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Motivation To Spur Golovkin in Rematch Against Alvarez


Canelo "Saul" Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will finally battle again on Saturday in Las Vegas to finish what they started 364 days earlier. Their first meeting on September 16, 2007, ended in a draw, but many people believe Golovkin should have walked away with his hand raised. Golovkin will look to prove it in the rematch.

That’s the primary reason GGG currently sits as a high as a -175 favorite to Canelo’s +150. However, a lot of people believe Alvarez had begun to figure out Golovkin during the later rounds of their first fight. They feel that momentum, coupled with Alvarez's youth, will be enough to usurp the middleweight champion.

With a fight so significant, it’s really no surprise that you will find no less than 125 prop bets for Alvarez-GGG 2. But what’s the best way to go?

Golovkin deserves the edge by the oddsmakers. For one, he should have walked away with the victory last year and there isn’t too much Alvarez can do differently to alter the outcome in the rematch. He’d be unwise to stand and trade with the heavy-handed GGG. He could move around, but that’s what got him into trouble in the first place. Similar to how Shawn Porter defeated Danny Garcia, activity is going to be a major factor in this fight. Alvarez cannot afford to wait for the perfect counter. Instead, he’s going to have to sit down and fight in more spots than he did in his last outing.

And then there’s this issue with the failed drug test that postponed the fight to begin with and has clearly incensed Golovkin. Whether on purpose or unintentional, Alvarez was caught with clenbuterol in his system this year, which postponed the original May 5 fight date and caused the Mexican to endure a six-month suspension before being able to fight again. To err on the side of caution, it would be wise to take into consideration the possible edge that it gave Alvarez in the first fight. Even if he didn’t take it purposefully, it’s better to think he gained some advantages than none at all.

As for Golovkin, although he’s 36, he has had the benefit of staying active over the past year. When the rematch fell through, Golovkin opted to fight and mowed down Vanes Martirosyan in two rounds on May 5. While this may not seem like a huge deal, for a 36-year-old, it means a lot that a training camp wasn’t wasted. Between the knowledge of facing Alvarez the first time and the incentive of beating a man who he thinks is a cheater is a great deal of motivation for GGG.

There seems to be some value in taking Golovkin by stoppage, where he is at a +225. But considering Alvarez hasn’t been stopped in his boxing career and never appeared to be in any real trouble against GGG the first time, this is a bet I’d shy away from. Of course, anything can happen in boxing. But Canelo would have to be a fool to stand in the pocket and trade with the powerful GGG. Instead, I envision the fight to be very similar to the first bout where Alvarez opts to move and pick his spots. However, I do see GGG making a more deliberate effort to attack the body in the early rounds to slow Alvarez and do a better job of cutting off the ring.

There are a few interesting prop bets on the decision. Golovkin by split decision sits at +700 while a unanimous decision is +350 and a majority decision is +1200. For those curious, the fight ending in a draw is +2000. Lines like this are difficult because you aren’t necessarily betting on the fight, but what the judges see out of the fight. And if their first clash is any indication, what the judges see can be absolutely unreliable.

Ultimately, the best bet here is Golovkin by decision (+225), rather than just picking Golovkin to win (-145). You may give away winning by knockout but you pick up value with the method of victory that is very likely considering the durability of both fighters.

Andreas Hale

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