By Matt Lieberman: Tony Bellew doesn’t want to see the 40-year-old Gennadiy Golovkin face Canelo Alvarez in September because he feels he will end up “brutally beaten” by the young 31-year-old Mexican superstar.
After watching Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) labor in the early going against 36-year-old Ryota Murata Last Saturday night in Saitama, Japan, Bellew advises GGG to stay away from the trilogy fight with Canelo.
According to Bellew, Golovkin won’t win the fight, and he’ll take a lot of punishment. The former WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew doesn’t want to see Golovkin’s career end on a sour note against Canelo.
Last weekend, we saw how junior middleweight Sebastian Fundora rearranged the face of Erickson Lubin in their fight for the interim WBC 154-lb title.
Could Golovkin’s face look like Lubin’s in the third fight with Canelo on September 17th? Looking at that fight might be a good idea for Golovkin to listen to what Bellew is saying. That’s food for thought.
Golovkin doesn’t have to take this fight with Canelo. GGG is already rich, doesn’t need the money, and has other good options for fights against Chris Eubank Jr., Jaime Munguia, or Jermall Charlo.
“He looked vulnerable, he looked agedhe was being pushed back by a man who is not known as a severe puncher,” Tony Bellew said to The DAZN Boxing Show.
In fairness to Golovkin, Murata does have excellent punching power, perhaps even better than Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, and Zhanibek Alimkhanuly.
Golovkin was taking shots from the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata last Saturday night at the Saitama Super Arena weren’t the feather-fisted variety.
To be sure, Golovkin looked worse than he had in his fight with Sergiy Derevyanchenko in rounds 1 through 4 against Murata (16-3, 13 KOs), and he was barely competitive in that part of the fight.
The magic question is how much of Golovkin’s slow start was a product of him being inactive for the last 16 months. As you can tell, Bellew believes Golovkin’s showing against Murata was a product of his advanced age rather than ring rust.
“Looking at it from GGG’s side and how he should be feeling, I wouldn’t be going anywhere near Canelo if I was him,” said Bellew.
Golovkin thinks that he already beat Canelo twice in their fights in 2017 & 2018, so he’s not concerned about losing to the four-division world champion now.
It’s not just the revenge factor for Golovkin in wanting to get even against Canelo. It’s also the money he can make.
If Golovkin can pocket $20 million For the third fight with Canelo in September, one can understand why he’d be willing to take this serious risk.
It’s still not a foregone conclusion that Canelo and Golovkin will be fighting in September, though, as Alvarez still needs to defeat WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol on May 7th.
If Bellew thinks Golovkin had problems with Murata, wait and see the kinds of trouble Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) will be for Canelo.
Bivol is a far more advanced fighter than anyone Canelo has faced since his rematch with Golovkin in 2018.
Even Sergiy Kovalev, who Canelo beat in 2019, was not on the level of Bivol, particularly at that late point in his career when Alvarez fought him.
Canelo chooses to face Bivol again, depending on how badly he loses to him. Canelo would likely face Bivol in a rematch unless he feels the risk is too high. If Canelo loses to Bivol, the September trilogy fight with Golovkin is off the table.
You’ve got to imagine if Bivol completely outclasses Canelo in the same way Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in 2013, the Mexican star will choose not to run it back against the Russian talent. Canelo isn’t crazy.
He knows that if he’s overmatched against Bivol on May 7th, the outcome will be the same, if not worse, in a rematch.
Ultimately, Canelo will listen to his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso, who will steer him towards safer waters against John Ryder at 168 or WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu.
“It’s only going to end badly, in my opinion; age waits for no man. That was clear to see,” Bellew said of the 40-year-old Golovkin on what awaits him if he chooses to face Canelo on September 17th.
Golovkin has waited four years to get a chance to fight Canelo again, so he’s not going to listen to Bellew and face a non-threat to make less money.
There’s too much money on the line for Golovkin to give up on the idea of facing Canelo again, even if it means that he’s potentially knocked out.
For Golovkin to have a chance of surviving the early rounds against Canelo in September, he can’t afford to start slowly as he did against Murata.
It’s essential that Golovkin come flying out of the gate in rounds one through four and not let Canelo have success throwing punches to the body like Murata did last Saturday night.
Canelo will take note of what Murata did in the early going against Golovkin by attacking him relentlessly to the body and backing him up all around the ring.
Golovkin will need to make Canelo respect him by landing some significant shots to slow down the pressure he will be exerting on him in this fight.
“GGG, in my opinion, isn’t what he once was. I don’t want to see him get brutally beaten up by Canelo in a third fight because I think that’s what will happen,” said Bellew.
Golovkin might be down to one last fight in his career, and that’s the trilogy match against Canelo, provided the Mexican star defeats Bivol.
We saw Golovkin give back the WBA 160-lb title that he won off of Murata last Saturday, which can be construed as a signal that he has no plans to return to the middleweight division.
In that case, it’s one and done for Golovkin in him facing Canelo on September 17th and then walking away from the sport.
Golovkin still has two fights left on his original six-fight contract with DAZN, so perhaps he might elect to come back for a final match after he faces Canelo in September.
Even if Canelo obliterates Golvokin, boxing fans would still like to see him face Chris Eubank Jr, Jermall Charlo, or Demetrius Andrade.