Keys to Victory: Gennady Golovkin

We’re under one week away from the battle between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez for middleweight supremacy. Last week we unleashed KEYS TO VICTORY: CANELO ALVAREZ. Now it’s time to lay out the keys to victory for Gennady Golovkin as he looks to maintain his undefeated record of 37-0-0, 33 KOs. In his last fight, against then undefeated challenger, Daniel Jacobs (32-1-0) GGG was pushed into unfamiliar territory of going the distance against his biggest and most skilled challenger thus far. Despite winning 114-113, 115-112, 115-112, many have argued that the fight against Jacobs should have been Golovkin’s first career loss. Needless to say, Golovkin will step into the ring at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, September 16th with some naysayers who question whether or no he can convincingly beat the best of the best middleweights.

Standing in his path is twenty-seven year old Saul Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico – a young, hard-hitting boxing superstar that has been undefeated in his last seven fights since suffering his only career loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, at the age of twenty-three. Canelo is coming into this fight with far more experience than he had when he faced arguably the greatest boxer ever. Moreover, Canelo is comfortable at 160 pounds and possesses both speed and power as a middleweight. He will be by far the most talented fighter GGG has stepped into the ring to face.

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez has seriously baulked up ahead of the fight

So what will it take for Gennady Golovkin to come out victorious? Here are’s keys to victory for Gennady Golovkin:

1. Pressure…Pressure…Pressure

Gennady Golovkin is a predator and his signature move is his ability to apply continuous pressure and prey on his opponent. To put it simply, he does not stop coming forward. Even at thirty-five years of age, Golovkin still has the energy to walk his opponent down, cut off the ring and press the action. However, as we noticed in his fight against Daniel Jacobs, Golovkin tired the further the bout went past the 6th round. Canelo does have the age and presumably the stamina advantage, much the same way as Jacobs, so if GGG has to go into the later rounds, his vulnerability to Canelo’s power could increase. Therefore, it’s important for Gennady go try and end the fight as soon as possible. Otherwise, he could be in for a long night against a very skilled fighter who can find a way to do what Danny Jacobs was unable to do – win!

2. Keep Canelo on the Ropes

Gennady feasts on fighters that stay along the ropes – just ask Gabriel Rosado, Willie Monroe Jr., David Lemieux and Kell Brook. It could be easy work for Golovkin if he is able to keep Canelo backed up on the ropes where he can throw power packed combinations to the body and to the head. In order to do this, he’ll have to cut the ring off against Canelo, which won’t be easy. Unlike Canelo, GGG fights on straight lines and Canelo has become savvy in his development as a boxer to learn how not to fight only on straight lines. His lateral movement, pivots and ability to throw effective punches without having to set his feet could spell trouble for GGG.

3. Snatch the Body

Going hand-in-hand with applying constant pressure is GGG’s need to get to Canelo’s body. If Gennady can snatch Canelo’s body, this will slow Canelo down, neutralize his power and make him ripe for the picking. Canelo’s defense has gotten much better as his career has evolved, but GGG has always found a way to get inside on his opponents and dish out punishment. If he can figure out how do to so against Alvarez, then this fight bodes well for GGG.

Image result for gennady golovkin body shot

4. Defense

One thing that we’ve never really seen Golovkin do well against the better fighters that he has faced is demonstrate strong defensive skills. Canelo will be sure to test his defensive acumen from the opening bell. Golovkin’s overbearing pressure combined with fear that his power invokes has kept most of his opponents reluctant to throw meaningful punches. Again, the only fighter that had any success at throwing and landing punches on GGG with any consequence was the bigger Danny Jacobs. If Canelo is able to absord GGG’s power and counter with his own combinations and power shots, then GGG could be in for really tough fight. If Canelo can get GGG on his heals, it will certainly be interested to watch how GGG responds as the fighter that is being pressed, instead of being the fighter doing the pressing.

One thing we know for sure is that this will be a war. The gritty Kazak has show his ability to breakdown his opponents time and time again. Will Canelo be any different?

Tune into HBO Pay-Per-View on September 16th and watch Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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