The Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26 was more entertaining than most boxing experts expected, with Mayweather improving to a historic 50-0. With all due respect, however, that was a glorified exhibition.
The most anticipated pure boxing match of the year is from the same building on September 16 when Gennady Golovkin puts his WBC, IBF and WBA middleweight belts on the line against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Golovkin is a -155 betting favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, with Alvarez at +125. That it goes the distance is -140 with does not go the distance at +120 on the prop odds for the fight.
That the Mayweather-McGregor fight wasn’t a farce should only help drive pay-per-view sales of Golovkin vs. Alvarez. Golovkin (37-0) has the likely edge in power as 33 of his victories have come by knockout. However, the 35-year-old didn’t look sharp against a bigger, younger and faster Daniel Jacobs in May as Golovkin’s streak of 23 straight knockouts ended with a unanimous decision victory. The judges scored it 114-113, 115-112 and 115-112.
“Triple G” is still ranked as the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world by Ring Magazine (behind Andre Ward). This will be his 19th middleweight title defense, and a win would move Golovkin within one of tying Bernard Hopkins’ division record of 20 consecutive title defenses.
Alvarez, 27, is younger and faster, throws a bigger variety of punches and is better defensively than Golovkin but ranked a too-low eighth on the pound-for-pound list. Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs), from Mexico, also will have a huge fan advantage in Las Vegas and a crowd can affect the judges. They are only human.
Canelo was probably too young at age 23 to take on Mayweather Jr. in 2013, and Mayweather won that by majority decision for the WBA and WBC super welterweight titles. Alvarez has been nothing but impressive since then with wins over big names such as Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan and, last time out, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in the same T-Mobile Arena. All three judges had that with lopsided scores of 120-108.
Alvarez is a former middleweight champion, but those title fights were contested at 155 pounds. The fight with Golovkin will be Alvarez’s first at 160. He fought Chavez Jr. in a non-title catchweight of 164.
Both are aggressive fighters so the Golovkin vs. Alvarez bout shouldn’t lack for action. Golovkin winning by KO, TKO or DQ is +165. Alvarez doing so is +860. Canelo by 12-round decision is +215 and Golovkin via that route is +280.