Canelo vs. GGG 2 predictions: Fighters, legends and trainers make their expert picks for the fight

Just a little over one year after they finally stepped into the ring against one another for the first time last September, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady "GGG" Golovkin are set to run it back in Las Vegas for the unified middleweight championship. With a rematch of this magnitude taking place, there is certainly no shortage of opinions on the outcome the second time around from the boxing world. 

The 12-month fallout from their controversial first meeting has only added spice to the overall debate after Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) was forced to settle for a disputed draw and then watched as Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) failed a pair of February drug tests which postponed the original May 5 rematch date. 

The two biggest stars of the 160-pound division, who sit firmly within the top 5 of boxing's pound-for-pound best, will do battle for the second time at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (HBO PPV, 8 p.m. ET) with plenty at stake. 

To get you prepared, we pooled the predictions of the sport's most well known current and legendary fighters and trainers to find out who holds the advantage entering this grudge match. Fair to say, after the first fight, many believe a different result will take place Saturday night in the desert. 

Let's get to it.

Gennady Golovkin wins

Terence Crawford, WBO welterweight champion: "Triple G [wins] if he goes to the body. If Canelo boxes him and stays off the ropes, Canelo may get the decision. But it's Triple G if he goes to the body." [Via Mayweather Boxing Channel]

Timothy Bradley Jr., former two-division champion: "I don't see anything different this second time around. I see the same thing and the same type of fight. I see the same type of fight from Canelo because that's all I have seen of Canelo. Is he is going to have to go train on the moon to get a bigger gas tank, I don't know. The jab of Gennady is what breaks the timing of Canelo. If he keeps landing that jab on the forehead [and] splits that guard, Canelo is going to have a hard time countering him. If Golovkin goes down to that body to wear him down, you can't sustain that high pace of fighting, especially with a guy who punches that hard and every time he hits you, he drains you. I'm picking Golovkin by decision." [Via FightHub TV

Shane Mosley, former three-division champion: "Canelo is the better technician, but I think Triple G is a little bit too big for him in that weight class at 160. It's kind of like when I went up to fight 'Winky' [Wright] at 154 and it felt like I punched hard, but when I punched him, it didn't feel like it was doing anything. I think that with Canelo it will probably be the same thing. He has good steam, but I just think Triple G is too big for him. In the last fight, Triple G was coming on [late] and Canelo really didn't want to fight in the 11th and 12th round. I'm going with Triple G because he is consistent, has power and is fearless. He goes out there and he fights." [Via Mayweather Boxing Channel]

Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., former three-division champion: "When a fighter is used to a fight rhythm, it's hard when you have a pressure fighter in front of you, a fighter that forces the fight. It's hard to change the fight rhythm you always had. I believe that Canelo won't change his position. It's very dangerous to trade punches with GGG. We all know this. Canelo will fight the same fight with frequency of punches." [Via ESPN Deportes "A Los Golpes"]  

Evander Holyfield, former four-time heavyweight champion: "I think Triple G because he is one of those guys who is very aggressive and has good defense. He has power in both hands. He comes to fight all of the time, he makes the fight." [Via Mayweather Boxing Channel

Ricky Hatton, former two-division champion: "I felt Golovkin [won the first fight] and Triple G probably underperformed a little bit. He is technically a lot better than people give him credit for. I think he can go away and work on some things and came back where I think Canelo is Canelo. I think with Canelo you will get the same, no disrespect to him." [Via Seconds Out]

Billy Joe Saunders, WBO middleweight champion: "I think Golovkin took it the first time and got robbed. I think Golovkin will win the rematch. I think Canelo's [failed drug test] was what it was. Money speaks all languages and people need to just get on with it. The fight has been made and the fight is here. You can't have an opinion on it. Hopefully Golovkin will win and then we can get a unification." [Via Boxing Social]

Badou Jack, light heavyweight contender: "Triple G won the first fight and he will win the second fight." [Via Mayweather Boxing Channel]

Lennox Lewis, former three-time heavyweight champion: "It was an interesting decision the first time that they fought. I think that because they get to do it again, somebody is going to want to say, 'No, I'm not going to make no mistake this time. I'm not leaving it up to the judges.' Let's hope one of them says that. I think Golovkin is going to say that. He's known as the knockout man. Golovkin is a great fighter. He moves and is trying to knock you out. You can see what he wants to do on his face. Canelo is a smart fighter and can box both ways and be aggressive. In the first fight, Golovkin became the boxer and I don't think the judges gave him credit for it because they are not used to seeing him box. This particular fight, I would love to see what he is going to do in this fight, whether he's going to be the aggressor, whether he is going to be the boxer or whether he is going to be both." [Via BT Sport]  

