Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II
|Date||September 15, 2018|
|Tale of the tape|
|Alvarez wins by Decision|
Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II was a professional boxing rematch between Canelo Álvarez and Gennady Golovkin which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada on September 15, 2018. Alvarez won by decision.
The fight was originally to take place on May 5, 2018. However, in March 2018, two months prior to the fight, Álvarez failed a drug test for clenbuterol and was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission for six months. Álvarez formally withdrew from the fight, but renegotiated the rematch to occur in September after his suspension lapses.
The bout got the "Fight of the Year 2018" award by the Ring Magazine. 
The world's two top middleweights had collided the previous September and had fought a high quality and entertaining contest that ended with a controversial split draw after the full 12 rounds. However, with pundits and fans making cases for both fighters having won the bout, it was not so much the result of the draw that caused the controversy but rather the 118-110 scorecard in favour of Canelo by judge Adalaide Byrd, which was in stark contrast to the scorecards of 115-113 for Golovkin by Dave Moretti and the 114-114 even score by Don Trella.
Immediately after the controversial ending, talks began for a rematch between Álvarez and Golovkin. Álvarez stated he would next fight in May 2018, whereas Golovkin was open to fighting in December 2017. ESPN reported that Álvarez, who only had the rematch clause in his contract, must activate it within three weeks of their fight. On September 19, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN that everyone on their side was interested in the rematch and they would hold discussions with Tom Loeffler in the next coming days. Ringtv reported that the negotiations would begin on September 22. On September 24, Gomez said the rematch would likely take place in the first week in May 2018, or if a deal could be worked, we could see the fight take place as early as March.
Despite ongoing negotiations for the rematch, at the 55th annual convention in Baku, Azerbaijan on October 2, the WBC officially ordered a rematch. Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN, "Regardless of if they did or didn't order the rematch, we are going to try to make it happen. We'll do whatever it takes to make it happen." On November 7, Eric Gomez indicated the negotiations were going well and Álvarez would make a decision in regards to the rematch in the coming weeks. It was believed that Golden Boy would wait until after David Lemieux and Billy Joe Saunders fought for the latter's WBO title on December 16, 2017 before making a decision. On November 15, Eddie Hearn, promoter of Daniel Jacobs stated that he approached Tom Loeffler regarding a possible rematch between Golovkin and Jacobs if the Álvarez-Golovkin rematch fails to take place.
On December 20, Eric Gomez announced that the negotiations were close to being finalized after Álvarez gave Golden Boy the go-ahead to write up the contracts. On January 29, 2018 HBO finally announced the rematch would take place on May 5 on the Cinco de Mayo weekend. Both fighters claimed that this time the judges would not be needed, with both men promising to knock the other out. The venue for the rematch was not confirmed until February 22, Madison Square Garden in New York had been in the running to host the event, but it was eventually decided that the stage would be the same as the first fight, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. According to WBC, unlike the first bout, Álvarez would fight for their title.
The fate of the rematch was put in jeopardy on March 5, 2018, when Álvarez failed two random urine tests, collected on February 17 and 20, for the banned substance clenbuterol. The NAC opened an investigation, and Álvarez was temporarily suspended on March 23, 2018—pending a hearing on April 10. In the hearing, Álvarez would face the possibility a suspension of up to one year. Loeffler stated that Golovkin intended to fight on May 5, regardless of his opponent. Former two-time light middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade made an offer to fight if Álvarez received a long-term suspension, as well as IBF #1 contender Serhiy Derevianchenko.
The next day, NAC chief Bob Bennett filed a formal doping complaint against Álvarez, which delayed the disciplinary hearing to the commission's next monthly meeting on April 18. ESPN.com writer Dan Rafael felt that this delay made it more uncertain that the fight would not go ahead, while T-Mobile Arena had already announced the previous day that it would offer full refunds on tickets. On April 3, 2018, Alvarez officially withdrew from the fight. Gomez explained that "given the current regulations in Nevada we have been advised, and it is unfortunate, that Canelo won't be cleared to fight in May. We are hopeful this matter will be resolved and we are hoping Canelo will be cleared so we can reschedule the fight for August or September."
Álvarez was issued a six-month suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission. As suspensions are retroactive from the date that the first failed test was collected (February 17, 2018), the suspension ended on August 17, 2018.
According to Golovkin on April 27, before he defeated Martirosyan, a fight with Álvarez in the fall was still a priority. During a conference call, he stated it was the 'biggest fight in the world' and beneficial for all parties involved. Although Golovkin stated the rematch had a 10% chance of happening, Eric Gomez and Tom Loeffler agreed to meet and start negotiating after May 5. One of the main issues preventing the rematch to take place was the purse split. Álvarez wanted 65-35 in his favour, the same terms Golovkin agreed to initially, however Golovkin wanted a straight 50-50 split.
On June 6, Golovkin was stripped of his IBF world title due to not adhering to the IBF rules. The IBF granted Golovkin an exception to fight Martirosyan although they would not sanction the fight, however told Golovkin's team to start negotiating and fight mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko by August 3, 2018. The IBF released a statement in detail. On June 7, Golovkin's team stated they would accept a 55-45 split in favour of Álvarez. The split in the initial rematch negotiations, Golovkin accepted a 65-35 split in favour of Álvarez. On June 12, Golden Boy gave Golovkin a 24-hour deadline to accept a 57½-42½ split in Álvarez's favor or they would explore other fights. At this time, Golden Boy were already in light negotiations with Eddie Hearn for a fight against Daniel Jacobs instead. At the same time, Loeffler was working closely with Frank Warren to match Saunders with Golovkin for the end of August.
