Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin kick off what is set to be a bumper final quarter of 2022 as they look to settle their grudge once and for all in the early hours of Sunday morning at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The pair have already faced off inside a professional ring on two occasions, both of which ended in controversial fashion. Their first contest in 2017 saw the fight adjudged a split-decision draw despite many feeling that Golovkin had done more than enough to take the unified middleweight championship back to Kazakhstan. The 118-110 card of Adelaide Byrd proved particularly contentious, and more salt was rubbed into the wounds of ‘GGG’ when his opponent tested positive for clenbuterol in the following March. A ‘back-dated ban’, whatever that means, was handed down to the Mexican and the pair ran it back a second time twelve months later, where this time Canelo was afforded a narrow majority decision win. Golovkin was left enraged at the result again, an outcome that has sat with him in the four years that have followed as he seeks to prove his authority over his longtime rival in a trilogy bout.
He’s got his wish this weekend where, four months on from Canelo’s unanimous defeat to Dmitry Bivol at 175lbs and five from Golovkin’s ninth-round stoppage victory over Ryota Murata in Japan, the pair will face-off once again, live on DAZN pay-per-view. This time the bout takes place at super-middleweight, a division where the Mexican has collected all four major governing body belts as well as the Ring Magazine strap, providing the perfect incentive for the Kazakh to finally attain his revenge over the man standing before him, not that he will have needed one.
The standout fighter of 2022 so far Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez is also set to appear in defence of his WBC super-flyweight title. The twenty-two-year-old burst onto the scene at world level February when he unanimously defeat Carlos Cuadras for the vacant strap, despite jumping up two weight division at a couple weeks notice, before annihilating Srisaket Sor Rungvisai four months later, scoring an eighth-round stoppage in the process. A faded Israel Gonzalez will be in the corner this time around as Bam looks to continue his incredible momentum beyond this weekend. Northampton’s Kieron Conway has also earned a slot on the card as he faces-off against undefeated middleweight prospect Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams at 160lbs.
Rewind to Friday night in Montreal, Canada and Carlos Takam takes on undefeated Russian heavyweight prospect Arslanbek Makhmudov in a twelve-round heavyweight encounter. Makhmudov stopped ring veteran Mariusz Wach in impressive fashion in February while Takam last appeared in a sixth-round stoppage defeat to Britain’s Joe Joyce in July 2021.