Cavs Kevin Love could Start at Center – Tristan Thompson would be on Bench

kevin-love-staying-clevelandKevin Love has spent the majority of his NBA career playing power forward. Tristan Thompson has started most of his Cleveland Cavaliers career at center. But Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue plans to change both of these things in the upcoming 2017-18 NBA season.

Cleveland now has more quality players than they know what to do with. This includes picking up Jae Crowder in an off-season trade for Kyrie Irving.

Crowder is a versatile 6’6″, 235-pound forward in the same mold as LeBron James. This means that Crowder can play both forward spots.

jae-crowder-celticsGiven that LeBron James often mans the small forward position for 36 to 40 minutes per game, putting Crowder at power forward would be the best way to keep him on the floor. But this also means that Love would have to slide over to center because he also plays around 30 minutes a night.

“We did a lot of that last training camp, but as far as how the sets are put together right now throughout training camp I am seeing a pretty significant amount of time there,” Love told Cleveland.com. “Depends on, now with so many guys on the team and so many lineups that we can throw out there it will probably change.”

Thompson will Come Off the Bench

With Love at center, Tristan Thompson will be forced to come off the bench for the first time in his career.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland CavaliersThis makes sense from a numbers perspective because Love is a more versatile player.

He averaged 19.0 PPG and 11.1 RPG last season, while shooting 37.3% from the three-point line. Thompson, meanwhile, averaged 8.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG and 1.1 blocks.

The upside is that Love is a much better outside shooter than Thompson and can space the floor better. The downside is that Thompson is a better defender and one of the few shot-blocking presences on the Cavaliers. Going further, center is a more physically demanding position than power forward, meaning that Love could wear down faster during the season.

Of course, the other scenario would be playing Love and Thompson together like last year. Crowder would then have to come off the bench. But he’s become accustomed to starting in his previous four seasons with the Boston Celtics.

“Spacing opportunities, spacing the floor,” said Lue of the change. “Being able to play through the elbows with multiple guys.”

Coach Lue Hoping for a Different Look

Lue wasn’t really in the mood to talk much about his plan to start Love at center. But he did mention the team’s newfound depth with the acquisitions of Crowder, Dwayne Wade, Jeff Green, Derrick Rose, and Isaiah Thomas.

kevin-love-cavsLove was willing to talk more about the matter than his coach, offering some analysis on how people will be used this season.

“Tristan is a very dynamic roller, guy that plays a lot as a dunker,” Love explained. “Myself, I have to play inside-out, mix that up and really take what the defense gives you. But it gives us a different look.

“I mentioned different dynamics out there on the floor with different lineups and we’re so deep now that D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) and a lot of guys similar in size at that 4-5 spot, we’re going to see guys playing interchangeable. It’s not just going to be on the defensive end in that regard.”

Team Holding First Scrimmages

Cleveland had their first scrimmage this past week, which gave Lue a chance to experiment with his new lineup. Love was with the first unit at center, while Thompson played as the second unit’s big man.

The Cavs will hold their first public scrimmage on Monday at 6pm. However, Lue said that fans shouldn’t put too much stock into the lineups since Lebron James (ankle) won’t be playing.

“We’ve been definitely interchangeable in that respect, but also I think Ty likes to match Tristan and I against each other so I think I will see a lot time at the 5 in practices going against T-top,” said Love.

Lue Expects Big Season for Love

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland CavaliersLue told ESPN’s Zach Lowe earlier in December that he believes Kevin Love is set for one of his biggest season’s yet.

“Kevin is going to have the best year that he’s had here,” said Lue. “I thought he was great anyway. You keep bringing up [Chris] Bosh. What did Bosh average in Miami?

“Kevin averaged almost 20 [points] and 10 [rebounds] with two other All-Stars. If you are on a championship-caliber team, you have to sacrifice. But this year is going to be a big opportunity for him. We’re going to play through him more. He’s going to get those elbow touches again.”

Cavs Odds for 2017-18 Season

The Cleveland Cavaliers open at -140 in our Eastern Conference futures at GTBets. The next-closest competition is the Boston Celtics, who have +220 odds of winning the East.

