Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin
The fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin is the most difficult fight to predict this year. Pictured: Alvarez and Golovkin face-off during their final press conference at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on Sept. 13, 2017 in Las Vegas. Getty Images

For all the hype that surrounded the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, a win for the undefeated boxer was a certainty. Anthony Joshua was a decided favorite over Wladimir Klitschko in the year’s biggest heavyweight fight. Even when Andre Ward defended his light heavyweight championship against Sergey Kovalev in a near toss-up, the champ had a slight edge.

When it comes to Saturday’s bout between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, it’s much harder to determine which boxer is in the better position to leave Las Vegas as the champion. The middleweights will meet in the best fight of 2017, and making a prediction is seemingly impossible.

The undefeated Golovkin has long been the betting favorite. He was given -400 odds close to a year and a half ago when discussions regarding the fight began to heat up.

A lot has changed in 16 months.

Golovkin has remained undefeated without looking superhuman in either of his two victories. He split the first four rounds of his fight with Kell Brook before scoring a fifth-round knockout over the boxer that jumped up two weight classes. On March 18, Daniel Jacobs became the first fighter in nearly a decade to go 12 rounds with Golovkin, and few would have complained had he been awarded the unanimous decision.

Jacobs inflicted more damage to Golovkin than any fighter before him. It’s significant because he’s easily the highest level of competition that the knockout artist has ever faced.

Alvarez is even better.

Winning fights at both 154 pounds and 164 pounds in the past year, Alvarez continues to improve. Displaying knockout power and improved boxing skills, the former long shot isn’t much of an underdog at all.

One day before the fight, Alvarez has +120 betting odds, via Golovkin is a -150 favorite with +160 odds to win by knockout. Alvarez has +500 odds to score a knockout and +205 odds to win by decision. Golovkin has +275 odds to win a 12-round decision.

Knocking out Golovkin will be difficult for Alvarez, despite the power he’s shown against the likes of James Kirkland and Amir Khan in the last few years. He went the distance against both Erislandy Lara and Miguel Cotto. While dominating Julio Cesar Chavez in his first fight above 154 pounds, Alvarez was unable to get the stoppage.

Jacobs had 12 straight knockouts before facing Golovkin, and he failed to knock him down with any of his 144 power punches. He’ll land plenty of clean shots, but Alvarez might not have quite what it takes to send the world’s premier 160-pounder to the canvas.

Those who have been reluctant to put Golovkin near the top of the pound-for-pound rankings have pointed to the champion’s competition. He’s made a career of knocking out subpar competition, unable to secure a fight with worthy challengers.

That, however, doesn’t tell the whole story.

Everyone that steps inside the ring feels Golovkin’s power. That includes Jacobs, who was knocked down in the fourth round of Golovkin's last fight.

Golovkin has proven he can go 12 rounds with a world champion, landing 56 more punches than Jacobs and scoring the only knockdown in a unanimous decision victory. Alvarez won’t go down easily, and Golovkin will be prepared.

Saturday night will be a war. Both fighters could look to be in control at points with a chance to potentially land a knockout.

Golovkin’s overwhelming power and underrated boxing could ultimately be the deciding factor.

Prediction: Golovkin by unanimous decision