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Who won Canelo vs. Golovkin 1? Our three judges rescored the fight

8 min read
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The first battle between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, held on Sept. 16, 2017, was a thrilling encounter that set the tone for their legendary rivalry.

The bout (and the rematch) went the distance, and the official judges' scorecards on the night sparked much debate.

So, what would happen if three boxing experts rewatched the fight with fresh eyes and gave their own scores?

Well, let's find out!

Judge 1: Chris Walker  

Round 1 

A quiet round with both men feeling each other out. The respect is obvious, but it’s Golovkin pushing the action more and his aggression secures him the first round. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 2 

Golovkin’s jab is a thing of beauty as he repeatedly scores with it. Canelo is a fighter used to having things his own way, but it’s obvious he’s in a fight here. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 3 

Canelo has some success as he mixes his attacks between head and body. A solid attacker of the mid-section, Canelo’s body work has been quiet so far. Was the plan always to come on late? 10-9 Canelo. 

Round 4 

Golovkin’s best round and the most dominant round of the fight so far. He’s pushing Canelo back and he’s able to land when he does so. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 5 

This is Golovkin’s fight. He's not hurting Canelo but he’s certainly making his mark. The fight is approaching halfway and Golovkin has a healthy lead. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 6 

This is becoming a little one-sided. Canelo is trying his best, but he’s not doing enough to take the rounds. Golovkin is getting strong, and his focus needs to be on maintaining it. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 7 

It’s Golovkin’s round again but Canelo looks like a fighter who knows he needs to do more. A number of nice exchanges with Golovkin getting the last round. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 8 

This fight now has a pattern of Golovkin walking Canelo down and landing the better shots. Canelo must be relying on Golovkin fading, but that doesn’t look possible at this stage. 10-9 Golovkin.

Round 9 

The fight is entering the final stages and it appears that Canelo needs a miracle. No matter what he does, Golovkin just keeps coming back. 10-9 Golovkin 

Round 10 

A solid right hand from Canelo gets the attention and the Mexican has his best round. Although he takes the session, there’s still a belief he needs a couple of knockdowns to help him on the cards. 10-9 Canelo. 

Round 11 

It’s another Golovkin round. Canelo tried to build on the momentum of a good round ten, but Golovkin was able to match him. A close round but Golovkin edges it. 10-9 Golovkin.

Round 12 

Both men are going at it like their lives depend on it. It’s the best round of the fight in terms of exchanges, and it’s Canelo who shades it. 10-9 Canelo 

Final Score: Golovkin 117-111 Canelo 

Judge 2: Matt Astbury 

Round 1

As expected in a fight of this magnitude, it was a cagey opening round, but Gennadiy Golovkin’s strategy was clear, control the centre of the ring and put Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez onto the back foot. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 2

A much better round from Canelo whose constant movement kept Golovkin quiet when it came to throwing shots, a powerful counter right hand to the body in the final few seconds swung the round in his favour. 10-9 Canelo.

Round 3

Another tight round which Golovkin edges, there was a lot less movement from Canelo who was looking to land counter punch on GGG who was finding success with his jab. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 4

This round saw both men for the first time trading with each other in the centre of the ring, and it was Canelo who often landed with a number of successful shots to the body. 10-9 Canelo 

Round 5

A dominant period in the final minute or so swung the round in Golovkin’s favour, the Kazakh backed Canelo onto the ropes and began to unload, a standout punch being a right hand which the Mexican managed to shrug off and goad his opponent into throwing more. Golovkin 10-9. 

Round 6 

An uneventful round, but it has to be given to Golovkin who looked busy while Canelo was once again backed up onto the ropes and failed to throw any scoring shots. Golovkin 10-9

Round 7 

Golovkin has gained control of the fight at this point, he continued to push Canelo back who was unable to respond and try and secure a foothold in the centre of the ring. Golovkin 10-9.

Round 8

Golovkin seems to be chasing Canelo around the ring with the Mexican looking to find an escape route away from the ropes, but the Kazakh is effectively cutting the ring off and finding plenty of success with his jab. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 9 

Canelo is showing signs of exhaustion with his arms dropping frequently while Golovkin continues to remain on the front foot, there was an eye catching moment for the Mexican however when he managed to land a huge right which snapped back Golovkin’s head. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 10 

The contest exploded into a firefight at this point with both men swinging and hoping something lands, while Golovkin found some success in the final minute, it was Canelo who managed to land more scoring shots, albeit they were not the most technical of punches.10-9 Canelo. 

Round 11

Golovkin has a spring in his step while he continues to walk down Canelo, and whenever GGG throws a shot, there is no response from the Mexican star who is now looking very tired. 10-9 Golovkin. 

