Golovkin v/s Alvarez Post Fight Analysis

By Malibongwe Tokwe


When two real champions collide, the fight becomes just as good.


Golovkin vs Alvarez

I am one guy that do not care much about judges score cards, more especially if the fight is great as Golovkin vs Alvarez fight, why must I worry about something I cannot control?

Bottom line, the fight was great, it really lived up to the hype and standards, it proved that GGG and Canelo are the two top champions in the middleweight division.

Does bad scoring hurts the sport of boxing? absolutely it does, but what can I do other than raising my opinions of the fight?

This article is not to criticize any judge decisions, this is only about my opinions on the decision of the fight, I can assure you, it is safe to consider my opinions because I have invested a lot of time to understand the sport of boxing, I am just as educated as those that sometimes score the fights badly.


Official Score Cards (Gennady Golovkin v/s Saul Canelo Alvarez)

Adelaide Byrd: Canelo Alvarez wins 10 rounds of the 12  (118/110) – Alvarez is the winner

Dave Moretti: Gennady Golovkin wins 7 rounds of the 12 (113/115) – Golovkin is the winner

Don Trella: Each fighter win 6 rounds of the 12 (114/114) – The fight is a draw

Overall Judge Score = DRAW!!!


How to score the professional boxing contest in a 10 must point system? Boxing 101

  1. Effective Aggression– Being aggressive gives the impression of dominance, but unless the boxer is landing shots and not constantly getting countered, it’s not exactly “effective.” Judges look for effective aggression, where the aggressor consistently lands his punches and avoids those from his opponent.
  2. Ring Generalship– The fighter who controls the action and enforces his will and style.
  3. Defense – How well is a boxer slipping, parrying, and blocking punches? Good defense is important.
  4. Hard and Clean Punches– To the untrained eye, it can appear as if a boxer is landing a lot of shots, when, in fact, most are being blocked or aren’t landing flush. A judge needs to look for hard shots that land clean.

Malibongwe Tokwe Analysis

Looking at the four points on scoring the fight, I really feel I have spoiled the rest of my article, it is obvious who won the fight by now isn’t it?


Round 1

The first minute of the round, you have both fighters  measuring each other’s range, GGG is walking cautious to Canelo, he is not committing in any punches, he is only using his jab to find the range, on the other side Canelo is moving clockwise, he stands in the middle of the ring for a second and before GGG settles in, he is away walking backwards/lateral with confidence. Later in that round, Canelo throws the body counter punch and two crisp combinations in different time intervals, GGG must have landed few jabs which were counted off by the double jabs that Canelo threw. Canelo is the moving fighter inside the square circle, he is dominantly moving clockwise in a steady rhythm and he is definitely landing more effective punches.

With the consideration of the limited action in the round, Alvarez punches were effective hence he won the round, the ring generalship was definitely displayed by Alvarez.

  • Effective Aggression (Alvarez)
  • Ring Generalship (Alvarez)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Alvarez)

Round 1 is a 10/9 round for Alvarez.

  • Judgment: Easy
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 1 round

Round 2

This is the round where Alvarez proves that he belongs in there with the best middle weight fighters, he literally won the round decisively, for the first minute and half, he is in the middle of the ring, not necessarily walking Golovkin back but absolutely not retreating, his jab is better, his accuracy is better, he touches his man to the body not once but twice, he wrap things up with the nice flow of combinations, cautious combinations as he is not riding all his punches, he better be careful because GGG is right there looking for mistakes to capitalize on.

After the minute and half in that round, Alvarez resets back to the bicycle mode, mixing directions this time counter-clockwise and clockwise, and he throws best punches of the round down the pipe, it is the stiff jab and the straight right, followed by the right uppercut that misses but complemented with the left hook that sinks in Golovkin false ribs.

Alvarez is now getting his stuff together, he  doubles the jab and hook the same jab in this round. Do not get me wrong, Golovkin is not/not in the fight, meaning even though he is losing the rounds he is still have his composure, he looks comfortable and he is throwing some overhand long left hooks but the young Mexican fighter is just out of the range, he cannot connect with full impact ladies and gentlemen, Alvarez is the moving target.

Golovkin does get the straight right on top of Alvarez’s head, and few partial jabs on the temple of the ginger red-headed young fighter, however it is just not enough, Alvarez does everything better than Golovkin other than moving straight forward. At the end of the round, Alvarez’s body language is telling the whole story, he is enjoying himself, he knows he got two rounds as he hops to his corner, smiling to his trainer.