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Canelo Alvarez wins

Miguel Cotto, former four-division champion: "I think that [Alvarez] wasted a lot of energy jumping around in the last part of the fight and he got tired. If he can find a better way to box, he can win the fight. Remember, you have to box with one foot in front of the other. You can't kill yourself out there. The best way to beat Golovkin is to be smart. I think Canelo has to make adjustments in the fight but I think Canelo wins the fight." [Via FightHype]

Andre Ward, former two-division champion: "It's a fight so you never know. The first fight was extremely close. Historically, the guy who can do more and has more tricks in his bag, they typically do better in the rematch. That is Canelo in this case. I think Triple G is getting a little older at 36, he has got miles on him. I think Canelo is going to make the adjustment and show a different side to possibly get his hands raised." [Via ESPN's "Get Up"]

Mikey Garcia, WBC lightweight champion: "I think Canelo takes it. He had good success in the first fight early and at the end. I think he fights that same pace early on and the whole fight. I think Canelo is smarter and he can box like the first few rounds of the first fight with counter punching and not just rely on defense. I just feel that he has it." [Via FightHub TV]  

Shawn Porter, WBC welterweight champion: "Something is telling me Canelo is going to win this one. I thought Triple G won the first one but some of those rounds were like, 'Alright, I am giving this round to Triple G,' and other rounds were where you were like, 'I am giving this to Canelo,' I think that Triple G lacks defense and got hit a lot on the outside, and I think that Canelo is going to be a little bit sharper and faster and a little bit more responsible on defense. I think that he will be ready for the power that Triple G brings and the punches that he brings. Once you have seen the speed and the velocity that somebody is bringing something at you, then you can make adjustments, so I am expecting Canelo to make the adjustments." [Via BoxingScene.com]

Freddie Roach, Hall of Fame trainer: "Triple G is my friend. I like him and know him really well, but I would have to say Canelo. I think he's the younger, fresher fighter right now and Triple G might be slowing down a bit. His legs didn't seem to keep up with Canelo last fight and was a little bit behind him. I like Canelo to win by decision." [Via Behind The Gloves]

Kelly Pavlik, former middleweight champion: "Unfortunately, I think if Canelo wins, he's going to get s--- for it as far as steroids. If he loses, they will say he's not on it and that's why. In their first fight, I gave Canelo the first three rounds and gave Triple G every round after that. I think Triple G could win this fight easier and could've won that last fight a lot easier but I think age is catching up to him. There are rare breeds out there like a [Bernard] Hopkins and [Floyd] Mayweather who can fight into their 40s and 50s, but I think for Triple G his time is kind of sliding past him. Right now, I'm going to favor Canelo in this fight." [Via ThaBoxingVoice]  

Robert Garcia, trainer and former junior lightweight champion: "Canelo gassed out a little but he had a monster in front of him. I think in the rematch he will be more confident and will dominate in the rematch. After their first fight, the younger one should do better I think. Triple G is going out there looking for that one punch." [Via EsNews]  

Undecided

Jessie Vargas, welterweight contender: "A lot of questions are going to be answered that night depending upon how Canelo is able to take a shot from Triple G in this fight. That's because a lot of people are wondering whether Canelo used illegal substances in the first fight, and I think we are going to be able to identify that and find out. If Triple G attacks the body early, he can hurt Canelo, and if Canelo can stay off the ropes and box from the outside, he can win. It's a 50/50 fight." [Via Mayweather Boxing Channel]

Shannon Briggs, former two-time heavyweight champion: "It's going to be the same thing with those guys. Triple G may get closer but you have to think about something that he's getting old as well. Are these different training camps breaking him down? We've got to see. Canelo has stayed young and stayed fresh. We have to see if that coming forward style has beaten him down. If not, Triple G will be fine. They could fight 50 more times and it would be the same." [Via Artorias Boxing]

Demetrius Andrade, middleweight contender: "Honestly, I don't care because you had a guy that was on drugs. At the end of the day, we are in a sport that we are trying to already hurt each other and it's a tough sport and I can't condone that. They should've made a mark out of him and he should've been suspended with a big fine. We don't know how long he has been on it and this is not good for boxing. It's not clean. We shouldn't be having this stuff and I'm a clean athlete and that's what I embrace. I don't really care [who wins]. It's just bad that Canelo gets a six-month suspension and is back in the ring for millions and millions of dollars." [Via CBS Sports "In This Corner" podcast]

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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