Famed boxing trainer now turned television and internet commentator, Teddy Atlas, had a strong opinion Monday about the proposed Canelo Alvarez – Gennady Golovkin third fight in September. And, as is often the case, Atlas did not mince words when it came to the former Undisputed Middleweight Champion Golovkin and what he does, or doesn’t have, left in the tank?
Appearing on his show, “The talk with Teddy Atlas,” a podcast / Youtube simulcast, Atlas made it clear and even used the dreaded description “shot fighter,” when talking about Triple G.
Take a look and listen:
Now, Atlas isn’t just another talking head blowing out “hot takes,” while we have no fights in the ring. Rather, he worked with one of the most menacing fighters of the modern era Mike Tyson early in his career. He also trained Michael Moorer, who captured the Unified Heavyweight Championship from Evander Holyfield in 1994.
Atlas also trained the likes of Barry McGuigan and Timothy Bradley later in their championship careers.
Atlas is best known for his long career as a commentator on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” and other World championship fight coverage throughout the 2000s. He was taken off ESPN’s live play by play coverage in late 2017, but still serves for them, as a studio show analyst of the sport.
Therefore, Atlas is obviously an authority and very qualified to give opinions on Fighters.
So what’s the truth on Golovkin? Atlas said this specifically Monday starting with GGG’s last fight, a narrow decision win with Sergey Derevyanchenko last October,
“He wasn’t right. Was it because he was sick, was it a fluke, was it an anomaly, was it that or was it what he is now? An older fighter, a fighter that has left parts of himself in the ring, and parts of himself from the first two Canelo fights.
“I thought those fights (vs. Alvarez) took a lot out of him, and I think 400 amateur fights take a lot out of you. And I think when you’re at the age he’s at … What is he now? 38? He’s getting up there toward that number 40.
He looked like a ‘shot fighter.’ Yeah, I said it. I said it, you people that want to get your knives out now and your bow and arrows ready. ‘How dare you say that about my guy,” said Atlas. “It’s called ‘Father time,’ it’s called nature, it’s called aging, and it comes to all of us, but we all don’t have to fight for a living.”
Atlas makes valid points that GGG, who turns 38 next week, had a ton of amateur fights including winning a Silver medal in the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics. He also had a seven-year reign as Undisputed Champion at 160 lb. And, clearly at 38 and seeing his last couple of fights with Steve Rolls and the win against Derevyanchenko, Golovkin does not look like the same fighter that he did in the early 2010s.
Then again, most fighters skills, reflexes, etc. are going to decrease with age. The question becomes: does Golovkin have enough left with his tools, his stamina, his punching power and training capabilities to give Alvarez a big challenge in their potential upcoming third fight?
We further know that Golovkin’s proposed March IBF title defense against Kamil Szeremeta had originally been delayed in February due to a calf injury that he had sustained in training. Obviously, that fight has been completely set aside, with all the rest of the sport, due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
As we wrote previously, both Canelo and Triple G would be wise to discard their current proposed fights at this point, with the uncertainty of when boxing will resume in the short-term and they should concentrate instead on their battle. And, whether it’s in September or perhaps a little later in the fall, it’s still the bigger more noteworthy fight.
Golovkin suffered a draw and then a controversial loss in the two decisions agains Canelo that were 12 months apart in 2017 and 2018. And, those are the only two blemishes in his career. That’s his motivation for the third fight.
GGG’s career could be coming to an end fairly quickly, or, maybe not?
Obviously there are opinions, like Atlas’, that we may see a one-sided whipping by the younger Alvarez, if he squares off again with Triple G.
Still there are plenty of examples of fighters, who maybe look like they were at the end of their career, yet summoned great skill and will one more time. (See Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and even, Manny Pacquiao as positive examples).
And, maybe that will be Triple G, if, and when, he gets in the ring with Canelo again, later this year.