(by Jenna J) Last month boxing saw one of it’s most anticipated fights, Canelo vs. Golovkin, happen after two years of hype and promotion. The fight itself brought good action and while it did not deliver a classic fight, it was a good match that most were satisfied in terms of the action they saw in the ring. What people were not satisfied with, was the decision, as the fight was officially ruled a draw when most felt that Gennady Golovkin had done enough to get a win.
In part 3 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio special interview with Virgil Hunter, I discuss with him the fight that took place September 16th, Canelo vs. Golovkin. He shared his views on the decision and also talked about the perception that Canelo can only do better in a rematch. Additionally, Hunter talks about the career on Andre Ward and how boxing fans should remember him as a fighter. Here is what Andre Ward had to say.
Jenna J: What were your thoughts on the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin fight?
Virgil Hunter: I had Golovkin winning the fight. If I’m not mistaken, I had it 116-112. I had Golovkin winning the fight. I thought Alvarez fought well but I thought he fought in spurts. I thought Golovkin pretty much made the fight, but it was a great fight. A draw is acceptable if everybody can’t come to the conclusion of who won. There’s always a rematch to sort it out and find out who really won.
I expect them to fight each other next, that’s what they should do — I know Golovkin wants it. If Canelo went off to fight somebody else, I don’t think that would be received well, based on his great performance and also based on the fact that there’s really no way out for him other than to take the rematch. Unless Canelo wants to be criticized, there’s no reason for him not to take the fight. I expect to see a rematch and hopefully we can get a clear and concise winner on paper in that match.
Jenna J: What do you think of the people who think Golovkin may not do as well in a rematch due to the fact of him being older?
Virgil Hunter: People are always going to have their say so. If you wanted to be logical, that’s a logical way to think. That’s not a wrong way to think, but you can’t underestimate a fighter of Golovkin’s caliber. To say that Golovkin didn’t learn anything in that fight would be absurd. To say that he doesn’t have any room to improve is absurd.
They say Canelo is younger and has more room to improve, but I don’t see where age makes a difference in improvement. If that was the case, then young fighters would be running the game, we wouldn’t have Bernard Hopkins lasting until he was forty. There’s always room to grow regardless of your age, as long as you’re in the game, there’s always some things you can improve on. I still see it as a fifty-fifty fight, I’m sure both guys will make adjustments that they need to make and it will probably turn out to be a better fight.
Jenna J: What do you think Canelo would need to do to win rematch?
Virgil Hunter: I’ll put it this way, if Canelo is going to win, he’s going to have to fight a different fight than what he fought before. I think if Canelo fights the same fight, they’re going to see it the same way. Not to say that he’s not being successful, but in order to really make it clear, he’s going to have to stand his ground in every round. If he’s able to do that, then he’s got a great chance of winning. If he can’t and it’s the same kind of fight, then people will tend to look at it the same way, unless he’s so devastating in his counter punching. I can’t see being any other way but the way the first fight was.
Jenna J: When fights fans look back at the career of Andre Ward, how do you think they should remember him?
Virgil Hunter: If they’re going to be honest with themselves, they have to remember him as a great fighter. What he’s done you can’t take it away from him. You can argue against it, you can point fingers here and there like we can do with every single fighter’s career. We can do that on every single fighter, but the bottom line is that he did it his way and the way that we planned it is the way it turned out.
To have a young man come to you at nine years old and want to box, to lay out all the things that you wanted to accomplish. I have a diary that I started when he was eleven and every single thing I predicted in this diary I had completed it before he was seventeen. Every single thing, from the broadcasting to the gold medal, to the middleweight championship, I predicted it and it came true. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and to be able to say that I never saw him lose a fight, I never saw him hurt in a fight, that’s a great accomplishment. The memories will always be those of a winner.