The drama initiated as soon as the atrocious 118-110 scorecard provided by veteran judge Adalaide Byrd was read back in their initial meeting in 2017. Since then, failed drug tests, negotiation breakdowns and genuine animosity from both camps sold the event superbly.
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada trembled with screams and boos from rafter to rafter as the fighters made their way into the ring. After a long delay between fights, the crowd was salivating for the fight to finally commence so that the fighters could finally settle, who truly is the best Middleweight in the world.
The opening bell rang and essentially Round 13 had commenced. The round was a true battle of jabs as both fighters looked to set a strong tone to start the bout. With the opening rounds in the books, a familiar tone began to sink in the arena. Rounds becoming difficult to score, the crowd reacting to every blow from their fighter, whether they landed cleanly or not.
In the fourth, Golovkin began to let loose and landed some thudding combinations but to the dismay of the GGG fans, Canelo took them like the world-class fighter he is. Canelo would return fire in the fifth and landed some stiff shots of his own. Unlike their previous fight, it seemed as if Canelo was pushing the champion back on his heels and kept him honest.
Canelo rarely found himself cornered, an adjustment from their previous fight where he fought a large portion of the fight countering off the ropes. Another significant difference was the dedication to the body attack from Canelo. This time around, Golovkin seemed to feel some of the effects of the body shots in the middle rounds. Golovkin also made an effort to attack the body, but maybe not as much as we’re used to from a prime Golovkin.
This time around, it was Golovkin who closed the championship rounds strong, rallying back to with multi-shot combinations that would’ve easily knocked down or knocked out a lesser fighter than Alvarez. The fight closed with both fighters letting their hands go until the final bell.
Both Golovkin and Canelo raised their hands in the air and enjoyed the brief moment of adoration from their fans before the winner would ultimately be announced.
Half of the crowd began to cheer, “GGG! GGG!” and the other screamed for their Mexican hero, “Canelo! Canelo!” As the scores began to get tallied, fans and media members squirmed in their chairs, not knowing really who truly won this fight.
The final scorecards came in and read, 114-114, 115-113 and 115-113 for the winner and new WBC, WBA, IBO and Ring Middleweight champion, Canelo Alvarez.
As the announcement echoed through the stadium, claiming Alvarez as the winner, Alvarez belted out a loud cheer of joy in the center of the ring.
“My corner told me to finish strong like last time and that’s what I did,” said Alvarez. “I told everyone that I was going to bring the fight to him and that’s exactly what I did.”
The now former champion quickly exited the ring and headed to the dressing rooms to boos from the pro-Canelo crowd.
“I’m not going to say who won tonight,” said Golovkin after the fight. “The fight belongs to Canelo according to the judges, but I felt I fought better than he did.”
In the end, some will say Alvarez won, other will lean with Golovkin, and many will claim it should’ve been a draw. The beauty and sometimes the frustrating part of the sweet science is that in the end, three people will decide the outcome.
Rest assured that if you weren’t pleased with either result, both fighters said they would consider a trilogy bout if the conditions were right. In any case, regardless of who you sided with, the fact remains that both Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are two of the most elite fighters of their generation and both fights treated boxing fans to the fullest.
Photos by Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions