Canelo Alvarez has a lot to lose in a third fight with Triple-G

Canelo Alvarez is in a no-win situation if you put a guaranteed form aside.

If the Mexican star beats Gennadiy Golovkin in their third match on Saturday in Las Vegas, critics will say he has knocked out a 40-year-old man who is past his prime and is gaining weight for the match. If he loses, it will go against that old man and his second consecutive defeat after one lost to Dmitry Bivol in the May.

In other words, a victory wouldn’t affect Alvarez’s legacy much given Golovkin’s current limitations; a loss can damage it significantly.

What are the advantages of Alvarez?

Of course, he probably doesn’t have to worry much about that. He is a significant favorite to win his third match against his opponent – around 4½-1 – after a controversial draw in 2017 and a decisive majority victory the following year.

If he raises his hand on Saturday, he will bounce back from the Bivol loss and could finally rewrite his bumpy history with Golovkin behind him. Then he can focus on starting new competitions, which is what he wants.

Yet potential disaster lurks ominously around the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas, the site of the T-Mobile Arena.

Golovkin is not what he used to be but he cannot be completely wiped out, as some seem to be doing. After all, he’s only lost once in his 16-year pro career. And he’s still an elite boxer if you put stock in his middleweight titles and four wins after his second fight with Alvarez.

If Triple-G can handle his sadness, he’ll leave 32-year-old Alvarez in a horrible – and alien – position.

Just four months ago, he was #1 on most pound-for-pound lists, #2 in Boxing Junkie’s. And he hasn’t had a setback since the far superior Floyd Mayweather taught him a thorough boxing lesson in 2013, when Alvarez was just 23 years old.

He seems to have gone undefeated after that, recording an impressive series of victories over elite opponents to build a Hall of Fame career and climb to the top of the sport. And he’s still as hot as ever as most recently last year, when he beat Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant to become the undisputed 168-pound champion.

Then a dose of reality proved Alvarez was finally human.

No one was surprised when he made the decision to challenge the talented Bivol, a light heavyweight champion. Alvarez defeated a 175-pound athlete, Sergey Kovalev. And, apparently, a boxer in his prime who had nurtured the idea of ​​fighting Oleksandr Usyk was starting to think he was invincible.

Bivol proved the opposite, beating Alvarez to win in a more one-sided unanimous decision than the official score (115-113 on all three cards) indicated.

Sure, Alvarez was very humble. And there was fallout. He has knocked down all trust lists and lost at least some degree of respect from those who have revered him as the best of his generation.

So what if he loses again on Saturday?

We may have to see him differently. This won’t be an older boxer losing fights against the greatest of all time, like Manny Pacquiao to Juan Manuel Marquez and Mayweather. Alvarez is said to be near the peak of his abilities. And he would lose to a good, but unannounced 175-pound athlete and his lackluster opponent.

Imagine Alvarez getting rid of the pound-for-pound list altogether. That’s what we can look at if Triple-G makes a miracle.

Again, that probably won’t happen. Alvarez has every advantage in the fight, which could lead to the Golvokin takedown that many expect to see.

You never know, though. Crazy things happen in boxing all the time.

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