Canelo v Golovkin III: Trilogy fight arrives as rivalry reaches its climax

·3-min read

For the third, and presumably, the last time, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will share a ring on Saturday as they fight it out for super-middleweight glory in Las Vegas.

The trilogy tussle at the T-Mobile Arena has a lot to live up to after the previous battles between the pair, in 2017 and 2018.

Alvarez goes into this one as the firm favourite, with few giving the 40-year-old Golovkin much hope, but the tight nature of their previous fights could stir something in the Kazakh.

Ahead of the keenly anticipated showdown, Stats Perform has looked at the state of play in one of boxing's greatest modern-day rivalries.

The trilogy so far

If history is a guide, nobody should be surprised if fight three between these warriors goes the distance.

Both previous clashes, which were contested at middleweight, went all the way. The first ended in a split-decision draw, and the second went down as an Alvarez points win, albeit one that many called into question. Two of three judges gave him the win by a sliver, the other scoring it a draw.

So expect a sense of deja vu this weekend, not least because the fight is being held at the same venue that put on their first two clashes.

Alvarez was given a bizarrely lopsided 118-110 victory by one of the first fight's judges, while another scored it narrowly in Golovkin's favour, and the third as a draw, so perhaps this time the fighters will be eager to avoid any possible lottery on the scorecards.

A victory inside the distance for either man might be the most fitting way of bringing their rivalry to its conclusion.

What's happened since the rematch?

There was inevitably talk of a trilogy fight after Canelo got the better of Golovkin four years ago, but it took until May of this year for confirmation to come through.

Canelo has danced between the divisions, winning title fights at middleweight, super-middleweight and light heavyweight since he last encountered Golovkin in the ring.

Golovkin has fought just four times, and will hope that is sufficient preparation.

Unlike Canelo, he has a 100 per cent record from his fights in the last four years. Canelo was beaten on his last outing, losing to Dmitry Bivol on a unanimous, albeit tight verdict (115-113 with all three judges), when contesting the WBA light heavyweight belt.

Has anything changed in four years?

Ask yourself the same question. Of course, things change. We get older; past a certain point, perhaps we slow down a little; the pandemic put the brakes on most aspects of our lives, for a while at least.

It took a heavy toll on boxing, too, but Canelo and Golovkin have got the buzz back, and one thing that has not changed appears to be the enmity between them.

As Eddie Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Boxing, said on announcing the fight: "These are two men that bitterly dislike each other and want to end this incredible series with a blistering KO."

Canelo is still a young man, at 32, and he carries a 57-2-2 record into the fight, putting his WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO belts on the line.

Golovkin boasts a 42-1-1 career as he steps up to super-middleweight for the first time, but he is very much the veteran, the man that time is most likely to have caught up on since part two of this series.

According to Canelo, Golovkin has been taking on third-rate opponents to extend his career for this payday.

"A knockout, that's what I see," said a confident Canelo in June.

Some juicy shots are being thrown outside the ring, boiling up nicely for ring time.