The Cavs have certainly changed their roster from last season thanks to the Irving trade. They also picked up important free agents like Rose and Green over the summer. This is why some believe that Cleveland could be even better this year than last, when they made the NBA Finals.

isaiah-thomas-celticsWill the Cavs be able to top the defending champion Warriors? Odds are no because Golden State is a historic team. But there’s still a chance if their new parts quickly gel.

This includes Thomas, who will likely be out until Christmas with a hip injury. Thomas offers the same high offensive pedigree as Irving. But the key will be integrating him with James, Love, and the rest of the Cavs before the playoffs began.

It’ll also be interesting to see how Lue’s experiment with Love at center works out. I assume that Thompson will be starting some games at center just to reduce Love’s load. But we’ll see how things progress through the season.

Are the Washington State Cougars Real CFP Contenders?

Washington State hasn’t been on the national college football radar since 2002, when they went 10-3 and made a Rose Bowl appearance. But suddenly the Cougars are drawling national attention after beating No. 5 USC 30-27 on Friday night.

Washington State has now started the season 5-0. That said, they’re contenders for the Pac-12 title and also have a shot at earning a College Football Playoff (CFP) spot.

Of course, we’re only five weeks through the 2017-18 season. And this begs the question of whether or not the Cougars are a serious contender.

Let’s discuss this matter below by analyzing the USC victory along with the challenges that Washington State will face as the season moves on.

First Major Win in the Mike Leach Era

Topping the Trojans is not only Washington State’s biggest win of the year, but it’s also the most-important victory in the 5-year Mike Leach era.

washington-state-cfp-2Some say that USC simply didn’t deserve to win this game. But the Cougars must be given credit for standing in with a highly talented team for 60 minutes. Washington State did what USC’s last 13 opponents couldn’t do by winning.

“These are once-in-a-lifetime moments,” WSU quarterback Luke Falk told the Seattle Times. “I’m definitely going to enjoy it with teammates tonight. Couldn’t be more proud.”

Prior to Friday, the 16th-ranked Cougers had never notched a marquee win under Leach. And they’ve certainly had their chances since he took over the program in 2012. Washington State has:

  • Lost to Oregon three straight times when the Ducks were No. 2 overall.
  • Been beaten by Stanford when they were ranked No. 5 and No. 8.
  • Lost to a No. 10 Colorado Buffaloes team.
  • Were defeated by the No. 5 Washington Huskies last year.

What’s even more painful is that some of these losses were close heartbreaks. The best example is when they missed a last-second field goal to beat Stanford in 2015.

But this past week was different because the Cougars played with a mental and physical toughness that they haven’t exhibited in the past.

For starters, they did a good job of containing USC quarterback Sam Darnold, who’s projected as the top NFL quarterback prospect.

washington-state-cfp-3Granted, this wasn’t Darnold’s finest performance as he finished with 15-of-29 passing for no touchowns and one interception. But the Washington State defensive line was dominant and played a large role in his struggles.

Darnold was able to limit Washington State to two sacks thanks to his elusiveness. But this is misleading because the Cougars constantly pressured him throughout the game. This includes when linebacker Jahad Woods ended the game with a strip-sack on Darnold late in the fourth quarter.

Moving to offense, Falk and running back Jamal Morrow both had strong games. Falk passed for 340 yards while completing 34-of-51 passes. Morrow rushed for 91 yards on just six carries.

Perhaps more impressive than the stats is how resilient Washington State was throughout the game. Here are some examples of what the Cougars had to deal with:

  • USC running back Ronald Jones ran for an 86-yard touchdown to give USC a 14-10 lead.
  • Falk was intercepted on Washington State’s own 3-yard-line (Cougars held them to a field goal).
  • Falk converted on a fourth-and-two play to lead a late touchdown drive.
  • Converting on fourth-and-13 to eventually get a go-ahead field goal (30-27 score).

These examples show that Washington State is not only talented, but also able to deal with pressure-packed moments.

Washington State Gains National Relevance

washington-state-winThis is the first time in the last 15 years that WSU has defeated the Trojans in Pullman. And it’s the first time in the last 25 years that they’ve beaten a top-5 team.

