On Saturday, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez successfully defended his undisputed super-middleweight world title, defeating Gennady Golovkin to complete their epic fight trilogy in Las Vegas.
Mexico’s Alvarez led for the majority of the 12 rounds at the T-Mobile Arena, winning a unanimous decision to spark wild celebrations among the majority of the sell-out crowd of Mexican fans.
The bout was scored 116-112 by one judge and 115-113 by the other two.
“Thank you so much, my friend,” Alvarez said to Golovkin in the ring following a fight marked by some heated rhetoric.
It was a welcome return to form for Alvarez, who had his second career defeat earlier this year after moving up to light-heavyweight to face Dmitry Bivol.
“You must keep moving forward; I have shown that defeats can be great and that you can regain your humility,” he said.
“He’s a real fighter, a good fighter,” he said of Golovkin. “I’m delighted to share the ring with him.”
This return to 168 pounds clearly suited Alvarez, but Golovkin will be disappointed with a slow start in a performance that only came to life when it was too late.
This highly anticipated third fight between two of the world’s hardest hitting fighters came four years after their last meeting.
Back in 2018, it was Alvarez’s hand that was raised at the end of 12 frenetic, quality rounds that saw Golovkin suffer defeat for the first time after losing by a narrow majority decision.
Their first fight a year ago ended in a draw, and the outcome of the second was difficult for the Kazakh warrior, who has little time for Alvarez and made no secret of it during the build-up here this week.
The bad blood has been boiling since the Mexican failed a drugs test and was banned for six months, putting a halt to this thrilling trilogy.
Alvarez entered the ring, cheered on by his adoring fans, many of whom were still in the mood for a party after celebrating Mexican Independence Day in Sin City.
GGG has been on the road for nearly a decade, so facing Alvarez – and the raucous crowd – was nothing new for the 40-year-old, unlike fighting at super-middleweight, which was a first for the 40-year-old.
As Alvarez opened aggressively but couldn’t break through Golovkin’s defence, chants of “Mexico! Mexico!” erupted.
The first few rounds were tense, with Alvarez throwing a lot but not connecting on everything.
Because of Alvarez’s jab, Golovkin’s face began to flush.
The Mexican was on the offensive. A big right hook smacked against Golovkin’s granite chin in the fifth round, but the Kazakh was able to absorb the force and press on against his far more aggressive opponent.
As Alvarez continued with a barrage of shots aimed at breaking down the GGG defence, Golovkin began to show his age.
In the ninth round, Alvarez found himself against the ropes, but Golovkin was unable to make any inroads despite throwing more shots.
The final few rounds were frenetic and action-packed, with Golovkin throwing everything he had at his Mexican opponent, but it was too little, too late, as Alvarez held firm.
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