Canelo closes GGG trilogy with decisive victory
12: 37 AM ET
LAS VEGAS — After the final bell and 36 rounds together, Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin shared a long embrace, apparently ending a feud that grew personal over the five years since they first met in the ring. Alvarez retained his undisputed super-middleweight title at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday with a unanimous decision victory over his rival. This was in front of a large crowd of pro-Alvarez supporters on Mexican Independence Day Weekend.
Two judges scored it 115-113 for Alvarez while a third judge had it 116-112.
Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) started strong while Golovkin worked his jab and barely threw his powerful right hand, the punch that launched him to stardom and a legendary middleweight championship run. Golovkin finally found his feet and won four rounds on the final five rounds using two scorecards. But it was too little too late.
While they hugged, Alvarez said to Golovkin, “Thanks so much, my friend. Thank you for everything. We give the fans three great fights. The pleasantries were a stark contrast to the prefight buildup when Alvarez promised to end Golovkin’s career with a knockout win. He even called Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) a phony who pretends to be a nice person. Now that the dust has settled and the rivalry is over, the fighters move on.
Alvarez, who owns all four 168-pound belts, could pursue a rematch with Dmitry Bivol next year to even the score from May, when Bivol routed him via decision. An injury to his left wrist may require surgery. A team physician stated that Alvarez has a tear to the cartilage in his wrist. Alvarez said he will wait to see if he needs surgery, which according to the physician would require six to 12 weeks of rehab afterward.
“I can’t hold a glass,” said Alvarez, 32. It’s really bad. But I’m a fighter. “
Alvarez, boxing’s top star, told ESPN at ringside that his hand is “f—ed up from the Caleb Plant fight,” a November TKO victory by the Mexican boxer that preceded his loss to Bivol.
” I’ve been through some very difficult times in my life and the only thing that you can do is to keep moving forward.” Alvarez stated. “I’ve been through difficult times with my losses, and I’ve proven that defeats can be great. It allows you to be humble again. “
That’s exactly what Alvarez did after his second victory over Golovkin. It was a third meeting that Golovkin waited for four years. The September 2018 rematch, which Alvarez won via majority decision, was far from convincing, a battle that begged for an encore. The first bout, in September 2017, was a controversial draw that Golovkin was adamant he won.
Those two bouts were contested at 160 pounds, where Golovkin remains a unified champion.
“Remember, I have [two] belts at 160. I come back, I’m still champion,” said Golovkin, who was making his 168-pound debut.
Since he captured Olympic silver in 2004, Golovkin has competed at 160 pounds in title fights.
“Everybody knows this is high-level class. This is the best boxer in boxing. Everyone knows Canelo. It’s a big fight. Take a look at his face and my face. He said that they had trained well and that this was a sign of a high-quality fight.
” This fight is more tactical. Canelo is now better. Congratulations to Canelo. “
Indeed. This fight was far from their memorable first two entries in this storied rivalry. The action picked up exponentially until the final four rounds.
Golovkin, 40, a native of Kazakhstan who fights out of Los Angeles, was down wide on all three cards entering the stretch and picked up the pace. After he had pinned Alvarez in the corner, he began to fire his right hand that would make him a future Hall of Famer.
Round 10 was more of the same, with a bundle of sharp right uppercuts on the inside set up by Golovkin’s excellent jab. After an 11th round in which an accidental head-butt busted Alvarez open over the right eye, Golovkin finished strong in the 12th.
“Second Half, I feel not terrible,” Golovkin stated. “This fight is so smart — it’s more tactical than chess. “
The fight was not very good in the first seven rounds. Golovkin pumped his jab, but didn’t follow up with a right-hand. Alvarez, however, managed to control the situation and push Golovkin back with a lot of pressure.
Alvarez attacked Golovkin with blunt right hands to his liver and a left hook towards the face. Golovkin’s forehead was already red and swelling by the end of Round 3.
Alvarez continued to press Golovkin’s midsection using right hands throughout the fight. In Round 5, Alvarez connected with perhaps the most powerful punch of the fight, an overhead right that snapped the challenger’s neck back.
Golovkin was not in danger. He has one of the most impressive chins in boxing and time has not seemed to diminish it.
But time has finally ended what was once a bitter rivalry. Alvarez, ESPN’s No. After some well-deserved rest, Alvarez, ESPN’s No. 5, will attempt to regain the top spot he held before his upset defeat to Bivol.
Golovkin knows he is close to the end, but he insists that he will continue his career. After his late stand against Alvarez on Saturday, there will be much interest in his future bouts, whether they’re contested at 160 pounds or 168.
Whatever happens, their time in the ring together is over and with it, one the most important and bankable rivalries in boxing history.
” I’m just glad that he has the ring.” Alvarez stated. “We’ve provided three really good fights for the fans. That kind of fights are what I enjoy. “
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.