LAS VEGAS (AP) — Canelo Álvarez decisively won his third meeting with Gennady Golovkin on Saturday night, earning a…
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Canelo Álvarez decisively won his third meeting with Gennady Golovkin on Saturday night, earning a unanimous decision victory in the final fight of their entertaining trilogy.
Four years after the fighters’ last encounter ended in a narrow and contested win for Álvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs), the four-division world champion has left no doubt about that verdict. The 32-year-old Mexican star beat the now 40-year-old Golovkin (42-2-1) in the first eight rounds, repeatedly testing Triple G’s famous chin with combinations and overhand rights.
Golovkin started far too slowly with no clear strategy to take the lead from Álvarez. Fighting at 168 pounds for the first time in his career, the Kazakh middleweight star still had moments of his best drive in the closing rounds against a more tired Canelo, but they weren’t enough to turn the fight around against a younger opponent more comfortable in the super. middleweight, where he reigns as the undisputed champion.
The judges all scored Álvarez surprisingly close: 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113. The Associated Press also favored Canelo, 117-111.
Golovkin landed just 23% of his 521 punches, and he only threw 10 punches to Canelo’s body, according to CompuBox. Álvarez wasn’t much more accurate, landing just 26% of his shots, but the Mexican star landed 85 power shots to Golovkin’s 46 and controlled the ring for long stretches.
With a clear win to wrap up one of the most heated rivalries in recent boxing history, Álvarez bounced back beautifully from just the second loss of his career, a fairly one-sided light heavyweight loss inflicted by Dmitry Bivol in May. last.
Golovkin said he wouldn’t retire after that fight, but the longtime middleweight champion suffered only his second defeat – and the first one that was decisive. The three flaws in his career are the results of his trilogy with Álvarez.
The bitter rivals hugged and spoke warmly after the final bell, possibly signaling a thaw in their frosty relationship.
After their first two fights ended in a draw and a narrow majority win for Álvarez, the fighters finally reunited four years later, fighting again just off the Las Vegas Strip in front of a pro- Canello.
Álvarez, 32, was a 5-to-1 favorite shortly before the opening bell, and he fought like that. Throwing plenty more punches and seizing the initiative from Golovkin, Canelo largely dominated the first half of the fight as a welt rose to Golovkin’s right temple.
Golovkin had no discernible game plan against bullying Canelo in the first eight rounds, instead absorbing Álvarez’s punches and not throwing his own enough. Golovkin eventually increased his work rate and progressed against a more tired Canelo in the closing laps, but it wasn’t enough.
Álvarez was cut in the right eye in the final rounds, but the damage and increased activity from Golovkin didn’t seem to shake him at all, even as his offensive efficiency waned.
The fight was the long-delayed final chapter of one of the most intriguing trilogies of this era. Álvarez and Golovkin first fought in 2017 and again in 2018, but those 24 rounds did nothing to determine superiority between two evenly matched fighters with near-unmatched combinations of skill and punching power.
They battled to a draw in their first meeting, but almost everyone without an official scoreboard thought Golovkin deserved the win. Their second meeting was closer, and while Álvarez won by a very slim majority decision, Golovkin again vehemently disagreed with the judges in his only career loss.
Golovkin had only fought four times in the four years since that fight, and this third fight was likely delayed by his vocal criticism of Álvarez for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance before the second fight. Álvarez said the rivalry was now personal after years of bad blood and mutual criticism, while Golovkin insisted Álvarez was just another opponent.
That’s clearly not true: This match was special and could turn out to be the biggest rivalry of the two fighters’ careers.
In the show’s penultimate fight, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez went undefeated and retained his WBC super flyweight title with a tough unanimous decision victory over Israel Gonzalez. The 22-year-old Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) is a rising star, and he overcame a point deduction for a low blow to win a tactical clash with an unorthodox opponent.
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