Saul “Canelo” Alverez Vs GGG by the Numbers

Canelo (49-1-1) (34 KOs) will square off against knockout artist GGG (37-0-0) (33 KOs) on September 16, 2017 at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas for what is anticipated to be the superfight boxing fans have been clamoring for ever since Manny and Floyd failed to satiate our craving.

Both men are seemingly identical in weight (Canelo 164 Lbs/GGG 159 Lbs), height (Canelo at 69″/GGG at 70 ½”) and reach (Canelo 70 ½”/GGG 70″) with age being the only differentiating factor as Canelo will be 27 and GGG 35.

Though they are separated by approximately 8 years, Canelo is actually older in boxing terms due to him having battled for 353 rounds vs GGG’s 172. As per usual for most of Canelo fights, he comes in the more experienced boxer and for GGG, he comes in the more lethal opponent, having a 89% KO rate to Canelo’s 67% KO rate.

Looking at the last 3 fights for Canelo (Chavez, Smith and Khan), none of the opponents landed more than 29% of their punches, and that 29% is coming from the smaller and faster Amir “King” Khan. Khan dropped from 37% landed historically to 29% when he got into the ring with Canelo, leading me to believe Canelo’s footwork and defense is at a level few boxers in the world are able to contend with.

Look at Canelo’s destruction of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr who averaged 40 punches thrown per round and 41% landed total prior to his fight with Canelo. Those numbers took a drastic dive into oblivion, averaging 25.2 thrown per round and a hysterical 23.5% landed total. Canelo’s dominance over Chavez Jr had me, and I am sure other boxing fans worldwide, question whether Chavez came to fight or cash in on an advertised instant classic.

Canelo’s form and precision are things of beauty, moving swiftly and smoothly in and out of range while throwing short, accurate and direct punches to both the mid-section and face of his opponents. His style is that of a classic boxer with some serious power after wearing his opponents down, much different from GGG.

All of this being said, Canelo has allowed his opponents to land power punches at a 30% rate or higher in the last 3 fights which, if GGG lands at a rate slightly higher than that, may prove troublesome in the later rounds against GGG.

GGG is a stalker, he is the guy that studies early with the intent of unleashing his brick hands on your skull. His form isn’t as refined as Canelo’s, but let’s face it he hasn’t needed the greatest form when he’s got the power of Paul Bunyan. This guy knocked Rubio out with an overhand left hook, GGG is orthodox BTW, that landed almost on the top of Rubio’s head… not the temple, the domepiece.

GGG leaves his hands wider in front of his face leaving more opportunities for his opponent to land, but also allowing for his power punches to reach their destination slightly quicker due to less distance travelled. This style is beneficial to him because it leaves his opponents open for counter punches and GGG himself has never been knocked down.

Looking at 3 of his last 4 fights, since he disposed of Wade in 2 rounds, Jacobs landed 32.3%, Brook 32.6% and Lemieux 27%. GGG is open to getting hit just a little bit more than Canelo is, but he has also insinuated that this is sometimes done on purpose to put on a show and to show that he can take his opponent’s best punches.

Looking at Canelo and GGGs last fights, Canelo threw 264 jabs and 340 power punches vs Chavez while GGG threw 356 jabs and 259 power punches vs Jacobs. Considering the hype behind GGGs power, and looking purely at the numbers without a name next to them, you would think Canelo’s jab/power punch numbers would relate to GGG and vice-versa, but GGG sets up a lot of his power punches with fades and jabs while Canelo beats his opponent down with flurries.

Here’s one of two factors to take note, one: Jacobs threw 371 power punches, only 170 jabs and almost came away with the decision vs GGG. His power numbers are similar to Canelo’s last fight, however he threw almost 100 less jabs than Canelo had. Two: Canelo knocked out a younger-than-GGG Kirkland in 3, Kirkland has serious power with 82% KO rating and they both weighed in at 154.5 lbs.

I’ll take the younger more experienced boxer with power in 12 over the knockout artist in this one… but it will most definitely be close.

U.S. Marine from 2005 - 2014. San Diego Culinary Institute graduate. Follower of most sports.