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The Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez rematch should be better than the first fight

The first fight between Gennady Golovkin, left, and Canelo Alvarez, right, ended in a controversial draw. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There is good reason to believe that a second helping of Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez will be better than their first fight.

As well as being a more exciting encounter, boxing also needs the May 5 rematch to be controversy-free after the Sep. 16 fight ended in a disputed split points draw.

Judge Don Trella scored it even and judge Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for GGG while judge Adalaide Byrd was heavily criticized for a 118-110 verdict for Canelo.

"This is terrible for sport, for boxing," said Golovkin after the fight.

What can we expect from GGG-Canelo II and what are the big issues?

The rematch will be a different story

It is likely this one will be different from the absorbing encounter on Sept. 16, which was gripping but did not set the pulse racing.

It was intense, rather than incredible, with no knockdowns and an unsatisfactory finish. It somewhat failed to live up to the hype.

In the buildup, Golovkin-Canelo was compared to the thrilling and ferocious world middleweight title fight between Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns in 1985. But Mexico's Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) did not engage enough for the fight to be a classic, and Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs), from Kazakhstan but based in California, did not land the clean blows that have taken out nearly all his professional opponents.

Like he says in that beer TV commercial, Alvarez will have to "be bolder" and more sustained in his attacks this time around if he is to stop Golovkin marching forwards to a points win that most observers felt the Kazakh deserved on the judges' scorecards last time.

Having felt Golovkin's power, Canelo may feel emboldened to let his shots go more, take more risks and so make the rematch a more exciting encounter.

When Canelo exploded with combinations he looked good against Golovkin, but it was not sustained pressure. How would Golovkin respond to a quicker pace and being backed up more?

The rematch hinges on whether Alvarez can adjust enough to upset Golovkin's rhythm.

Golovkin operates in the pocket, which means he is close enough to hit and be hit rather than dancing in and out of range. Golovkin is comfortable in the danger zone at close range, where he can unload his accurate shots with power. But, with Golovkin within reach, it will also allow Canelo to land effective uppercuts.

Golovkin did not seem disturbed by Alvarez's power punches and will feel he has a formula that has already worked against him. He will continue to walk down his challenger in the rematch, cutting off the ring and putting him under increasing pressure while looking for the openings to land his powerful blows.

It's a close call, but there is not enough evidence to argue that Golovkin's form is sliding. Neither will want to leave any doubt after the end of 12 rounds which, you would expect, makes for a more exciting fight and the possibility of knockdowns.

Golovkin seems a wiser bet on points, since both have chins made of granite.

Who is under the more pressure?

Canelo, no doubt. He was even booed by some of his Mexican fans after the announcement of a draw at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Golovkin is popular with Mexican fight fans and even traveled to Mexico City in November to meet some of them. He received a standing ovation from 100,000 fans at Azteca Stadium during halftime of the NFL game between Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots in Mexico City on Nov. 19. Golovkin also visited a hospital and received an honor from the mayor of the city, Miguel Angel Mancera, for his support for victims of an earthquake.

"When we walked onto the field in front of 100,000 fans at Azteca Stadium and they were chanting 'Triple G,' it was one of those moments that you will remember forever," said Golovkin's promoter Tom Loeffler.

All of that love Golovkin received during his Mexican trip will have left Canelo incandescent. Getting jeered by his own fans in Vegas will have hurt and increased the pressure on Alvarez to deliver a more aggressive and ambitious display next time to win back approval.

And Canelo is not the only one under pressure to deliver. So is boxing.

After another episode of self-harm with the latest judging scandal, boxing needs a better outcome from the Golovkin-Canelo II.

Instead of the postfight discussion being around the technical brilliance, shot selection and nerve by two of boxing's best practitioners, it was all about judge Byrd's scorecard and Golovkin's grievance at the decision.

Another judging scandal would be a cruel blow for the sport and both boxers as well.

GGG needs to show that age is not catching up on him

Golovkin -- boxing's longest-reigning active world champion -- will be 36 come fight night, and Canelo -- eight years younger -- will be hoping, just as he did before the first fight, that the champion is slowing down.

Golovkin will aim to start quicker -- Canelo won some of the early rounds last time -- and perhaps put a bit more pressure on his challenger.

GGG has gone to points in his past two fights -- something he had previously not done since 2008 -- but most observers thought he did enough to win both of them (the fight against Canelo and a unanimous decision victory against Daniel Jacobs in March).

Canelo needs to throw caution to the wind

Alvarez did not do enough to win the first fight and will have to dramatically change his approach if he is to win the rematch.

Alvarez boxed mostly on the back foot. Golovkin, on the other hand, did not take a backwards step and won't on May 5.

To combat this, Canelo must utilize his superior footwork and throw more of the dazzling combinations that he used sparingly on Sep. 16.

Alvarez will look back at the moments, like when he briefly wobbled Golovkin with a right hand at the start of Round 10, with encouragement. The quality was there from Canelo against Golovkin; there was just not enough quantity.

Alvarez has a speed advantage and better movement around the ring. This, along with more combinations, is key for Canelo.

Will anything be bigger in boxing in 2018 than the GGG-Canelo rematch?

A world title unification fight between rival heavyweight world titleholders Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder could trump Golovkin-Canelo II.

Any Joshua fight in the U.K. is a major event, while Golovkin-Canelo was watched by a niche audience in Europe, failing to capture the attention of casual sports fans.

Of course, in the U.S., Mexico and Kazakhstan, the two have high profiles. But interest is building in the heavyweight division, and if Joshua and Wilder keep hold of their belts, a unification fight next summer will attract worldwide interest.

Briton Joshua has knocked out 20 from 20; American Wilder 37 from 38. It is a fight that comes with an excitement guarantee.

Joshua-Wilder will attract a 90,000 attendance at a U.K. venue, or be held in Las Vegas. Either way it is a fight that could rival Golovkin-Canelo II.

But Joshua and Wilder will not be fighting each other -- if it gets made at all -- until the second half of 2018 so Golovkin-Canelo will not have to compete for publicity like it did with the circus of Floyd Mayweather's comeback against UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, which took place three weeks before Sep. 16.

Three-sy does it: don't rule out a trilogy

Billy Joe Saunders, the WBO titleholder, is lying in wait for the winner but Golovkin-Canelo III could get made first, especially if May 5 is exciting.

Great rivalries come in threes in boxing: Tony Zale-Rocky Graziano; Barney Ross-Jimmy McLarnin; Floyd Patterson-Ingemar Johansson; Carlos Ortiz-Ismael Laguna; Emile Griffith-Benny Paret; Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier; Ali-Norton; Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran; Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe; Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales and Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward.

Money also talks, and a third fight may be more appealing for the winner than a chance to fight Saunders for the only world title belt not in their hands.

Alvarez is a huge draw in Vegas and a money-spinning third fight there against Triple G would be welcome.

Saunders looks a more difficult fight now as well for whoever wins on May 5. The English boxer produced an immaculate boxing display in a dominant points win over David Lemieux in Canada on Dec. 16. It was Saunders' career-best performance and his movement, smart boxing and defense will make it awkward -- and possibly treacherous -- for either Golovkin or Canelo.