That said, it’s no surprise fans rushed the field following the upset victory over USC.

Now the question is where Washington State will rank in the AP top 25 poll. Most expect them to leap into the top 10 and become a talking point in the CFP race.

Let’s look ahead at Washington State’s remaining schedule before discussing their CFP chances:

Sat, Oct 7 @ Oregon (4-1)
Fri, Oct 13 @ Cal (3-2)
Sat, Oct 21 vs Colorado (3-2)
Sat, Oct 28 @ Arizona (2-2)
Sat, Nov 4 vs Stanford (3-2)
Sat, Nov 11 @ #20 Utah (4-0)
Sat, Nov 25 @ #6 Washington (5-0)

Mike Leach won’t want his squad celebrating too long. After all, they have some tough remaining games. And they’ll likely need to win every one if they’re going take the Pac-12 title and earn a CFP spot.

First off, they must travel to Eugene to face Oregon. The Ducks lost at Arizona State, but they’re still a tough team.

Washington State finishes with a gauntlet to end their Pac-12 season, including games vs. Stanford, at Utah, and at Washington.

The Huskies will present the biggest test because they’re in the national title picture. And the Cougars will certainly be an underdog in this contest.

Stanford will be a difficult game because they feature Brice Love, one of the nation’s best running backs. Love is currently on a blazing pace with 1,088 rushing yards on only 98 carries (11.1 YPC).

Utah is going to provide one more hurdle. The undefeated Utes own road wins over BYU and Arizona, and could make some noise in the Pac-12.

Realistically, though, Washington State could win all of their games leading up to the Washington contest. I think that the Huskies have a good chance to win at home. But the Cougars have proven that they’re capable of beating talented teams thanks to the USC victory.

This being said, don’t be surprised if they run the table and land their first-ever CFP bid.

Knicks 2017 Odds: Joakim Noah may be Greatly Improved

joakim-noah-knicksIt’s safe to say that Joakim Noah’s first season with the New York Knicks didn’t go well. Noah played just 46 games in an injury plagued season, where he only averaged 5.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

That said, it’s little surprise that many NBA fans have already written off the former defensive player of the year. But if head coach Jeff Hornacek’s recent comments are any indication, Noah could definitely surprise some people this year and improve New York’s odds of winning.

Noah has been Playing Great in Training Camp

The New York Post recently chronicled Noah’s performance in the Knicks’ training camp. And they noted how the 32-year-old looked really strong running up and down the floor, hitting the boards, and playing smothering defense like he once did for the Chicago Bulls.

Hornacek noticed and quickly pointed out how the former All-Star is playing great basketball.

joakim-noah-2“Coming off those injuries, literally, I’m shocked of how well he’s played just because I didn’t think he was gonna be ready this early,” said Hornacek. “I’m extremely happy with how he’s playing. He’s playing the right way.

“He sets great screens, he rolls hard, which opens up other things for guys if he doesn’t get it. He’s been finishing with driving layups. He’s been playing great.”

The coach also mentioned that Noah is hoping to erase the disappointment of last year with a strong campaign in the 2017-18 season. Noah wants to justify the $72 million contract that he signed in the 2016 off-season.

“He wants to come back and show everybody what kind of player he is and he’s worked hard to do that over the summer,” Hornacek explained. “I give him a lot of credit so far.”

Noah Must Serve Suspension First

New York can certainly use a healthy Noah to improve upon last year’s losing campaign. The only drawback is that the center must sit out the first 11 games of the season for performance-enhancing drugs.

He is, however, eligible to play in the preseason. This will help Hornacek sort out minutes at a center position that includes Willy Hernangomez and the newly acquired Enes Kanter.

It’ll also help to the get some much-needed court time because he hasn’t seen the floor since February 4, when shoulder and knee injuries sidelined him.

“We’re probably gonna keep him limited, but we want to get him in and taste playing again,” said Hornacek. “He was out the last part of the season, so we want to get him some time, definitely.”

