Canelo vs. Golovkin III Is Like Lethal Weapon 4, Here’s Why…
How To Watch The Fight
Day: Saturday, September 17th
Time: 1:30 PM PST (YouTube undercard) | 5 PM PST (PPV) | Main Event 8 PM PST
Remember “Lethal Weapon 4”? I don’t really either, except that it had Chris Rock in it.
Yet, in the summer of 1998 – I went to “Lethal Weapon 4”, why because it was fun. Did I think it would be good – I don’t remember, nor do I remember the story.
This is the same feeling I have towards Canelo vs. Golovkin III as well on this Saturday afternoon ahead of the third pay-per-view clash. I feel I will enjoy the fight, but do I care about the outcome, or do I think it will lead to major memorable life moment – not really.
Will this be the apex mountain of boxing in 2022 – more than likely – no. Yet, I am all-in since I have spent a decade watching these guys fight, so I might as well see the conclusion or part of the conclusion.
It is like seeing an old friend. The one you met when you were a teenager, and then saw you turn into an adult, and stayed loyal. You might not have as much in common, but at least you stuck by each other, and that means more than interests sometimes.
You know that the last two fights have been compelling, and despite Golovkin being forty, Canelo coming off a loss to Dmitry Bivol, and a lot of the media downplaying the fight. Sometimes it is nice, as well as comforting seeing two of the biggest fighters of their era fight, even if they are not what they once were.
Add to the fact, that this is Golovkin’s debut at super middleweight and that all four of Canelo’s world titles are the line, it has some historical importance. You can even look at a comparable fight in Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III, which was not hyped at all, and turned into a modern classic. You can talk yourself into and out of this movie, not unlike a movie sequel, which is what I find myself doing.
My gut tells me this is the first sign that we are in a new decade. These two first fought in 2017, which doesn’t seem that long, but it was. Then rematched a year later, after Canelo Alvarez failed a drug test prior to his bout with Golovkin. Time has moved on, Shakur Stevenson is coming, Devin Haney is here, and Jaron “Boots” Ennis is waiting in the shadows. Though both Canelo and Golovkin could probably fight for a few more years respectively if they wanted to, this feels like one of the last iconic moments we remember in both fighters careers, and they way they both are on edge they seemingly know it as well. These two are slowly becoming the past, and with a rumored 65 million dollars being spent between the two fighters for a fight purse, it felt as though this was one of the last chances for either fighter to make that type of money fighting each other.
It also feels like the end of an era for both fighters as I don’t expect to see the best version of either, but that is just my opinion. As the theme of this fight could be simple – aging is real, people can get old.
The DAZN thing.
An upstart streaming platform was started, DAZN, with the concept of bringing fight fans and consumers of digital streaming platform, pay-per-view quality fights for a monthly subscription. The idea was great, but the consumers didn’t follow. DAZN signed Canelo Alvarez, and then made a huge deal out of signing Gennadiy Golovkin.
The goal was to sign big name fighters, and then mix-and-match them, essentially taking over boxing in the process.
The undertones were clear. We’re making the trilogy on our platform. One could even go as so far to say it felt like it was darn near a mission statement for DAZN to make this fight happen. Not unlike, the “…if you build it they will come,” moment in “Field of Dreams.” This fight felt like an inevitable for DAZN.
Which they eventually did, but DAZN is not what it once was, still a strong platform, but it is also a streaming service charging a monthly fee, and asking the consumer to pay a pay-per-view price on top of that to watch this bout. This pay-per-view tomorrow is $ 64.99 for DAZN subscribers and $ 84.99 for those who don’t have the platform.
This is a dramatic departure from Canelo standing in the ring and having Michael Buffer tell the viewer the fights on DAZN would be ‘free’ (well, if you paid for the subscription service).
So how did we get to this point? Simple, politics.
The fight should’ve happened in 2019, but it didn’t. The whole year of 2020 was a wash for most sports as COVID-19 took apart the world not just boxing, and affected a lot of people’s lives. Last year, Canelo Alvarez became an undisputed super middleweight world champion, only focusing on obtaining all of the belts and fighting three times in one year, taking a page from Golovkin’s book fight often. 2021 quite possibly could be viewed as Canelo’s greatest year as a prize-fighter, and he did it all without facing Golovkin.
All the while, Golovkin is now 40-years-old, and fighting less frequently. Golovkin has been out of the public eye and had no form of a media workout prior to this fight. The first time you see Golovkin do anything boxing related will be fight night. As Golovkin’s video content has been closer to a vignette for a mysterious pro wrestler of a WWE wrestler, then a main event fighter.
Now we have to wonder… is the fight still the same fight?
More For The Fans Than Anyone Else
Not unlike unboxing a Super Nintendo in 2022. The feeling of the toy takes you back to being a child more so than what it is. Canelo vs. Golovkin, for me at least, is less about the fight itself, though I see it as competitive. It seems to be more so about giving the fans closure, and making it a modern trilogy.