  • Effective Aggression (Alvarez)
  • Ring Generalship (Alvarez)
  • Defense (Alvarez
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Alvarez)

Round 2 is a 10/9 round for Alvarez.

  • Judgment: Very Easy
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 2 rounds

Round 3

In the beginning of the round Golovkin steps up the paddle and come running to Canelo, he increases his speed and catch Canelo with the left hooks on the side of his head, he really tries to capture the stage to prove that he is the more powerful bigger man.

Alvarez decides not moving away, he covers up with his guards and dish the body hard. Now the fight is producing exchanges for the first time, and there is one fighter that shows creativity, that is Canelo Alvarez, he hooks the jab often, he hooks the body even more often, and he lands the crisp uppercut in this round.

Golovkin is starting to get his range now, he gets it the hood way, he runs in with those straight punches that are usually the investment to stop his opponents in late rounds.

Golovkin is landing in this round but also taking more punches than the first two rounds. can you believe it, in this round Golovkin disengage in the middle of the ring, him leaving the fight? he carelessly pull up backwards and boom!!! he eats the over right hand from Alvarez.

In the same round, Golovkin finds his head looking up as a result of the short left uppercut that was hidden as they got in close to each other.  Alvarez is really standing his grounds here, he is making the statement that he is not here to win the fight riding the bicycle, he is there to fight Golovkin and beat him at his game.

This is the round  I realized that we have a real fight, Alvarez was starting to beat Golovkin to the punch, he was displaying good boxing moves, and he was dictating the pace of the fight, he moved when he wanted to move and stayed in when he chose to, he did not react due to Golovkin work, he was fighting his fight.

  • Effective Aggression (Alvarez)
  • Ring Generalship (Alvarez)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Alvarez)

Round 3 is a 10/9 round for Alvarez.

  • Judgment: Easy
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 3 rounds

 Round 4

For the very first time in the fight we see Alvarez in the ropes inviting Golovkin to come in and dish with. Interestingly Golovkin does not show much appetite, he touches the body and head, measures with his left hand, like the lightning strike… off he goes, that is Alvarez moving away turning his body off the robes.

Golovkin is really finding his range in this round, he is absolutely connecting to Alvarez, he catches him with the straight right and his jab is now starting to land effectively.

Golovkin even goes down to the body in this round, this is really a good round for the Kazakhstan fighter, he sinks his left hand in Alvarez’s ribs, and the impact is almost unbearable.

Canelo is not connecting much here, he is mostly show boasting, moving a bit slower than the last few rounds, this is the most comfortable round for Golovkin, he destructs all Alvarez plans, he makes Alvarez to look a bit windy, Alvarez uppercut misses, his straight right slide up Golovkin shoulder, his punches are literally launched too far to land to Golovkin.

I thought the round was really good for Golovkin. See GGG is not doing anything extra ordinary, he is fighting with basic boxing fundamentals, Jab-Jab, straight-right followed by awkward left-hook that is tilted downwards (strange punch that comes down riding the forces of gravity).

  • Effective Aggression (Golovkin)
  • Ring Generalship (Golovkin)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Golovkin)

Round 4 is a 9/10 round for Golovkin.

  • Judgment: Easy
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 2 rounds

Round 5

Golovkin comes even closer to Alvarez, he lands the best punch of the fight so far, the over-arm right hand that catches Alvarez behind the left ear, surprisingly Alvarez is not hurt, he is right there by the ropes shaking his head telling Golovkin, you are not the monster you thought you are, come lets fight.

Alvarez fights in the ropes in this round, he really displays incredible defensive skills however Golovkin lands the most. Golovkin rhythm is now coming together, at some point in this round he even gets away with a left uppercut from the distance without any faints or whatsoever, he does the not-does and gets away with it.

After two minutes of this round, Alvarez comes out of the ropes with long punches that surprises Golovkin. Alvarez is really difficult to hit and Golovkin is only relying in volumes of punches, he throws five and if it is his lucky second, he lands two at most.

He throws more and more trying to penetrate the defense of the young fighter Alvarez. Good work is displayed by the Mexican in the corner as well, he counters with short crisp punches, he is not landing flush himself.

The round is really difficult to score because even though Golovkin is aggressive he is not landing much, Alvarez rope-a-dope style is even making it more difficult as he does not have enough room to leverage his punches. Alvarez jab is still the best jab between the two, his counter shorts are landing, the fight is definitely not won by any men at this stage, it is still up for grabs.