Veteran Leadership

10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony has been the Knicks’ locker room leader for the past seven seasons. However, he was recently traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

joakim-noah-3This puts more emphasis on Noah, an 11-year veteran, providing a locker room presence. This is especially the case when considering how young the Knicks are.

“I just know that I have a lot of experience in this game, good and bad and I just want to use that to try and help some of these younger players,” Noah explained.

“When you go through what I went through and you have a lot of injuries and things like that, you just appreciate practice and competing and things like that. I’m just happy to be here.

“I want to compete. I know I have a suspension but I just want to be a good influence on the younger kids from now on.”

Knicks Odds in 2017-18

Here are our current futures on the New York Knicks for the upcoming season:

  • Knicks odds to win Eastern Conference: +20000
  • Knicks odds to win NBA Finals: +50000

It’s hard to have much faith in New York turning things around after a dismal 32-50 campaign.

Two of their top-3 scorers in Anthony (22.4 PPG) and Derrick Rose (18.0 PPG) are gone. But the Knicks did make some additions that could help them improve upon last season’s record.

They signed swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. this offseason. The former Atlanta Hawk averaged 14.5 points and shot 35.7% from the three-point line last season.

New York also brought in Michael Beasley on a veteran’s minimum contract. Beasley averaged 9.4 PPG on 53.2% shooting in just 16.7 minutes per game for Milwaukee last season.

Kanter and small forward Doug McDermott came over in the Anthony trade. Kanter averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds for OKC last year. McDermott scored 9.0 PPG and shot 37.0% from the three-point line for the Thunder.

New York also returns some important players in Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, and Lance Thomas. Porzingis, who averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in his second season, is already a borderline All-Star. And the Latvian big man only figures to get better.

Add in an improved Noah, and this team could exceed expectations. But what are the current expectations?

CBS currently has New York ranked 28th out of 30 NBA teams. Obviously this doesn’t inspire much confidence. But on the other hand, the Knicks have nowhere to go but up.

Pagano, Lewis Lead Hottest NFL Coaching Seats

sean-payton-saintsWe ran a prop bet on which NFL coach would be fired first in 2017. New York Jets coach Todd Bowles led our odds, while the Bengals’ Marvin Lewis and Colts’ Chuck Pagano also made the list.

These play-callers are still on a hot seat because they’re all currently 0-2 this season. Let’s discuss why their seats are getting hotter along with a couple more coaches who must fear for their jobs.

1. Chuck Pagano; 49-33 Record with Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts have never been a talent-laden team during Chuck Pagano’s tenure. But they’re especially in trouble now without star quarterback Andrew Luck.

chuck-pagano-coltsThe Colts were completely dominated by the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1. Then they blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead against the Arizona Cardinals and lost in overtime.

It doesn’t bode well for Indianapolis that the lowly Cleveland Browns are favored by 1 on our GTBets line.

Pagano has won plenty of games with the Colts during his 4-plus years. But this could be the final chapter in his Indianapolis career, especially if they can’t beat Cleveland and fall to 0-3.

Pagano has survived back-to-back 8-8 seasons in a weak AFC South. But he’ll need to prove that he can win games without Luck in order to keep his job.

2. Marvin Lews; 118-103-3 record with Cincinnati Bengals

Marvin Lewis deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done in Cincinnati. He took over a chaotic franchise in the early 2000s and transformed them into a respectable team.

But we’re 15 seasons into Lewis’ tenure and he’s yet to produce a playoff win (0-7). Moreover, the team missed the postseason last year.

2017 doesn’t look much better because Cincinnati has started 0-2, losing two home games. What’s worse is that they’ve failed to score a touchdown and fired their offensive coordinator.

Marvin Lewis has the best coaching record in the team’s history. But this won’t buy him any more time if the Bengals continue to lose.

3. John Fox; 9-25 record with Chicago Bears (128-114 Overall)

The Chicago Bears have started 0-2 for the third consecutive year. They essentially lost their last game against Tampa Bay by halftime (26-0). Chicago doesn’t have much light at the end of the tunnel either because Green Bay and Pittsburgh are next on their schedule. It’s very realistic that the Bears start off 0-4, virtually guaranteeing that they won’t make any noise in the competitive NFC North.

