By Jason Pribila: 2018 has come to an end and the Secondout.com team had the tough task of choosing their Fight of the Year. The best part of this award is that it could be chosen from fights that take place all over the scale, and anywhere from a club fight to the biggest venues that support the sport. However, when the fight of the year happens to take place on the sport’s grandest scale, all fight fans win.
For years, the biggest pay per view events have taken place in the months of May and September. Mexican Independence days have been lucrative staples for both pay the consumer but also for the city of Las Vegas that have hosted events for the rabid Mexican fight fans. In 2018, almost exactly a year from their first fight, Canelo Alvarez beat Gennady Golovkin by a razor thin majority decision.
Their fight in 2017 was memorable, but a ridiculous score card handed in my Adalaide Byrd stole the headlines from a fight that ended in a disputed Draw. The rematch was a back and forth battle that caused debate, but no one was claiming robbery.
Judges Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld scored the fight 115-113 for Alvarez, and Glenn Feldman scored it 114-114.
Golovkin threw and landed more punches (234 of 879), but Alvarez was more accurate (202 of 622), Each fighter had their moments, and at different points in the fight it seemed as each may take the fight out of the judges hands and win by stoppage.
The fight was originally supposed to take place in May, but Alvarez had to postpone the fight due to testing positive for a performance enhancing drug that he blamed on eating tainted meat. The 28 year old Alvarez did not appear to be as muscular as he did in their first fight, and many felt that he would use his quickness to box Golovkin from the outside. The GGG camp taunted Alvarez in the lead up to the fight by saying that they fought with more of a “Mexican style” than their younger foe.
Alvarez seemed to take offense to the taunts, and on this evening the counter-punching Alvarez flipped the script and stayed within the pocket forcing Golovkin to fight the early rounds on his heels. Golovkin, 36, seemed uncomfortable and was breathing heavily in the mid-rounds.
Golovkin did really had had his best rounds late in the fight. He was not only attempting to best his rival, but a win would have been record setting. GGG was attempting to defend his middleweight crown for the 21st time, which would have topped Bernard Hopkins’ record of 20 defenses.
The controversy that delayed the fight understandably led to bad blood between the once friendly rivals. The fight was on the table entering the final round, and the fact that neither fighter wanted to leave it in the hands of the judges made for compelling drama that thrilled the sellout crowd of 21,965 that filled the T-Mobile Arena, and ultimately impressed the staff at Secondsout.com.
After a controversial Draw and a razor thin decision, many fight fans felt that a third fight in May of 2019 would make sense for each fighter’s legacy as well as their wallets. However, a funny thing happened on their way to Cinco de Mayo weekend. The first two fights took place on HBO PPV. As everyone knows, HBO is no longer in the boxing business. Alvarez signed a lucrative 10 fight deal with streaming service DAZN, and Glolvkin remains the biggest free agent outside of Major League Baseball’s Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Alvarez is arguably the sport’s biggest draw, and he has attractive potential match-ups with Danny Jacobs or any of the top super middleweights. Golovkin is near the end of his reign, and at this point he needs Canelo more than Canelo needs him.
Whether they face each other or take different paths, they remain the top two best middleweights, and whomever they decide to face in 2019, they will capture the imagination of fight fans everywhere who will hope that they could deliver the same magic that they shared together on September 16. 2018.