My ESPN GGG Canelo Preview
by Johnnydub (2017-09-13 13:21:40)

Will be linking the podcast I just did where they roughed me up about ND.... Was fun and all I could think about was you all saying throw in a subliminal Kelly Sucks...
Johnny Wilds
Special to

This Saturday night, the long-awaited match between two of boxing's best -- and most popular -- fighters in Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) is finally here. GGG is currently the unified WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight champion while Canelo holds the WBO middleweight belt.

What are the best bets for this exciting fight?

Here's a look at where the money is going from Vegas bookmakers, along with opinions from boxing experts, trainers and my pick for the fight.

Where is the money going?

Jeff Sherman, sportsbook manager at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, opened the fight with GGG -150 and Canelo +130. "Initially we saw some sharp support for Alvarez and dipped to as low as -140/+120," Sherman told me. "The recent handle has been tremendous with solid two-way action and the current line is GGG -150 and Canelo +130."

The Westgate also posted the total of the fight at 9.5 rounds over -200 and under +175. Sherman saw steady support on the over and has adjusted to price to over -250 and under +200. Sherman also listed the following prop bets:

Westgate LV SuperBook Props
KO +160 +600
Decision +325 +180
Draw 18-1 18-1
At William Hill US, senior trader Adam Pullen opened the fight with GGG -160 and Canelo +140, but early action on Canelo has lowered the fight to -145/+125. "Tickets are a little over 2-1 in favor of Canelo and a little less than double the amount of total money wagered thus far has been on Canelo," said Pullen. He posted the total at 9.5 round over -200 and under +160.

Pullen took decent wagers on the over and the line now sits at over -250/under +210. "We will need GGG on Saturday night," Pullen noted. "Although we are getting decent action it will not be anywhere near to the Mayweather McGregor action even considering the magnitude of this fight."

Experts weigh in

• Evan Young (boxing sharp): "Canelo is getting lots of hype, but no matter how jacked Canelo gets, he is not the puncher in the fight. Canelo does have ability. He's a fast counter puncher with great accuracy, but I see GGG as too much. And he is many levels above what Canelo has seen lately. GGG has a trip hammer jab and makes the ring very small in a hurry. Canelo is not a mover and will be in front of GGG. His defense is good but he's going to get the heaviest leather thrown back at him that he's ever experienced. After several slow rounds, I expect the fight to heat up, and I see Canelo slowing down after six rounds while GGG's engine reaches first gear. I'm looking for a GGG win by stoppage somewhere between Rounds 8 and 11."

• Stephen "Breadman" Edwards (boxing trainer): "GGG knows he's up against a talented fighter plus he feels he has to do 'more; to defeat Canelo. I think he's down on the cards early but presses forward to even it out. I think Canelo stuns him a few times with uppercuts but GGG's iron chin stands tall. The winner will be the fans. I am going with GGG and expect a rematch, as this fight will be controversial."

Biggest bets for GGG-Canelo fight
The MGM has already taken a couple of low six-figure bets on Gennady Golovkin ahead of Saturday's fight. Here is a running file of the current odds for GGG-Canelo, as well as the biggest bets across Las Vegas sportsbooks.
• Marcus Figueroa (boxing sharp): "A lot of GGG detractors will say he got exposed by Daniel Jacobs. I say he showed how good of a boxer he is by beating the second-best middleweight. Don't think Canelo can box like Jacobs. GGG KO late."

• Colin Morrison (boxing sharp): "I see this as a 50-50 fight. While Canelo hasn't faced anyone with the power of GGG, I think his preparation will have been focused on neutralizing Golovkin's jab. This, combined with his improved footwork, will allow him to hear the final bell and take a controversial split decision on the scorecards."

• John "Iceman" Scully (boxing trainer): "I think this will be no less than the second-toughest fight of GGG's career behind the Jacobs fight. I noticed Canelo is a little bit shorter than him and it stands to reason that his brutal jab is going to play a major role. I think GGG is going to get hit more than he ever has but he's going to be in range to let his own brutal shots go. He hits harder and that, along with his jab, is going to make all the difference in the world. GGG to win."

