Canelo and GGG fight to a draw in Las Vegas
September 16, 2017 Share

Canelo and GGG fight to a draw in Las Vegas

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

Follow @StacksRingside

LAS VEGAS — Saturday night in front of a sold out crowd at the T-Mobile Arena, the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KO’s) battled the reigning Lineal and Ring Magazine middleweight champion in Mexican Superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KO’s) from Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico, as both fighters look to solidify their name in boxing history.

The first round had both fighters picking and choosing of how and when they would throw punches. In the second and third rounds, Canelo began to loosen up throwing heavy shots. Then in the fourth, Golovkin opened up and began to take over the fight landing big combinations and solid jabs as Canelo had no answer. Going into the championship rounds, Golovkin continued his machine like pace, snapping his shotgun like jab, but Canelo decided to stand and go toe-to-toe, fighting as he knew he was behind on the cards.

Alvarez landed several big shots in the tenth, but it seemed to be a little to late. After 12, the “Superfight” went to the hands of the judges where the fight ended in a draw — much to the disappointment of the sold-out crowd of 22,358 at T-Mobile Arena. Judge Adelaide Byrd oddly scored it 118-110 for Canelo, Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin, and Don Trella scored it 114-114 (draw).

“No, truthfully, not really. There wasn’t any power that didn’t surprise me,” Alvarez said. “In the first rounds, I came out to see what he had, then I was building from there. I think I won eight rounds. To be convincing, I felt that i won the fight.”

Golovkin, on the other hand, had a different opinion.

“Look, my belts, I still champion,” Golovkin said. “This is not my fault. I like the pressure. I want big drama show. I want to give people a big presence. It’s not my problem. I’m very happy today.”

Able Sanchez, who trains Golovkin, didn’t hold back in his heavy criticism of Byrd.

“I think Adelaide Byrd had the card filled out before she got here,” Sanchez said. “She’s so up and down with the scoring, she looks good, then she has three or four bad ones.”

CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya shared the same sentiment about the wide score.

“I’m not understanding 118-110. I can understand 115-113, 114-114,” De La Hoya said after the bout. “Both GGG and Canelo are great champions and everybody has their opinions —  that’s boxing. I personally believe won today, it was a win-win.”

In the co-main event undefeated 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. (24-0, 13 KO’s) took on last minute replacement undefeated and former WBC FECARBOX featherweight champion Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera (25-0-2, 16 KO’s) in a 12-round WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator. Diaz, who last entered the ring in May against the undefeated Manuel “Tino” Avila, used his overall ring generalship and his world class skill to outbox and beat an aggressive Rivera to the punch throughout the early rounds. In the ninth round, Diaz looked to finish the fight after he landed 38 power shots, forcing referee Tony Weeks to speak to the corner of Rivera about the amount if punishment he was taking. Diaz continued the punishment in the championship rounds and after 12 lopsided rounds of boxing the judges scored the bout 119-109 (twice) and 120-108 all in favor of Joseph “JoJo” Diaz.

“I feel like I had a good performance overall. I was able to put pressure and dictate the pace of the fight, and be able to enter into a lot of exchanges. Rivera is strong, has good body shots, and had good speed. I think we gave them a good showtonight.” stated Diaz after the fight. “Now I’m ready for Gary Russell Jr. We’re going to pursue that full force, Gary’s nothing special he’s human just like me he bleeds like me cries like me and we’re ready”

Photo: Hogan photos – Golden Boy Promotions

Also on the card in a much anticipated bout between two undefeated contenders from the Golden Boy stable former IBF World Bantamweight Champion Randy “El Matador” Caballero (24-0, 14 KOs) took on the WBC Youth World Super Bantamweight Champion Diego De La Hoya (19-0, 9 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight battle for Caballero’s NABF Super Bantamweight title. Caballero who recently pulled out of his match up with undefeated Golden Boy prospect Oscar Negrete due to an ankle injury, came out firing and showed no ill effects from his previous injury. Both De La Hoya and Caballero landed at will from the opening bell with De La Hoya landing the harder, cleaner shots but it was Caballero who out boxed De La Hoya.

Photo: Hogan photos – Golden Boy Promotions

Throughout the early rounds De La Hoya continued to land heavy shots and quick combinations on Caballero who never could find an answer to De La Hoya’s aggressiveness. The middle rounds saw much of the same as De La Hoya couldn’t seem to miss as his heavy shots began to take a toll on the face of Caballero. After ten rounds of boxing De La Hoya showed good speed and solid boxing as he came away with a big unanimous decision victory. “I trained for this fight, knowing it was going to be a really great battle.” Stated De La Hoya after the fight. Caballero went on to say

“The winners tonight are the fans. When we did this fight, we knew it was going to be a great opportunity to put on a good show. Diego is a good kid, and a great fighter and I wish him the best.”

To open up the televised portion of the Canelo vs GGG card, WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Champion, Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (20-0, 11 KO’s), took on Francisco Rojo (20-3, 13 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico, in a battle for Ryan’s WBC title and the vacant WBA Intercontinental lightweight title. Rojo came into the fight with his foot on the gas pedal as he controlled the pace and bulldozed Martin throughout much of the fight. Martin who had trouble landing his shots did however land several low blows on his opponent, and in the ninth round, referee Russell Mora finally took a point away from Martin for another low blow. Martin then began to fight with a sense of urgency and used his reach to find his range, and kept Rojas at bay by beating him to the punch. After 12 rounds of action Martin walked away with a shocking split decision victory as Judges Max DeLuca (95-94) and Lisa Giampa (96-93) scored the fight for Martin, while Richard Ocasio scored it (98-91) for Rojo.

“I didn’t feel 100% tonight, even though I got the split decision. I know I fought a good fight despite the adversity in the ring. I know the judge that scored in favor of Rojo recognized good boxing in him. I’m glad I have this new belt and it’s on to the next.”

Other bouts included:

Super Welterweights (4 Rounds), Serhii Bohachuk (4-0, 4 KO’s) vs Joan Valenzuela (5-9-1, 5 KO’s) Result; Bohachuk wins by 2ndround KO wiyh the victory Bohachuk moves to (5-0, 5 KO’s)

Super Lightweights (6 Rounds), Vergil Ortiz (6-0, 6 KO’s) vs Cesar Valenzuela (7-2, 2 KO’s) Result; Ortiz wins by 2nd round TKO, with the victory Ortiz moves (7-0, 7 KO’s)

Flyweights (4 Rounds) Marlen Esparza (2-0) vs Aracely Palacios (8-7, 1 KO) Result;Esparza wins by unanimous decision and moves to (3-0)

Super Flyweights (4 Rounds) Nicola Adams (2-0, 1 KO) vs Alexandra Vlajk (11-6, 2 KO’s)Result; Fight called off due to issue with Vlajk’s blood.

(Feature photo: Tom Hogan / Hogan Photos – Golden Boy Promotions)