The number crunchers are still trying to figure out whether the August 26 Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor superfight was indeed the biggest boxing match in history – as far as PPV buys are concerned. But as great as the fight itself turned out to be, there’s an even better matchup just around the corner: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will meet September 16 at the very same T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and they’ll be fighting to unify all the top belts in the middleweight division.

This is the fight everyone’s been waiting to see, boxing purists and casual fans alike. Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) is the –155 betting favorite at press time, down from –175 when the first lines hit the board in early May. Canelo (49-1-1, 34 KOs) has been accused of ducking Golovkin in the past, yet his fight odds have improved from +145 to +125. Does the popular Mexican have what it takes to pull off the upset?

Pound for Pound

Canelo definitely packs a punch. The only fight he ever lost as a pro was to Mayweather (–300) back in 2013; since then, the powerful northpaw has beaten the likes of Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan, and he wiped the floor with Julio Cesar Chavez in his last bout, winning by a clear unanimous decision on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Impressive, but Golovkin is the cream of the crop in the middleweight division. The Kazakhstan native is second only to Andre Ward in the pound-for-pound rankings at The Ring; Canelo is eighth on that esteemed list. After a stellar amateur career with a record of 345-5, Golovkin turned pro in 2006, won his first middleweight belt in 2009, and has never looked back.

Jacobs’ Ladder

If there’s one question mark with Golovkin, it’s the quality of opposition he’s faced. It’s partly because people have been avoiding him, but Govlokin’s toughest test to date was in his last fight against Daniel Jacobs, who was available as high as +560 before their fight in March. Golovkin had to settle for a close, but well-earned unanimous decision after knocking Jacobs down in the fourth.

Although it’s rare for Golovkin to win via anything but knockout, a similar result could be in store when he faces Canelo on September 16. Golovkin is +160 at press time to win by KO/TKO/DQ and +275 to win by decision; Canelo is way up at +600 for a knockout win (GGG has yet to be knocked down as a pro) and +190 for a decision, and the total is set at 9.5 rounds with the Over pegged at –230. Canelo has bulked up for this fight, so he might run out of gas early, but it shouldn’t shock anyone if two fighters of this caliber end up going the full 12 rounds. May the better man win.


*Odds as of September 5, 2017