The aftermath didn’t unfold the way one might have assumed it would.
You saw something you didn’t expect to see after you saw the decision that might have shocked you a bit, depending upon whether you lean GGG or Canelo.
GGG, the 36-year-old warrior from Kazakhstan, who has a rep as a proud and valiant practitioner, ultra classy always, left the ring after the majority decision announcement.
He decided not to stick around and soak up the moment, which saw him lose to the Mexican rival in a rock-solid scrap which will snag a few votes for BWAA Fight of the Year.
Yep, the smiling baby-faced assassin was in no mood to smile, or put the brave face on and subject himself to an interrogation from Max Kellerman as most of the 21,965 at T-Mobile hung around.
GGG got a few stitches, but then did indeed show up at the post-fight presser, which was held ringside, after the T-Mobile cleared out.
Sunglasses on, and maybe surprisingly, not in a mood to bitch.
Promoter Tom Loeffler and then trainer Abel Sanchez set the tone when he came out and said, “Canelo is the champion today, he deserves it. Hopefully they do it again.”
This, after Loeffler lauded both men for giving a great 12 rounds of action to the fans. He, too, took no issue with the scores, the judges, or the decision.
”I’m not going to say who won tonight, because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges. I thought it was a very good fight for the fans, and very exciting,” said GGG when he came out. “I thought I fought better than he did.
”First of all I want to congratulate Canelo. I feel like I’m a champion and he’s also a champion,” he said. His body language was good, no hang dog or angry/sullen mood.
“He didn’t run but it doesn’t mean he won the fight,” GGG stated.
“Of course we would like to have a third fight, we will continue to negotiate that, it would be great to have a third fight,” said GGG.
And his closing statement had a Patton-esque via Kazakh tone to it: “I come back, guys, I come back.”
Indeed he will; book it — Canelo vs GGG 3, in mid-to-later 2019.
My three cents: I asked Loeffler about GGG leaving the ring. Why, Tom? Because he wanted to give the stage to Canelo, Loeffler said.
Anyway, I had the score 6-4-2 for GGG. My eyes lined up with the CompuBox stats (Canelo went 202/622 to 234/879 for GGG), which said GGG outlanded Canelo by a bit, and out-threw him by a good amount.
I said coming in, volume is key. Maybe not as much as I thought it would matter. Both men used super smart game plans, and GGG shut up the “Father Time is hammering GGG” talk for a spell. He was busy as all heck, and even used his legs more than in the first fight, as he circled and made himself harder to hit against a Canelo, who was more so in press forward mode than in the first tango.
Also, the clen cloud over Canelo has moved on. Fair to say we can assume he was clean, and you saw how he fought. Like an ace. We can move on, arguably, from the chatter about Canelo and PEDs, yes?
I say we do it again, after interim fights for both me. Summer 2019 anyone?