• Abraham Gonzalez (boxing sharp): "The first few rounds will be a feeling out process with GGG boxing from the outside like the David Lemieux fight. Once the fourth or fifth round comes around, we will have an all-out battle that ends with GGG being too much for Canelo by the 10th. GGG by TKO in the 10th."

• Eric Bradley (boxing trainer): "Canelo displays good combination punches but takes too many stiff jabs. GGG's liver shots after hooks to the body [will] derail Canelo. GGG wins but Canelo survives stoppage."

• Luke Chapman (boxing sharp): "Golovkin can control the early pace here with that big heavy jab of his. Canelo needs to get in the pocket to enjoy success but GGG can keep him at a distance, and although Canelo looks huge this isn't a bodybuilding contest! I can see the accumulation of GGG's work being too much for Canelo in the later rounds. GGG by stoppage 10-12."

• Michael Mohan (boxing sharp): "I give GGG a slight edge over Canelo. Nonetheless, I believe Canelo will get every benefit when it comes down to the scorecards. I'll have a small play on GGG to win by decision hedged with the fight to go the distance."

Tale of the tape

GGG: The 35-year-old from Kazakhstan, now fighting out of Los Angeles, has made 18 title defenses of his middleweight crown since beating Nilson Tapia in 2010. He sports a 18-0 record in those defenses with 17 KOs and was taken the distance for only the fourth time in his career last March with a unanimous decision over Daniel Jacobs. He is ranked No. 2 on ESPN's pound-for-pound fighter ranking. According to CompuBox, GGG lands 10.6 jabs per round and 40.1 percent of his total punches, which ranks No. 1 among active fighters. He is trained by the very capable Abel Sanchez and trains out of Big Bear, California.

GGG has tremendous power as evident by his 33 KOs and 89 percent knockout ratio, which is the highest of any middleweight champion ever. He walks his opponents down, has a laser jab, elite punching power, great footwork, high ring IQ and his chin has shown to be concrete. There simply isn't much GGG doesn't do well in the ring. He will be making his first appearance in Las Vegas and will try to lay claim as to the best middleweight and pound-for-pound fighter in the world Saturday night.

Canelo: The 27-year-old has become a boxing icon of sorts from Mexico, which has a proud history of boxers. He is ranked No. 6 on ESPN's pound-for pound fighter ranking, and is 10-1 in world title fights (his sole loss coming to Floyd Mayweather in 2013). He has rattled off seven straights win since that loss, scoring 4 KOs. According to CompuBox, he lands 46 percent of his power shots. This will be his second fight at 160 pounds or above as he has been fighting several fights at catch weights from 155 pounds to 164 pounds.

Canelo is a very good fighter and began his professional career at the young age of 15 in Mexico. He was brought along methodically, was gaining momentum and appeared to be the boxer ready finally defeat Mayweather. Many picked him to win, including myself, but he was not ready and was soundly beaten even though one judge inexplicably judged the fight a draw while the other 2 judges had him losing 116-112 and 117-111. He has a vicious body attack, very good hand speed and power. He does very well with fighters who trade with him like Alfred Angulo, James Kirkland, Josesito Lopez and Kermit Citron, but struggles with boxers like Mayweather and Erislandy Lara. Canelo is looking to lay his claim as the best middleweight in the world and quiet his detractors who think he ducked GGG and was forced into this fight by public demand.

Betting the fight

The trainers and sharps are picking GGG to win by an 8-1 margin. This fight opened overseas a year ago with GGG being near -550, and even though he rattled off 2 wins over Kell Brook and Daniel Jacobs the line shortened up considerably. Has GGG shown vulnerability and has Canelo improved enough to defeat him?

I believe GGG is the real deal in the ring and should be able to secure the win. I am fearful of the judges being appointed to this fight in Dave Moretti, Adalaide Byrd and Don Trella, as Moretti and Byrd in particular have been overly kind to Canelo in the past. I am making it 9-1 in favor of GGG to beat Canelo but as mentioned in the event it does go to the cards, this has controversy written all over it.

Pick: GGG -150 or better.