On Saturday, September 17, Mexico's Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Kazakhstan's Gennady "GGG" Golovkin will do battle for a third time in Las Vegas in one of the biggest fights of the year, to hopefully finally settle one of boxing's long-running disputes.
Alvarez will return to the super middleweight division to put his undisputed titles on the line after an unsuccessful weight switch to light heavyweight, which saw him handed a second career defeat by Dmitry Bivol. However, despite his shock loss to Bivol, the Mexican has yet again been installed as the heavy betting favourite. Is there value in the Alvarez vs. Golovkin odds? Read on to find out.
Once bettors know how to bet on boxing, they can analyse whether the two fighters' boxing styles make Golovkin a credible outsider in Pinnacle’s Alvarez vs. Golovkin betting odds or whether Alvarez is a worthy favourite to win this trilogy bout.
A close look at the Alvarez vs. Golovkin 3 odds
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
Gennady "GGG" Golovkin
The 1X2 odds suggest this is a fight that Pinnacle is expecting Alvarez to win, and the odds suggest the Mexican has approximately an 80% chance of victory.
The Total Rounds is set at 10.5, with Over 10.5 rounds priced at 1.487*, which means Pinnacle is favouring the fight to go the 12-round distance rather than the fight ending via a knockout.
Date: Saturday, September 17
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
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Alvarez vs. Golovkin 3: What did the first two fights teach bettors?
The first encounter between Alvarez and Golovkin ended in highly controversial circumstances as the result was heavily disputed and was a bout that many felt that Golovkin won. One of the three judges, Adelaide Byrd, scored the fight comprehensively in favour of Alvarez that night, 118-110, whilst the remaining two judges scored the bout 115-113 to Golovkin and a 114-114 draw, which reflected more accurately how the fight played out.
The irrational scoring led to many bettors believing that Alvarez had hugely benefited from the judges scoring cards, and after looking deeper into the statistical analysis from the first fight, they were correct. The numbers suggested that Golovkin was the far more active fighter over the 12 rounds, landing nine of 30 jabs per round and more punches in almost every round, yet judge Adelaide Byrd scored the bout 118 - 110 in favour of Alvarez.
There is no Adelaide Byrd assigned for the trilogy fight, which will come as positive news to Golovkin's backers, with the two judges who scored Alvarez as the 115-113 winner over Golovkin in their second fight being assigned to the bout. Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld (the two aforementioned judges) are no strangers to judging Alvarez’s Las Vegas world title bouts, but David Sutherland will work his first Alvarez fight to date.
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The risk of betting against the 'cash cow' Alvarez
An important thing to remember (as mentioned in Pinnacle’s previous Alvarez fight previews) is that bettors should always be mindful when betting against him in a fight, as the vast amounts of money and global attention that he brings to the sport has often, in the past, swayed the judges to favour him despite many believing he has lost a fight, much like in the first encounter with Golovkin.
A ‘cash cow’ in boxing terminology is a boxer who can make their promoter and each person involved within their team extreme amounts of revenue through various avenues within the sport and “Canelo” is currently number one on that list when it comes to revenue, so it is a dangerous betting strategy to bet against him.
It is a dangerous betting strategy to bet against him
It is only recommended if you are convinced that the fighter you are betting on (in this case, Golovkin) is a superior opponent and is likely to convincingly win the fight. Judging by the fact that Golovkin is now 40 years of age and out of his prime, the probability of him winning convincingly is more unrealistic than in the previous two encounters.
To explain this analogy in simpler terms, if a lot of the rounds end up being closely contested between Alvarez and Golovkin, then the judges will almost certainly side with Alvarez, which means if you are betting on Golovkin to win, then he will most likely need to have huge success in the vast majority of rounds in the fight and also win them clearly.
Stylistically, Golovkin is not known to box in this manner; often he will look to knock an opponent out rather than box his way to a points victory, unlike previous opponents who have beaten Alvarez. Examples of this include Floyd Mayweather and Dmitry Bivol (pure boxers), so it is worth doing your research into this component of Alvarez’s fights before placing your bets on this trilogy fight.
Alavrez vs. Golovkin 3 betting: What can bettors expect?
After the first two fights, both the odds and probable outcome had stayed roughly the same, with the probabilities suggesting Golovkin had around a 60% chance of victory compared to 40% for Alvarez. However, that has now changed significantly for the third fight with Pinnacle installing Alvarez as the heavy betting favourite with around an 80% chance of victory.
The pair both have high knockout percentages, but it is likely that the fight will again be a distance fight. Golovkin is the fighter out of his prime, more so than Alvarez, at 40 years of age but he does have excellent punch resistance and has proven in his two previous fights with the Mexican that he can handle the power and strength Alvarez has to offer and can continue to fight on the front foot, which makes betting on the fight to go the distance a much more plausible one than betting on a stoppage win for either fighter.
If Golovkin can box well, control the distance, and counter with his jab, he could still have enough to defeat Alvarez, even with more miles on the clock than in the first two encounters. But due to Alvarez being more in his prime than Golovkin (at just 32 years of age) and certainly the more active fighter over the past few years, it would come as a surprise if he were to lose. The three-inch reach advantage and a one-inch height benefit for Golovkin, in combination with the statistics from the first two fights, give us reason to still believe that the hard-hitting Kazakh can be victorious, but one big issue he’ll face in trying to pull this accomplishment off at the age of 40 is his style as a boxer.
Alvarez has certainly improved since his first loss to Floyd Mayweather, but when the he has fought someone with elite boxing ability whom he cannot simply overpower (e.g. Lara, Mayweather, Bivol), he has struggled. He finds his success when he's fought slower-styled boxers – whose power he can walk down and show little respect for, resulting in the inevitable outcome of a stoppage win – a style that Golovkin has more than the other three boxers mentioned above.
After analysing Alvarez’s fight against Bivol, the flaws he demonstrated are still there to a degree, and there is also the added element that Alvarez could well be burnt out himself after going through a gruelling series of fights in the past two years against high-level opponents – something that could provide an edge to Golovkin.
When a fighter has a reach advantage (as Golovkin has over Alvarez) coupled with a slight power advantage, as long as that fighter understands how to use the reach advantage, it tips the probability of the outcome in their favour—something that bettors will have witnessed in the first two fights (although less so in their second bout).
Alvarez will believe he is fighting Golovkin at just the right time. But Gololvkin should still have reserves left in his tank for an occasion like this, even at 40. The big question if you are looking to bet on Golovkin is, how far past his best is he? As he showed some signs of age in his previous fight against Ryota Murata (who had great success with blows to the body).
Murata handing Golovkin a torrid first few rounds will boost Alvarez and his team’s confidence that they can get a stoppage win, believing that he has reached his ceiling limit as a fighter and is on the decline, but expect the fight to be one that goes the distance and for it to be one where it is much closer than the odds suggest.