Golovkin Vs. Alvarez: Inside The Numbers

While the world was able to bypass all the hype and hoopla that was Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, the actual in ring performance between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez did equal the previous bout. The question is now is did this matchup live up to it’s own hype?

Golden Boy founder Oscar De La Hoya spent week telling the masses to expect a 7-8 round war that would not let the fans down. The fight was not some massive disappointment by any means, but was not really what the masses expected. With both showing tremendous respect for each others power, we witnessed a semi technical bout, with the jab becoming key for GGG. Following the highly controversial decision, a draw, lets take a look at some of the nights key numbers.

118-110: This may be the number that is attached to this bout for years. While judges Dave Moretti and Don Trella had the bout a lot closer then some would have liked, it was Adelaide Byrd that stole the show. Her 10 rounds to 2 advantage for Canelo gave room for all the boxing is fixed fans to raise their voices once again. According to Byrd, Canelo won rounds 1-3, 5 and 6, and 8-12. Moretti and Trella agreed with rounds 1 and 2, as well as 10-12, with Trella giving Canelo the 7th as well. But how Byrd was able to justify giving Canelo rounds 5, 6, 8 and 9 is a mystery we will never fully understand.

218-169: This is the number of punches landed for GGG and Canelo. Now of course total punches never matter much, as the bout is scored round by round, but to see a fighter land nearly 50 more punches in a bout that had no true damaging moments, it is hard to fathom how the decision cannot go his way.

11-1: This is the number of rounds GGG out struck Canelo. While some rounds were very close in total numbers, some were obvious wins for GGG. Only 3 rounds (2, 3 and 6) were within 2 total strikes, 6 had a gap of 4 or more strikes (1, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 11), 2 had gaps of more then 5 strikes (9 and 10), while one was a tie (12th). The only round Canelo truly won in total strikes was the 2nd, by a 14-12 margin.

108-55: This is the total number of jabs landed by both men. Coming into the fight with a per round average of about 10.5 jabs, GGG was able to land an average of 9 per round. 5 rounds had GGG landing under this average (2, 3, 5, 6, and 11), 5 rounds had him landing above this average (1, 8, 9, 10 and 12), while 2 were on average (4 and 7). Canelo’s per round average was only 4.6, and only out jabbed GGG in 1 round (6).

114-110: This is the total number of power punches landed. Canelo, with his 114, averaged 9.5 per round, and won a total of 7 rounds (1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 11, and 12) in terms of power strikes. GGG averaged 9.2 power punches, and won a total of 5 rounds (4, 5, 6, 7, and 9).

703-505: This was total number of punches thrown by each man. GGG was able to land at a per round average of 18, while Canelo averaged 14.1 per round. The percentages were almost identical for each man, Alvarez landing 33.5 percent of this punches, with GGG landing 31 percent.

Now going back over these numbers, and comparing to the official scorecards, we see:

Round 1: All 3 scored this for Canelo, despite GGG landing more total punches and a significant number of jabs. Canelos 5-2 edge in power punches was enough to claim the round.

Round 2. All 3 scored this for Canelo, with edges in total and power punches going to him, and a tie in the jab category.

Round 3: 2 judges gave this to GGG, 1 to Canelo. GGG took a slight victory in total punches, plus 5 in terms of jabs, with Canelo win the power punch game 11-8

Round 4: All 3 gave this round to GGG. Holding the edge in all 3 categories, this was a GGG round.

At this point in the fight, the judges had it 3-1 Canelo and 2-2 GGG. Totals for both men showed 50 total punches, 22 jabs, and 28 power punches for Canelo, with 58 total punches, 36 jabs, and 24 power punches for GGG. Either score had merit at this point.

Round 5: 2 judges gave this to GGG, 1 to Canelo. GGG held the edge in total punches, 18-14, and power punches, 13-5, and tied in total jabs, 5-5. Deserving round for GGG.

Round 6: 2 judges gave this to GGG, 1 to Canelo. Once again, GGG held an edge in total punches, 16-15, power punches, 12-8, yet Canelo won the jab game, 7-4. Another GGG round.

Round 7: 2 judges gave this to GGG, 1 to Canelo. GGG held the edge in total punches, 16-12, jabs, 9-8 and power punches, 7-4. Score another for GGG.