Ownership thought they were bringing in a proven winner who’d transform Chicago into a playoff team. Instead, this is a rebuilding process over two years into Fox’s reign.

Things won’t get any better either because three Bears starters are on injured reserve. Three more left the Tampa Bay game and didn’t return. A tough schedule and injured starters doesn’t create a good picture in Fox’s make-or-break year.

4. Todd Bowles; 15-19 record with New York Jets

todd-bowles-jets-firedTodd Bowles has the least overall talent of any coach on this list. That said, it may not be imperative that he makes the playoffs to keep his job.

But the third-year coach needs to show that he can at least guide the 2017 Jets to a few wins. This is easier said than done because many have predicted an 0-16 team.

Bowles also needs to develop the younger players and get them into a position to win within 1-2 years.

New York has the Jets and Browns coming up on their schedule soon. If they lose both of these games, then New York will find it tough to pull out any more wins on their remaining schedule.

5. Sean Payton; 94-68 record with New Orleans Saints

Sean Payton’s seat is the least hottest because he was given a new contract last year that will run until 2020. He’s also good with quarterbacks, which is something the Saints will need whenever Brees retires.

But the problem is that New Orleans just isn’t winning. They’ve produced 7-9 records for three straight seasons. 2017 doesn’t look very promising either because they’ve started 0-2.

New Orleans’ defense has been bad for years. But this season’s version looks worse than ever.

The Saints play the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins within the next two weeks. If they can’t get at least one W, then the Saints will fall to 0-4.

It’s hard to see Payton getting fired midseason because he’s been a franchise institution. But some are ready to see New Orleans move on from the Payton-Brees combo that’s brought the team a number of successful years.

5 Points on Patriots Win Over Saints & New Injuries

Tom BradyThe New England Patriots had a rough start to the season, losing 42-27 at home against Kansas City. But they’re back on track after pulling out a 36-20 win over the New Orleans Saints.

New England quarterback Tom Brady was the star of the show, completing 30-of-39 passes for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski rebounded from a quiet game to catch six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown.

The Saints aren’t the league’s most-heralded team right now. Even still, the Patriots’ convincing victory shows that they aren’t suffering a Super Bowl hangover. Here are some key takeaways from the game against New Orleans and what to look for in next week’s contest.

1. Tom Brady was Excellent

tom-brady-patriotsMuch was made about Brady’s age following his performance against Kansas City. He threw for 267 yards and no touchdowns against the Chiefs. This had many wondering if the 40-year-old quarterback is entering the twilight of his career.

If so, you certainly wouldn’t know it by how Brady played against New Orleans. Beyond the eye-popping stats, he had some incredible throws. Examples include a touch pass to Rex Burkhead, a flat-footed touchdown TD throw to Gronk, and another perfect ball to Gronksowski that was dropped.

This performance was a far cry from last Thursday, when Brady consistently overthrew players. But we can give him a break since he lost over half of his starting receiving corp (Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola) before and during the game.

2. New England Played with More Emotion

Brady wasn’t happy with his teammates following the loss to Kansas City. He questioned the Patriots’ attitude and competitiveness following the contest.

“We just didn’t make a lot of plays tonight, actually,” said Brady. “So we just have to be better in a lot of areas, starting with our attitude and our competitiveness. We have to do a lot better than tonight.”

New England heard his message loud and clear because they played with a lot more energy against New Orleans. Gronkwoski started flexing after he scored a 53-yard touchdown.

The team got excited after a big special teams tackle by Harvey Langi. And Brady himself celebrated after throwing a TD to Chris Hogan.

3. Gronkowski Had a Great Game – But He was also Injured

Rob Gronkowski is trying to get back to the top of his game after an injury-plagued season in 2016. And he certainly got things going against the Saints. He looked like the old Gronkowski on his 53-yard TD, out-running and out-juking New Orleans defenders.

The only problem is that Gronk was slow to get up after his sixth-and-final catch. He headed off the field afterward and went to the medical tent.

