Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Golovkin-Canelo - Trickeration or Treat? 

by Eddie Goldman

You won't find me regularly offering public predictions about major fights. It is not that I am fearful of being wrong, since on the occasions when I am wrong, I'm mostly upset at myself, as contradictory as that may sound. The reason is that I am already heavily involved in all sorts of controversies about corruption, excessive dangers, bad governance, etc., in the combat sports, and I'd prefer not to have those issues clouded by battles over who will win legit fights.

There are exceptions, of course, so when I was asked to make a prediction for the Santa Cruz-Frampton 2 fight for the official program, I complied. And I have done so once again for the Golovkin-Canelo official program.

Right or wrong, here again (I've already discussed this on No Holds Barred) is that prediction:

The obviously important fight between Gennady "GGG" Golovkin and Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez should also be an entertaining battle. The larger Golovkin often starts slowly, finding his range and testing his opponent's power. That could allow Canelo to rack up some points early. As the fight progresses, however, Golovkin should be able to break and wear Canelo down, dominate the fight, and score a late stoppage, even if the scorecards make it seem closer than it actually was. Golovkin by late TKO.

There are several caveats, however. Canelo is likely to rack up points in the early rounds, as even Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez, recently indicated in the prefight conference call. Golovkin notably started slowly to gather information in his last two fights, first against Kell Brook, whom he defeated by fifth-round TKO, and then against Danny Jacobs, whom he defeated by a somewhat controversial unanimous decision.

If, as I predicted, Golovkin is able to stop Canelo, the scorecards will become historical footnotes. I noted that he should "score a late stoppage, even if the scorecards make it seem closer than it actually was."

This is where boxing's trickeration comes in. And what, you may inquire, is trickeration? As far as I can tell, the term entered the unofficial vocabulary of American English in a 1931 song of that name written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler and popularized by singer and entertainer Cab Calloway. The lyrics are:

Just follow me,
And you will see,
What folks in Harlem
Call Trickeration.

Don't mean a thing,
This crazy swing,
Latest thing in Harlem,

Rhythm, look what you went and done,
Rhythm, you are the guilty one.

Another phrase,
Just another craze,
Everyone in Harlem
Does Trickeration.

The term received a new meaning years later in boxing, when it no longer meant that it "Don't mean a thing". The esteemed etymologist and linguist Don King frequently used the term to describe trickery in boxing, a phenomenon with which he was somehow quite familiar.

While the Golovkin-Canelo fight has all the markings of being a treat for fight fans, it also could be a target for trickeration.

If my prediction is incorrect, and Canelo manages to go the distance with Golovkin, will the scorecards reflect what happened in the fight? Suppose Canelo legit wins the first three rounds. If he wins just two of the next nine rounds, and does not get dropped, it should be 7-5 for Golovkin. That gives the judges a lot of wiggle room, even if there is a knockdown in the fight.

Canelo is by far the most popular and main revenue-producing fighter for Golden Boy Promotions. He is also HBO's last pay-per-view star.

Would any of this influence the judges assigned by the Sin City Athletic Commission? Would yet another controversial and disputed decision set the stage for a lucrative rematch or even trilogy to milk this rivalry for more than it is worth? Would fans not be put off by yet another disgraceful decision in a sport that makes corpses blush?

My concern is not trying to justify my prediction. If Canelo wins legitimately by knockout or decision, or if the fight is actually one of those which is too close to call or could have gone either way, so be it and fantastic.

Perhaps warning about the possibility of trickeration beforehand could prevent it. And perhaps that is mere naive and wishful thinking. So while it is still too early to think about Halloween, we shall see Saturday night whether or not we have an early trickeration or treat dilemma, and are played for suckers once again.

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As always I enjoy your analysis, Eddie.

Your friend and with respect,

Paul Johnson
Boxers Organizing Committee (BOC)
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As always I enjoy your analysis, Eddie.

Your friend and with respect,

Paul Johnson
Boxers Organizing Committee (BOC)

By Blogger paul Johnson, at 3:30 PM  

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