
Adelaide Byrd: 118-110 for Alvarez
Byrd's scorecard was from another planet! There's no way Canelo (which is Spanish for "cinnamon," a tribute to his naturally bright red hair) won eight of 12 rounds in that fight. Most observers agree that Alvarez won the first two rounds and the last three rounds. Triple-G took the rest. Maybe some room for disagreement about a round in the middle. If you throw out Byrd's card entirely, and just use Moretti and Trella, Golovkin won rounds by a 6-5-1 count.
You may not remember that Las Vegas sportsbooks were furious at the result. They had to refund all individual bets on either fighter while paying out anywhere from 15/1 to 30/1 to those who had bet on a draw. I think it's safe to say we won't have a second straight draw.
To me, that distribution of "round" victories for Canelo holds the key to handicapping this fight. As I write this, GGG is favored by around -150 depending on where you bet (he closed near -200 a year ago). Alvarez returns +130 as an underdog (be sure you shop around to get the best price on your fighter!). The UNDERDOG closed strong in the last meeting, winning the last three rounds when their ages were 27 (Alvarez) and 35 (GGG). Now, they're both almost exactly a year older. Do you want to lay odds with a 36-year old who couldn't finish strong last time?
Neither is likely to score a knockout based on early round props.
Odds to go Over 11.5 rounds: -180
Odds to go Under 11.5 rounds: +160
So, it could turn out to be a test of endurance. If Golovkin tires one round earlier, that could be enough to swing the fight (it would have turned Moretti's card into a draw last year, Trella's into a win for Canelo). Or, if Golovkin hits his wall a bit harder in the last three rounds, that opens the door for a 10-8 round for Canelo rather than the standard 10-9 in the 10-point must system.
THE CASE FOR GOLOVKIN
He's the superior fighter. Heck, he's the favorite! That tells you who the market believes is superior. Though he is several years older, he's not the kind of boxer who's taken so many blows that a decline is inevitable. He's familiar with the arena and the roar of the crowd when his popular opponent shines....and he'll be the overwhelming fan favorite on Mexican Independence weekend. Nothing is going to throw Triple-G. Add in the possible "chip on his shoulder" for getting hosed last time by judging, and you have a focused, experienced, superstar at peak motivation.
THE CASE FOR ALVAREZ
To me, the combination of an age advantage and Canelo's mastery of body punching combines to give the underdog a real chance. Golovkin's known for having an "iron chin." That doesn't matter as much here because Alvarez won't go for the knockout unless a surprise opportunity presents itself. Alvarez will rain body blows on an aging champion. We have to decide how much cumulative damage those will do through the evening and how much they'll impress a new set of judges.
There's absolutely nothing like being at a prize fight on the Vegas strip on Mexican Independence weekend...I can attest to that having lived in Sin City for 30+ years and having attended many of the top fights this city has held. I'll have my bets for the fight and will post them at DocSports.com a few days before the opening bell rings.
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