This is a fight in which we could get the best version of both fighters, or we could get two fighters who are not what they once were. It is nice to at least see dislike between the two camps, as in the modern era, money seemingly is the first, second and third thing that matters to a fighter. Legacy is often, only an afterthought or sadly at times even mocked.
I get a sense that they both want to win (d’uh), but beyond that their pride is on the line. Golovkin spoke in English only to correct the media about not knowing a lot about boxing, and Canelo interrupted a reporter who he felt interrupted him on the same media round table. That has been the most interesting thing about fight-week from a narrative standpoint.
Despite very little pre-fight build-up, this is what the fans wanted. These two fighters in places together again. Canelo and Golovkin at a press conference together, having to face-off, having to do the tropes of fight week, before fighting. It isn’t unlike a fan of the Lethal Weapon series wanting to see Mel Gibson and Danny Glover solve one last caper, for old-times sakes.
Golovkin Lost A Bit Of His Fanbase
Golovkin’s isolation and privacy might be needed to win this fight, but his presence in terms of the media or general fanfare is muted. In the first bout, Golovkin had a strong fanbase that traveled, one that rivaled Canelo’s, and came off as a lovable fighter trying to assimulate into U.S. culture. Now, heading into the third fight, Golovkin is very reserved, not quite a movie villain, but also seemingly bitter at the industry of boxing in general, and rather uninterested in connecting with the fans at this point.
The first fight saw a split crowd, with fans of Canelo and Golovkin, now sees Canelo’s fans dwarfing Golovkin’s fanbase at the Friday weigh-in prior to tonight’s fight.
Golovkin, who was built in the L.A. market with field trips to New York City, in the last decade, now is fulfilling his obligations, nothing more and nothing less. On-site reporter, Spicy Boxing, who can be known to co-host an ITRBoxing podcast from time to time, described the venue as “…an amazing Mexican atmosphere.”
Golovkin is no longer the guy saying “Big Drama Show.” In fact, he hasn’t had any reference to that catchphrase in years. Golovkin was built as a Mike Tyson figure with a ton of KOs, but clumsy when integrating into the U.S. sphere and culture, not unlike the fictional character, Borat. As Golovkin got more money, and power it was clear he didn’t fancy that image of himself to be a lasting image. The Golovkin many reporters knew is not the Golovkin of 2022.
Between being in fights that a lot of fight fans haven’t watched over the past couple of years, fighting on a streaming app in a sport in which a slew of the fans struggle finding boxing on basic cable let alone learning how to use technology to watch the sport, and no longer doing interviews in English. The support Golovkin once had isn’t as organic as the summers of 2016-2017 in Los Angeles, California, which might be a sign that the world has changed.
Lasting Images Of The Last Fight
What we might not have thought about at the time, but the outcome of the third fight and this series is might be which fighter is culturally significant in the long-term outside of boxing.
At dinner parties, if something memorable happens tonight a friend will reference the winner as the better fighter of the era, even if they didn’t watch much boxing. I think that also might be why the fight took so long to get made, Golovkin is a lot older than Canelo now, and has a lot of advantages heading into this bout, so if Canelo were to win – he can always point to the fact he holds two wins over Golovkin.
Golovkin who is coming off as grumpy to a lot of pundits might play the perfect foil to that argument, as I don’t see him contesting that opinion in public, but rather being disgusted.
The love for this rivalry is gone. This is strictly big business. The two want to fight and compete, but it is clear, if they could make the money elsewhere they would. It is like two actors who hate each other on the set, but are beloved in our hearts for the characters they played – having to get along to get paid handsomely. Canelo and Golovkin are fighting for the money, and the fact that they need each other to make that money at this point – at least on this type of stage right now.
What we often forget is Canelo defeated Golovkin in their second outing the lasting impression it made. Canelo went from a star, many felt was entitled and protected to the pound-for-pound #1 fighter in the world, viewed as the golden standard of excellence and achievement in the sport of boxing. The lasting impact was Canelo became the best modern middleweight-and-super-middleweight because of his win over Gennadiy Golovkin.
As time has moved on, and more fight fans forgot the history of these two fighters already have as well as conversations exist to discredit the achievements of both fighters, I see that Golovkin of the two is annoyed with how history is archiving the last two fights. The most common re-telling is one in which Canelo bullied him in the second fight, something we had never seen before which led to Golovkin firing his beloved and popular coach Abel Sanchez, and becoming extremely private.
Canelo essentially took the goodwill and legacy, Golovkin created and added that to his mythos. While as time goes on more and more people discredit how good Golovkin looked in both fights prior, something that I am sure deeply frustrates him.
Now Golovkin is holding out hope that despite being an older pro athlete at 40-years-old, his jab will still work, and his body will hold up. The view by most is that Golovkin is past his apex mountain, some are holding out hope that he saved himself for this one last fight.
Not unlike a veteran actor Mel Gibson, fresh off an Oscar, but trying to relive his glory days of being a vibrant new stud in Hollywood, both fighters are looking to play the hits to create another classic.