The good news is that he didn’t aggravate the back injury that kept him sidelined half of last season. The bad news is that he hurt his groin and didn’t play any more snaps. Gronkowski did at least ride the exercise bike on the sidelines while watching the rest of his team’s victory.

4. Other Patriots Got Injured Too

New England hasn’t had much luck with injuries this season. As mentioned before, three of their top receivers have already been injured, with Edelman (ACL) done for the year.

The New Orleans didn’t bring much relief in this department. Rex Burkhead, playing in his first game as a slot receiver/running back hybrid, headed back to the locker room. Newly acquired receiver Phillip Dorsett went to the medical tent late in the contest. And Hogan was limping at various points during the game, although he remained on the field.

Amendola was forced to miss this game with a concussion and knee injury. Mitchell has been placed on IR, meaning he’ll miss at least 8 games, and Edelman won’t see the field until 2018. That said, New England can’t afford many more long-term injuries.

5. Burkhead could Play a Big Role Moving Forward

If Rex Burkhead is on your fantasy football waiver wire, you might want to pick him up. New England made a serious effort to get Burkhead the ball in the early going.

After getting just 4 touches against the Chiefs, he had 5 touches in the first quarter against the Saints. This included a 19-yard touchdown.

With Amendola out, Burkhead ran some routes out of the slot and also shared the field with fellow running back James White on occasion.

Starting Green Bay running back Tim Montgomery had a similar role last season until breaking out. We doubt Burkhead will get as much action as Montgomery when considering all of New England’s running backs. But he’s definitely a player to look for moving forward.

The only question is what kind of injury he’s dealing with, and if he’ll have to miss any time.

Patriots Betting in Week 3

New England hosts the Houston Texans next week on Sunday. Houston is coming off a narrow 13-9 road victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. That said, I don’t see the Texans contending with New England in Gillette Stadium.

This isn’t to say that Houston can’t be competitive. But they’ll be starting rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson in a road game against one of the NFL’s top teams. I look for New England to win the game 31-17.

The one X-factor could be the Patriots’ injuries. If Amendola isn’t cleared and any of the other players we discussed miss time, then this will be a much tougher game for New England than expected.

But don’t bet on this happening until any more injuries are confirmed for the Patriots.

Rematch Coming after Controversial Canelo vs. GGG Fight

ggg-alvarez-rematch-oddsThe Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin (GGG) fight delivered on almost every level this weekend. The only thing missing? A clear winner.

Many were outraged that judge Adalaide Byrd scored this split draw a 118-110 match for Alvarez. But aside from this controversy, fans were treated to quite a battle.

The fight was very close and hard to score. Both Alvarez and Golovkin put on an impressive display that left two of the three judges shaking their heads when deciding the winner.

One judge scored the match 115-113 in favor of Golovkin, another had it 114-114, and Byrd’s 118-110 score completed the split draw.

Many boxing analysts had the match either 114-114 or 115-113.

Alvarez thought that he won the fight. “I feel frustrated with the draw,” he said after the fight.

Golovkin also believed he took the bout. “I put pressure on every round,” said GGG.

The Kazakhstani is right in that he brought the pressure. And perhaps this is why many fans were rooting for him to win, before delivering a chorus of boos when the decision was announced. Alvarez left the ring to boos as he traveled to the locker room.

But Canelo also did a masterful job of making Golovkin miss and counter-punching him. Alvarez also rocked GGG at one point in the fight with a two-punch combination in the ninth round.

The different styles didn’t make the judges’ decision any easier. And this makes it little surprise why the fight ended in a draw.

Alvarez Completes Rise to the Top of Boxing

ggg-alvarez-fightBorn in Mexico, Canelo Alvarez hardly seemed like somebody who was destined for boxing stardom when he came to the US nine years ago. He drew more attention for his red hair and hard punches. And his feet seemed too slow for greatness.

But standing toe to toe with the unified middleweight champion shows that Alvarez has entered boxing’s elite.

The years of improving his defense, becoming lighter on his feet, and taking on top-ranked fighters (Floyd Mayweather Jr., Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout) have paid off.

