Nine days away from the most anticipated prizefight of the year in boxing 2018, and there is slugging, some solid trading going down outside the ring as the hype machine rumbles toward the finish line.
I checked in with Hall of Fame shot caller Jim Lampley, who will do the honors for the HBO crew on the PPV broadcast of the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez second installment.
Is he thinking maybe GGG is doing all he can to goad Canelo into fighting angry? And does Lampley think Abel Sanchez, GGG’s trainer, at times playing the Lou Albano role to a T, trying his best to get under Canelo’s skin, spur him to fight angry?
And Jim (picture that in my Harold Lederman imitation voice), is Canelo getting angry but only to a point, and while he’s promising trading and the seeking of the KO, come fight night will engage in smart boxing? Basically, do you think he will fight in much the same manner as he did last September?
“No question in my mind GGG and Abel have for months now been engaged in psychological warfare aimed at luring Canelo Alvarez into being more aggressive,” Lampley responded. “Makes all the sense in the world for them to do that. The question, as you sense, is how does Alvarez react?
“Hard for me to believe there isn’t a part of his character that would like to not just win, but win in the role of GGG, aggressively destroying the destroyer. This is made more tempting by the reality that Gennady won the first fight, but not in the role of GGG. He was actually a little more of a middleweight Lomachenko that night, gaining his edge from the jab and body positioning more than from sheer power. So there is pressure on both fighters to give a little more to the audience.”
Lampley will be in the booth with Max Kellerman and Andre Ward adding color and technical insights at T-Mobile on September 15, for the record.
“Canelo saw Floyd Mayweather up close, and saw the efficacy of the science, but I really don’t think he can be Floyd Mayweather,” Lampley continued. “Wouldn’t play in Mexico. So my guess is both fighters will be more aggressive than in the first fight, and victory will be determined by how much of GGG is left in his 390th appearance as a middleweight.
“Are the footwork and the body punching too far gone now to be revived in this fight?? Or in the fight to validate his entire career (his entire life?) can Gennady summon the destroyer magic one more time? The trainers I have spoken to favor Canelo. The fighters I have spoken to all favor Gennady. It is as fascinating going in as any prizefight I have ever covered. Ever. That is quite a statement.”
Indeed it is, being that Lampley has been working the TV sports scene since the 1970s, and hopped aboard the HBO pugilism train since he called Mike Tyson-Tony Tubbs in March of 1988, after doing some blow by blow work for ABC.
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