Tuesday, October 4, 2022

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Canelo vs. Golovkin: Boxing’s big names are making predictions – including Amir Khan and Billy Joe Saunders

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin return to the Las Vegas stage this weekend, four years after they last met, to complete a legendary trilogy.

The once-friendly sparring partners are now bitter rivals, having shared the ring on two previous occasions, with Canelo walking away with a split-decision tie in their first fight – one most believe Golovkin won – before he did a narrower but still controversial majority decision victory was achieved next year.

Canelo has become a global phenomenon since his 2018 rematch and made history by becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion last year with quick wins over Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant.

The pound-for-pound star, however, trailed light heavyweight tech Dmitry Bivol in May and now faces a possible rematch against the Russian next year in another fight that will mark his legacy.

Golovkin, meanwhile, has been significantly less active but unified the middleweight division when he stopped Ryota Murata earlier in the year. And at 40, there are fears the tall Kazakh won’t be quite as competitive this time around.

Here, sports mail brings you all the big fight predictions from the sport’s standout names ahead of Saturday night’s enticing showdown in Vegas.

“I see Canelo stopping Triple G,” Khan said, per the boxing scene. “See, a lot of people are going to have something to say about that: ‘Ah, Amir doesn’t know anything about boxing.’ But you know what the point is, I really believe that. It is my opinion.

“Everyone has their own opinion. So it’s a third fight. You must remember that Canelo is at the peak of his career. Do you understand me? He sold. He is strong.

‘He’s settled now. Its weight is amazing. He holds the weight well.

‘performance speed. I think in that fight I could see Canelo [stopping Golovkin]. No disrespect to Triple G – what a beast he is – but don’t forget he’s getting older and has been around for a long time.

“He was at the same Olympics as me in 2004. I just feel like Canelo is the fresher guy who hasn’t been in as many wars.

VERDICT: CANELO TO KO GOLOVKIN

“I think they were waiting for the right time to get Golovkin, he’s 40 years old,” Saunders told talkSPORT.

“Obviously the two fights before were two good fights but I just think the age factor has crept in a little bit more now than it was a few years ago.

“It’s very clever of Canelo’s team to take a loss and then look very good against Golovkin. I think the age factor will cause the old man’s legs to come into play [play] and maybe even a standstill.

“Age is now a big factor in this fight. The man is 40 years old and you can’t really expect him to turn the clock back to five or ten years ago when he was at his best.

“I have to start with a Canelo win. Maybe from laps 8-12 interruption.’

VERDICT: CANELO STOP LATER

“I think Canelo has beaten GGG twice and I think he’s going to beat him a third time,” Ruiz Jr. told FightHype. “I don’t see anyone beating Canelo with his weight.”

He continued: “He is [Canelo] undefeated at 168 pounds. I know people say that Golovkin is very good, that he will be the best, but he is always focused, strong and training hard.

“He’s coming from a loss but a lot of people don’t understand why he lost.

“He was facing someone who was bigger, he was taking a risk. For me he didn’t lose, he just looked for something and didn’t get it.

VERDICT: CANELO WILL WIN AGAIN

“I think whoever loses this fight has to retire for sure,” he told DAZN.

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