But facing Golovkin – a fighter who’d won 18 consecutive title defenses – was perhaps the greatest challenge of Alvarez’s career.

Back and Forth Fight

The 27-year-old Alvarez started off fast, winning the early rounds thanks to his defense and quick counters. GGG, on the other hand, was more cautious and didn’t jab as hard.

However, Golovkin never stopped moving forward. And he was able to turn the tide in the fourth round thanks to his aggression. Alvarez moved back against the ropes and took some hard shots from his opponent.

This is a point when many of Golovkin’s previous opponents have given up. But Alvarez didn’t, and he continued to hang in during the middle rounds. By the eighth round, he was slipping many of GGG’s counters and delivering solid counters.

canelo-golovkinThe ninth round was a fan favorite, as both fighters traded uppercuts in the opening minute. Golovkin appeared to have the edge, though, and won the ninth.

Alvarez came back again, as he threw a great two-punch counter that almost knocked Golovkin down. He mostly stayed away after this to take the 10th round.

The 27-year-old also won the 11th and 12th rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.

“This is terrible,” Golovkin said after hearing the scores. He was obviously disappointed after pressing on for most of the match. He was especially angry about Byrd’s 118-110 scorecard.

But what’s clear is that Alvarez did enough in the final three rounds to close the gap and make this a tough fight.

Rematch Coming

golovkin-canelo-rematchBoth Golovkin and Alvarez are interested in a rematch. And the boxing world will get to see this rematch according to Sports Illustrated.

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

“Golden Boy Promotions’ Oscar De La Hoya says that Canelo Alvarez has a contractual immediate rematch clause and they intend to use it for another fight against Gennady Golovkin possibly in 2018.”

Alvarez made $5 million from the fight, while Golovkin earned $3 million. Both fighters would likely make much more through a second fight, especially if they share pay-per-view revenue.

Byrd Taken Off Big Fights After Controversial Scorecard

Bob Bennett, director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, said that Adalaide Byrd will receive “a small break” from major fights.

“I’m not going to put her right back in,” Bennett told the LA Times. “She’ll still be in the business. But she needs to catch her breath.”

“I think she turned in her scorecard before the fight started,” Golovkin trainer Abel Sanchez said of her decision.

Judge Don Trella had the match 114-114, while Judge Dave Moretti scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Golovkin (37-0-1). Byrd gave five rounds to Alvarez that Moretti and Trella gave Golovkin.

“I had suspicions when they gave us the list of judges,” added Sanchez. “I think she needs to go back to school and learn how to judge a fight.”

Byrd’s Case Hails back to C.J. Ross

If history is any indication, Byrd won’t be ringside at a big fight any time soon.

In 2013, Judge C.J. Ross turned in a controversial scorecard that helped Timothy Bradley upset Manny Pacquiao.

Nevada Athletic Commission director Keith Kizer let her come back to judge the 2013 Floyd Mayweather-Alvarez match.

Mayweather easily won the fight on two scorecards, but Ross scored it a 114-114 draw. Both Kizer and Ross were soon out of the sports business after this.

Bennett admitted that Byrd did a poor job scoring the bout.

“Like in any profession, you have a bad night,” said Bennett. “Unfortunately, she didn’t do well. I can tell you she conducts training for us, takes judges under her wing. But her score was too wide.”

Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya even agreed, despite the mis-scoring favoring his fighter.

“What was that?” he asked. “People are scratching their heads. They’re confused.”

Bennett said that he’ll have a meeting to discuss the scorecard with Byrd. She has over 100 title fights on her resume, although the GGG-Alvarez score makes it look like she’s inexperienced.

Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler thinks that the highly disputed scorecard took away from the great fight that fans witnessed.

“Scoring it that way for Canelo takes away from the greatness of the performance in the ring,” Loeffler stated. “Frankly, it is not good for the sport of boxing.”

Canelo GGG Rematch Odds

Promoters have yet to set a date for the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canleo Alvarez. But we’ll certainly have odds on this highly anticipated rematch when more details are available.

That said, visit GTBets.eu to place your bets on the upcoming GGG Alvarez rematch.