Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan’s Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
The final hours preceding from the big rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin have brought additional subplots. We’ve seen Canelo get uncharacteristically angry and confrontational at the weigh-in. But what caught my eye was the betting odds, which changed to 3-1 that Golovkin takes home a decision. That’s mighty enticing even for a gambler that believes Canelo gets the W. A quick review of the new judges for tonight show that betting on a Golovkin decision might be the best move you make with your dollars.
MEETING THE JUDGES
The crew for tonight are Dave Moretti, Glenn Feldman and Steve Weisfield. Let’s review their recent fights to get an idea of what they prefer among the four accepted criteria for judging fights — clean punching, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship and defense.
DAVE MORETTI: This judge is based out of Vegas and no stranger to big fights, having been a judge in over 90 world title fights. And he’s familiar with each fighter, being the one judge to return from scoring Canelo-GGG 1 (which he had for Golovkin 115-113). In the last five years he’s scored Canelo’s fights against Miguel Cotto (119-109 Canelo) and Erislandy Lara (115-113 Canelo).
Recently, he’s been involved in the following close fights and scored them as follows:
Jarrett Hurd vs. Erislandy Lara – Scored it for Hurd 114-113
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada – 114-114
Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2 – Had it 67-66 for Ward at time of the stoppage
The conventional thinking is that Vegas judges prefer aggression, but his recent scores show that good counter-punching is equally important for Moretti. He rewarded Estrada’s countering against Rungvisai’s non-stop aggression and Hurd needed a 12th-round knockdown to break the tie. He also had Ward slightly ahead despite fighting most of the rematch off the backfoot.
Although Moretti gave Golovkin the 7-5 win in the first fight, I’d look at him as the one most likely to give Canelo close rounds.
GLENN FELDMAN: Coming to us from out of Connecticut, Feldman has been a judge since 1988. His recent controversial verdicts are as follows:
Jarrett Hurd vs. Erislandy Lara – Had it for Hurd 114-113
Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Tim Bradley – Was the only judge to score it for Marquez 115-113
James Degale vs. Badou Jack – Scored it for DeGale 114-112
Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2 – Had it 67-66 Kovalev at time of the stoppage
Andy Lee vs. Peter Quillin – Scored it 113-113
John Molina vs. Ruslan Provodnkov – Had it 115-113 Molina, the closest out of any judge
Jameel McCline vs. Chris Byrd – Only judge to give it to McCline 114-112
There are some head-scratchers here. Chief among them is giving Marquez the nod over Bradley, especially after being knocked down. However, if you’re a GGG fan you should be happy. That fight and having Molina-Provodnikov one round away from a draw shows Feldman is partial to come-forward fighters, regardless of how effective they might be. And GGG is normally very effective so we can expect him to do damage and catch Feldman’s eye in tight rounds.
STEVE WEISFELD: Out of New Jersey and a boxing judge since 1992. Notable calls are:
Wladimir Klitschcko vs. Anthony Joshua – Had Klitschko up 95-93 at time of the stoppage
Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs – Had GGG winning 115-112
James DeGale vs. Badou Jack – Scored it 113-113
Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter – Scored it for Thurman 115-113
Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2 – Had Kovalev ahead 68-65 at time of the stoppage.
It should be noted that Weisfeld has also judged several GGG fights (Monroe, Lemieux). What his recent scorecards tell me is that Weisfeld is not so much impressed by aggression. What catches his scoring eye is punching power.
This is a common theme among throughout most of these scorecards. GGG had the knockdown but also landed harder in the majority of the rounds. Ward-Kovalev 2 had many tight rounds early on, but Kovalev did land harder blows, particularly the jab (GGG’s best punch against Canelo last September). And while Porter was the aggressor and worked the body well, Thurman’s eye-catching power shots were enough to get him the close decision. Between Canelo and GGG, this favors the latter.
PREDICTION: Assuming there’s no steep falloff from either man (GGG’s age or Canelo’s ring rust), we’re headed for another tight decision. I do see there being more exchanges and risk-taking, but ultimately each man is who they are — GGG will be in hot pursuit with controlled and measured aggression while Canelo looks for countering opportunities off the backfoot. And based on the recent tallies these judges have made, I see Golovkin getting the unanimous or majority decision.