The consensus among boxing World Champions is, you must knock me down at least once, overwhelm and outbox me in the majority of the rounds and or knock me out to take my championship belt away. This did not happen in the second fight with GGG and Canelo, and the real champion GGG was robbed again.
The question is, which decision was worse, the ridiculous Adalaide Byrd scoring of the first GGG/Canelo fight, or the judging in the second fight in Las Vegas. In the first it was so obvious, one would think that it couldn't get any worse. Wrong. In boxing, robberies have been taking place forever and it continued in this fight as well.
As for the Adelaide scorecard in the first fight, and prior to the second match, Jim Lampley said "This kind of score didn't happen for EITHER fighter," and many conclude that she had already made her decision before the fight had even started. We must not forget, millions of dollars are at stake, promoters fighters careers are in the balance and certain fighters are built up to be something that they are not. Such is the case for Canelo.
A decision like the one for GGG/Canelo II is why the great Marvin Hagler retired after Sugar Ray Leonard was given the win in a similar mega fight. Yes, Leonard fought a brilliant fight and showed tremendous boxing skills, but did he really win? Hagler and most of the boxing experts of the time are suspect of who the actual winner was.
After all the ridiculous spin put on by Golden Boy Promotions and the Canelo team after Canelo tested positive TWICE for the illegal performance enhancing drug Clenbuterol, which by the way, halted the rematch scheduled for May 5, and added more age to GGG, Canelo and people were able to somehow convince the Nevada (that is "Las Vegas") State Commission for only a six month suspension. Money talks.
He actually deserved to be suspended for very much longer and given a huge fine. So much for all the mendacity inside boxing promoters and the like, let's get right to the heart of the ridiculous tragedy that happened in Vegas.
Unlike the first fight, which GGG clearly won, a somewhat suspicious new and improved Canelo completely changed his tactic of running around the ring and trying to steal rounds in the last few seconds. What type of meat did he eat this time? Let's not forget, Armstrong cheated and lied to the cycling world for years.
This time he took the fight to GGG in the entire fight and gained a little unworthy respect from the real Champion. Despite Canelo's new tactic, GGG was the one landing the most punches in the early rounds, although the judges apparently were making their decisions based on the roar of the Canelo fans who cheered at every punch that Canelo landed, regardless of whether it landed or not.
After the first three rounds, HBO's infamous Harold Lederman was scoring the fight two to one for Canelo. Although, it was GGG who was landing his jab much more effectively than his opponent.
In the fourth round, GGG landed the best uppercut of the fight up to that point, that shot Canelo's head back, but he took the punch, a punch that probably would have at least hurt other middleweights, or even took them out. Before the round, Abel Sanchez told GGG to “forget going to the top,” basically telling him to go to the body, something he had not done so far in the fight. Canelo was the one who was going bottom to top.
In the fifth round, a cut was opening up over Canelo’s left eye, but Canelo’s corner wasn’t concerned about it. At this point in the fight, HBO’s Jim Lampley was saying Canelo is the one coming forward, which according to him, was odd for a couneterpuncher like Canelo, but it is working. At the same time, Roy Jones was insinuating that GGG looked like he was fading and not comfortable backing up. GGG may not have been comfortable fighting off his back foot, but he certainly wasn’t fading.
He appeared to be waiting for Canelo to make a mistake and walk into his big right hand. But so far in the fight, GGG never had the opportunity to land the punch.
Before the sixth round, Canelo’s corner was attempting to motivate Canelo by telling him that he is the younger fighter and that he should take advantage of it. And that is exactly on point, and a tactic that Golden Boy Promotions wanted and they got it with the delaying of the fight, which should have happened in May.
Let’s not forget, GGG is eight (8) years older than Canelo, something most people don’t even know or they try to dismiss. Point being, if Canelo was eight (8) years older than GGG, the fight would be very very different, and Canelo probably wouldn’t have made it past five rounds.
As for the seventh and eighth rounds, before the round began, GGG’s trainer told him to “Make it a fight,” which he did, and Lederman had him winning that round as well.