Round 12

It was too little too late for Canelo who went toe-to-toe with Golovkin in the centre of the ring and unloaded. His Kazakh rival didn’t throw much back, but there was no need to, he had done all the work in the earlier rounds to secure the win. 10-9 Canelo. 

Final score: Golovkin 116-112 Canelo 

Judge 3: Steven Muehlhausen

Round 1

Both guys tried to establish the jab from the outset. Alvarez was more active, showed good footwork, and landed the harder shots while Golovkin was trying to get his feet wet. 10-9 Canelo.

Round 2

Could see Alvarez getting into a rhythm. He was using the jab to set up the patented left hook to the body. Golovkin was going headhunting; he needs to be using combinations to set up those shots. The look Alvarez gave Golovkin when the horn sounded was one of those where he's saying, "I got you figured out." 10-9 Canelo.

Round 3

As soon I say that from the previous round, Alvarez's footwork got a bit sloppy, and Golovkin started to get into a rhythm. He was stalking Alvarez and throwing combinations. You could see some of those affected Alvarez as he wasn't as willing to engage in the pocket. 10-9 GGG.

Round 4

The best round of the fight up to this point for Golovkin. The best recipe against Alvarez is to get him to the ropes and go to work. I like how he stayed composed and threw where he found openings instead of throwing for the sake of it and getting countered by Alvarez. 10-9 GGG.

Round 5

Golovkin is dictating where everything is going. If he wants to get Alvarez to the ropes and keep him there, he can. If Alvarez tries to shift to the middle of the ring, Golovkin's right there and in his face. Golovkin landed a couple of hard-left hands that Alvarez shook off, which is a sign he was a bit stunned. I can see Alvarez slowing down slightly. The tide has shifted toward Golovkin. 10-9 GGG.

Round 6

Golovkin is getting rounds in the bank. He's finally listening to head trainer Abel Sanchez and ripping the body and then going upstairs. Alvarez's best success has been in the middle of the ring. He's not doing it enough to score points. He needs to alter his strategy and in a hurry. Things are starting to slip away for the Mexican star. 10-9 GGG.

Round 7

What Golovkin is doing is a thing of beauty. He's combining his power and technical prowess to confuse Alvarez, who keeps taking deep breaths. Alvarez is winging shots instead of sitting on them. All Golovkin right now. 10-9 GGG.

Round 8

You could see the confidence in Golovkin growing second by second. The jab was crisp. He has been applying constant pressure and now is the one landing the harder shots. It's time for Canelo to get it together because he doesn't have much time left. 10-9 GGG.

Round 9

This is so puzzling because Alvarez begins every round being the aggressor, and then after about 45-60 seconds, Golovkin takes over. Each snapped the other's head back with a right hand. Alvarez connected on a nice combination in the last 20 seconds to give himself some momentum heading into the 10th round. 10-9 GGG.

Round 10

The most exciting round of the fight. Alvarez came out like a man who knows he has to pick it up. He came out and showed that much-needed urgency with blistering combinations, landing a straight right hand to rock Golovkin. Alvarez looked exhausted heading into the final minute, but found another gear in the final minute of the round and hit Golovkin with a couple of hard right hands. He's back in the fight. Let's see if he can continue the momentum. 10-9 Canelo.

Round 11

The hardest round to score so far because both guys had their moments of excellence in landing hard power shots. It was surprising that Alvarez didn't come out with more aggression knowing where things stand. Golovkin has done a great job of cutting the ring off and not letting Alvarez reset in the middle. He's keeping things where he wants them and forcing Alvarez to fight off the back foot. Alvarez needs a stoppage to win. 10-9 GGG.

Round 12

Where was this Canelo Alvarez in the previous round? He came out, established the middle of the ring, and blistered Golovkin with body shots, punches to the heads and combinations. Too little, too late, though. 10-9 Canelo.

Final score: Golovkin 116-112 Canelo 

Official scorecards vs. 2022 scorecards

So, DAZN score it a unanimous decision for Golovkin with cards of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112. The official score five years ago was a split draw, with Dave Moretti seeing it as 115–113 for Golovkin, Adalaide Byrd scoring it 118–110 for Álvarez, and Don Trella putting the two as even at 114–114.

Our three esteemed (and unofficial) judges also rewatched Canelo vs. Golovkin 2, and you can see how they scored that with 2022 eyes right here.

How did you have the fight scored? Re-watch it for yourself on the above embed, courtesy of the official DAZN Boxing YouTube! And be sure to tune in for the trilogy encounter, live on DAZN PPV in USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand and on the DAZN subscription everywhere else except Mexico, Kazakhstan and Latin America.

 

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