Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin 2 Showed The Importance of Diversity in Boxing

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin showed diversity in their rematch.

You may read that title and wonder exactly what that means. Any boxing fan paying attention knows that the “Sweet Science” is a sport that bridges the gap between people of all races, creeds, and backgrounds. “Diversity is obviously a major part of the sport of boxing, we know that already.” The kind of diversity being discussed however isn’t one based on ethnicity, but instead the spirit of the two combatants involved as well as their ability to show new sides of themselves in a harrowing situation.


Getting into a fist fight for a normal human being is usually all about emotion, about someone feeling they’ve been wronged and seeking retribution because of that fact. For a professional pugilist, fighting is an entirely different animal. While plenty of emotions can be imbued in a fight, like the one the boxing world was treated to on September 15, the fight is also filled with a sense of extreme danger for both fighters heading into the bout.

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin had already done the dance once before and as such both knew who dangerous the other man is. Both men prepared for each other for months, each fighter realizing that a victory meant more than just being the undisputed Middleweight champion. A victory in this rematch meant bragging rights, it meant cementing themselves in history.

With all that all the line, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, and their two camps realized that if they wished to secure victory then they had to show a different side of themselves.

For Canelo Alvarez that meant showing a more rugged side to himself, demonstrating a willingness to throw himself into the fire to secure victory. It meant taking the mistakes from the first fight and completely flipping it on it’s head in an attempt to show and prove to the world that he could beat the bigger man with a gritty Mexican style of boxing.

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For Gennady Golovkin it meant that he’d need to show that he could be more than just the bull in his fights. The hard charging come forward approach simply wouldn’t be enough to overcome a fighter as slick and cunning as Alvarez. Golovkin had to showcase that he could indeed win a fight without having to constantly pressure forwards, that he could use a different approach in his road to victory.

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The truly tragic thing about any competitive sport at the highest levels is that one side is going to be wrong in their approach, that one side will have to taste bitter defeat despite all their hard efforts.

Yet, while Canelo Alvarez got his hand raised in his bout against Gennady Golovkin, neither man truly walked away with a defeat. Canelo Alvarez answered a lot of the questions being asked of him, whether he could fight with a true Mexican style and stand his ground. He showed that he could stand in the center of the ring and control the pace of the fight. Alvarez showed that while he was the smaller man he still had the presence, power, and fortitude to make Gennady Golovkin respect him inside the ring. But it wasn’t all a one way road. Golovkin showcased his ability to be equally as slick as his counterpart, that he could fight on the outside with great fundamentals and still be extremely effective without having to be the bully.

Both men showed diversity in their abilities, that they both have a ton of tools in their bag of tricks. Neither man proved to be the same after their first encounter. Both had gone to war and returned showing a completely different side to themselves. As much as combat is about showcasing all your acquired skills and fundamentals, it’s also about expressing your mind, body, and soul. Fighting spirit isn’t simply some kind of vague ideology, but the spark living within a fighter’s heart. To change their styles and approach the battle in a new way shows just what kind of men these two really are. They are adaptable, fluid creatures with a willingness to accept their faults and find new solutions in order to prove themselves worthy of the title of “Best in the World”.

No matter what the outcome may have been there were three winners this past Saturday. Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin both picked up victories, ones that very few will see or understand. And as cliche as it may sound, boxing fans got the ultimate victory, seeing two men express themselves to the world in the best way they know how. Through beautiful, terrible combat.

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Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his InstagramTwitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.