  • Effective Aggression (Golovkin)
  • Ring Generalship (Golovkin)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Alvarez)

   Round 5 is a 9/10 round for Golovkin.

  • Judgment: Very Difficult
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 1 round

 Round 6

Golovkin starts the round fast once again, he fires to Alvarez for the first 50 seconds of the round, and then Alvarez takes charge by hooks, he jabs he moves and seem to get back the momentum of his fight.

In this round Golovkin is still the aggressor but the guy that is scoring with effective punches is Alvarez.

Alvarez is fighting in an out, he goes to the ropes, makes Golovkin miss, counter him, and jab his way out of the robes, Alvarez is still dominant with his jab, Golovkin right hand is not landing, especially the wide right, Alvarez makes him miss by swerving his head away just for Golovkin to miss by the inch.

Golovkin is still coming in, ladies and gentlemen, his is now into the fight but not enough to win the round.

In this round Alvarez steals from the books of the great Pernell Whitaker and snap Golovkin with the right hand behind his back, enough to be warned but fun to watch :)…

  • Effective Aggression (Alvarez)
  • Ring Generalship (Alvarez)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Alvarez)

Round 6 is a 10/9 round for Alvarez.

  • Judgment: Easy
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 2 rounds

Round 7

Alvarez loosens up, his body is relaxed, he is not tense, he is on his toes, he is moving so well ladies and gentlemen. This is one of the rounds that shows high boxing IQ is the answer when things are tough.

Alvarez literally won this round by the jab, he is on the move, he is doubling his jab, he is popping it accurately from the shoulder. Golovkin could not catch that moving target, he was coming in, but hitting shadows. Ladies and Gentlemen do not be deceived by the commentators who say what they wish to see, this is easy round for Alvarez.

Alvarez was so relaxed and boxed beautiful, his approach of the round was absolutely not crowd pleasing, he was boxing selfishly for him to win the round, the Mayweather jr thing.

By the way, if that round was delivered by Mayweather jr, in that fashion, you would have head praises on how smooth he is, Canelo danced and won the round easily.

Just to spice things up, he lands the short right uppercut right in the middle of Golovkin chest as he stalks him to the ropes. Alvarez jabbed Golovkin for 2:13 minutes of the round, Golovkin only  touched Canelo in the last 47 seconds of that round.

This is what great fighters do, it is all about adjustments, what is wrong in taking a break without losing the round? This is what boxing is all about ladies and gentlemen.

  • Effective Aggression (Alvarez)
  • Ring Generalship (Alvarez)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Alvarez)

Round 7 is a 10/9 round for Alvarez.

  • Judgment: Very Easy
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 3 rounds

Round 8

A very easy round by Golovkin, there are no clear punches until the very last-minute of the round, however in those 2 minutes Golovkin is the one that is throwing punches, he is landing his jab well. Alvarez seems getting tired, he makes Golovkin miss but he does not make him pay. Alvarez throws the flushing uppercut and catches Golovking right below the jaw, the perfect punch, bust absolutely not enough to win the round. Golovkin takes that one away.

  • Effective Aggression (Golovkin)
  • Ring Generalship (Golovkin)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Golovkin)

Round 8 is a 9/10 round for Golovkin.

  • Judgment: Very Easy
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 2 rounds

 Round 9

This is another difficult round to score, you have one guy with a good work ethic, not necessarily landing all the punches while another guy is crisp and effective in his punches.

Golovking working rate is high in this round, he misses with many punches but some are going through. Alvarez is opening the round with beautiful combinations, he is not jabbing as much as he did, his arms are about 5 cm lower than the early rounds, his body language is not showing any motivation, he is not as elusive as he was early in the fight, his head movement is now starting to drag, his moves are not as natural as they were early in the fight.

Fatigue is the best word to explain.

If he jabbed more and just pull himself together he would have won that round. I saw Golovkin doing what he does best walking towards his man and poking with those heavy punches, his work rate was consistent and his right hand had few moments in that round.

Golovkin did not hurt him though, his target was still in motion, hence he did not connect with full impact. He did enough though to win that round. Once again that round was not easy to score, I mean in the first half of the round Alvarez looked better when he traded with Golovkin, he stood in there and he got the best of it, he landed the biggest right hand of the fight, and he also hooked Golovkin with a brilliant counter punches while GGG was charging in.

