NCAA Football

Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez box to split-draw

September 16, 2017

LAS VEGAS – They say a draw in boxing is like kissing your sister. Pucker up, sisters everywhere.
Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez squared off Saturday for Golovkin’s middleweight championship belts. Golovkin was favored, but few were discounting Alvarez.
They didn’t talk a lot of trash beforehand, which was refreshing. But they figured to get mean in the ring.
They didn’t get as mean as fans perhaps would have liked, but the second half of the fight was more exciting than the first. And when the scorecards were read, the decision was an unpopular split-draw before 22,358 at T-Mobile Arena. Adalaide Byrd gave it to Alvarez by the ridiculous score of 118-110. Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin and Don Trella had it even 114-114.
This newspaper had Golovkin winning 115-113.
There were no knockdowns.
The draw allows Golovkin (37-0-1), of Kazakhstan, to retain his titles. Alvarez, of Mexico, is now 49-1-2.
“It was a big drama show,” Golovkin said.
There is already talk of a second fight.
“Of course, I want the rematch,” Golovkin said. “This was a real fight.”
Golovkin was asked if he thought he won.
“I still have the belts,” said Golovkin, who stalked Alvarez the entire fight. “I’m still the champion.”
Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, said, “We knew going into this, it would be a war.”
It wasn’t quite a true ring war. But not because Golovkin didn’t try to make it one.
“It’s not my fault, I put pressure on every round,” Golovkin said.
Alvarez thought he won. He also said he didn’t feel Golovkin’s power that much.
“No, truthfully not,” he said.
He suggested he wanted to see what Golovkin brought with him.
“In the first rounds I came out to see what he had and then I was building from there,” Alvarez said. “I think I won eight rounds, to be convincing. I felt I won that fight.”
Like Golovkin, Alvarez said he’d love another go-round.
“Yes, of course,” Alvarez said. “Obviously, yes, if the people want it. He didn’t win; it was a draw. I always said I was going to be a step ahead of him.”
Both fighters landed their share of telling blows, but what was interesting was that Alvarez moved around the ring more than he ever had. That was probably understandable because the heavy-handed Golovkin came in with 33 knockouts among his 37 victories.
Alvarez’s best defensive work came when he was on the ropes. He was able to often duck under Golovkin’s attack.
Golovkin landed a fine two-punch combination in the fourth with Alvarez on the ropes.
Alvarez came through with a terrific right uppercut to the head in the sixth, his best punch to that point.
Both fighters shook their heads any time the other landed, as if to say, “Didn’t hurt.” Any time Alvarez landed anything – and even when he threw and had his punch blocked – the crowd roared.
Not that Golovkin didn’t have his supporters. A couple of times fans broke out in chants of, “Triple G, Triple G.”
There wasn’t as much work to the body as expected, but both guys got in a few down there.
Alvarez landed a nice right hand in the 10th that seemed to stagger Golovkin just a bit, but he was not hurt. But it probably wasn’t as lethal as a right hand that shook Alvarez’s head earlier in the fight.

Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, was asked to talk about the card turned in by Byrd. Bennett said Byrd is a good judge, but had an off night.

“Being a judge is a very challenging position,” Bennett said. “Unfortunately, Adalaide obviously was a little wide tonight. … Unfortunately, she wasn’t in the ballpark tonight. She saw the fight differently.”
Alvarez was guaranteed $6 million, Golovkin $3 million. Both will receive more from pay-per-view upside.
All three of Golovkin’s major titles were on the line, but Alvarez said ahead of the bout he wanted nothing to do with the WBC belt if he won. The WBC in May 2016 gave Alvarez and his promoter – Oscar De La Hoya – a deadline to make this fight that fall. Instead,
Alvarez gave up the WBC belt and made Golovkin wait another year.
Alvarez was forced to trim his beard prior to the fight. Sanchez made the request to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte was supposed to take on Jorge Lara in a featherweight title-unification bout. But Lara pulled out Tuesday and in stepped Rafael Rivera of Tijuana.
Rivera was no slouch, but Diaz pounded out a wide unanimous decision by scores of 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109.
Diaz (25-0), a 2012 U.S. Olympian, is ranked as high as No. 1 by one governing body and No. 2 by another.
“I feel like I had a good performance overall,” he said. “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.”
Taking the fight on short notice wasn’t the best thing for Rivera (25-1-2).
“I feel that trying to make weight in time for the fight really drained me and I wasn’t able to perform at my tip-top best,” he said. “Other than that, I believe we did good despite the circumstances.”
Undefeated junior welterweight Ryan Martin entered his bout against Francisco Rojo with an unblemished record of 19-0 and 11 knockouts.
But he ran into a tough customer in Rojo, who appeared to be about three inches shorter. Nevertheless, Rojo was able to land punches to the head of Martin, who at times appeared befuddled by Rojo’s ability to do just that.
But when the scorecards were read after 10 rounds, Martin (20-0) had come away with a split-decision victory. Two judges had him winning by scores of 96-93 (judge Lisa Giampa) and 95 -94 (Max DeLuca). Rojo was scored the winner on the third card by a 98-91 (Richard Ocasio) count.
Rojo, of Mexico, falls to 19-3.
Martin, of Chattanooga, Tenn., lost a point for low blows in the ninth round after having been warned more than once.
Martin said he wasn’t his best, and even gave the judge who scored it wide for Rojo some credit.
“I didn’t feel 100 percent tonight, even though I got the split decision,” Martin said. “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.”

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