On June 13, 2018, it was announced that Álvarez and Golovkin had finalized a deal to hold the rematch September 15, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena. Although it went past a negotiation deadline imposed by Golden Boy, it was reported that an unknown "tweak" employed by MGM Resorts International executives was a "Hail Mary" that had reinvigorated the negotiations. Golovkin revealed to ESPN he agreed to 45%. Álvarez started training for the bout on June 14 and stated his intention to apply for his boxing license on August 18. It was confirmed that both boxers would not physically come face to face with each other until the fight week. A split-screen press conference took place on July 3.
On September 3, due to a majority vote of the panel, the vacant "Ring Magazine middleweight title" would be contested for in the bout. Doug Fischer wrote, "We posed the question to the Ratings Panel, which, in a landslide, voted in favor the magazine’s 160-pound championship being up for grabs when the two stars clash at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas."
The weigh-in took place at the T-Mobile Arena in front of 9,000 fans. Golovkin took to the digital scale first and weighed 159.6 pounds. Álvarez weighed slightly lighter at 159.4 pounds. The traditional face-off was not without controversy as this was the first time the two boxers had seen eye to eye in all the build up which saw both camp trade insults. Golovkin was calm and collected, however Álvarez went straight in to the face-off getting as close as he could before both camps intervened, cutting the face-off short. For the WBO light middleweight title fight, Cook weighed 153.2 pounds and Munguia came in at the 154 pound limit. There was also controversy at the Lemieux-O'Sullivan face-off. Lemieux weighed 160 pounds and O'Sullivan weighed 159.2 pounds. During the face-off, O'Sullivan hung his arm out long in Lemieux's face, which Lemieux did not take kindly too. The two boxers were then separated. González weighed 114.8 pounds for his 10-round super flyweight bout with Fuentes, who himself had to strip and weighed 116 pounds.
In front of a sell out crowd of 21,965, the fight was again not without controversy as Alvarez defeated Golovkin via majority decision after 12 rounds. Alvarez was favoured by judges Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld, both scoring the bout 115-113, the third judge Glenn Fieldman scored it 114-114. The result was disputed by fans, pundits and media. Of the 18 media outlets scoring the bout, 10 ruled in favour of Golovkin, 7 scored it a draw, while 1 scored the bout for Álvarez. The scorecards showed how close the bout was, with the judges splitting eight rounds. After 9 rounds, all three judges had their scores reading 87-84 for Alvarez
The fight was much different to the first bout in terms of action. Alvarez who was described by Golovkin's team as a 'runner', altered his style and became more aggressive. Both boxers found use of their respective jabs from the opening round with Golovkin using his jab more as the fight went on. Big punches were landed by both fighters during the bout, with both Alvarez and Golovkin showing excellent chins. Despite the tense build up, both boxers showed each other respect after the fight. Alvarez made good use of his body attack, landing 46 compared to Golovkin's 6 landed. Compubox Stats showed that Golovkin landed 234 of 879 punches thrown (27%) and Alvarez landed 202 of his 622 punches (33%). In eight of the rounds, Golovkin outlanded Alvarez.
The fight generated a live gate of $23,473,500 from 16,732 tickets sold. This was lower than the first bout, however the fourth largest-grossing gates in Nevada boxing history. The fight sold 1.1 million PPV buys, lower than the first bout, however due to being priced at $84.95, it generated more pay-per-view revenue at around $94 million.
In the post-fight interviews, through a translator, Alvarez said, “I showed my victory with facts. He was the one who was backing up. I feel satisfied because I gave a great fight. It was a clear victory.” He continued, “That was a great fight. But in the end, it was a victory for Mexico. And again, it was an opportunity. And I want to shout out to my opponent, the best in the sport of boxing. I am a great fighter, and I showed it tonight. If the people want another round, I’ll do it again. But for right now, I will enjoy time with my family.”
Golovkin did not take part in the post fight and made his way backstage where he received stitches for a cut over his right eye. He later responded to the defeat, "I'm not going to say who won tonight, because the victory belongs to Canelo, according to the judges. I thought it was a very good fight for the fans and very exciting. I thought I fought better than he did."
Golovkin's trainer Abel Sanchez, who was very critical of Alvarez following the first fight said, “We had a great fight, the one we expected the first time around. I had it close going into the 12th round. We had good judges, who saw it from different angles. I can’t complain about the decision, but it’s close enough to warrant a third fight. Canelo fought a great fight. Congratulations.” Both fighters were open to a trilogy.
The fight generated a live gate of $23,473,500 from 16,732 tickets sold. This was lower than the first bout, however the fourth largest-grossing gates in Nevada boxing history. The fight sold 1.1 million PPV buys, lower than the first bout, however due to being priced at $84.95, it generated more revenue at around $94 million. In total, the fight grossed about $117 million in revenue.
According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Alvarez would earn an official purse of $5 million and Golovkin was to make a $4 million purse. It was reported with profits of the PPV, Alvarez would potentially earn around $40 million and Golovkin could earn $30 million.
Guaranteed base purses
- Canelo Álvarez ($5 million) vs. Gennady Golovkin ($4 million)
- Jaime Munguia ($250,000) vs. Brandon Cook ($30,000)
- David Lemieux ($200,000) vs. Gary O'Sullivan ($400,000)
- Román González ($200,000) vs. Moisés Fuentes ($35,000)
|Middleweight||Canelo Alvarez (c)||def.||Gennady Golovkin||MD||12/12||For WBA (Super), WBC, IBO, vacant The Ring Magazine, and vacant lineal Middleweight Titles|
|Jr. Middleweight||Jaime Munguia (c)||def.||Brandon Cook||TKO||3/12||1:03||For WBO Jr. Middleweight Title|
|Middleweight||David Lemieux||def.||Gary O'Sullivan||KO||1/12||2:44|
|Super Flyweight||Román González||def.||Moisés Fuentes||KO||5/10||1:44|
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