Round 8: 2 judges gave this to GGG, 1 to Canelo. GGG held a decide edge in total punches, 21-11, and jabs, 12-1, with Canelo edging the power punch number, 10-9. Once again, a GGG round.

At the 2/3 mark of the bout, the judges had it 6-2 Canelo, 6-2 GGG and 5-3 GGG. Totals again after rounds 5-8 show 52 total punches, 21 jabs, and 31 power punches for Canelo, with 71 total punches, 30 jabs, and 41 power punches for GGG.

Round 9: 2 judges gave this to GGG, 1 to Canelo. GGG won the total punch battle, 24-13, jab battle, 11-2 and power punch battle, 13-11. Easy round for GGG.

Round 10: All 3 scored it for Canelo. Total numbers were 23-18 total for GGG, 12-3 in jabs for GGG, and 15-11 in power punches for Canelo. Tight round, but give the nod to Canelo.

Round 11: All 3 scored it for Canelo. Total numbers were 17-13 GGG, jabs 8-3 for GGG and power 10-9 for Canelo. Another close round, but Canelos for argument sake.

Round 12: All 3 again for Canelo. Total numbers show a tie in total punches, 23 each, 11-4 in jabs for GGG, and 19-12 for Canelo. Another Canelo round.

At the end of round 12, the scorecards were read a follows: 118-110 Canelo, 115-113 GGG and 114-114, draw, which was the final decision. But based on the numbers above, GGG took the win with a 116-112 score. While the numbers don’t always tell the entire story, this was not some rock em sock em robots type bout. GGG played aggressor for most of the match, or at least was the man moving forward, and generally in a bout such as that, this man will win. Even when Canelo did land, GGG walked through each and every punch, and for as much as judge recognize what lands, they also recognize the affect of the punches.

Looking at judge Byrd’s card, which gave Canelo 10 rounds, we see only 5 rounds that coincide with judge Moretti and Trella, and only the 7th was in agreement with another, Moretti in favour of GGG. Based on the shear numbers however, it is almost impossible to see where 5 more rounds went to Canelo. Rounds 5 through 9 were essentially clean sweeps for GGG, landing a total of 95 punches, 41 jabs and 54 power punches, compared to Canelo’s 65 total, 23 jabs, and 42 power punches.

Comparing numbers to each mans last fight, we see:

GGG vs. Daniel Jacobs: 231-175 total punches for GGG, 105 to 31 jabs for GGG and 144 to 126 in power punches for Jacobs.

Canelo vs. Chavez Jr.: 228 – 71 total punches for Canelo, 82-15 jabs for Canelo and 145 to 56 power punches for Canelo.

Canelo’s win over Chavez was easy to see, but compare the number for GGG in both fights. Jacobs pressed forward a lot during the loss, and was able to land nearly 20 more power strikes, but was out jabbed by 84, as opposed to GGG winning the jab war with Canelo by 53. Total punch difference were almost identical in both bouts, GGG winning by 56 over Jacobs and 49 over Canelo.

Oddly enough, judge Trella was ringside for both bouts, and gave GGG a 115-112 nod over Jacobs, and a 114-114 score with Canelo. If you take away the 5 mystery rounds judge Byrd gave to Canelo, the end result goes to GGG, 115-113 GGG, 115-113 GGG and 114-114. Had these been the official scores, the conspiracy theorists still come out, but at least the numbers can reflect the outcome, not confuse it. Even if Canelo gets a 115-113 from Byrd, the noise becomes less defining today.

The final round however that ultimately led to the draw was the 7th. While Byrd and Moretti both score this for GGG, judge Trella gave the edge to Canelo. The round was close, but with so many “close” rounds going to Canelo, only one round needing to go GGG’s way would have earned him the win. Many will disagree with final decision, and not just judge Byrd’s score, but with many rounds hanging in the balance of opinion, it wasn’t a complete robbery towards GGG.

Neither man came with the fight the fans expected, so there was no reason to expect a decision that follows suit based on past performances. But hey, at least now we get to drop another 60-70 dollars to watch the rematch.

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Jasyn Zangari

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