But before the eighth round, Sanchez told GGG “We are losing, OK,” which was not the case, but it was more for motivation, to get GGG to step up the pace. He also told him “Stay in the pocket, lets fight this guy,” and that is exactly what he did in that round.
The concern in GGG’s corner before the ninth round was still evident when Sanchez told GGG, “That’s the kind of round I want, longer and lower, but you got to mix it up, touch him on the sides, open him up.” This was the round where the momentum of the fight changed to GGG and the tide of the story of the fight changed. GGG continued to stick his jab into Canelo’s oncoming face and it was evident that Canelo was effected by GGG’s momentum of the last round. GGG ended the round by landing a big right hand to Canelo's head to cement the round in his favor.
Before the tenth round, Howard Lederman had GGG ahead 87 to 84, which appeared to be right on track. From the view of Canelo's corner before this round, he had a huge cut over his left eye, which was bigger than GGG’s cut over his right eye, but somehow his corner was able to contain and stop the bleeding before the bell sounded.
It was in this round that the champion GGG, appeared rejuvated in the corner before the bell sounded and when round began, he landed a huge uppercut that rocked Canelo. This punch stunned him and had him momentarily hurt. The momentum was clearly seen for GGG as he continued to land his jab.
Canelo continued to move forward and landed another body punch, which appeared to be a big part of his game plan throughout the fight. But it was GGG who continued with the momentum as he landed a big left hook and a huge right hand to the head of Canelo. GGG then landed another left hand before the bell sounded and Canelo walked back to his corner knowing he had lost that round.
The final story of the fight was now being written by the Kazahkstan champion, the peoples champion. Canelo’s corner now appeared worried, as they were heard telling Canelo, “It’s six minutes left, get faster, don’t rest.” They knew that he was beginning to fade. The look on Canelo’s face appeared to agree with what was being said, as he looked tired and like a fighter who knew that the fight was close or that he was losing.
From the translation in the corner, just before the eleventh round, it appeared that his corner told him “You are not going to knock him out.” At the beginning of this round, it was GGG who was the stalker and Canelo appeared to be fading, although he continued to fight. Even as HBO commentators were saying GGG was fighting his way back, he was already ahead on the cards from the sixth round going forward.
Lederman had GGG up 97 to 93 at this point of the fight, despite Canelo being the one forcing the fight. As the eleventh round continued, GGG went on the attack and landed a huge right hand to the head of Canelo and then had him on the ropes for the first time in the fight. This was the biggest punch of the fight by far.
Canelo then started to try to force the action again, but it was too late and GGG landed a crisp left hook that knocked him to the side for a moment, just before the bell sounded.
In the final round, the champion, GGG definitely had changed the tide and the story of the fight, which was heard many times from the announcers on HBO. But what was missing is, somehow they forgot that GGG is the champion, not Canelo.
As the final bell sounded, to motivate GGG, Sanchez told him that Canelo had won that round and that he should stay busy, but in actuality, GGG had won the previous round and had thrown seventy five punches. He implored to GGG that “We need this round, trust me, we need this round.” But again, even though GGG needed the round, he was ahead on all the cards.
GGG heeded his trainers instructions and landed a huge left hook to the head of the challenger and started the round as the true champion that he is. He then followed it up with a big uppercut and they went toe to toe. They both stood their ground to the end, but it was GGG that landed the last big punch with another uppercut to cement the round and the win.
After the fight, most people knew that GGG had won clearly won the first fight and it was evident that he won the second fight. If you don't decisively outdo the champion, the decision should always go to the Champion, and that is GGG.
After the fight, Jim Lampley summed it up perfectly when he said “Now Triple G is something of a latter day Ali, a global superstar seen as having been twice martyred by the hidebound and impenetrable processes of a sport that can’t get out of its own way. Canelo’s victory, however satisfying at first, will ultimately do little to increase the size or passion of his audience. But the two decisions which have frustrated Gennady Golovkin have dramatically multiplied the size of Triple G nation, which is now a global cult. You don’t have to win to be the winner. That’s boxing.