After those moments Alvarez’s body language was not pleasing for the fight fan line me, he dropped the working rate, I thought Golovkin used that as the advantage and snatched the round away.

  • Effective Aggression (Golovkin)
  • Ring Generalship (Golovkin)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Golovkin)

Round 9 is a 9/10 round for Golovkin.

  • Judgment: Difficult
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 1 round

 Round 10

This is the most exciting round of the fight, Alvarez decides to trade in with Golovkin early in the round, he throws beautiful combinations and big right hands and Golovkin does not even blink. Golovkin mixes with Alvarez with his punches and seem to be off-balance as his right hand was blocked off by Alvarez just after he took a big stabbing right hand in his head.

Alvarez started that round faster and he closed it faster, his work rate was absolutely higher, he seemed to be on his second wind. His punches once again ladies and gentlemen were crisp, not necessarily hurting Golovkin but crisp, hence easy to award them with points.

Later in that round he went hard again to Golovkin. Golovkin jab was key for him in-between the slug-fests, he pushed it pretty well in the middle of that round to the level that Alvarez had to retrieve his jab. That round will have to be about the slug-fest moments and I thought Alvarez traded better, his accuracy was better and he controlled the beginning and the end of the round with precision punches.

  • Effective Aggression (Alvarez)
  • Ring Generalship (Alvarez)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Alvarez)

Round 10 is a 10/9 round  Alvarez.

  • Judgment: Medium
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 2 rounds

Round 11

In this round Golovkin comes forward relentlessly but Alvarez uses his movement to get away from his punches, in fact Alvarez wins the round relatively easy, this is one of the rounds where Golovkin is coming forward without productivity. He eats the huge right hand in the middle of the round, the beautiful punch that would have dropped any other fighter but him. Alvarez show good head movement again and he moves laterally in both left and right directions.

I though Alvarez boxing IQ won him that round, his work was not the best of the night, however he did not take any effective punches from Golovkin. He won that round pretty easy.

  • Effective Aggression (Alvarez)
  • Ring Generalship (Alvarez)
  • Defense (Alvarez)
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Alvarez)

Round 11 is a 10/9 round  Alvarez.

  • Judgment: Medium
  • Overall Score: Alvarez ahead by 3 rounds

Round 12

In this round Golovkin needs the knockdown, he has to do something extra ordinary to pull it, and that is obviously according to my score cards.

Ladies and Gentlemen that did not happen instead Canelo Alvarez started the round at high-speed with good boxing combinations, he landed all those punches without any head movement from Gennady Golovkin.

I mean he threw uppercuts, hooks and straight rights right in the face of Golovkin. Alvarez closed the show well. He open at high pace and he closed at high pace, very important in a championship bout of that magnitude.

He made Golovkin retreat in the first half of that round, he made him reset more than twice in that round.

Alvarez also played smart in that round, he clinched Golovkin in the middle of that round when he was not putting work, he smothered him by holding when he was in danger zone, he made him reset a lot in that round.

If you judge the fight by effective landed punches, there are no ways you can give that round to Golovkin. I easily gave the round to Alvarez, he closed the show well.

  • Effective Aggression (Alvarez)
  • Ring Generalship (Alvarez)
  • Defense (Alvarez )
  • Hard and Clean Punches (Alvarez)

 Round 12 is a 10/9 round  Alvarez.

  • Judgment: Easy
  • Overall Score:Alvarez ahead by 4 rounds

    Alvarez WINS by 4 rounds (116/112)


I respect judges that makes decisive decisions, not those that look for short cuts and leave things even, it just sound like being irresponsible in my point of view. Boxing is such a complex sport with many independent variables, I struggle to allow even score cards, not to say they are impossible, they are possible.

Judges should have objectives to score fights not to be even, and if those objectives are Effective Aggression, Ring Genaralship, Defence and Hard and Clean Punches, believe me great fights will be scored and someone will be the winner. I respect Adelaide Byrd’s (118/110) score card than Don Trella’s (114/114). Atleast she took the responsibility to make the decision instead of pulling out and make it other peoples problem.

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One thought on “Golovkin v/s Alvarez Post Fight Analysis”

  1. Nice clean report Champ. I wonder why you don’t rate GGG defence? I know its not the best in the world. I wonder what Canelo saw and picked apart GGG like that? People I know rate GGG power but people forget that Canelo has a very chin as well.

    Like

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