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Where can I watch it and when does it start?

Those of us who care deeply about boxing are excited, once again, for this Sunday afternoon.

I would argue that the Canelo Alvarez v Gennadiy Golovkin rivalry has been the planet around which the middle weight divisions have revolved in boxing for nearly a decade and we now finally have the rubber match – and you can catch it live on DAZN.

It is currently one win and one draw in the history books between these two fighters, but a lot of water has been under the bridge between these two modern greats.

From years of Canelo avoiding GGG tp the controversial draw, the failed drug test for Canelo and the close but decisive second fight victory for Canelo, genuine dislike has grown.

There have been four more years of Canelo refusing to fight a third time because he didn’t want to give the Kazakh the payday, in large part because of how Golovkin acted after the failed test and in the lead up to the second bout.

Finally, he has taken the third fight. Yes, he has forced GGG up to 168 pounds for the first time in Golovkin’s 15-year professional career, but at least we have a contest.

The WWE-ification of combat sports is in full swing and has been since Muhammad Ali, but for once there is genuine dislike between the two combatants and that should make for an excellent fight.

Let’s ask 3 questions that should go some way to deciding who wins the rubber match.

What do the fighters take from the first two bouts?

Other than the fighters involved, the first two fights have very little in common.

The first fight saw Golovkin stalk Canelo extremely effectively. He was all over him like a cheap suit but at no point did Golovkin smother his own work.

Canelo was effective fighting off the ropes and counterpunching the aggressive Golovkin, but never attempted to own the centre of the ring as most other great Mexican champions have in years past.

Golovkin was entirely unable, however, to effectively cut off Canelo’s escape route away from his patented overhand right/right hook hybrid.

I felt it was a clear but close GGG victory, but the judges had it differently, seeing a split draw. One judge had a draw, one had it close for GGG and one, Adelaide Byrd, had it 118-110 for Alvarez in one of the worst cards in the history of boxing – which is really saying something.

The second fight was different, though also close. Initially the fight was scheduled for Cinco De Mayo weekend though Canelo’s positive test for clenbuterol delayed the bout until September 2018.

This was also an excellent bout with real heat between the two, replacing the mutual respect shown in the lead up to the first fight. GGG was insistent upon calling Canelo a drug cheat and Canelo appeared to take it personally.

Canelo was much more aggressive in the ring, apparently heeding criticism that he had run from Golovkin in the first fight.

He walked forward behind a newfound piledriver of a jab, seemingly inspired by GGG, and was at times successful in pushing GGG back for the first time in his career.

Both men punched with bad intentions and displayed granite chins, but Canelo was much more effective to the body early and through the middle rounds.

In the later rounds though Canelo seemed to tire, a constant issue for him. GGG seemed to hurt him a few times over rounds 10 and 11, and Alvarez reverted back to the ropes where he allowed his opponent to pressure with impunity.

It was another close fight, but I felt Canelo’s cleaner body work and aggression through the early and middle part of the fight was decisive.

In this fight Canelo should take and run with his success to the body. In his last fight against Ryoto Murata. GGG showed a level of vulnerability to the body that we haven’t seen before, and Canelo should be able to exploit that.

For Golovkin, his clearest path to victory is through relentless pressure. Canelo always tires in fights and as he gets older that is unlikely to get better.

GGG needs to be constantly in Alvarez’s face pushing the pace behind his power jab, though at 40 years old and at 168 pounds for the first time in his career, I have my doubts about his capacity to do it.

Having said that, great fighters are like a bowl of pistachios – it feels like there’s always one more in there and maybe Golovkin can summon his greatness one last time.

How does the extra weight and age impact Golovkin?

As mentioned above, Golovkin is now 40 years old. For everyone but Tom Brady, that is middle age. For a fighter especially, that is ancient.

Beyond that, GGG has fought every single one of his 44 bouts at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds. He has clearly fancied himself as a modern Marvin Hagler, the owner of the division.

That all changes on Sunday. So desperate was GGG to get this last payday and last chance to beat Canelo officially, that he has moved up to 168 pounds for the first time in his career. I think this is bad for GGG.

Golovkin is, if anything, a small 160 pounder who has never reported any struggles in making weight. He was so effective at 160 because his pressure was always telling, his motor never stopped and, critically, his power was concussive in both hands. All of these things could be affected by both the move up in weight and his advanced age.

Additionally, GGG has always displayed a truly extraordinary chin. No fighter tested it more than Canelo, who hits like a mule, but GGG was up to the task every time. These things could change with more weight and more time.

Even in his last fight against Murata, GGG was more affected by hard punches than ever before, especially to the body but also to the head. It was his savvy and heart that got him through that fight, which was borderline unwatchable at times such was its savagery.

Murata is not in the same league as a puncher as Canelo and if GGG’s punch resistance is truly diminished, as I expect that it would be, then it could be a much shorter night than anyone is expecting.

Having said all of that, GGG has never even been knocked down in his career and has proven himself preternaturally tough. The desire to make history I expect will keep him upright.

Is Canelo affected by his loss to Dmitry Bivol?

In my view, Canelo’s last fight, a loss to Russia’s Dmitry Bivol, will have little bearing on this fight. It is not Alvarez’s first loss in professional boxing and he has appeared to take the loss relatively well, avoiding the Deontay Wilder route of accusing cornermen of poisoning him. It was against a totally different style of opponent in a different division that Canelo is simply not big enough for.

The question, more so, is if his rage toward Golovkin will affect him. Canelo has been effective more recently as a patch fighter.

He is a clean but not high-volume puncher with a ferocious jab that he doesn’t pump as much as it piledrives into his opponent’s nose or rib cage. That style is not overly fan-friendly until the knock-out comes, but it is effective.

I do wonder though if he will come out with his hair on fire (pardon the pun) trying to get GGG out of there early to assert his dominance.

There is genuine dislike between the two and the normally-calm Canelo has been more outspoken this build up in his dislike of Golovkin, especially GGG’s insistence on bringing up the positive drug test and assertions that Canelo is a cheat.

If Canelo comes out with a flurry early and is unable to knock Golovkin out, he could punch himself out and a similar pattern to the second fight could emerge, where Golovkin came home with a wet sail to nearly snatch victory.

I don’t expect it, though I do see a slightly closer fight than many are predicting. I expect Canelo to win a clearer than the second fight, but still relatively close decision.

When does Canelo v GGG 3 start and where can I watch it?

The fight is available on DAZN PPV and costs $44.99. The event will start at 10am our time with ringwalks for the main event expected around 2pm.

The undercard isn’t too bad: Jesse Rodriguez defends his super flyweight title in the co-main, and before that, old warhorse Gabriel Rosado is in with up and coming Kazakh Ali Akhmedov.

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